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.