Records not in search results until I recreate record index

our object A has three properties

title - a straight db field,
open_for_search - a method which returns yes or no
site_search - which is a list of codes based on a has_many relationship

so our api accepts a title and a list of sites

creates object A with
object =
object.title = thetitle
sites = Site.find_all_by_whatever([whatever])
object.sites << sites

Then because sites were added after the object was created we do

If we do Object.find_by_contents(‘title:thetitle AND
site_search:sitecode’) we get nothing

If we do Object.find_by_contents(‘title:thetitle’) we get the record and
if we do
Object.find_by_contents(‘title:thetitle’).first.to_doc the site_search
field is populated correctly in ferret

We have to now manually do ferret_create again from script/console
before the query returns the results…

Any ideas?