Monday, July 26, 2010

Teen Connects With Chinese Roots

From the Hamilton, Ohio Journal News:

This summer, 15-year-old Jade Kurlas returned to the Mother’s Love Orphanage in Nanning, China, where she was adopted by Dennis and Robin Kurlas in 1996 when she was a year old. [Maya was at Mother's Love].

She had returned to the orphanage once before, when the Kurlases adopted their second daughter, Meilian, in 2002, from a different orphanage.  At that time, she got to meet with the foster mother who had helped take care of her before the adoption, and the director of the orphanage invited her to come back when she was a teenager.

* * *

The orphanage had changed some from her previous visit. No longer a holding place for international adoptions, Mother’s Love now has 35 children in residence who are being cared for because they are HIV positive or have cerebral palsy, Robin Kurlas said.

“We blew bubbles in the courtyard, made cookies and had a dance party,” Jade rattled off some of the highlights of her week at the orphanage. “The kids had never made cookies before.”

* * *

Jade said that the trip deepened her interest in her birth heritage and that she feels “more Chinese” now.

“I want to learn how to speak Chinese,” she said. “All of the girls and I decided that we would go back and take care of the kids and help them. I’m going to continue donating to them.”

“I miss it,” she said. “I want to go back now.”


Elaine said...

my oldest daughter is from ML. We're planning to visit next summer.

Wendy said...

What a great connection she is finding with Guangxi. M is from AML too. It is so different from when she was there--we were there a year ago--the hardest part is seeing the old building rotting away only yards away. However, the love remains and the happiness in the children's faces, as well as the care of the nannies and Ms. Liu.

malinda said...

Elaine, I'd be interested to hear about your trip!

Wendy, when we were there in 2007, the old building was a school for autistic children. Is it completely unoccupied now?

Wendy said...

Yes, it then turned into a business of some kind, but it is now gone as well. There is only one caretaker and he cannot handle all of the work. It is overgrown, paint peeling, and basically in disrepair. I would warn AP's to talk to their young children when taking them back there because it will not look their pictures and the new building is very clean, but very drab--nothing like the old one. M was very sad, wanted to leave, and kept telling me that she never lived there--she just knew she never lived there "the old building". It saddened her and was not at all the place she "knew".

The children at AML do plant peanuts and a large garden between the two buildings, but as gardens tend to do--it looks overgrown as well. I think the disrepair added to her stress.