Vivian’s Journal: One Week Home from China

“…  I’ve wondered about what the orphanage was like for as long as I can remember and now I do know. It feels like I’ve just filled in this gap in my life. “

It’s amazing to think that I was on the other side of the world not two weeks ago. We started in Shanghai, then went to Nanchang, Jiujiang, Ruichang , the village where the Zhou family lives and finally Suzhou. We went to so many places and met some really great people.

In Shanghai we visited so many places:  Nanjing Road, the world financial center, a cruise on the Huangpu River, the World Expo and more. Shanghai is such a busy modern city, it is so much bigger then Toronto, and has so many people. And it is so hot! I don’t how the people can stand it!

I’d have to say that my favourite place was the orphanage in Jiujiang. My visit may have been brief but I had this feeling of self fulfilment.  I’ve wondered about what the orphanage was like for as long as I can remember and now I do know. It feels like I’ve filled in this gap in my life.

Meeting the Zhou family was also amazing! I got to meet Shumin, who is almost 14, and was adopted like me, but by a local family. I got to see life through her eyes. I watched her cook, visited her school, and went melon picking with her. Bringing the family to Walmart was fun – it was their first time in a store like that. But their taking me to the open air market… not so fun. It was still exciting since I’d never been to one – but the live animals, the huge hunks of hanging meat, the noise and smells – I don’t think I’d ever do that again…

I do plan to keep in contact with Shumin to see how things go for her and her family. Her birthday is September 14, and she is turning 14. I’m going to write her, sending my best wishes to her and her family, and wish her the best for school year ahead.

I had so much fun during my two weeks in China. I learned quite a bit about China – the lifestyles, the people and just how diverse the country is. I discovered how similar and yet completely different China is to Canada. I also learned things about my life that have been blank holes for so long and now they aren’t. It feels great not to wonder what my birth place is like, where I was found, and where I lived the first 6-7 months of my life.

Over all it was an amazing journey! But I was sad that my mom wasn’t there with me (ed. note: she fell ill right before the trip and had to remain behind) But we talked to her through Skype every day so we could tell her about what happened that day and ask her what she thought.

Now that my trip is over I almost can’t believe I went in the first place- it feels like I never left home. But I think the changes in me will last a long time.

Vivian, August 31, 2010

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