What a relief! I had worried about this day and how Jian would handle it. Because she was brought to meet us at a government building, we wanted to go back with her to the orphanage to meet everyone, learn about her daily life to this point and allow her to say goodbye and leave there with us as closure. She was demonstrating some anxiety as we traveled there. But once we arrived, she became so excited to see the kids again. One of them immediately saw us out the window and yelled in Mandarin, “There’s Jian Ying with her mom and dad!” Jian was so proud to have us meet her friends and to give them the treats she had brought for them. She even took one of her new toys out of her purse and gave it to her good friend to keep. When we went to see the playroom, all of the kids took off their shoes and got on the mat to play, and Daniel joined in. They loved it! Pillow fighting him and jumping on his back. He was in Heaven, too.
Our guide translated what she was saying to her friends during the day. One time, Daniel said something that made Jian and her friend LiYa giggle. Then Jian whispered to her, “I can’t understand a word he says. He speaks English.” Later, one of the children referred to him as Dad, and she said, “No he’s not your dad. He’s MY dad!” Then when they were playing, she told them to be very careful with him and not hurt his glasses. She is so, so sweet. We got to see her true personality come alive. She has a loud, commanding voice, leading the children while they are playing. She held my hand and walked down the hall (although I’m not going to encourage this until we can get a brace to prevent her ankle from rolling.)
The best part of the day is when we invited some of the orphanage staff and 3 of Jian’s little friends to lunch. We treated them to a huge feast like none other they have experienced, I suspect. Our guide said she has been doing this job for 10 yrs and has never had a family take lots of kids to lunch like that. They loved it. And we loved that they loved it. As Jian hugged her friends for a final goodbye, sweet LiYa became very upset, and they both cried pretty hard. But this of course was normal, and it didn’t last long. My heart is full. I can safely say that this was one of the best days in my whole life.