Thursday, October 1, 2009


Since 1999, the orphanages in China are required to run a provincial newspaper advertisement for children that are found and brought to their orphanage. They are called "Finding Ads." These ads contain information about where and when the children were found and which orphanage is caring for them. Originally these were text-only ads, but most provinces now include photographs in their ads. These photographs are usually the earliest available pictures of the children, some from as young as a few weeks old.

We received Halainah's finding ad on Gotcha day which was January 4, 2009. She was handed to us along with a photo album, a bag of formula and rice cereal, a brand new bottle, a pre-made bottle and her finding ad. I tucked her finding ad away in our binder that contained all of our paperwork on that day. Even though I have been through our binder a dozen times since we have been home, I left her finding ad tucked away ever so neatly in the back.

Perhaps it's because I want to preserve it for Halainah when she gets older and wants as many clues to her past as possible. Or perhaps it's because there is something about it that saddens me so. In the short ad that was placed for her, it speaks of her birth date and the date in which she was found. I wonder, was she scared when her birth mother left her alone in front of her orphanage? I wonder, was she cold because it was November? I wonder, was she dressed warm enough or was she wrapped in a blanket? I wonder, if it was dark and scary outside? I wonder, who found her? I wonder, if this person was compassionate and held her close? I wonder, if this person whispered to her that everything was going to be alright? I wonder if she knew that she would never hear her birth mother's voice again? I wonder if her birth mother cried as she walked away from her newborn baby girl? I wonder if she left a note with her daughter? I wonder if she fed her before she left her so that she wouldn't be hungry? I wonder...and I wonder...and I wonder.

I believe there is just something about that little piece of paper that holds too many what if's for me, too many unknowns. But it was time to take out Halainah's finding ad and place it in her life book. It's a part of her past, regardless if it saddens me.

Halainah's Finding Ad was translated and it says, "Rao Qin Yang, female, born November 16, 2007 was found at the gate of the Shangrao Social Welfare Institute on November 17, 2007. She has a round face and little hair.


aamayna said...

Oh wow. I can imagine that that is a very special piece of paper for you guys. Very sad indeed. Thanks for sharing, I had never seen one before.

Gardenia said...

beautiful post. very sad, and yet her little life was full of so much promise when she was left at that spot. so much promise just waiting for her mommy and daddy to be led to her. and you were led to that little life. and now her promise is being fulfilled!

ishatrisha said...

it's not just you...that is an extremely sad thing to see. its so commonplace to "drop" off your new baby girl. i can't imagine how that could be the norm. so, if she had been a boy, do you think she would have kept her? isn't that still what goes on over there? Halainah is so lucky that God sent her to you via her birth mother...

2china4S said...

I wanted to send you an e-mail, but could not find a link. Thank you so much for dropping by my blog, and for leaving that comforting comment. It's good to know that we are not alone. Just another fact to weave into the tapestry that is our daughters' complex histories.

Dawn said...

We received Rosie's on her gotcha day too. It just makes me so very sad as well to think she was advertised in the paper. But as you said it is a piece to their past and those pieces are few and far between so we will always cherish it.
I still have to order Lily's (6 yrs later, bad mummy)
Thanks for stopping by. :)

Kelly's Ideas said...

I am a mother of two adopted daughters - thankfully I was part of the birth process - meeting the birth parents - my what ifs are what if I never knew my child - what if she stayed homeless with her birth parents - what if the many gifts of their personalities were not given the opportunity to shine.. What if they did not have the opportunity to know God??? I am thankful every day.
Love to you and Halainah - what a blessing.