Thursday, October 8, 2020

One With The Same Blood As Me

The Hangzhou orphanage published a finding ad for this adoptee listing the birth date as October 7, 2000, with the finding date as the same day. The finding location was listed as the Zhejiang University Medical College Attached Children's Hospital. 

The birth mother's DNA is in GedMatch.

____________________

Hello daughter!

Your 20th birthday was yesterday! Nineteen years ago, on October 7th, 2000, at 9:12 a.m., you were born. On this day, your mother in the maternity ward of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital cried painfully on the maternity bed, and your father and grandmother, along with two aunts, waited outside the room for you to be born. At about 9:00 a.m., the doctor suggested a cesarean section because of difficult labor, and you were born at 9: 12 a.m.

When your mother heard the doctor sigh, she felt that there was something wrong. After the operation, the doctor came out and told us about your condition, saying, "The cleft lip is so serious that she can't eat. She should be sent to the superior children's hospital immediately." After arriving at the superior hospital, the doctor said that it would cost tens of thousands of yuan to repair the cleft lip.

At that time, the family was in debt more than 100,000 yuan. Considering there was no good future for living in the countryside with this disease, the family thought it would be better to put you in a national hospital where your life and future could be arranged by the state. The family planned to come back to you when our family's economic condition became better. We did come back to the welfare home later, only to find the fact that you had been adopted.

Dear daughter, we didn’t mean to abandon you...you are our own flesh and blood, and we just wouldn't abandon you. I left with tears, really! After half a month, your mother almost couldn't get through because of the poor medical treatment in the hospital of caesarean section, and her life was in danger of massive bleeding.

In these twenty years, I missed you every day and asked around to get related files in Children's Hospital. The file records that you went from the hospital to the police station on October 13th and were sent to Hangzhou Welfare House (杭州市福利院). We also went to the welfare house many times to ask, and the staff there told us not to worry, that you were doing well. Mom and Dad will be relieved if you live well. If not, we will be really really sorry for you! Daughter, if you read this letter, we hope you can understand us... Please go home and meet your relatives!

Your dad

From Sister:
I had an impressive dream many years ago. In the dream, you were on the other side of the river, greeting me, while I was on this side. We kept walking and walking forward. The bridge connecting two sides seems to be in front, but we just couldn’t get there all the time...

Afterwards, on the day I went to high school, my grandma (my dad’s aunt) told me I had a little sister, you. I think that dream that I can't forget all the time is the telepathy with you.

I want to meet you, the one with the same blood as me. Come back and have a look. There will also be many cousins who love you here ...

Huang LuLu

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Searching Siblings

 Although we often think of birth parents when we think of searching and reuniting, a growing contingent of searchers is also active in looking for adoptees: Siblings. These brothers and sisters have vague memories of a child being born into their families and then disappearing. The emotional hole left is hard for these siblings to fill, so they go out in search of answers, often without letting their families know.

Below are the voices of two such siblings. Up first is Huang Lu, the birth sister of an adoptee from Yujiang, Jiangxi Province. We collected Huang Lu's DNA back in 2018, and found her birth sister nine months later. Sadly, the adoptee has not sought to communicate after the initial email Huang Lu sent, so we act as an intermediary, forwarding letters from Huang Lu to be sister. What follows is one such letter.

Dear sister:

I pay close attention to international news coverage of the Pandemic. After reading your reply and knowing that you’re safe, I feel so incredibly happy. I also admire you for working towards becoming a nurse. Mom and Dad always remember you, especially Mom. Every time we talk about you, she remembers vividly the day you were born. 

It was a morning when you were eight months in Mom’s womb. Mom suddenly felt a stomachache after she came home from doing laundry. Since you were outside of the planned birth policy quota, and your due date was yet to come, Mom was not prepared. We lived in the countryside, and Dad rode his bike to find Mom at her mother’s home. Upon entering the front door, before he walked in the room, you had arrived on this earth. They dared not call the midwife, so they asked an experienced family member for help. Your umbilical cord was cut off by Dad with a pair of scissors held in his shaking hands. That night, the family planning officials broke in our grandmother’s home. Out of desperation, they sent you to the orphanage in Jinjiang Town. One of our aunts worked there, and our grandfather visited you a few times. You looked super adorable and beautiful. 

When I was in elementary school, I remember my aunt told me that I had a younger sister. But it was not until I went to college that Mom and Dad made the revelation to me. Since then, I’ve sought advice from many people around me on how to find you. Everyone in our family knows the truth, and my friends and relatives would send me any news or information that might be helpful. Many shared Longlan’s information with me; she helps separated family members to find each other. As soon as I heard about her, I added Longlan on WeChat, hoping to try my luck. To my surprise, I found a match. 

I’ve since been looking forward to hearing from you. You sent me an email and I gave you my cellphone number and WeChat name, but you didn’t respond. I’m not sure if you are still blaming Mom and Dad. They are not well-educated, but have worked very hard to support my college education. In the beginning, I had to take out a loan and work part-time to cover the tuition and living expenses. I work hard hoping to improve our parents’ financial situation. Now, our family is doing ok. Yesterday was my baby’s one-year-old birthday. Last night, I received your message and saw it this morning. I really wanted to tell Mom, but was afraid to let her down. Every time she talks about you, I can feel she really misses you and suffers from guilt. She has said many times, as long as you are happy, that’s more important than anything else. We’ll respect your choice. 

Mom and Dad are 50 now, and our younger brother is 20. I was born in 1993. Mom and Dad both do farm work at home. A few years ago, they bought an oil press to sell homemade canola oil. After my baby was born last year, Mom and Dad started to care for their grandchild. Sometimes, Dad goes out to do odd jobs. Our younger brother went to a technical secondary school, planning to become a migrant worker. But I hope he can go to a vocational college, a plan upended due to the pandemic. For now, he stays home. I’m working at the Urban Planning Bureau of Yingtan High-tech Zone. I’ll show you pictures of our family. We rarely take pictures, so these are older ones. I’ll show you these for now. When I go home this week, I’ll take more for you. I really hope we can talk one day.

I wrote the first letter after seeing your picture; I couldn’t wait to reply. This time, I’ve drafted the letter again and again; I’ve torn it up and rewritten it. I feel whatever I write is not good enough; although I have many things to tell you, I don’t know where to start. As a result, this second letter comes a little late. I’m still not satisfied with it––it can’t express what I want to say to you. The pandemic is still going on. How are you doing lately? Every day, I look at the picture you sent me and see myself in high school or college. I can’t help but marvel at the miraculous sibling resemblance. Dad has carried the deepest guilt for causing your separation from us. But using Mom’s words, it was a choice made when Dad himself could barely survive. We were forced to be separated. Mom always mentions you when we chat, quite subconsciously. She remembers the day you were born like it was yesterday. She is the one who misses you the most because you were a piece of flesh that fell from her. You were connected to her flesh-and-blood for ten months. Dad is an outgoing person, and would talk about you when he meets other people. Deep inside, he hopes that someone could provide some useful information to find you. In high school, as a troubled teen, I once ran away from home. When Dad went looking for me, he also asked a relative working in the Public Security Bureau how to find you. At the time, the Public Security Bureau hadn’t established an anti-trafficking office or a genetic database, so it was very difficult. Later, Dad saw the CCTV program "Waiting for Me," hosted by Ni Ping. He often mentioned he’d find you through this program, but couldn’t get in touch. Every time he received any news or information about oversea adoptees, he forwarded it to me immediately, using cellphone rather clumsily. We hoped to spot you in the news, but were disappointed every time. Longlan’s information was shared with me by an aunt, an uncle, Dad, and a friend. I added Longlan on WeChat right away. It was in 2017, when I just graduated from college. In 2018, I had my DNA matched with Longlan’s help. When it succeeded, Lan asked me to provide some pictures and personal information. Then came a long period of silence. I kept wondering if you were caught up in work or had other reasons. I followed up with Lan. I didn’t want to overburden her. Lately, I still wanted to know how you are doing, so I asked Lan again. Surprisingly, I received your picture and letter. I felt one step closer to you. After receiving your picture, Dad changed his WeChat profile to your picture––I’m a bit jealous! But I’m deeply happy. Dad is so happy to see you so cheerful and know that you are doing well after reading your letter. Mom is overjoyed. She feels her wish has come true. One night, when I got ready to bed, I saw Mom’s mobile phone lit as she looked after my baby. On the screen was your picture. She misses you. We all miss you. We want to know where you are. Do you have many friends? What’s the name of the pet in the picture you sent us? Who are other people in the picture––are they family members or friends? What’s the weather like in your area? How do you feel today? We want to know everything about you. I don’t know if this would overwhelm you, but I just want to express our love for you. As long as you are happy, we are happy. We all miss you very much.

The second sibling is the brother of a girl that was adopted from the Nanjing orphanage in Jiangsu Province. This young man now lives in the U.S., and we collected his DNA last month. If you know the family that Renpeng mentions, please let them know to contact us.

To whom it may concern,

 

My name is Renpeng Zhang. I come from China and now live in Seattle. I have a lost elder sister who was probably adopted by an American family in 1994. My parents and I are eager to find her. If you could read the story below and provide any useful information or help, we would be very grateful. Thank you in advance.

My sister was born in Anhui Province, China, on July 17, 1993. She was left in Nanjing Children's Hospital on July 25, 1993. We believe she was then sent to Nanjing Children’s Welfare Institute and later adopted by an American family in 1994. The recorded name of my possible sister was Shen Li (沈荔), and she was about eight months old when she was adopted by the American family.

The loss of my sister has been the most painful event in my mother's life, especially given her daughter was abandoned without her knowing for years. According to my mom, my sister looked a lot like me, with fair skin, small eyes, and a tiny swirl above her eyebrows. I have pictures of her when she was a baby––we are unmistakable siblings. After she was born, my sister was diagnosed with a short-section congenital megacolon, so my grandfather took her to the Nanjing Children's Hospital for medical treatment. However, he came back alone later that day, telling my mother that the girl had died of a serious illness. My mother became hysterical and did not believe a single word from him. She kept crying and quarreling with him, but was too frail to do anything as she was sitting the month after labor. It was a year later that she discovered her daughter had been abandoned alive in the Nanjing Children's Hospital. Overcome with grief, my mother suffered from serious bouts of depression.

Since the day my mother found out that her daughter had been abandoned, finding her daughter has been her most important mission in life. I have also made up my mind to look for my sister; I want to let her know that she is not alone in this world. It was the reason I came to study and work in the U.S.

In the past few years, my family never stopped looking for my sister. We regularly visited Nanjing Children’s Welfare Institute for updates. One day, a girl named Shen Li mentioned above caught our eyes when we were browsing the archives. Shen Li was sent to the Institute by Wutaishan Police Station on July 31, 1993, and was adopted by an American family in 1994, now living in the United States. When she was 16 years old, Shen Li returned to Nanjing for a visit once, and she had some photos taken. As soon as we saw those photos, we believed she was my sister. In the photos, she looked like a tomboy, with short hair. She was about 1.6 meters tall, with fair skin and small eyes. 


It is important to mention that I have uploaded my DNA to www.gedmatch.com which can help match DNA samples. If you think you might be my sister, you could upload your DNA to www.gedmatch.com. We look forward to the day we meet. 

 

Sincerely,

Renpeng Zhang


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

A Letter to My Daughter (Yongxiu, Jiangxi)

 

Dear Daughter,

How have you been these years? Perhaps we don’t deserve to call you daughter. We understand that the difficult choice we made many years ago has caused irreparable damage to you. Even though we brought you to this world, we have not fulfilled our parental duties. We have been living our lives missing you with guilt. Daughter, please allow us to call you daughter. We don’t know if you will see this letter. If you do, it may disturb your life in unnecessary ways. If that is the case, please forgive us.

Your mother and I were married in 1998 in Wucheng, Yongxiu, Jiangxi province. It was during the devastating 1998 China floods, which washed away everything we owned. We were left with nothing. In 1999, your sister was born. Your mother and I had no education or skills, and we remained poor. When you were born (October 2001), the one child policy was well underway. And I confess I was a little sexist back then. So, I sent you to the orphanage in Yongxiu county. Your mother did not agree with this decision. Based on this fact, I hope you will not resent her. Please resent me. All these years, we have never stopped looking for you. No matter what decision you make in the future, we will fully respect you. We only want you to be well.

We hope to see you again in our lifetime. We would also like to express our gratitude to your adoptive parents for all they’ve done. We thank them for raising you no matter how things turn out in the future. We believe you have grown to be a good person, and will always love and care for your adoptive parents.   

––Your Remorseful father and mother
___________________

DNA for this birth family is in GedMatch for matching. 

Friday, May 24, 2019

We Really Want to Know, How Are You Now?

To my dear sister:


Dear sister who shares the same blood with me, how come we haven’t met in more than ten years? miss you so. How is everythingAre you living a good life as I've always wished for you?

Although it has been 17 years, I still remember clearly your adorable face the day you were born. Our parents held you tightly in their hands and the household was filled with happiness and joy. Your other older sister and I, though young, were so happy because of your arrival, and we danced around you. However, the happiness was shortDue to the Family Planning policy at that time, we had to hide you from the government

At first, Mom and Dad took you out of the town where you were born, and brought you to other towns to avoid the civil servants who carried out the Family Planning policy. But the attempt was not very effective. Then our parents took another approach: to hire an old man to take care of you (Poor as we were, our parents made every effort to keep you well. They spent all they had to hire this person to look after you). We hoped that the storm of Family Planning would pass soon so that we could pick you up as soon as possible. But things went awry, the storm swept across the country, and it was so vigorous that no one could hide from it. All those involved in concealing children would be severely punished. Their homes and those of their relatives would be torn down, their furniture emptied, their people jailed and their kids forcibly taken away. The old man we hired was scared of the policy and refused to take care of you, which put we in a dilemma. 

After taking everything into consideration, our best solution was to put you into the orphanage, which at least allowed us to know your whereabouts. Since then, Mom and Dad often went secretly to the orphanage to see you, but they dared not to tell anyone, for fear that you would be forced to be sent to another place. At that time, I was only nine years old. I often saw our parents wipe tears secretly and as a kid, I knethat was because they missed you. A year later, we were told that you had been sent to America. At that time, our parents were very sad and thought that they would never see you again, but they also prayed that you would have a better life in America. 

Since then, Dad has suffered from sleep problems. For 16 years, Dad never slept at night. Knowing that you were sent to America, I made up my mind to help our parents find you. That's why I chose English as my major in college. I want to find you, my dear sister. I miss you very much. How are you doing right now?

I often wonder how happy we would be if you were with us. How I wanted to take care of you, to give you a candy when you cried as a child; how I wish I could be by your side when you are in adolescence, when you are in trouble, share both your happiness and bitterness... I want to do my sister's duty and take good care of you. Accompany you on your path to an adult. Dear sister, we really want to know, how are you now? If you know that we are looking for you, can you contact us and let us know what you've been through? We miss you very much. Wish you all the best in America!

Not a Single Day

I gave birth to a baby girl when I went out to work in Henan province. Before she was born, I had already given birth to a disabled daughter and a son. At that time, I was pregnant unexpectedly and my parents couldn't make any other choice. I still had to bear a lot of pressure to support her. I stayed iHenan province until my daughter was a month old, and then I went back to the rural hometown of Anhui Province, Anqing City, Wangjiang County.

At the time the National Family Planning policy was very strict, as another child was not allowed in this situation. As I expected, after two days, local villagers came to my home and talked about the policy of Family Planning. They said my child was not allowed to be born, or in the future, the child cant go to school and register permanent residence. I was helpless, with giving up my own flesh and blood of love, and I was forced to let the Family Planning staff take her to the orphanage in Anqing city.

Since my daughter leftwe parents were worried about her and thought of her day and night. I went to the orphanage in 2005 to make sure my daughter wain a good situation of adoption. The institution staff said, according to the national related law, that learning about her was not allowed. Now I can't find my daughter whereabouts, after losing her more than ten years ago, and not a single day goes by without thinking of her, also looking for her by all kind of methods, ending up so far with nothing.

Thank you very much!


Monday, May 13, 2019

My Poor Daughter, Where On Earth Are You?

I am a villager in Guiyang County, Hunan Province. In 2002, my daughter, who was less than six months old, was sent to the Welfare home by the government illegally, whereabouts unknown since then. In the following years, I sold all my property and kept petitioning to look for my daughter. However, I havent heard any news about her until now.

I wasnt married until I got into my forties because of poverty. Even when I got married, I didnt have a marriage certificate. After May 10th, 2001, when our second child was born, my wife migrated to the city for jobs with my little daughter. On January 19th, 2002, the staff of the county government captured my wife and intended to perform an operation to make her unable to give birth. The government also required me to hand in 4,000 yuan. I didnt have the money. That night, I asked all my acquaintances for money and finally only raised 400 yuan. The next morning, I handed the money in and kept borrowing money from my relatives and friends. When I came back to the hotel where the government staff and my wife had lived in, I found they had disappeared. A villager told me that my wife escaped and the staff sent my daughter to the orphanage. He told me to find my daughter soon. I went to the county welfare home immediately to find my daughter. Chen, the director of the welfare home, said: “You dont have the right to find your daughter, do you? Youre not the one who sent your daughter here and you need to ask you county government staff for your daughter. I had no choice but to return to Baishui township. However, all the staff had begun a vacation and had gone back home to enjoy their Spring Festival.

I went back to Guiyang County to continue my search. When I met the staff a few days later, they told me that my wife had escaped. I asked: “How did she escape? How about my daughter? They said there were others taking care of my daughter, which, according to them, was better than me raising her. They asked me to find my wife, hand in the money, and undergo the operation so that I could bring my daughter back. I said:  The Spring Festival is coming. Please let me take my daughter home. I am worried to put my daughter in other places and I cannot bare the resulting living expenses. I havent given in all the money for the operation. Doesnt it add to my woes? They said: “You dont need to care about those things! You just need to find your wife and ask her to undergo the operation! I had to find my wife.

After the Spring Festival, I found my wife and accompanied her for the operation as required. After the operation, I asked the government for my daughter back. They said: “You need to hand in all the money first (I had handed in 800 yuan). I begged: I could sign a loan agreement. Please let me bring my daughter back. They rejected my pleas. Finally, they told me to find my daughter in the orphanage myself.

I sent my wife home and went to the welfare home again. But Chen told me that the government did not send child to their place. I went to the government again. Like this, they evaded their responsibilities and I was like a ball kicked between the government and the orphanage.

I was informed later that my daughter was sent to the orphanage in Changsha on January 31th, 2002, without noticing the government and me, and without announcement. What's more, my daughter has been adopted by a foreign family!

Since we were unable to find my daughter back, my wife went insane and left home. I started to petition for finding my daughter. The villagers said my daughter might be sold to foreign countries for organ transplanting. My heart was broken!

My poor daughter, where on earth are you?

Thursday, May 9, 2019

I Never Gave You Up, Never!

I am the most irresponsible mother in the world! I gave birth to my daughter when I was unmarried,
on lunar February 18th, 2000. It was rainy in Guangdong. The child’s grandma, her father’s mother, knew it was a girl rather than a boy. For that reason, she disagreed about our relationship even more than before. When my daughter was one month old, she threw all my clothes on the ground outside and trampled them to drive me away. She didn't allow me to take my daughter, declaring that I wouldn't be able to take care of her. I left my daughter with her with only 30 yuan in my pocket. 

Then I went into an electronic factory in Dongguan as an assembly line worker with the help of my fellow-townsman. I swore that I would make enough money to bring my daughter back with me. About one year later, I went for my kid, but her grandma forbade me from seeing her. With despair, I came back to the factory again. Three years passed by. I became a shift leader. I went to see my kid again, only to find the father had broken the commitment and organized a new family with a daughter. They refused to tell me where my daughter was. I cried and protested. It all turned out useless.

In 2004, I went to Changsha, Hunan Province from Guangdong. I've been a waitress in restaurants, worked in hospitals, was a vegetable dealer in a vegetable market since then. At last, a friend introduced me to a real state company as a salesperson. Then I met my husband. We have succeeded in career and have a happy family with three children, but I still can’t stop thinking of my eldest daughter who was lost. I felt really pained. I made a confession to my husband. Rather than being mad, he hugged me and said, ”You've been suffering so much. Why didn't you tell me earlier? I will face it with you!” 

With the support of my husband, I started searching. I knew the father would go back to his hometown for Spring Festival, so I went there in 2015, without telling anyone. At that time, both he and his wife were there. The father knew that I must have come for our daughter, so he dragged me to the roadside. I asked for some clues, but he wouldn't tell me. I threatened him that I would tell everything to his wife. He finally told me: My daughter’s father and uncle had left my daughter in the alley where the Nanxi Police Station was located in Zhuhai, so that the father could find a new wife more easily. 

I truly am the most irresponsible mother in the world! My daughter, I never gave you up! I would always prepare a birthday present every year on your birthday. Where are you, my daughter? I went to the orphanage to do volunteer work for two days every month from 2004 till now. I regarded every girl sent to the orphanage for some reason as my own daughter. My daughter, I never wish you would accept me as a mom. The only thing I want is to know where you are. You are 19 years old now. On your birthday this year, I went to the place where I gave birth to you, Maowan Village, San Xiang, Zhongshan City. The village was the same as two decades ago; only my daughter and I had been apart! 

My daughter, I never give you up, never! No matter how successful and powerful I am, I still felt pain at my bottom of my heart. My daughter, I cried so much that now I can't live without wearing glasses. My daughter, to find you is the goal which supports me come through life these years. I will never stop searching for you!

Today is lunar April 1st in China. I go to temple to practice abstinence and pray for blessings on lunar 1st and lunar 15th every month. The monks told me that recently I would receive some clues, either good or bad.

I also applied for a passport in case, thinking that if I got any information, I could go to the city my daughter lives in. I just want to take a look at her from a distance. Without permission of her adoptive parents, I would never interrupt her life!