Monday, March 28, 2011

Gao Mei, New Hope

i came across E's finding ad that was given to us (and translated by our guide) while in China. it has been over a year since i read it, and when I came to the last sentence of the ad, the tears fell:

"There were 2 pieces of clothes and one bag of formula left with her".

the clothes. what were they? what did they choose for her before they had to let her go? did they take a photo of her at the police station in those clothes or at the orphanage steps? is there some photo from that first day? what struggles did her first parents endure? who left her with those 2 pieces of clothes at the gate of the orphanage on that day, 3 months after she was born?

what i wouldn't give to be able to pass those clothes on to her. interestingly it doesn't say a thing, anywhere, in any paperwork, any file, that her birthday was estimated. you know how most do? hers doesn't. i have always had this gut feeling that there was a note, even though i was told there wasn't. almost 4 years later, new staff, a crowded and loud room, me asking that question, how would they even remember?


  1. My son was also found with a bag of clothing...He was estimated to be 9 months of age (but gosh, how does one accurately estimate a child of that age? I've seen a photo of when he was admitted to the SWI one month later, and he looks about 6 months old, not 10).
    I recently joined a Yahoo Group of parents who are searching for more info. on their children's birth family and/or person who found them. If you email me, I'd be happy to pass that link to you. Also, did you ask the SWI if they had a baby photo of your daughter? When we were home for 3 months, I emailed photos of my son to the SWI with a brief update and I asked if they had any baby photos (the earliest I had seen was of him at 2 years old - referral photo) and they emailed me (the next day!) the photo taken when he arrived at the SWI. Maybe you could ask? When we were touring my son's SWI I asked about the clothes he was found it, I was met with blank stares...they did say since he was taken to the hospital for one month, they were disposed of there. However, our guide told us even for children who were brought straight to SWI, the workers were asking why would anyone ever want those? (for us, as you know, it would be a link...a connection to what was, before us...)

  2. Oooh, Kris, I so agree with the above poster, Nicole...definintely ask about the baby photos from the SWI. We were lucky in that Kiara's SWI gave each family a book with photos from the day they were taken into the SWI all the way through. I may be wrong, but I believe every SWI has an "intake" photo of every child that enters the SWI. Definitely worth checking out!

  3. Hi, Kris, don't beat yourself up over this. Look at it from another perspective: you're saving E from some questions and bitterness down the road that otherwise might be triggered by those items.

    As the Chinese might say, in a sea of faces, where would she even start to "connect"? Best to live in the present and look to the future. The past? Do as we overseas Chinese do: we feel some linkage, in language, customs and culture, but there are fundamental differences.

    E is now and will be American. Let her blossom in the land of the free...

  4. I find it is incredibly hard to think about.