I am excited to share the last portion of the CCAI Adopteens trip. After a wonderful journey through Beiijing we enjoyed an 11 hour train ride through the night. We arrived the next morning in Nanchang and headed for a hotel to drop off our things and then go shopping. The girls raised money to purchase things such as toys, DVD players, food processors, and air conditioners for the children. After a debriefing it was time to head to the orphanage. This is what the girls came so far for and the energy was beyond excited. There were mixed emotions as they imagined visiting the orphanages that some of them had actually been adopted from. The girls were anxious to see the children and learn more about where they came from and how they were cared for. To view images click here.
Watching them for the first time was hard. I could see confusion and sadness mixed with joy and passion. There were many questions asked and I am sure many more that they kept inside. I am so glad I got to see them go through the entire process. Towards the end they had formed bonds with the children that would forever change their view of how they were adopted. To view images click here
The entire journey was a life changing experience for both Nik and I. The things we saw and emotions felt changed many of my views of the adoption process. After it was all over I realized how two beautiful souls, Lily and Joshua Zhong, made the decision years ago to save one child at a time. It reminded me of the story of the man walking on a beach throwing stranded starfish back into the ocean. Another man walks by and said, "Why are you doing that? There are thousands of them it won’t make a difference." The man bent over, picked up another starfish and threw it into the ocean and replied, “It made a difference to that one.” Lily and Joshua, you are true heroes...
To view images click here
Images by Nikolai Puc' Photography
I am finally able to share the Adopteen images from the trip to Asia. This is part one as the girls enjoyed China. To view the images please click here.Meeting these girls and having the opportunity to travel with them as many of them saw China for the first time was life changing. There were so many things I was not prepared for as I watched them try to take in all there was to see. To view the images please click here.
Imagine being born in a country, raised in a different one with people who do not look like you and then traveling back to a land you do not know or understand. There were so many questions that the girls struggled with as they tried to understand why they were abandoned, who they really were and where they fit in. It was an emotional and heart wrenching journey and yet they each came with their own strength and they helped each other through the adventure. To view the images please click here.
There was laughter and joy and many moments of pure hysterics. It was really interesting watching the Chinese watch the girls too. They could see that they looked Chinese, but their american style, mannerisms and bounding laughter left the quiet locals shaking their heads. To view the images please click here.
To view the images please click here.
Images by Nikolai Puc Photography
It is wonderful to reflect back on the beautiful children we were able to work with in China. To view the second series please click here.
All of these babies will be adopted over the next few months. It was so fun to watch them smile and play. It was hard to believe that they all have some type of medical condition. In spite of conditions ranging from cleft pallets, missing limbs to HIV, they all had so much spirt and joy. Honestly I wanted to take them all home with me! To view the second series please click here.
I was so happy knowing that soon they would be with forever families. They will have parents who love them and homes they will feel safe in. The work being done by CCAI is remarkable and I still feel so blessed to have been a small part of telling their story. To view the second series please click here.
To view the second series please click here.
Photo credit Nikolai Puc' Photography
Many people have asked why there are so many orphans in China and why they are almost always girls. It is hard to imagine that China has over 1.4 billion people. (The US has just over 300 million). For that reason China has a one child policy. (Recent changes allow parents that are only children to have 2). To view the images CLICK HERE
Although China has the world's largest population, it is interesting to note that there are only about 500 family surnames. Culturally, carrying a family name is very important here. For this reason, in the past girls were abandoned (best case scenario) by the hundreds on a daily basis. These days China has done a tremendous job pouring millions into child welfare and most healthy girls are adopted domestically. Sadly however, there are still hundred of thousands of babies and children that are abandoned because they have special medical needs. These can range from a cleft pallet or heart conditions to missing limbs or HIV. Although care is better than it was, there are still typically only one care giver for every 15-25 babies. It is impossible for them to hold, nurture and love each of the children individually. They are dressed alike, eat, sleep and are changed in a very systematic way. There is a lot that I would like to say but I can't. Just know that these babies are in need of a forever home. To view the images CLICK HERE
The babies you see in my images are from the Lily Orphan Care Centers (LOCC). These are the lucky babies (typically 20-25) that are selected to be cared for so that they can be adopted internationally. Through your donations they receive clothes, better food, and the most important part--individual care plans. They have a 1:5 nanny ratio. (I am not allowed to photograph the other children or the rooms they are located in). The babies you see are fat, happy and loved, they just need a forever family. Please look into CCAI Adoption if you feel you can help. To view the images CLICK HERE
Regardless of your opinions *PLEASE* be careful what you say. It is more critical that we show the wonderful side of China and the positive steps being taken to help these children find forever families and anything negative could destroy the relationships that allow these babies to be placed. To view the images CLICK HEREPhoto credit Nikolai Puc' Photography