Sunday, November 4, 2012

What I Wish She Knew

Thirteen years ago this week, my life changed in a most extraordinary way. After 24 hours plus of plane rides and bus rides, I was in Nanchang, China. I stood in a hotel hallway, a little weary from lack of sleep and then the babies and their caretakers began arriving from the Suichuan orphanage- which was in the country, 3 hours away by car. My name was called and placed into my arms was a beautiful 8 1/2- month- old baby girl who had been named Long Feng- my incredible Lily Grace. In that moment I became a mom!   Her Chinese name, bestowed upon her by the nannies in the orphanage can be translated to Phonenix and Dragon or Emperor and Empress.   She was aptly named.

I began the journey to adopt Lily on my 35th birthday.  I was not married and wanted to become a mom.  I had researched every possible option and decided that adoption, specifically from China, was the right answer for me.  I wanted a daughter and I knew that thousands if not millions of baby girls were abandoned in China- the pressure was intense for a woman to produce a son and when you added in the government's one couple/one child policy and a big dose of poverty, especially in the countryside, it was a recipe for a huge problem.  At the time, single women could adopt after age 35 so, on that birthday, I visited the adoption agency and began the paperwork.  Lots of paperwork followed- applications; social worker visits and homestudies; proof of employment, income, medical status; letters of reference and more.  But I got it all done and mailed it off to China.  About ten months later, I received news- I was matched with a baby!   I got a photo and medical information and needed to make my decision- was this my baby? Yes it was!   Travel was set for the next month.

Lily has always been strong-willed, smart, confident and a force to be reckoned with.  She never whined or even cried much as a baby and toddler- she screamed instead.  Once she found her words, Lily would try to reason, cajole, debate and convince you to get her way.  This is the child who told me at about age 4-when she had a fever that wasn't breaking and I said we might have to go to the hospital- that "I  (meaning me) had lost my mind if I thought we should go to the hospital this late at night."   When asked at age 5, "who you going to be for Halloween"- she looked puzzled and said "Um, me, I am going to be me just wearing a costume."   My brilliant Lily - who made a powerpoint presentation last year to give us a Christmas wish list for herself and her sister. 

I am so lucky to have this brilliant, strong, beautiful girl in my life and we will celebrate all week! My hope and prayer is that somewhere, somehow her birthmother knows that is growing up to be an amazing young lady and that she is cherished beyond measure.  I have no idea who her birthmother is and have no information about the circumstances of her life.  I don't know if she thinks about the daughter who is no longer in her life but I have to imagine that she does.  I wish I could tell her so much:

* Lily was found where you left her and cared for with love in the orphanage until I could be reunited with her- yes we were together before.

*  She is thriving in America- smart as heck, great student, runner, wonderful cello player and great friend, sister and daughter.

*  She is loved by many including two sisters who love and treasure her.

*  Her future is incredibly bright, she is already planning to attend college, considering a career and thinking about how she will live her life.

* She is curious about you, but holds no ill will against you for the circumstances of her birth and the pain of losing you.  She knows enough about the circumstances in China and the pressure that you must have faced.

* I think of you often and keep you in my thoughts and prayers,  I feel a spiritual connection to you and feel that I have an understanding of why and how we are connected in this way.

*  I thank you for choosing to give her life- she has made my life so much more complete.

 The path to adopting both my daughters was filled with twists and turns, delays, coincidences (not that I believe in those) and a deep sense of knowing that I MUST do this, my children were waiting for me and that everything would line up in time if I just went for it and had a little faith.  I love my amazing daughters!


  1. What a wonderful post Laurie. Have fun celebrating. :)

  2. I hope that in some way, she knows this. Beautiful post!

    Thanks for linking to Adoption Blog Hop!

  3. This brought tears to my eyes-I hope she is blessed with a peace and knowing as well!