I’m Pretty Sure My China Mommy Cried

September 19, 2014 a father's perspective, adoption realities, Mike 11 Comments

As an adoptive parent, I sometimes forget that my adopted children had a life before me… that their life did not start when we met in a Chinese Civil Affairs building.

The following essay was written last year by my 9 year old daughter, Mia, as part of a class assignment on “A Place I would like to visit.” It is a poignant reminder of how little I know about the first two years of Mia’s life. It also reminds me not to assume that my lack of answers makes the questions any less important. In many ways, maybe the opposite is true.

With Mia’s permission, I share it today hoping that it will spark important conversations at your house like it has here in ours.


It was spring in Feng Cheng City, China, when I was born. My tummy mommy had to leave me in a basket on the sidewalk, but we don’t know why. I’m pretty sure she cried.

She left a note, and it said, “April 1, 2005, by biological mother.” She had very nice handwriting.

A policeman found me and took me to an orphanage where I would stay. They named me Chu Chu, which is a princess name in China. I don’t know what my China mommy called me, but I’m thinking it was a beautiful name too. I stayed in the orphanage about two years, and I’m sad about that.

A husband and a wife named Mike and Anne came to adopt me in China right before I turned two years old.

One day during the adoption trip, we went to a fancy Chinese restaurant, and a funny thing happened! After we ate, they brought a big plate of watermelon for dessert. My mom and dad gave me one piece, and I ate it all. Then they gave me another one, and I ate it, too. I probably ate about forty pieces of watermelon! All of the restaurant people came around our table to see how much watermelon I could eat. I still like XiGua (shee-gua) (watermelon) today!

When I came home, everyone greeted me, and we are a very happy family.

I still have a lot of feelings about Feng Cheng City, and a lot of my feelings are questions. I wonder what it looks like there now? I wonder if anything has changed since I left? I wonder if they kept my baby stuff? I wonder if the people are kind there? Do they know about Jesus? I wonder if I have any brothers and sisters there? What do my Chinese mother and father look like? I feel sad because most kids know what their first parents look like, but I am happy for them. Sometimes I cry about my Chinese family, and sometimes alone in the backyard I sing songs to them; maybe it’s a song she sang to me when I was a baby.

If I was going to send a note to my China mommy, this is what it would say, “Dear China mommy: what is your name? I miss you. I want to know where you are? Why did you have to leave me? I would like to tell you what I can do now! I can sing, dance, read, and I have other talents, too! I hope someday you can come to where I live and stay with me. What is the real name you gave me?

Don’t worry, I have a nice family. I hope you do, too. Love, your daughter Mia.”


Maybe I will eat some more watermelon when I go back to Feng Cheng city someday, and maybe I will hear my China mommy sing our song so I’ll know which one she is.

Someday I would really like to go to Feng Cheng City again.

11 responses to “I’m Pretty Sure My China Mommy Cried”

  1. Susan says:

    Thank you for sharing your very moving essay, Mia. I am positive that your China mommy cried when she lost you, and that she thinks of you every day. You know the moon is very important in Chinese culture. When my daughter was a little girl, I would often remind her, when we were moon gazing, that her mother in China sees the same moon. Last year we found my daughters birth family. There was a match between my daughter’s DNA and her mother’s. We talk every month or so with her family in China by video chat. My daughter’s Chinese mother never forgot her. She uses my daughter’s birthdate as her password for her bank account. Losing my daughter was the worst thing that ever happened to her Chinese mother. She loves her very much, and I am sure that your Chinese mother loves you. My daughter’s Chinese mother sent her a beautiful blue and white silk qipao. My daughter has two older sisters and a younger brother, as well as her mother and father. She is very important to them. Her older sisters have started taking Englsh lessons to prepare for when they come to visit us in two years. My daughter is very glad that she is taking her third year of Mandarin. I hope some day you have the chance to meet your birth family, but even if you don’t, you may be sure that you hold a very special place in their heart. By the way, you are a very beautiful girl. You look just like my daughter did when she was your age. Plus, you are a talented writer!

  2. What a beautiful essay, so eloquent and well written.

  3. rebecca says:

    I have 2 adopted children from China (1 girl and 1 boy). I loved reading this! It makes me wonder how many of these questions my children ask themselves. For Mother’s Day this year I had them write a letter to their birth Moms and then at dinner they lit a candle for her and read their letters to us. Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. Susan R says:

    Thank you

  5. Masako says:

    I am sure she cried. I hope you will think about her now and then. Because, she is probably thinking about you too. Thank you for your beautiful essay. I really enjoyed it.

  6. This was so incredibly beautiful. What a lovely girl you are. I think your China Mommy was lucky to have a baby like you. You are spectacular.

  7. Peggy Edmonston says:

    64 years, 3 months and 21 days ago, I was put in an orphanage in France by my tummy Mommy. 3 weeks ago, I found my birth family. I was adopted by an American family and raised in the US. I was an only child, and I just found out that I have 7 sisters and brothers! My prayer for you is that someday you will also find your family. Do not lose hope, God is good, all the time!

  8. Michelle says:

    Beautiful insight for one so young!

  9. Liesl Ross says:

    Thank you for sharing, Mia. We talk to our daughter, Kady, about her birth mom & how she must have loved her very much to leave her where she would be found along with a note telling her her birthday. And every Gotcha Day, we say a special prayer for her. When Kady is older, we’ll share your story with her.

  10. Amy says:

    That was beautiful! Thank you both for sharing!

  11. Sheila Bennett says:

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful essay! My husband and I have been blessed by two amazing daughters! Our oldest daughter, Makenzie, now 16 yrs old, was born in So. Korea. Our youngest daughter, Madison, now 7 yrs. old, was born in China. I am sure they have the same questions you do, about their tummy Mommy’s. Thank you for your wonderful essay, I want to share it with each of my daughters! I hope one day you will be able to go back to China, and possibly find the answers you are looking for. One thing is sure….it is plain to see you were adopted by parents that love you very much!

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