Today we went to a nearby village that is not unlike the kind of village Jada was probably born into. It was such a poor, run-down place by Western standards. No running water, very little electricity, dirt floors, and unpaved streets were by far the norm. It is likely that on the day she was abandoned, Jada's mom brought her into a more populated area so she could be found. In Jada's case, it was in front of someone's house which was close to the local orphanage. She was three days old at the time, and it was winter.
The owner of the home, upon finding Jada, brought her to the orphanage, where she was cared for as best as possible given the circumstances. She was fed, kept clean and safe, and given some physical and mental stimulation. But there was very little human touch, since the ratio at the orphanage was about one worker for every ten babies.
A notice was posted in the local paper announcing her abandonment. On the other side of the world, we were awaiting a referral. Seven and a half months later, we were in China and she was being transported by car from the orphanage to the civil affairs office, a five hour ride over very bumpy roads. Hours after arriving there, she met us and we swept her away into a new life.
And a few days after that, we were back at a village like hers, trying to imagine how her life began and thankful for the 1001 things that had to happen for her to end up with us.