Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Finding Place

I sit here at 5:30 in the morning wide awake with many thoughts whirling through me head.  I thought that I better get some of them down so my kids can read this one day.  On Saturday, April 19 2014, we went to our daughter's finding place.  I have wanted to go here for quite sometime, it is always a mystery not knowing how all of the pieces fit together.  I felt that if we went, it might be one more piece that we can help her try to figure out and make some sort of sense of her first two and a half years of life - if that is possible.

On this trip, I was told by my agency that it would not be possible to find.  They said it would be too difficult, but my prayers were answer and God provided us with the BEST guide possible.  Her American name is Sherry and she is just willing to do anything for us.  She is truly willing to bend over backwards for us.  And she has such a great sense of humor.  

We started out knowing that this would be an 1 1/2 hour drive and that it could take up to a half hour to find the spot.  We knew the adoption documents stated that she was placed 30 meters east of the telecommunications bureau in Wugong county and that is what we were working with.  Our guide did not even know if it was the only telecommunications building in that county which would mean, we wouldn't really know where exactly her birth mother placed her.  

We arrived in Wugong county.  They found a telecommunications building and they stopped to ask several different people that kept pointing us back the same building.  We then stopped at a police station.  The police said that was the only telecommunications building in the area, so we knew that it was the right place.  We drove back to the building and got out of the car.  My hands were shaking and I felt like I didn't know what to do next.  I had packed several items to make a poster to hang at her finding spot.  My prayer in doing this was that her birth mom would get to see it and know that her daughter was okay.  That she would know that her daughter was alive.  She survived.  She made it.  We took the items from our bag and began to assemble this poster.  We had the finding add that had the date and where she was placed, a baby picture, a picture of her now and a picture of our family together.  We asked our driver to write out what we wanted to say.  It went something like this... "This baby was found here on in 2009 and was adopted in 2011 by an American family.  She is happy and loved."  We brought laminate sheets and then assembled it all together.  We took out Nate's compass and started to walk 30 meters east from the building and there on a corner in front of a cement wall there was a large pole.  We decided to hang the poster on the pole at that place, and then Nate and I decided to pray.  We prayed for her birth mom and prayed that she would find that poster and know that her daughter is safe and happy.   We prayed that she would know that her daughter is loved.  The tears were flowing, as they are now when I write this.  It was such a powerful moment that I didn't know we would  even get to experience, but God is so gracious.  And we are so thankful.  

We then walked around and watched the people.  A group of three people walked up and the one was a young women that had grown up in Wugong and then moved to Xi'an.  She spoke a little broken English and asked us what brought us here.  We explained and she thanked us for visiting their town.  She was very sweet and they all kept thanking us. We had many stares-more than in the other parts of Ch*na where we have been.  Sherry told us that we were probably the first Americans to ever come to Wugong.  It was a very poor area.

We felt that something to give to our daughter was important - something that she could hang onto from her birthplace.  We walked into a few stores up the road from that place but they didn't have anything that would be really special.  Our guide walked us into the telecommunications building and tried to find something with the name of the building on it, but they didn't have anything.  We walked back outside and she took us around the corner and there was a little shop.  We walked inside and there was probably 15 women sitting at sewing machines making blankets, pillows and scarves.  The ladies took us to the back and there was a room filled with items that these lovely ladies had made.  Everything was so beautiful.  We settled on a pink silk throw pillow. They put it in a bag and that bag had the name and address of the telecommunications building on it!  

After we purchased the pillow and said "goodbye", we walked back out and decided it was time to go. It was hard to leave.  This was my daughter's birthplace.  This is where she would have lived and grown up and life would have been hard.  God had a different plan for our sweet girl.  I am thankful that He did or we would not have the opportunity to raise her and love her.  But my heart also aches for this amazing women who carried her and took care of her for the first week of life and I imagine, struggled with the decision to leave her.  

See I believe in my heart of hearts that her birth mom cared deeply for her.  And we will continue to pray that she finds that poster on that little corner that for most people in this world means nothing, but means so much to me, to Nate, and to her birth mom.  That corner is where my sweet girl's life was changed forever.  That corner is where a mother's heart was broken when walking away from her sweet baby.  Someday I am sure that my daughter will stand at that corner and try to make sense of it all.  My prayer is that above all, she knows that her Creator had a very special plan for her life.  And even if all of the pieces never completely fit together, that she feels she fits because she is created in His image and His love for her exceeds any love her birth family or her family has for her.      

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