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A Letter To My Adopted Daughter’s Mother


Gregory J. Rummo


Addressee Unknown

Dear Mrs. Wu,

I know that’s not your real name but it’s the closest I can come to identifying you. The orphanage gives all the babies brought to them in a given year the same family name and they chose Wu this year.

I am writing this letter to let you know you don’t have to worry about your little girl, Minjian. She is in good hands here in America with us. She has a mommy, a daddy and two brothers to look after her.

It must have been a very difficult decision for you to leave your little newborn baby by the Fujiang post office in Wuzhou City. I don’t condemn you for doing that—I can’t quite frankly—it would be hypocrisy. Here in America, even though we like to believe we have respect for human rights, there are similar problems with our own children, both born and unborn.

The nannies at the orphanage told us a nice policeman found your daughter on the second day. She was very healthy but she cried for you.

She lived in the orphanage, a pretty pink and white building, for eight months and then was moved to a foster home where she had a mother, a grandmother and a brother to look after her. That was right around the time we got her picture in the mail and learned that we would soon travel to China to bring her home to be with us.

My whole family flew to Nanning earlier this month where we met with the local government officials in the provincial capital to finalize Minjian’s adoption. As our plane touched down on the runway we saw what a beautiful city Nanning is. Everything is lush and green. There are palm trees and farms and the sky was clear and blue.

By the time we got on the bus, the sun was beginning to set, bathing everything in a warm, golden glow.

We were with a group of 17 families. All of us were anxious to see our new daughters. We went to the Adoption Affairs Bureau in downtown Nanning. They have an entire floor of a hotel that they use when hosting adoptions.

We all waited patiently in a large room until the local registrar appeared and gave us a very nice speech. She welcomed us to China and remarked that this was a very special night for all of us.

Suddenly, one by one, the nannies entered the room, each carrying a baby wrapped up in a fleece sleeper. All of the babies from Wuzhou were dressed in pink and white, just like the colors of the orphanage.

Suddenly we saw her. She was the cutest and the littlest girl in the room. Her big brown eyes sparkled as she looked around trying to understand what was going on.

“There she is!” my wife said, grabbing my arm and squeezing it.

Finally our name was called. We walked up to the nanny who smiled at us and placed your daughter into my wife’s arms.

I have to tell you I had mixed emotions. I felt sad for you. I felt sad for the nanny who had to say goodbye to the little girl she had taken care of for the last year. But I was happy at the same time for my family and little Minjian, who didn’t know what to do so she started to cry.

We learned that all of the babies from Wuzhou had been on an 8-hour bus ride to come to Nanning that day so we weren’t the only ones who traveled a long way to get there.

She slept so soundly that first night in the crib in our hotel room. The next day we went back to the Adoption Affairs office where we all pledged to love our daughters just like they were our own children. We also promised never to abandon them.

Before leaving Nanning, our guide took us to the countryside where we spent some time on a farm. We stood amazed as the workers—mostly women—sweated in the hot, humid air, tilling the soil, watering in the seeds and harvesting various vegetables. It looked like very hard work. He told us that you probably live on a farm just like the one we saw that day and that most of the babies that end up in an orphanage are the children of “peasants” as he put it.

Your little girl is taking a nap right now with her new mommy. We had a special tapestry made for her room before we flew home. It is a beautiful piece of artwork with Chinese characters hand lettered on it that say, “Wu Minjian, a little angel from the city of Wuzhou.”

She is a little angel Mrs. Wu, sent to us by God. And you have our promise that we will love her always.


The Rummos


Gregory J. Rummo is a syndicated columnist. Visit his website,

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