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Hunan Adoptive Families Reunion - Winter 2015

Hunan adoptive families are receiving unique invitation for Winter Break 2015. The new Hunan Civil Affairs Director Cai, who is quite a young man, is excited to be in his new role and is extending a special warm welcome to adopted children and their families.  He has authorized a waiver of the orphanage visit filing fee and asked all directors to assist families as they may be interested in reviewing the orphanage file and make contact with first caregivers. Louie Yi met with him in China last month and discussed with him ways to make a reunion trip especially meaningful for adoptive children and their families.  Director Cai has taken this advice to heart, and is making plans to “throw open the doors wide” for a unique welcome experience for families and children.

Interview with Louie Yi

Below is an excerpt of an interview with Louie Yi, regarding this unusual arrangement for Hunan families.

Editor: “So, what did you tell Mr. Cai that would be of interest for adoptive parents and their children?”

Louie Yi: “Well, I told him that it would be helpful for families if he can arrange to have the orphanage visit filing fee application waived in order to save some costs for families.  And, he agreed to do that. It’s always good to save some cost for families. ”

Editor: “That’s great, what else happened?”

Louie: “I also discussed that many adopted children have an interest and strong curiosity to know more, about the person or persons who took care of them for the first year or longer of their young life.  Of course, the children don’t remember this usually, but it can be an important missing “piece” of their life that they wish to know more about.  And, I told him perhaps, the child can discuss this very early time in their life and learn more about it –perhaps even to “fill in some gaps” for the child in their history.   I explained this type of information can be very useful and important to children and families.  Directors don’t always grasp how valuable those little bits of information can be to a young person who knows very little about the early days in their life.   Director Cai has a greater understanding of this now, and will be encouraging directors to assist families to search out caregivers/foster families where it is possible.”

Editor: How likely is it that an adoptive child can connect with the foster family or a particular nanny at the orphanage, even if all doors are open?

Louie:  “Well, the chances are great if the adoptive family has had some ongoing communication with the foster family or orphanage nanny.    If there has been no contact, then the best chance is if the child has been adopted five or less years ago.  People who foster children or work as a nanny at an orphanage are not well paid employees, and may change jobs or move easily.   So, it can be harder to make contact, especially if the adoption took place quite a few years ago.  In each case though, Mr. Cai assured me of the effort to locate the first caregiver for the adopted child will be made.”

Editor: What else will be uniquely arranged for this trip schedule?

Louie: “It has been agreed to allow adopted children to have the opportunity to play with kids in the orphanage and possibly assist with teaching some English phrases as well as some easy volunteering opportunities at the different SWI locations throughout Hunan Province.   Director Cai is excited to allow families to have a nice time during their reunion trip.  Also, employees in the Hunan Civil Affairs department who prepared adoption paperwork and helped with adoptions will be available to meet with families and meet children who they helped place.  

Editor: That sounds rather neat.

Louie:  “Well, there is more.  We are arranging a visit to the most famous gymnastics school right there in Changsha and to see the gymnast training program and meet several of the children involved in the program.  Also, we are planning if adoptive kids on this trip have interest, we may plan a soccer match with some Chinese kids of similar age.  We will have to check on that.  It definitely will be a fun trip, with many interesting options of things to experience in a short time!”

Editor: Louie, we know that there was a scandal in 2006 involving some Hunan orphanages that were offering incentives to bring abandoned babies to some Hunan orphanages.   What information do you think will be available in these cases? 

Louie: “Well, it is a fact of life that some orphanages have false paperwork.  Of course, this is greatly sad for the child and the family, because it calls so much about the child’s early beginnings into question.  We can only go from the official paperwork and what it says.  Director Cai is committed to have families and children be able to obtain whatever information the paperwork does give.  If it has been falsely prepared because of being involved in some of these trafficking cases, it is sad.   And, of course, if it was created falsely, it will be difficult to sort out the truth.   Whatever the paperwork says should be available to the child and the family.  We cannot change what happened, we can just help today with what is there and available. Even though not everything is as we wish, we hope to arrange a positive visit for each family.”

Editor: Okay, onto more mundane issues.  What types of trips are offered?
Louie: “Well, there is a schedule for families who will be making a first trip.  You can see it here: http://www.lotustours.net/travel/LY-HN15-1219.html  And I’ve created an agenda for families who may be interested in joining the group for a second or third return trip, who just want a few days at Changsha and their child’s orphanage or such arranged.   It’s pretty flexible and great for people who just want to make their own trip agenda.   I have prepared that agenda option and it’s on our website also.

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