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July 28, 2005

Gwen's Orphanage

Here's Gwen's orphanage. It's located in the city of Shenzhen (Guangdong Province) in the People's Republic of China. Click on the picture to see a larger view.

I've heard conflicting reports that there are between 150 and 600 children here. In 2003, Wal-Mart donated several air-conditioners to the Shenzhen Social Welfare Institution (SWI). This would make it one of just a few in China to have such a luxury.

There are many different age groups of children here and many of the rooms look like a typical school classroom. The "Baby Room" looks more like a middle class US day care center than an orphanage. There are soft play mats on the floor to protect the babies from bumps and falls and lots of bright colors and light to fill the room. There are lots of toys and it seems to be very well organized. I've heard that the children are very accustomed to structure.

Some orphanages have steel cribs with no mattresses or bedding so I was really relieved to see that the cribs at the Shenzhen SWI are very nice. There are mattresses and blankets and even pillows for the babies! There are toys attached to the cribs too!

It's much easier to endure the wait knowing that Gwen is not physically suffering. Hopefully we'll have her home soon and someday we'll show her all of these pictures of her first home and her first playmates.

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