Monday, January 16, 2006
When we were with YuYu's parents in their housing complex for dinner, we learned that there are several other families in the complex who also foster Nanning SWI kids. One neighbor dropped in after dinner and I learned that she had fostered five girls. I asked, through Matthew, if the girls parents kept in touch with the SWI and provided updates on the girls. I watched her face crumble into tears as Matthew translated the question. No, she had no idea where the girls were or how they were doing. The first child she fostered was very special to her. She fostered the child for 10 months over five years ago and still thought of her daily and was still grieving the loss. I told her that I would send a message to the Nanning SWI egroup if she could give me the child's orphanage name, date of birth and adoption date. She was so grateful, I so hope someone will know this girl or better yet, that her parents are on the egroup and will respond to her heartfelt request for information.
The next day when we dropped YuYu's parents off at their home after visiting the zoo, there were two more foster mom's with photos and information about some of the girls they fostered. If you are reading this and your child was adopted from a foster care placement, run to your mailbox with new photos of your child to send to the orphanage to be passed to the foster mothers. These women loved your children until you were given the privilege of becoming their permanent parents. Without being too melodramatic, they are desperate for news of your girls. Figure it out, join your SWI egroup, click into Adele Hall's website for addresses (www.blessedkids.com), contact your agency for help, whatever it takes, get the packages in the mail.
YuYu's mom and dad met us in the lobby Saturday morning and rode in the van to the airport to say good-bye. We had to say good-bye to YuYu's grandma at the hotel because she was taking care of the new baby Xiao Zhen (YuYu's mom) started fostering (a private arrangement, family is too busy to care for the child, Matthew said it is common in China to let other people raise your child, unfathomable, but it's China). That was so hard to pull away from the curb with her grandma watching us leave knowing that she will most likely never see YuYu again in her lifetime. YuYu was nine months old when she went into foster care and very thin and sickly. Her grandma practices traditional Chinese medicine and is convinced that she brought YuYu back to good health and cured her Hepatitis. Although YuYu never had hepatitis, either the medicine or the love and attention made a difference in YuYu's life and I owe her grandma more than I can repay.
I still can hardly write a word about YuYu's parents without getting weepy. They adore this child and so do I. YuYu was matched and was supposed to have been adopted in October 2001, she would have been 14 months old. But then there was 9/11 and no one ever came for her and her parents weren't told why. Then her blood work was interpreted incorrectly and her mom had to take her in four more times for blood draws and it was all unnecessary and made Xiao Zhen angry and so sad that they were hurting her baby and she couldn't say no to the requests. Then the years went by and they loved her more and more deeply and started to worry about her future. They asked the SWI about the possibility of adopting her, but were "told a high cost." Their teenage son came up with a plan: he would do well in school and go to university to earn a good career position. His parents only had to support YuYu until he could get a good job to take over her support. Then they got the news that I was coming for her and they told me that they were not unhappy, but relieved. They told me they were content for her future and were only concerned that I would love her. On the ride to the airport, Xiao Zhen was holding YuYu and she had not shed a tear up until now. Then, with tears falling down her face, she reached for my hand across the bench seat and Matthew said that she wanted me to know that she could stop worrying about YuYu. She stood and watched us go through security, me crying, of course, YuYu unaware, until we couldn't see her anymore. The loss and gain of adoption, the pain and joy, all in her eyes. There will be three mothers who will always be thinking of YuYu.