Also on the day of the orphanage visit, we were able to go to Laine’s finding place. She was left on this street, in front of what we understand is the Kunming equivalent of a UPS store, now closed. The people who found her notified the police in this little police station, right around the corner.
We got in a cab and drove into the outskirts of Kunming to a place our guide Susan called “Yilu Village.” I say “the outskirts,” but we were still in the shadow of half a dozen high-rise apartment buildings.
It was clear, though, that this was a part of town where resources were scarce and opportunities were limited. It wasn’t hard to believe that a mother here might find herself without the means to raise her baby.
Susan found the storefront where Laine was reportedly left. She talked to a couple of the people working in the shops nearby to confirm it — I guess seeing an infant left on the street across from your produce stand is the kind of thing you’d remember a year later — and she told us this indeed was the place.
I looked around and thought Laine’s biological parents were possibly within walking distance of where we were standing at that moment. They did a good thing. A hard thing, but a good thing. Laine was left in front of a business that was probably open all hours, just a quick walk from a police station.
She wasn’t left to die; she was left to be found. She was left with hope. Now I pray that we can fulfill that hope, for a mother who will probably never know what happened to her baby girl.
Raising a kid is hard. I’m sure Laine will bring us many challenges in her life (already, one of the phrases she’s most comfortable saying is, “No, daddy”). But whatever challenges we face, I doubt we’ll ever have to do anything as hard as that mother did that one time in Yilu Village.