After the team left in April, we knew we needed to allow the new nannies and the SWI staff to have some time to implement the program and get into this new schedule, and that it would naturally take some time to get live reports on the progress. We're ecstatic to report that there have been several visits by ZJ families and both times they were invited to visit "Ava's Room" (where the Open Arms program is run). While the ZKO board is in constant contact with the ZJ directors via phone and email, we were so happy to get several live reports from the viewpoints of visitors.
The first visit by a family was on a Saturday in May, and they were invited with open arms ;o) to see the room, even though it was the weekend, and the nannies wouldn't be using it. They rounded the corner to find the room WAS being used, filled with laughing nannies and happy babies enjoying the toys! It's obvious this is more than a 9-5/M-F job. These dear children are LOVING all the attention, thriving under all the physical touch, and soaking up all the new experiences. The visiting family reported music and singing echoing through the halls!
The second visit we want to highlight is a report from a group that visited on a Homeland Tour. Again, they were graciously welcomed by the ZJ staff, and encouraged to see how wonderfully the babies are doing. The visiting group found all the babies being held or toddling around playing with toys. It was described as "pure chaos"--but a wonderful, beautiful, normal chaos of happy babies singing along with the music on the CD players you helped provide. There were babies playing with toys and listening to music in Ava's Room, but ALSO in the regular nursery. It's just wonderful how the program has been spilling into the rest of the orphanage.
It was requested that a message would be relayed to all you wonderful families who have helped make this program a reality: "Please report to your people that the babies are good and happy and directors Su and Yi are very happy with the program. All should feel happy in their hearts for the good thing you have done for the babies in ZJ".
We are so grateful for the opportunity to give back to Zhanjiang SWI, and look forward to many years of helping the ZJ children to live happy, healthy lives until they can join their forever families. We thank each of you for opening your hearts to this wonderful program.