Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A new letter from PoPo and YeYe

We received another letter from Mailia's foster 'grandparents' in China. It took me some time to get it translated, but the English version finally arrived yesterday. For me it was another brief glimpse into my daughter's first years and I am humbled by these people who loved and cared for her when they themselves had nothing. YeYe (grandpa) wrote this letter and tells of Mailia coming to them when she was 2 days old, the orphanage dropping her off with 5 bags of rice formula and a monthly stipend of 90RMB, equivalent to roughly $13 US . He writes that "she eats a lot when she was little, so it's not enough for her. Her grandma makes rice cereal for her, she eats that every day because we were very poor." He then goes on to tell us that they kept her full time until the orphanage told them that she had to go to school. She was about 5 at that time. This is when she returned to the orphanage. After that YeYe would pick her up on his bicycle on Sat. mornings and return her on Monday mornings. At some point she became ill for what he writes as "about 70 days in spring". "PoPo (grandma) takes care of her days and nights, gave her some Chinese herbal medicine, and she was recovered little by little."
But then came the sad part that even Mailia's daddy said was a tear-jerker. "We brought her back on moon festival (when autumn/harvest arrives) and national holiday (1st week of Oct.) and this is the last time we see her. We go to see her next time and the orphanage say she is gone to US. PoPo cried out, no appetite for several days, misses her every day and night. The orphanage is no humanism (inhumane), they don't even tell us to go see her and keep a memory."

He then asks me to forgive him for not being able to write back sooner as they have 'been harvesting the rice'. He asked that we write back whenever we can so we can always stay in touch, and then to "please take good care of her".

I've probably read this letter a dozen times already, and get misty-eyed each time. I just cannot imagine what it would be like to live a day in their shoes. But I am ever so grateful to have this connection to Mailia's past and give all the credit to her PoPo and YeYe for doing the wonderful job of raising my child until I could find her.

I read the letter to Mailia and she stood beside me beaming with pride the entire time.
She is ready for us to write back and send more pictures. We most definitely will!

4 comments:

Cynthia said...

You can see the reflection of the years of love that they gave to Mailia. She is so loving and giving herself. Then with the continued love from you two, Mailia will do great in anything she tries, as long as she does it at a fast pace LOL!

Debby said...

Shirley, what a great gift you have given Po-Po & Ye-Ye, as well as Mailia, in keeping touch with them. I am so glad you were able to find them.

I can't imagine how difficult that would have been.

My daughter was in fostercare the whole time at Fuzhou, but I have not found her fosterparents. She was adopted at 10 months, so has no memory of that time. I know they were rice farmers as well & Lindsi has the leg scars of being carried in a buckboard (I imagine on the back of her rice harvesting foster mom).

Debby

jana said...

I got very choked up reading that. For some reason, I thought that PoPo and YeYe worked at the orphanage and that Mailia was always at the orphanage. How wonderful to learn little by little all about what transpired before your Gotcha Day. What a fantastic journal that she will always have.

Can't you imagine now rocking your grandchildren and telling them stories about when their mommy was little?

I bet they can't wait to get another letter from you, much the same as you can't wait to hear from them again. I hope you are always able to keep in touch.

Anonymous said...

Shirley,
If that doesn't shake a momma to the core, I don't know what would! Mailia isn't even my child, but just reading excerpts from the letter sent me into an emotional state.

They took good care of Mailia! I'm just sorry they were never able to say goodbye to her. *properly* Wow. My Becca went through something like what Mailia did. But she was younger. She does remember her AYI though. Interesting enough.

I think it's wonderful you keep in touch. I hope you NEVER lose touch with them. What a true gift for Mailia.

Kristen