As you can see, Elyssa is never one to disregard her appearance. She LOVES looking at and having a conversation with herself in front of the mirror. What a ham!
We got an early start to the day today in order to pay a visit to the orphanage where little ELF, that's Elyssa Li Forn, got her start in the world. Our travel partners here, the Myers Family said it best... seeing the orphanage is really closure for the parents. We were concerned that the kids might have some trouble with going back to see the place where they spent a sizable portion of their lives. You can see the Family portrait in from of the building below.
When we walked in, we were all very impressed with how clean and orderly the place was. Of course, they knew we were coming and theoretically had the time to get the place cleaned up. However, the shear size of the place would preclude any serious white glove janitorial work for our sake. The furniture and building looked great and would rival anything we have back home.
From the minute we walked into the first nursery, we heard our baby's name, Li Fang, from the staff. They all recognized her right away. One lady came up and through an interpreter explained that she checked up on Elyssa once every week over the last 18 months while she was in foster care. Elyssa started to cry when she saw the ladies. We're sure it wasn't because she didn't like the women; she was actually attached to us and didn't want to go back to the orphanage. Remember, about ten days before we arrived in China, Elyssa was taken back to the orphanage from the foster family she had spent over one year with. It made us very happy when Elyssa insisted in getting back into Daddy's arms!
In the end, we were very happy that we visited. Years from now, I think Elyssa will be happy that we were able to give her a little insight into this chapter of her life.
Following the visit to the orphanage, the clan decided to make up for the horrendous visit to the Zoo from the day prior and caught a cab to the Yunnan Safari Park on the north end of town. What a difference! This is a first class place. The animals have much more space, even though it is still sad to see a tiger pace back and forth in an enclosure. As you can see, for about 10 Yuan, or about $1.50, we were able to get up close and personnel with some of the cutest creatures on Earth. The Safari also had a pair of uber-cute red pandas, monkeys, and other cute and not so cute critters. Great fun was had by all. As the last photo shows, our little ELF really enjoyed herself.