We received the translated documents of Zoe’s dossier last night, so we were able to find out a little bit more about the circumstances of her being relinquished for adoption. Our agency had told us that she had been abandoned, and there is no birth mother or father listed on her birth certificate, but that was all we knew.
The dossier includes the police report from when she was found. Around 10:25 pm on November 24, 2006, a policeman named Dinh Van Thang was on patrol in Tien Phu Commune. He heard an infant crying near highway number 2. When he reached her, she was wearing a pink hat, a white baby shirt, and a cloth diaper. She was wrapped in a blanket. There was a plastic bag of three cloth diapers, another white baby shirt, and blue bottle with milk beside her. He tried to look for her mother but could not find her, so he took her to the headquarters of the People’s Committee. At the headquarters at midnight, the patrolman met with the police chief, Tran Vuu Son, and the Chairman of the People’s Committee in Tien Phu Commune, Nguyen Van Thang. They determined that she was a healthy infant girl, weighing about 3 kg. They named her Nguyen Thi Ha, and agreed to deliver her to the Sponsor Association for Orphans and the Underprivileged of Viet Tri City, Phu Tho, the following day.
At 11 am on November 25, 2006, they took her to the Sponsor Association in Viet Tri. Mr. Tran Nho (Chairman of the Sponsor Association), Mr. Nguyen Van Thang (Police Chief), Ms. Dinh Thi Thuy (Vice Chairwoman of the Viet Tri Association), and Mr. Le Quang Hoan (staff at Viet Tri Association), were all present. The Sponsoring Center was given temporary custody of Zoe while they continued to search for her family.
An announcement describing Zoe and the conditions of her discovery were run on the Phu Tho Provincial Broadcasting and Television Station, asking that her parents come forward within 30 days. When that 30 days was up, on December 25, 2006 (Christmas – what a gift to us!), Zoe was considered officially available for adoption. She was given a medical exam and blood tests for HIV and Hep, and everything was normal. She weighed 4 kg at the medical exam.
Our agency sent us her photo and medical information, and we accepted the referral immediately. They forwarded our information to the province, and the provincial officials approved us for adoption on January 12, 2007.
We will probably always wonder about Zoe’s birth family, especially her birth mother. I know that it must have been a difficult decision to let Zoe go, but she probably did not have much choice. There is great poverty in Vietnam, and I’m sure she hoped that Zoe would find a family that would be able to provide her with a better life. She obviously cared for her a great deal because she left her in a place where she would be found immediately, and she left what supplies she could. I wonder if she hid somewere nearby and waited for Zoe to be found. I wonder if she saw Zoe on television and struggled with her decision again. I wonder if she reads the announcements in the newspapers and knows that Zoe has joined our family now. Wherever she is, I hope she knows that we are eternally grateful to have this little girl in our lives.