So, I'm sure most of you know about the "one child" policy in place in China which has led to millions of orphaned little girls. But in talking to people about the adoption process, I've realized that a lot of people don't know the full story of how these little girls become orphaned. In a lot of countries, orphanages know the birth parents' names and even medical history or may even have contact with some members of the birth family. In China, it is quite the opposite. It is actually illegal to abandon your child... I had someone ask me "So, her birth mom took her to this orphanage so she could be adopted?" In reality, these little girls are placed in boxes, baskets, etc. and simply left in a public place to be discovered by someone passing by. They are often left in the early morning hours, when a birth mom can slip away undiscovered but when their baby will be discovered quickly as people go to work. I honestly cannot even imagine what sort of societal pressures can drive a mom to have to do that. But I find comfort in the fact that our baby's birth mom chose life for her when there could have been an "easier" option. I take comfort in the fact that she was left in front of a busy building where she would be discovered quickly.... but other than that, I will have very little to tell my daughter of that part of her history. I pray even now for the hard conversations that will surely follow... pray and hope that she will know that the Lord never abandoned her and that she will feel valued and cherished.
I share that with you to explain the "finding ad" photo we have. When children are abandoned, in order to be eligible for adoption an ad must be placed in the local paper. It has the basic information of age, sex, where they were found, and any other identifying facts. I guess it is run in an attempt to find their family who really don't want to be found. I keep trying to picture her birth mom looking through the paper to catch a glimpse of her baby.... at least I would totally have done that... wanting to make sure she is ok and see what she looks like. There is an american adoptive father who has a business that finds your child's ad and in most cases this is the earliest photo you will ever have of her. Our baby was about 3-4 weeks old in her photo.... she looks a little alien like because of how tiny and premature she was... but oh, I could eat her up! There is no mistaking those eyes! (she is on the right).
And in other news, we have FINALLY agreed on a name for baby girl!! You'll remember part of her chinese name is Mei which is pronounced like "Mae" and was such a huge fingerprint of God on her life.... so she will be "Mei Sims" We are choosing the chinese spelling for several reasons and hope she won't be mad at us that she will forever have to spell her name.... but really with our last name, she'd be doing that anyway. Sims is a family name on my mom's side. So, there you have it! Got the name, now we just got to get the baby!!