Adoption in China

Shicheng Orphanage

April 2005
Jen S.

(Click on thumbnails for larger images)

This is a shot of my daughter, at that time Shi Ying, in the arms of her foster mother, Deng Ping Sho, on the day Zuzu was brought back to the orphanage preparatory to her adoption. This is April 21, 2005.  The orphanage was not quite two years old at the time. You can see they've taken some care with landscaping. The town, Shi Cheng, is in the mountains near the Fujian border. We were told it is the source of the Gan (or Ganjiang) River, which our guide called the "mother river of China".

Here is the future Zuzu again. In the background you can see the main building, with a smaller, one-story building on the side.


This is a picture of the interior of the baby room. Each child had her own bed; they are fancier and frillier than what Zuzu has now. In other shot, there is a large stand fan, so there is no air conditioning. Presumably the windows are open at night in warm weather, so I take the canopies on all the beds for mosquito nets. I may be wrong; there may be no risk of malaria in the mountains, but I wouldn't bet on it so far south.

This pagoda is on the grounds of the Social Welfare Institute.




And here you can see a pathway through the grounds. This must be looking toward the fountain and also in the same direction as Zuzu in the pink chair. I think I can make out the small side building through the saplings.


I thought this was a postcard at first, but when I pulled it out of the album the orphanage supplied, it is a photo print with the assistant director's handwriting on the back. The pagoda is important enough that there are two pictures of it in the album. One of my Chinese friends read the captions on little pieces of paper in the album and told me it is an ancient pagoda. You can see the mountains behind. This town was a cradle of the communist revolution, partly because it is so remote and inaccessible that the government at the time thought it would be too hard to try to root out the revolutionaries.

Here is the orphanage staff. The man is Ye Zhong Guo, the director of the children's division. He died in July of 2005. The woman in red is the assistant director of the children's division. The woman in the white blouse and black tie is the director of the whole SWI, elderly and children's parts. The other women are nannies in the children's division. And of course Zuzu is being held by her foster mother.

This is the best picture I have showing the Shi Cheng SWI main building. I think the children's division must be housed here because of other photos I have showing my daughter and her foster mother standing under this portico.


I wouldn't extrapolate too much from this, but this is a picture of the future Zuzu at her foster home. You can't see well in this picture, but the back wall is hung with various toys for her.

This picture is also at the foster home and gives, perhaps, some idea of the standard of living there. The telephone and toys make me think this particular foster family is middle class for China. A picture I have of both foster parents makes me think they are a little older -- perhaps people whose own children are grown. But they both look like they've worked hard, and so they may be younger than they appear.

We'd love to hear from any families that have children that are from Shicheng 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.