Tuesday, September 2, 2008

3 girls returning to Chinese orphanage as volunteers

Great story in the Boston Globe, The Point of Return, about three 16-year-olds from Wuhan SWI, returning there to volunteer. The article's last paragraphs:

The girls left China with questions - had they passed their birth parents in the street? - and, for Guastella, at least, some answers. Each girl saw her file. Cook's had no note from her birth parents, and Morse's had a simple notation of her birthdate. In Guastella's was a bright red paper, an auspicious color, and, in neat calligraphy, a message that, translated, read: "Because of a flood in our hometown, we cannot afford to raise her. If some kind-hearted person could find her and raise her, we would be forever grateful!"

Guastella, crying and clinging to her mother, focused on the exclamation point. "If I were to define myself as a piece of punctuation it would definitely be an exclamation point. It's part of my personality," she said. "It showed they really loved me, and it was hard for them to give me up."

She's saving money to return next summer.

"There's a part of me that's now filled in because I've gone back and seen my first home and seen the kids that I could have been," Guastella said. "Helping them was amazing."
Click here for the full article.

4 comments:

Wendy said...

Thank you for passing along the article. I am glad that these particular girls found some peace and for the one, information she should have had since day one! I will never understand keeping the file information private from the children; it makes no since to deprive them of their history (honestly, good, bad or indifferent).
I hope as the girls age that going back will not be something out of the ordinary (and I don't think it is as much as it sounded, many of the girls are too young). I also hope that most of the a-parents embrace the culture and therefore, their child as one of these girls says her parents have done. Of course China has issues (so do we), but insulting their homeland or birthparents is insulting a piece of them.
Thanks again.

malinda said...

It is amazing, isn't it, that SWIs are not sharing the information in their files. When we went to Guiping SWI in 2007, I was simply stunned that they wouldn't let me see Maya's file. They let me see Zoe's, because it had been pre-approved, but for some reason they didn't key into the fact that Maya was also a Guiping girl since she was adopted out of Mother's Love. They told me that only one person had the key to the office with the files, and that person was out of town. I think that was bunk -- they wanted to sanitize the file before showing it to me. I'm lucky our guide was able to get some info from her file later, but I'm sure there is more info about both my girls sitting in their files.

Wendy said...

I also got a bit of info in Madeline's file via mail, but it took some doing (including showing medical reasons to do so). The director was very nice and offered as much help as he thought he could allow and told me to write CCAA to see if they would disclose the rest. I hope when we go there I will be able to see the entire file (I really want the original police report). If only it were a matter of writing the police to get it, although I may just try it.
Someone has gone to the SWI and also the police dept (for me then just me) and they were not able to get any police information. I think there may be more there, although I did get some of the specifics already.
I don't want the trail to go cold, ya know?

Wendy said...

Duh, it should say (not just for me).