by Jen S.
(Click on thumbnails for
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
is the future Zuzu again. In the background you can see the main building, with
a smaller, one-story building on the side.
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.
pagoda is on the grounds of the Social Welfare Institute.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.