On March 25, 2013, Jill Mckinley met her son, Riyan James Cates (Guo Ri Yan), in Guangxi Province.
Shortly after Jill entered the Civil Affairs Bureau in Nanning, Riyan arrived with his Half the Sky nanny:
He had grown and his cleft lip seemed much more pronounced than in the pictures. I was a little in shock.
But then, he wrapped his arms around my neck and his legs around my waist and in one magical moment he was my son.
Jill and Riyan spent another week and a half in China before traveling home to her husband, Michael, and their three year-old son, Gus. Riyan bonded with his dad quickly, sailed through lip and palate surgery, and before long he and his brother Gus were partners in crime.
Jill soon requested and received Riyan’s Progress Reports, which included a letter from his HTS nanny:
You have been at the Social Welfare Institute of Beihai City for one year and three months. During this year your smile has been deeply imprinted in my mind. Now you are going to join a new family. I wish that you will grow up happily and be healthy in the care of your new mommy and daddy.
Nanny Wei Lian Fu
Jill had tears in her eyes as her co-worker translated Nanny Lian Fu’s letter, which conveyed so poignantly how much her son had been loved. This fall, Riyan, who continues to thrive at home, joined his brother Gus at preschool.