Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Finding SS.

I was looking for SS's shot records, and came across her finding ad. The Chinese government requires that an ad be placed in the local newspaper, to find the child's parents. We were given a copy during one of our last days in China. We simply filed it away with the many other documents and did not look at it again. That sounds pretty heartless, as it is the first picture we have of SS, probably taken within days of her birth. It really is a treasure. But looking at that finding ad is sheer torture, because it brings up a lot of questions and no answers.

One of the aspects of SS's past that haunts us is that amount of time from when she was placed to be found (we do not use the A word) to when she was found. We have shared that SS was in severe need of medical attention, so that hurts our hearts even more. During the wait(and still today)I have shed countless tears thinking about that time. P does not go there and does what works for him, he completely avoids the subject. I wonder if SS was fed before being left, I wonder if she had appropriate clothing. SS was born in March, it must have been chilly at that time of the year. Was she covered with a blanket? Was there a note from her birth mother? I wonder if she was scared, I wonder if she cried in a futile attempt to be comforted by the woman who brought her into this world. I wonder how long it took for that person to find her. I wonder, I wonder and I wonder.

Since we have been recalibrating our parenting lately, I have wondered if we over indulge SS. She has our sole attention, yet at times it does not seem to be enough for her. I know that over indulging a child is problematic, and I want SS to grow up to be a conscientious adult. But that part of SS's past, the very beginning of her life, is always on our minds. I held her finding ad for a while and just cried. Thankfully SS was napping, she did not get to see me upset. I had a good cry, because it is all I can do.

To really understand SS and how we parent her, people need to consider how her first few days in this world affect her and will affect the rest of her life. We know that, but it is so disheartening when people blow us off and state that SS is like any other child, that has been home since birth. It bothers us when people insist that there is no way SS has any memory from that time (If you think that read Primal Wound). Not true. It upsets us when people dismiss attachment concerns because they have never heard about it, or someone close to them, an "authority" has never heard about it. Our daughter has deep psychological scars, and she cannot articulate her fears. SS does what she can, and that is letting us know through her actions that she is in a bad place. She is such an incredible little girl, strong, brave, and tenacious. Maybe that is what I should take away from looking at her finding ad. That starting life on that note has equipped her with positive qualities that make her into the gem she is today. But I know that I will always weep when I think about that ad.

That ad is why we tend to over do things with SS. It's why she has about 10 sippy cups, why we carry two changes of clothing with us, why she has more jackets/coats than she really needs. It is why we carry at least two different types of snacks with us. It is why even if we go for a two hour drive we have a cooler with her milk sippy, her juice sippy and her water sippy. Those first few days of SS's life have had a profound impact on us as well. It is why we constantly reassure her that we are her forever Mama, Baba and big brother JJ, that we will never leave her behind, and that our love is unconditional. It is why JJ and SS have the same last names. It is why we rush to her when she calls for us, and why we are quick to wipe her tears away. It is why we make sure that she is comfortable, and why for an overnight stay the back of our van is full of things we should have left home.

SS's behavior has improved over the past week. The lack of TV has been really good for all of us. We are still allowing SS to rock on to regular music, but only until dinner time. At that time we play instrumental, soft music. SS really likes pan flutes and P and I found a station with our phones that we play for SS. She knows that after brushing her teeth, she needs to lay down and go to sleep. SS is not resisting laying down, a big improvement. She is sleeping well, and she has not whimpered in her sleep for a few nights. We hope we do not experience a set back, but if we do, oh well, we'll keep working at it.

I do not know if I am going to keep this post. I guess there are so many things we want SS to know about her time with us, and I sometimes wonder if I will have the opportunity to talk to her about these things. I am surprised I posted her finding ad, but for now, it seems like the right thing to do.

A very tiny SS.

SS helped Mama cook dinner. Turns out she makes a mean farfalle with cilantro pesto. While scrapping the pesto from the food processor, SS sang "helping, helping, look at me!" A bonus is that she loved the pesto.

Enjoying the fruit of her labor. We often joke that we should have named SS Virtual Motion or Perpetual Motion. The funny thing is that when she is "cooking," she is very relaxed and very calm.


Proud Parents of Halainah Grace said...

This truly was a beautiful post. I found your blog through another. I too have put our daughter's finding Ad's actually in the same binder we brought to China with us. I think I should take it out, dust it off and post about it as well. I have issues with it too and it saddens me to look at it. You have inspired me to talk about it. I enjoyed reading your blog and am now following.
Many Blessings,

Kudo said...

My daughter also has the same SN. (I found you from A beautiful Mess). Annalise was 6 weeks old when she was found. I too wonder how she survived. I know she was very sick when she was found. I do have a note that helps me to know she was loved by her birth parents that they took her to the doctor but could not pay the cost to save her. They left her in front of a police station and to this day she is scared every time she hears a sirens. There memories are much deeper then we could ever imagine.

Brenda said...

K - see?? You are touching people and people are finding you that understand and can learn from you. Your writing and openness about SS and your journey together through this life is valuable - and you will inspire others to be open and honest. Good job, Mama!

Anonymous said...

what a beautiful post!!!!!!!!!
...from the advertisement and her name,温家思静,i can see she is a chinese unique her name!..

she is premature birth...may god bless her good health!!

best wishes for ur family!!!


2china4S said...


Thanks for your kind wishes. You mentioned her name, and we have been given different versions of its meaning. It is not clear to us what is the right interpretation. If you read this, could you please e-mail us?

We can be reached at:

Jill said...

Thanks for this post. I truly needed that right now.

~ Alison n' Mali~ said...

Great post =)

I tend to overindulge M, too - sometimes with silly things (toys, books) - but I always make sure to overindulge in the things she missed out on . . . cuddles, attention, love, comfort.

I think it's weird that M was supposedly 'found' when she was about 5 days old - yet in her finding ad pic she's approx 4-6 MONTHS old. (???) Doesn't add up. At all. Makes me wonder if anything they told me was true. Did she really spend her first few months with her birth family?? I think it's likely. As much as the pic touches me emotionally, it's one of my favorites.

Hugs to you & your Hubs, knuckles to SS. Have a fantastic weekend!!