Adoption in China

Fengcheng Orphanage

Opportunity of a Lifetime

August 2003

While staying in Nanchang, we were given a wonderful opportunity to visit our daughter's SWI in Fengcheng City. We were very excited at the chance to see where our daughter had lived for her first nine months, but apprehensive that bringing her back would cause her harm. We came to the decision that it was a chance that we just couldn't miss and the our observations would be invaluable to our daughter when she was older.  I am so glad that we went. These are my thoughts on our journey...

The bus our guide had arranged to take us to Fengcheng City left early (8am). It was not an easy task for new parents to have all of us awake, fed, clean and ready to go by such an early hour, but we were trying to beat the heat and the traffic. I don't think we won on either account. The traffic in Nanchang was amazing. I had no idea the city was so large, and it took us quite a while to come to the outskirts on our way to Fengcheng City. The air-conditioning in the bus was no match for the heat and sun streaming in the windows, and I had a very hot and sweaty baby plastered to the front of me. As we drove further into the countryside, the scenery was beautifully green and very interesting. We passed lotus flower and sugar cane farms and saw construction everywhere. The road was very bumpy and filled with cars, people, and assorted animals the entire way. The driver blew the horn almost continually. Our daughter slept most of the way. The rest of the time she loved the bumpy ride.

After a grueling one and half hour trip we came to Fengcheng City. It too, was a much larger city than I had imagined. All of our group were happy to get off the bus, and we all had cameras ready. The SWI is back in a courtyard of the Civil Affairs Office. The bus parked at the entrance and we put the babies in the strollers and walked in. There were sections of the SWI for blind people and elderly people as well as the babies. We were told that there were about 40 babies at the SWI and the rest of the children were placed in foster care due to lack of space. The SWI looked exactly like it did in the pictures I had seen posted on the Internet. The courtyard was dusty with a large walled pond in the middle and laundry was drying on the balconies.

The staff at the Fengcheng SWI was very kind and generous to us. We were allowed to photograph and video anything we wanted. My daughter had lived at the SWI and so I was stopped every few feet by someone who knew her and wanted to say hello and try to make her smile. We parked the strollers at the bottom of the stairs and carried the babies to the second floor. There we met the nanny who had cared for our daughter and were able to have our guide translate some questions for her. She was happy to hold Maia and I have video of the two of them together. My husband wandered around videotaping while I continued to have many of the staff talk to me as I was carrying our daughter. All the babies we saw were out on the balcony with the nannies. It appeared that one nanny was caring for three or four babies at a time. Most of the babies were in split pants and long sleeves even though it was very warm. They were clean and appeared well cared for. The rooms with the cribs in them had screened doors leading to the balcony and looked very clean. Both the Director and Assistant Director were very friendly and nice. The Assistant Director rushed to help me when I needed to change our daughter's diaper. We were shown the plans for the new building that they have planned for the SWI.

I felt much better at the end of our visit knowing the people who had cared for our daughter genuinely cared about her. To conclude our visit, a young man from the SWI drove around with us in the bus to help us find the finding place of each of our babies. We were allowed to get out of the bus and take pictures there. When we did this we drew quite a crowd. The part of old Fengcheng City where our daughter was found was very pretty. All too soon we left for the long trip back to Nanchang. I wish we had had more time to actually explore Fengcheng City.

We'd love to hear from any families that have children that are from Fengcheng and would welcome any information anyone might have about the city or orphanage.

Please e-mail me at if you have any additional information or if your child is from here and you would like to post a picture here or other contact information.