Monday, March 22, 2021

Leizhou, Guangdong -- "Seventeen Difficult Years"


At noon on July 18, 2004 (Gregorian Calendar), my family went through a seismic change. After my fourth uncle was killed over a land dispute, my entire family was hunted by the enemy for reprisal murders. During this critical time, my first daughter, my precious princess, was born at about one o’clock in the morning of July 19. Upon my first taste of being a father, I carried my wife and daughter and fled to Leizhou to look for a shelter. 

To make matters worse, my newborn daughter was sick. Her face turned sallow; she refused to take the milk, and nearly stopped breathing. I did CPR with my mouth on her nose and mouth, to no avail. We had to send her to the hospital. But we couldn’t pay for a vehicle, so I carried her and ran to the hospital, crying all the way. In the hospital, I had no money to pay for the ICU, so I begged. I received some sympathy but little help. A doctor finally offered to put her on a ventilator, after which my daughter got better, and the doctor asked me to take her home. But she still refused to be breastfed, and her symptoms recurred in just a few days. I brought her back to the hospital, crying and begging the doctor for the ventilator. She got better again, but the doctor threw us out. I went to buy some medicine for her at a nearby pharmacy, wiping my tears. There, I ran into the midwife from the clinic and told her about my daughter. She suggested that I bring her back to the clinic and she’d call the orphanage to take her. The clinic lied to the orphanage, saying that the infant’s father was a drug addict who’d abandoned her. Deep down, I knew it was the only way to save her. 

In the morning of July 29, 2004, everyone in my family wept while watching my mother and me carrying the baby girl to the clinic. I wrote on a piece of white paper: Tang, born on July 19. I had to return to look after my wife, while my mother stood by the clinic, watching. She said her granddaughter was taken by a tall man and a woman in her forties who drove her to the orphanage in Leizhou, where orphanages abounded. In the following years when we were trying to make a living, we constantly made inquiries about our daughter. We contacted every orphanage in Leizhou, with no leads. For years, I set out looking for my daughter during the day, and came home wiping tears at night. Not all parents who give away their children are discriminatory toward girls. My daughter is my first child, and I was forced to send her away. I also know that being foster parents is not easy, and I cannot repay their kindness and generosity. After so many years of searching, I did not find any clue until a month ago when an old lady from an orphanage in Leizhou told me that the orphans from 2004 were all sent abroad––there were many of them. Therefore, I want to share my story on this platform. Daughter, if you read this and are willing to forgive me, that would be my greatest wish. I admit that I owe you too much. I don’t deserve you. I’ve just been looking for you for the past 17 years, my eyes full of tears.

(Thanks to Liuyu Ivy Chen for helping us to translating the story into English. The birth family's DNA is in GedMatch.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Nanjing, Jiangsu: Searching for "Shen Li"

My daughter was born on July 17, 1993, with white skin, small eyes, and a small swirl above her eyebrows. She had some problems with defecation after birth, and her belly was a little swollen. Under the treatment of a local doctor, the situation got better, but still not cured. On July 25, 1993, the child's grandfather took her to the Nanjing Children's Hospital for medical treatment (I couldn't go with him because of physical reasons). Later, her grandfather came back alone, told me that my daughter had died due to serious diseases. I was very shocked, pained when hearing the words, kept crying and quarreling with him. But with the persuasion of our neighbors and family, I believed it.

However, a year later, I got the fact that my daughter was actually left in the Nanjing Children's Hospital when she was alive. At that time, the doctor's diagnosis was a short-section congenital megacolon. Her grandfather left her in the aisle chair on the second floor of the second building of the Children's Hospital. In the chair, my daughter was wrapped in a single pillow towel and a double pillow towel (the double pillow towel is a pair, and the other one is still at my home). Next to her was a dark green cloth backpack with a bag of "Sanlu" baby milk powder, a milk bottle and ten Chinese Yuan. I was crazy and mad after hearing the fact and got mild depression after that. Since then, I have embarked on the path of finding my daughter.

I went to the Nanjing Children's Hospital, Nanjing Police Station, and the Nanjing Social Children Welfare Institute many times to find clues. Finally, the girl named "Shen Li" came into my eyes when I was checking the archives in the Nanjing Children's Welfare Institute. She was sent into the Nanjing Social and Child Welfare Institute by the Wutaishan Police Station on July 31, 1993. Later, in 1994, she was adopted by an American family and now lives in the US. We have pictures of her when she was a baby, which is pretty similar to our family member. She came back to the Children's Welfare Home from the US for a visit with several friends when she was 16 years old (2019). She took some photos during that visit, and as soon as I saw those photos, I believed this was my daughter. In the photo, she looks like a boy, instead of a girl, because her hair was pretty short. She was about 1.6 meters high, with white skin and small eyes.

In addition to the above searching, we also published articles in the Nanjing Daily, and information on multiple websites to let more people see my story. Thanks to Lan, my DNA is in GedMatch.


If you know of this family, please have them contact DNAConnect.Org. Please feel free to post a link to this story on any search/Jiangsu groups. We appreciate it!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Yiyang, Hunan: Daughter, "Where Are You?"

I’m a father from Hunan, China who wants to find my missing daughter. My name is ShiKun Li, and I’m 60 years old. Twenty-five years ago I lost my second daughter- Na Li. After that, my heart always wept. Every night I tear up and call my child’s name in the dream but then realize it was just a dream.

In the 90s, the One-Child policy in China was extremely strict. Every couple could only give birth to one child, and if public officials gave birth to another child, they would be fired. Because of the lagging birth control techniques, my wife had two abortions but was found pregnant again in 1995. The doctor said if she had one more abortion, she would have painful diseases forever. I was so helpless hearing that, and I knew I had no choice after pondering. Therefore, I encouraged my wife to quit her job and go to Guangdong province and find another job. I said, “Even if we are fired and have no job, we have to support our kid after she is born.” Then my wife went to Dongguan, Guangdong to help in a relative’s restaurant. On August 14th, 1995 (July 19th for lunar calendar), she gave birth to our second daughter, Na Li [pictured left before she was taken by Family Planning].

I was working in a little town and my salary was less than a thousand yuan. Because we were poor, my wife and the baby went back to Hunan roughly a month after the baby was born. However, we rented and stayed in our cousin’s house who lived in another town because we had to keep the baby a secret because it was against the policy to have a second baby. However, when she was 3 months ago, the local birth control teammates found out.

In order for the baby to be raised by someone who has good conditions, the father-in-law of my wife’s sister agreed to help us. He talked to his friend, JiaoHai Wu, who is a teacher at SiDu Elementary school in WeiShan town. JiaoHai had kept the baby for a while and I support him with 300 yuan every month.

However, less than a month later, Teacher JiaoHai Wu was reported by someone. They didn’t inform me in advance, but somehow my daughter was sent to the Civil Affairs Bureau Welfare Institute in XinHua town on December 20th, 1995.

When knowing this, I anxiously found my comrade in arms during the Vietnam War who worked in the security office of the Civil Affairs Bureau. Because of our friendship, he told me the accurate information. Immediately, I found the people who were present and learned that the child was sent to Li Ming Huang who was the director of the Welfare Institute in XinHua town. I asked for the help of my friends and friends of Dean Huang to talk to her, but it didn’t work at all. Sometimes she said she did not know there was such thing, sometimes she said somebody else had legally adopted her, and sometimes she asked us to exchange our child with random two kids. I felt like she was just lying to us and had no empathy for us.

Following that, my wife and I got her address. Also, we went to her hometown Qijiang, Huaihua and begged her parents. But every time we failed to get anything out of it. It had been more than 30 months already, and I had begged her more than 20 times. Last time she seriously threatened me, and I had to give up and stop begging her (and my recourse was recorded properly at that time too.) My poor daughter has gone ever since and I don’t know where she went.

Since then, we have been on the painful journey of finding my daughter. Every day I feel depressed and ask, “I was not afraid of the war nor death, but now my own flesh has gone. How could I be a man?” I’m so guilty to my daughter and my ancestors!

But life has to go on, and I have to keep searching for my daughter. When we were trying to gather more information and got different versions of where she might end up, we always thought she was adopted by someone domestically. Whenever we found the potential family who might adopt her, I always go check and search about it. In recent two years, I finally learned through a video called “Foreign Country Daughter Finding Her Parents” that my daughter, Na Li, might be adopted by a foreigner. Therefore, I wanted to find her through the recorded files but learned that there wasn’t any file for us to search for. Sadly, we could not work out this way.

Whoever started the trouble should end it. I happened to get the phone number of LiMing Huang. I tried calling and texting but received no response. After 2 months, on December 28th, 2019, she texted me back.

According to the information she provided, I found a fellow from XinHua town who was the assistant director of the YiYang City Children’s Welfare Institute - ZhuTing Fang (between 1995 to 1997. The Dean is MoKun Gong, the Secretary is JianWu Zhu, and the vice Dean ZhuTing Fang.) He was in his seventies and had been retired for many years. He was a very nice guy and they greeted my wife and me along with the old Dean Ou. During our conversations, he remembered vaguely that my daughter was possibly adopted by a Canadian family in the fall of 1996 when the oranges were ripe. However, it had been 25 years, and there were many kids who got sent to YiYang. This conclusion might not be accurate.

I was lucky to meet “XiaoLongNv” (Lan), who is a Chinese American. I’m grateful for your genuine love and kindness!

I’m calling you, my daughter: Where are you? I have been searching for you for so long. Can you respond to me? I hope all the kind people could help and forward this message. I am much thankful for all your help!

DNAConnect.Org appreciates the help of Joshua Housley and his wife for translating the letter.

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 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 which can help match DNA samples. If you think you might be my sister, you could upload your DNA to We look forward to the day we meet. 



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!