Finally the day had come! I had my usual breakfast at the hotel, then met Janice and took my last walk-subway-bus trip to the orphanage. They were doing their morning lesson when we got there, but Jubilee looked over her shoulder when she heard the door, and her face lit up when she saw me. I waved at her and she smiled and waved back. After the lesson, it was time for the farewell ceremony.
They gathered all the kids on a mat, and pulled up chairs for the teacher, me, and Janice, who translated. Thankfully, someone took my camera to capture all of the memories, and Janice and I took turns making videos.
It started with the teacher putting a map on the cabinet, and telling the kids how they live in Hong Kong, and how we live in the USA. Then she held up a popsicle stick with a picture of a plane on it, and flew it from Hong Kong to the USA and stuck it there.
Some of the caretakers said a few words about Jubilee, and then they put me on the spot and asked me to say a few words. I don't quite remember what I said...something about 'thank you for caring for her'. Then Jubilee got to pick her favorite songs for the whole group to sing. She wanted a song I think they made up there, called 'sleeping bunny'. 3 times in a row. They eventually convinced her to do 'wheels on the bus', and 'abc', then another round of 'sleeping bunny'. In the beginning of the song, they sing 'sleeping bunny, sleeping bunny, are you sleeping, are you sleeping?' and the kids all lay down on the floor. Then they sing "wake up in the morning, wake up in the morning, hop hop hop!" and the kids get up and hop. Here she is being a sleeping bunny:
Then they brought out a battery operated candle, which symbolizes the blessing that Jubilee had to find a family. I helped her walk around and let each child touch the candle, that they may be blessed with a family soon too. It was really sweet. And you can see my fancy purse...which I borrowed from Vivi and Journey because I liked how it went over my shoulder and stayed flat against me for travelling ;)
After that, the director of the orphanage said a prayer, and we took Jubilee around to give her final hugs and goodbyes. They gathered her suitcase and the other gifts that some of the adults had given her, and then we made the long walk down the inside orphanage stairs, and then up the outside stairs to the street. The orphanage 'grandfather' hailed a taxi for us, and we waved to the parade of people who walked us out, and then we were off!