On October 11, 2005, our dossier was at Lifelink waiting with 3 other dossiers to be sent to China. I was filled with such excitement, hope, and promise to think of the daughter that my heart so desired. At the same time, halfway around the world, a woman in Beiliu City, in the Guangxi region of China was giving birth to her daughter, my daughter, our daughter. Her joy and elation from seeing her baby for the first time must have been tempered with the despair of her own situation and for that of her small child.
Of course there are so many things that we don't know, will never know, about this birth, the circumstances surrounding it, or the months to follow. I choose to believe that this mother loved her beautiful daughter very much and tried desperately to keep her. Perhaps the baby wasn't gaining weight properly due to feeding insufficiencies relating to her cleft lip and cleft palate. Perhaps the mother was poor but wanted her child to have a chance to thrive and to someday receive cleft surgery to repair her condition. Maybe she had already exceeded the 1-2 child policy in her area. Maybe it was for some other reasons entirely. But regardless of the reason, this mother left her daughter in a place where she was sure to be found one December morning shortly before her baby had reached 2 months of age.
If things had all gone as we had planned, our family would have been matched with a different child before this little girl had even had her adoption paperwork completed allowing her to be available for adoption.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
Last week on January 11, this same little girl from Beiliu City, China, turned 15 months old. I feel in my heart that her first mother and I are probably both wondering many of the same things. Wondering how many teeth she has and if she is crawling or walking yet. Wondering if she enjoys playing outside and if she claps her hands when she is happy. Wondering if she is just babbling or starting to say Chinese words yet. Wondering if she is well cared for and healthy and happy. Wondering if her caretakers have whispered in her tiny ear of a family coming to her soon.