Friday, May 08, 2009

Cassie's Finding Place

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.

Doorstep #5.

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.


Cynthia said...

I can't even imagine at this time what you went through today (when my turn comes I may.) It must have been have hard for the decision to be made to leave Cassie. I am glad it was place she was found quickly. That decision has changed many lives 3 of which are you, Sherry and Cassie. She will have a wonderful life full lots of love and so will that of her forever parents. Thanks for this wonderful blog to remind us all of the other side of adoption. Continue to enjoy your journey and keep these wonderful heartfelt blogs coming.
Love you all.

Lynn said...

Sonny, have you considered a career as a writer? You are excellent! Seeing our son's finding place was extremely emotional - you are so right in saying that there is so much to this story as there is profound loss and sadness. I think so many people forget that. Our children have lost so much and we will try our entire lives to grasp that and never will. On the flip side, there is much joy to be had. You and Sherry are forever changed, as is she. What a beautiful family -

Susan said...

You were blessed with the opportunity to see where Cassie is from, and it was meant to change your lives forever. You will all change each others lives forever. No matter how hard it is to understand how a birth parent could leave a child, it happened for a reason and Cassie is now in loving arms of her forever parents. Thank you for sharing this part of your journey with us all. You are doing an incredible job putting the pieces together to share with Cassie some day.

Much love to you all.

Pam said...

Beautifully said. Thank you for sharing this very personal part of Cassie's life story...and now yours.

Lesa said...

You will always be haunted by this, but will always be grateful for the chance to be on that door stoop. I think it is incredible that you were able to talk to some of the people of this village.
Yes, there are major loses, but there are also major gains too. You will one day have this beautiful story to share with Cassie. It is a sad start, but a very happy ending to a beginning.

Sonny, you do a wonderful job with your writing skills. I really enjoyed this post. Thank you so much for sharing this personal story with us.

I wish we had of been able to visit Wendy's finding place along with the the SWI, but that wasn't in the cards for our trip. One day we will go back just for that.

Drea said...

Wow, that is amazing that you were able to go there, and were able to take Cassie there and speak with local people! It brings tears to my eyes thinking that maybe her birth parents will hear of her story, and it kills me when I think of what they must go through in making their decision to give up their little ones!

Lee said...

Stumbled on your blog while looking for signs of our friends on their adoption journey. (Brad and Veronica)

Thank you for pointing out the not-so-rosey side of the adoption picture. There are too many who adopt that choose to ignore the tougher points.

Best wishes to you and your family.
--an adoptive dad