When we adopted my youngest daughter, when she was placed in our arms for the very first time, she stared at us in complete silence for about 30 seconds and then huge tears, enormous sorrow, welled from deep inside her. It was from that specific moment that the phrase little dark heart sprung. I held on to it for six years because I didn’t understand how it applied, how can a one-year-old child have a dark heart? It was after our visits to the orphanages (and after working with Mary Gauthier on The Foundling) that I realized that this darkness is a shadow, a shadow cast on my daughters’ hearts by their birth mothers, always present never seen, and that, this darkness, will never go away. Being abandoned as a baby by one’s mother, no matter what the circumstance, is not an easy reality to face up to.
When you adopt a child from China they give you a dossier of very official looking paperwork with very little information about your child. One piece that is in every dossier is the “police report” which outlines where your child was found. According to the police reports our eldest daughter was found beneath the tax bureau gate and our youngest was found in a ditch by the side of the road. These are not images that are easily shook…and then you begin to think about the twisted meanderings of Fate, of all the convoluted circumstances that took them from that lost dark night, into your home, into your heart:
One is left in a ditch by the highway / the other by the tax bureau gate/Wherever you come from/that’s where you go/They lie staring at the stars and they wait/They lie staring at the stars and they wait.
If you’d like to catch up on some past blogs about the Renmin Park album, just click on a link: