On being found


Papa Chopstix, Big Z and I took a little field trip this weekend.

Armed with an address from his orphanage file, a camera and Google maps we rode the subway to find the location where he was reportedly found shortly after birth just over 2 years ago.

As we came up to street level and looked around, we noticed the train station, a large bus depot and several large shopping markets in the area.

We ambled down the middle of the street since the sidewalks were crowded with vendors hawking tea eggs, corn on the cob and other traveler’s snacks, and found a building with the correct number on it.

“Found on the second floor,” our information had stated.

The building was a medium sized hardware/electric market, which means several floors of narrow aisles and dozens of tiny stalls and counters loaded to overflowing with bags of screws, coiled wire, electrical tools and other things I am not an expert on.

As we rode the escalator up to the second floor, I was filled with an indescribable painful stab in my chest as I wondered who had stood, possibly on that same escalator, with a tiny bundle in a fuzzy blanket and formulating a plan in their mind.

Was it the birth mother (although Chinese tradition dictates she cannot leave the bed for a month), or the father, or another family member or friend? We will never know.

As a mother now five times over, I cannot imagine the thought of leaving my baby for someone else to find.

Although since it was winter time, it seems like they wanted him to be found alive and perhaps allow for a solution to repairing his severe heart defect.

So many factors are at work that are outside the scope of my culture, understanding and imagination.

As I talk to more and more people about children, orphans, disabilities, health care, insurance, poverty, education….it only serves to make any quick pat answer seem trite and shallow.

But my heart aches for somebody who carries the burden of this secret around forever.

I have never met a person who told me that they abandoned their child.

It’s probably not dinner conversation for most.

Our joy in loving this special boy is intertwined with the harsh reality that somebody else’s heartache permitted it to happen.

We asked a couple of shopkeepers standing around, and even a guard, if they knew of a baby that had been found in the given time frame, but nobody seemed to quite understand the question.

We didn’t push, and wandered back out into the bright sunlight and noise of traffic, bus horns, and cute puppies for sale.


10 responses »

  1. just reading this today, been very busy with the son and his family here for the holiday. Truly a wonderful blog on going back to where Big Z was found and the thoughts that go through a mothers mind. I did not know they have to stay in bed for a month! lol the US moms are out shopping a week later. Thanks for all your insight into this culture that seems so strange and far away.
    Safe travels on your way back to the USA.

  2. Thank you for doing this journey with Z. One day as you share this journey with Z, he will appreciate that when you both inquired about his roots it was to understand cultural happenings in order to share about his beginnings. To also see the FATHER’s protection of Big Z, & to share the FATHER’s Love for Big Z & for his new family; uniting you all in the FATHER’s love. You ALL are Precious Ones!! The FATHER is so good to us all!*
    *Love you each one, from Dad/Grandpa & Mom/Grammy

  3. Ahhh, yes. Welcome to the set of feeling reserved only for us adoptive moms. I have found several books really helpful: Primal Wound, 20 Things Adopted Kids what their Adoptive Parents to Know, Rich in Love, The Girls who went Away (though about American birthmothers, still very helpful), Adoption Healing. I have ready MANY and these were the ones by far that were the most helpful. Each year I make a Mother’s Day bouquet with one flower representing each mother or mother figure in our family. Between Herb, Emme and Me our bouquet contains 7 flowers. Each year I put that together I do it through tears. It levels me every time. Adoption is no joke!

      • That is on my reading list. Good references to spiritual issues experienced as well in The Bondage Breaker by N Anderson – very helpful, very true, very faith expanding

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