McGowan Twins

McGowan Twins
We can hardly wait to get our precious girls!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Putting the Puzzle Together

Yesterday we were all excited to visit the orphanage where Victoria use to live. We discovered that the translator we had when we adopted Victoria 4 years ago had misinterpreted and gave us wrong information about where she had lived. The visit started by going to visit the orphanage director at the new orphanage location. He pulled out Victoria’s official file and we were able to see a picture that was taken of her the day she arrived at the orphanage when she was only 10 days old. There were several copies of it and we were given 2 of them. This will mean a lot to Victoria someday since she was probably at least 7 months old in pictures that we have. Her footprints were also in the file and her government I.D. card. The file also contained a copy of the photo I.D. card of the woman that found Victoria. I asked him if he knows where she lives because we would really like to meet her. He said that she lived in an area where the people were all relocated so he does not know where she is now. The director allowed us to take pictures of anything we wanted in her file. He said that when a child turns 18, the government allows the person to request her file, so she will be able to have everything else in it someday.
I asked if we could go to the old orphanage, meet Victoria’s foster mother, and go to her finding place. He said yes.
Four years ago, we had been told that Victoria lived at the old orphanage and during the process of moving to the new orphanage, that she had lived in a foster home for 1 month and then moved to the new orphanage. We were quite surprised to learn that Victoria never lived in the new orphanage, but in fact lived at the old orphanage and then moved next door to live with foster parents. Her foster mother had actually been the woman that cared for her while she lived in the orphanage and when other children moved to the new orphanage, Victoria was one of the three babies that moved into the apartment with her foster parents.
The old orphanage is only a short distance from the new one. When we got out of the van, people were drying noodles in their front yard. Noodles were everywhere. And there stood the orphanage that is now rather run down. It is now used for another business and it looks like some people live there too. Victoria’s foster mother came outside to greet us when we arrived. She was so happy to see Victoria and said she remembered her well and that Victoria was the last baby to leave her home before her retirement. We were able to look through the window of the room that Victoria lived in while at the orphanage. Then the foster mother invited us to her apartment.
At the apartment, we also got to meet Victoria’s foster father. They are probably in their 70’s and are raising their 1 year old granddaughter. They had a nice 2 bedroom apartment with a living room, kitchen and bathroom. We even got to see the crib that Victoria used to sleep in. We were able to visit with them for a long time and Victoria enjoyed playing with their little granddaughter. The foster mother thanked us for coming to see them and expressed her gratitude for us adopting Victoria. We told her how thankful we are that she cared for our baby. She told us that Victoria will always be part of her family and she said that makes us part of her family too. She asked that we all come back and visit again someday. We left with hugs and tears of thankfulness in learning that our daughter was loved and well cared for. What a blessing to have been able to put some of the pieces of the puzzle together and find that the pieces are so much better than we ever thought they were.


  1. Oh Michelle, I am sitting at my desk crying! What a wonderful story, and thanks for sharing.

    Maybe I could do a follow-up Springfield Scene story someday.

    Amy Lakin

  2. Sis this is a wonderful story and VERY touching, I am so glad that you could meet the people that took care of my wonderful little neice when she was a baby! Your story made me happy and VERY emotional at the same time...have a safe trip and come home with my new neices soon.
    Much love and prayers to you all!
    Uncle Scotty