Finding Joy

It was 11 years ago when a young woman living in east central China learned she was expecting a baby. She was a hard working wife, but financial resources were very low, and visiting a doctor was out of the question. While she was excited about the life she carried, her joy was tempered by the expectations of her husband and his family.

She wanted a girl, but needed a boy.

The sickening truth was that the National Policy in her country dictated that parents would be allowed to have only one child. Population control was enforced. But on the other side of the equation was Family Tradition, which dictated that every couple should have a son, who would provide social and economic security when grown. He would be responsible to care for his family for the rest of his life. A daughter would be expected leave and marry when grown, and therefore was undesirable offspring.

The warm and humid days of summer arrived. As the woman labored and the birth pains increased, she wished and prayed to ancient gods for a son. As the baby was delivered, the midwife frowned.

Merciful one! The young woman pleaded. A beautiful baby. . . daughter. And the tears welled and overflowed for she knew there was no keeping this child.

The family carried out the plan in secret, as the new mother recovered, and mourned.  Publicly, the child had died. Privately, the tiny bundle was taken away, hours away, and very much alive and strong, was placed in a little box and left quietly at daybreak by the gate of the City Home, where she would be found. Perhaps the family member hid and watched until someone found the precious package. And they, so quietly they slipped away, undetected, to resume life back where they began. To be seen would result in arrest and fines or punishment so great that life would never be the same. But for the young mother who lost a daughter, would life ever be the same again?

After a long and prayerful international adoption process, that little baby became my precious daughter.

We called her Joy. And our lives, too, will never be the same again.

“You did not choose me, but I chose you. . .” John 15:16

Leave a reply