Cassie was born on March 22, 2008. On March 25, 2008 - three days later - she was left in a place where it was certain she would be found within a few hours. Perhaps this was the result of the one child rule, or perhaps there was some other reason. The bottom line is that we will never know why, and that speculating upon the reason or reasons would surely result in madness. Whatever the reasons, this was a decision that would profoundly change Cassie's life, and many other lives in a far away place. This is the Butterfly Effect applied to peoples' lives. While it would be fruitless to speculate upon reasons behind decision, there are things we can deduce from the spot she was found.
Today we took a trip to that location. The location is a village where (mostly) migrant workers eke out a meager existence. From this we can be reasonably certain that Cassie's birth parents were migrant workers, renting a small apartment nearby her finding place. Most of the people in this village are migrant workers from nearby Provinces, i.e. not from the Yunnan Province. Cassie was found on the doorstep of apartment #5 in this village. Due to the fact that it is illegal to abandon a child, it is unlikely that this was the dwelling of her birth parents. The occupants would have been questioned by police. It is more likely that the birth parents lived very nearby. There is no room for cars in this village anywhere near where she was found. Anyone coming in from outside the village would have had to pass by a police station guarding the entrance (and risk getting caught), so her birth parents most likely lived in the village. The unit where she was left was within a few hundred yards of a police station. People are everywhere, which means she would have been found very quickly. It also means it was very risky to abandon a child in such a place. From this we can conclude that her birth parents wanted her to be found, and found quickly.
We took several photos of the location, a few of which are posted here. While there, we spoke (through our guide Jerry) with a few people from neighboring apartments. They seemed genuinely happy that she has been placed with us. They told us that Cassie would now live a good life. From a material perspective, her life will be better than the one she would have led had her birth parents made a different decision. But we all know that money can't buy happiness, so we now have the tall order to make sure that she has a good life - beyond the material aspects.
Cassie showed no signs of remembering anything about this place. She simply looked content to be with Mommy, but otherwise bored. For Sherry and I, being in the very place where she was left was an emotionally difficult experience. All along, we have known that there is another side to the adoption coin. Our side is a positive one - we have been blessed with a beautiful child. The other side of the coin is a different story altogether. A heart-breaking story, or so we imagine. It is a mind-boggling concept to grasp - that someone could decide, for whatever reason or reasons, that they could not keep her. Given the intent we infer from the location where Cassie was left - the intent that she be found - her birth parents may be haunted with wonder about what has become of her. It is our hope that one of the locals we spoke with today might know how to reach these people to let them know. We showed them the picture that was published in the local papers when she was found. They all looked at it and said they did not know her. But then, there was a police officer with us while we spoke with them, so they would not have been able to admit anything in front of him, so we can only hope.
Cassie returns, with Mommy and Daddy.
Three nearby residents a few moments after concluding our conversation. One in the distance, one just leaving with a baby, one still with us, and a police officer.
6 hours ago