Thursday, March 15, 2007

Yangxi; A Former Life

Anyone who has adopted a child knows that child had a former life. They don't hatch out of eggs. They've had real experiences, real losses and hopefully meaningful positive moments as well. But for some it is gone in a flash, too young to cognitively remember the former life. Family members struggle to grasp the almost before time with a forever family.

So, it is an inexplicable gift when the elusive become tangible represented by a photo and or a story.

There were lots of little kids in the baby room at Yangxi, Guangdong SWI on July 30, 2006. It looks like a full house. A family from America was permitted a visit a few days after adopting their daughter from the same institution. The families visiting that day toured the countryside and county region of Yangxi. When they were admitted to the orphanage they snapped as many photos as the director would allow. They probably hoped they could see where their child slept, which crib was theirs? They were probably fascinated with the ayis working there. How do they feed 47 babies and then change them all? How do they keep this place so clean? Will I ever truly ever understand how these gorgeous children got into this room in the first place? I wasn't there that day but I know it must have been emotionally draining to see the sites with Western eyes.

And then... it occurred to one mother, what about the babies not in our group's arms formally adopted a few days ago? There are so many still left in these cribs. What will become of them? I wonder if I will ever get to know what will happen to any of these children?

And this is where the internet comes in.

Through the miracle of bloggyland I received a cd containing this picture this week from a family who traveled to Yangxi SWI exactly 30 days before we traveled to the Civil Affairs Bureau in Guangzhou to meet Olivia Xi GeGe. Their kindness humbles me. They copied their orphanage pictures and low and behold Olivia is one of the children photographed. I'd know those huge soft brown eyes anywhere. She still tucks her blanket under her chin and pops her beloved thumb in her mouth the exact same way. Not only do we have the close up photo but we were also given photos of the room and orphanage. We were given photos of the town. Some were more detailed and tell more of the story than we previously had access to. Pictures of people in the town seem to give that lush green landscape of far Southern China life.

So, the family who traveled to Yangxi in July and found the Twoladybugs blog would not accept money for their trouble or even postage to send us the cd. That's the way most folks are in the Chinese adoption community. So, what's a gal to do?

That is when I looked over and saw these sitting in the corner. I didn't know it at the time but obviously they were made several weeks ago for Mrs. S and her wee ones. The perfect matched set as a heartfelt thanks for a kind deed done.

I'm glad I got the pictures to put in Liv's memory box. But I'm also glad Mrs. S got some information about where the little girl with the huge inquisitive eyes wrapped in the peach blanket went after she left the metal crib and large white room.


Johnny said...

I totally get your feelings on this. I met and made friends with a Dutch Mom who sent us her videos of their trip to our gal's orphanage. In a 10 second part of the video, you see our girl standing up and swaying to the music being played by the nannies.

You can't buy this type of kindness in the adoption community.

It does still exist.

Pay it forward.

I'm taking updated kid photos for the nannies of A2's orphanage during Metcha day.

Even during this exciting time, you gotta remember to think of those who have gone before and will go after you.

This post made me a wee bit misty.

Sherri said...

Wow! What a truly amazing gift.

atomic mama said...

Oh how wonderful and special. Amazing gift is right... thanks for giving us a glimpse.

tshapedgirl said...

Wow- this is great. Very lucky for Liv, and very kind of that family. Really, really great.

That pic of her just melts my heart.

Anonymous said...

How wonderful for you and Olivia! You're right - the adoption community is awesome! Deana

Kristin said...

So so lovely... *sniff*...

Anonymous said...

My fiance and I go back and forth on adopting for China, with the new rules we'll have to wait an extra year to paperchase and we go back on forth on the pros and cons. Your post made us both realize this is the type of global community in which we want to raise our child. Thank you.

Traci S. said...

If Johnny got misty, you can imagine my crocidile tears. I love this community of people.


Wendy said...

I have pictures of babies in the Nanchang SWI nursery from our trip, and I often wonder if I'll be able to someday get these pictures to their future parents. It's a needle in a haystack really, so the fact the Olivia's pictures made it to you is amazing.

nikki said...

Oh my gosh, I have goosebumps that will not go away!
What a truly amazing story.
What a gift for all of you!
This really is an amazing community of loving and wonderful people...we all share a bond that others could never really understand.

Lee-Anne said...

The amazing kindness of others...


Jill said...

What a sweet picture! Our little one was there in July as well although we did not know about her until October. She is still there waiting for us to come and get her! We are just waiting for our travel approval but the special needs program is running very slowly right now. We are hoping for May. We really wouldn't be able to get through the wait without the kindness of others taking pictures when they get to visit. I'm so happy you found a part of you sweet daughters past!
- Jill
PS - would you mind e-mailing me the website of the pictures someone took in July? I'd love to try to spot our daughter! :)