In honor of National Adoption Day, please enjoy this post originally published on August 12, 2010.
Awhile back we were having some plumbing work completed in our hallway bath. The plumber, an older black gentleman, and a friend of my husband, was admiring our Ladybug. He commented to my husband how pretty she was. Rick took him aside and told him that she had been abandoned when she was about two days old. The plumber looked genuinely astonished at this news. He intimated that he could not believe that someone would abandon a little girl so beautiful. Rick agreed and told him that is a common practice in even now in present day China.
According to the medical report we received, “A female infant was found abandoned at the entrance to (her city) General Welfare Institute (orphanage) by one of the public. Because her biological parents were not found, so she was sent into the Institute on the same day. The baby was dressed in a suit of purple cotton baby wear and wrapped in a colored towel when she entered the Institute.”
The act of abandonment is such a horrifying thought to most twenty-first century Americans. However, one must realize there is a different culture in China—a different mindset. Ladybug’s birth Mother put her in pajamas and wrapped her in a purple towel and set her just in front of the Institute, so someone would find her—which someone did. This is a story that I have known since we received the medical report, and one that I have thought about dozens of times. This act of abandonment is illegal in China, but one, to me, which might contain a shred of hope for the baby—the hope of a better life somewhere else. Clearly, this was done because for some reason, raising a girl in this particular family would be impossible without serious consequences—the most likely consequence: starvation. Poverty would also explain the Mother carrying her to term, with that same shred of hope for the baby in letting her live, wrapping her up against the cold, and placing her in a spot so conspicuous as in front of the orphanage.
Last night, as Bumblebee laid in bed, I rocked Ladybug. Usually she likes her Daddy to rock her, he makes up funny stories to amuse the girls. However, last night, Ladybug requested me. I tried to tell how a funny story, but it was no good. She smiled, and her eyes lit up as a thought crossed her mind. “Mommy, tell me about when I was a baby and they put me in your arms and you cried.” So I did, a story I have told her dozens of times, a story I will share with you all in more detail when I am less tired from my day…
As I look at my beautiful child with her new sassy hairdo, I thanked God for this beautiful, beautiful child and her tow-haired sister who was now sitting up to listen to the story too.