Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Finding the Needle in the Haystack Through DNA

Hi all! My name is Lilou. I am 21 years old and I am a Chinese adoptee from Wuchuan (Guangdong Province). I am in the third year of studying 'International business for Asia', where part of my studies is learning the Chinese language.

From a young age, I was always curious about my origins. As a child I was often bothered by the fact that I was adopted. Fortunately, I was never bullied and I do not really suffer from discrimination. When I hear stories from other adoptees, I am sometimes shocked by the discrimination they experience.
I look back on my adoption in a positive way, I do realize that I have had opportunities here in the Netherlands that I could not have had in China. My parents have always been open about the adoption and have tried to explain the situation to me as best as possible when I was young. Because of this, I was never really angry with my birth parents as a child, but the urge to seek out my birth parents was growing.
In 2015, I started searching for my biological parents, which I did in several ways: Putting myself in all the databases, going to China [five times] to flyer with a search guide, being in the newspaper in Zhanjiang, and meeting several people in China. Nothing happened.

[In 2019 I matched to a first cousin once removed through GedMatch!] I am extremely grateful to Lan and Brian Stuy for all their help! By 2019 Lan had taken as much DNA as possible from the relatives of my "first cousin once removed", giving me a match with my biological mother!
Since then, I have added a large family, which I am extremely happy about. Early last year (2020), I went to my biological sister's wedding. And I was able to experience for 10 days what my life would have been like if I had never been adopted. This special experience has taught me many life lessons, and made me realize how good we have it in the Netherlands.
I am grateful that I have been to China eight times on vacation, got to know the culture and my biological parents. And that my Dutch parents were happy to help me with my search and have put a lot of time, energy and money in it.

PS -- Lilou walked the traditional search path, hiring a searcher to put up fliers around Huangpo Town in Wuchuan, the area where the orphanage indicated she had been found. These posters included her finding date of early March 2000, and photos of the Huangpo Town Radio & TV Station, her finding location. With Xixi's help, Lilou tracked down the police officer involved in the finding. He confirmed the finding, telling Lilou that he remembered finding her. He offered to help them in the search. 

The problem was that she was born in Meilu Town (the downtown area of Wuchuan), seventeen kilometers away, and was, according to the birth mother, relinquished by a grand-parent when she was over a year old. Not only had the birth family never seen the posters, but they would not have recognized their daughter given that they thought she was more than a year old when she went into the orphanage, not a relatively newborn like Lilou's poster indicated. The police officer also had nothing to do with any finding in Huangpo Town, but had made up the story to satisfy her inquiry. 

Lan collected the relative's DNA during filming of "One Child Nation" in 2018. Lan and the crew were walking around Zhenwan Town when they met the relative in a market. This relative had no idea her family member had also relinquished a child. Lan persuaded her to check with her cousins, and sure enough, Lilou's birth family was identified.   

Monday, May 24, 2021

Always Curious, But Never Searching . ..


My name is Anna and I am 25 years old. I was adopted from Yueyang, Hunan, in May 1996 (born in 1995). I grew up in Arlington, MA with my mom and 2 dogs! I had never been searching, but have always been interested and curious. I never thought it would happen. Not that I was not curious or wanting to find them. It just seemed impossible and something that would never happen. 

I wanted to share a bit of my story… The past three days has been an absolute whirlwind, but I have learned so much about my history and about my birth family. I took a 23andMe DNA test in 2018 to see what my background might look like. After 3 years of having no close matches, I stopped checking but uploaded my results on GedMatch. 

Last Thursday I got a message on Facebook from Brian, asking me to check my results! I had a match: a brother. Because of Brian & Longlan, I have had the amazing opportunity to talk to my birth family through WeChat. My birth family, originally from Anhui Province, moved to Yueyang in Hunan for business, where they had me, their second daughter. Given the strict One-Child Policy, she gave birth to me in hiding and hid me for several months until she found a family who would “foster” me. She had every intention of going back and getting me one day… 

Eight days after she gave me to the other family, I was taken by the Family Planning officials and taken to the orphanage. My birth mother had no idea where I had gone, or what happened to me. I have been amazed to learn that my birth family has been searching for me ever since. We were able to be reunited because of her perseverance. She travelled back to Yueyang (she has since moved to another Province) several times in search of her “lost daughter” -- me. This is truly something that I never thought would happen to me. Thank you so much to everyone who helped me to get to this point in my journey, and I cannot wait to see what this adventure and story has in store for me and my family and birth family next. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Finally We Found You

The following story was written by Aiya's birth sister, an adoptee we recently matched through DNAConnect.Org:

In 2016 there was a total of 7.2 billion in the world. You can imagine how difficult it would be to find your little cousin among them. But, at this very moment, reality is even more brilliant than in the movies. On April 10, 2020, a DNA test told me that we had found my little cousin Aiya, who had been separated from us for years! She now lives happily with Karen and John [names changed] in Washington State, USA.
The story begins with the One-Child policy in China, which became the basic state policy in September 1982, and was written into the constitution in December 1982. In 1990s China, the conception of “a son is better than a daughter” was prevalent in rural areas, because at that time labor was very important. People at that time also believed it best to “have a son, so he can support you when you are old” and “a son can carry on the family’s blood”. As a result, many rural families insisted to have a son, even when they were poor. But with the development of China’s economy and the change of policy which allows one family to have two children, the conception of “a son is better than a daughter” has gradually been changed.
Aiya was born on December 28, 2002, in a poor rural village in the Dabie mountains.  She was a healthy cute girl, my uncle’s second child. In rural areas, when people violated the one-child policy, they would receive severe punishments. My uncle and aunt were scared, so a family relative suggested to them to send Aiya into the orphanage in Anhui province when she was a month old. Since then, they always missed her.
 Aiya lived in the welfare house for some time before Karen and John adopted her, which her birth parents had no idea of at that time. In May 2004, they found out that their daughter had been adopted when they received a letter from Karen and John who got the address though a birth note from the orphanage through the adoption [The orphanage director was a relative of the birth family, so special liberties were afforded] . The letter from Karen stated that Aiya lived well, and they would like to learn some information about her birth parents. In March 2005, Aiya’s birth uncle wrote a letter in reply. At that age, when people came across this kind of thing, they would be surprised as well as scared - they were afraid this would bring punishments. It may seem weird to you, but in China, it’s true. Sadly, the letter never arrived with the adoptive family. After that, they lost connection.
 In Chinese New Year 2019, I talked with my uncle about this. He and my aunt missed Aiya very, very much, and looked forward to a reunion one day. It’s really difficult to find a person in another country relying on just one letter, but the power of love urged me to try my best to find her, to realize my family’s dream.
On February 14th, 2016, I sent an e-mail to “Waiting for Me (等着我)” which is the biggest TV show helping to search for beloved ones in China. I also contacted the US Embassy in China and asked for their help. But I got no response at all from either. Many people told me that I couldn’t succeed in this way. This made me upset. The search was suspended.
You can never predict what will happen. On January 31, 2020, Lan befriended me on Wechat. She told me that she might be able to find my little cousin Aiya. She provided my uncle’s handwriting of Aiya’s basic information and the response letter, which made me sure that this was definitely my cousin! It was so unexpected. I shared this great news with my mom, uncle and aunt right away. They were also shocked. Then my cousin  Aiya’s older sister did a DNA test from Lan. On April 8,2020, Lan told us the exciting news: We found my cousin! It was like a dream coming true.
We were thrilled, as well as Aiya’s adoptive parents. Better late than never, we found her! On the second day, we had a video talk for the first time for 2 hrs and 15 mins on Wechat. Thanks to the help of Lan, we overcame the obstacle of language. We enjoyed this talk very much. We talked about family and hobbies. Because of the  15 hour time difference, we finished this talk early.
Now, we will introduce family members to each other and share happy moments in life in the group “Aiya’s birth family”. We look forward to meeting each other in person after COVID-19 comes to an end. Best wishes to Aiya and her adoptive family! Thank you for your great love, Karen and John! Also thank you, Lan and other kind people for realizing our dream! Hope this kind of miracles be more!
Aiya, you are so lucky! I was so moved by your adopted mom’s stories about you that I can’t help crying when I saw them. I was deeply touched by your adoptive parents. We cannot thank them enough!
Your adoptive mother said, “You are the greatest gift to your mom and dad. You are mom’s breath which gives her power.” Through these lines, we can see the love they hold to you.
Your story begins in your orphanage. Your adoption documents fail to tell the truth. You were not abandoned. At that time in China, families in rural areas were really poor. Living in a village, labor force meant a lot, that is, people think if they had a son, they would have a person to rely on economically. Maybe it’s difficult for you to understand, but this is China at that time. Now with the development of education, young people think differently. I don’t mean to defend your birth parents, but they didn’t stop missing you for one single moment in these 17 years. Luckily, your adopted parents prepared a lot to meet you. On October 2nd, your adoptive parents received your photo from CASI. From this moment, you were bonded closely with them by destiny. On October 29th, they took on the trip to China, for which they had been prepared for a long time.
 On November 27th, you met for the first time. If there was a time machine, I’d like to go back to the meeting moment as a witness. I believe they were nervous, curious, delighted, and most importantly, happy because of you, like a dream came true. From then, you became their world.
I can feel their deep and true love for you. They raised you up in these 17 years with love.
From your lovely family photos, I can imagine that your growth must be full of laughter. You are so kind and understanding. Please forgive your birth parents! They will love you always.
 Let us step forward with each other from now on! Looking forward to meeting you in person, talking in both English and Chinese!
This article is a present for Aiya. She now knows the secret of her destiny. There are many other children who have similar experiences like Aiya who are still looking for the answer. I hope you all keep it in your mind, that birth parents always love their children. In old-time China, parents were not allowed to have a second child with them, which made you adopted children. Please remember, your parents miss you all the time. They are looking for you, but it’s so hard that this may take a whole-life time. If you begin to search too, the reunion may be earlier! Like movie Forrest Gump said, “Life was like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”
April 18th, 2020, Shanghai

Editor’s note: Aiya’s story is unusual in that an orphanage officer, as part of the adoption paperwork, slipped a note to the adoptive family with the birth mother’s brother’s address and their daughter’s birth name and birth date. The adoptive family wanted to visit the address while in China, but their guide told them not to do it. When they got home, they were still curious, so Karen wrote a letter to the address. In her letter she did not include her mailing address, however. So, no contact was possible until Lan re-established contact with the birth cousin and later the birth sister.

Monday, September 16, 2019

"I Found My Family"

Hi. My name is Emma. I am 17 years old and I was born in Jiangxi Province in China. I was brought to an orphanage when I was less than a month old. There is no record of my family. I was adopted when I was nine months old and I live in California.

Hi.  My name is Alexandra. I adopted Emma in 2003 from China. Emma has spoken to me on and off throughout the years, regarding her life and history. Last fall, her statements came with anger and sometimes tears. “You don’t know how I feel. You’re not my mom. I don’t even look like you.” and more. Then one day, I saw a meltdown like no other.  “How could my birth mom do this to me? What kind of mom does that? How do you just abandon your baby?”  She was sobbing.  Painfully. It was like no other meltdown I had seen.  

Two weeks later, Emma said, “I want to find my birth mom.  There has to be something in the documentation. I want you to look again. And I don’t want to help, just tell me if you find her.”  I had the finders name, but no contact info.  I thought this was definitely an impossible undertaking. I googled something like,  “How do I find my daughter’s birth mom in China when she was adopted to the United States in 2003?” came up.  I received her finding ad and interesting details about Emma’s orphanage.  Brian Stuy, the researcher, gave me some eye-opening news: “There is corruption in many of China’s orphanages, trafficking of babies for financial gain. It is very possible the finder doesn't even exist.”  

About two weeks into the search, Emma asked me about DNA testing. The likelihood of a family having a kit? And beyond that, the billions of people… At best, Emma could learn her genetic makeup. Thank God for her interest! Unbelievably, when the results arrived,  Emma’s first cousin was located!  The cousin’s name was definitely Chinese, so I assumed we'll just contact her and find out who Emma's birth mom is. Seemed pretty simple. 

Emma was skeptical. Interestingly, the emails sent us to, Brian Stuy.  The same Brian. He said he and his wife, Lan, travel to China and deliver DNA kits to birth families who are looking for their children.  Lan is the one who provided the kit to this cousin. Lan contacted the cousin and the uncle. They would not provide any information about Emma’s birth family. Odd, in my opinion. Lan said she would be returning to China in the Summer and she would try in person. Emma still skeptical,  “Just tell me if you find her.”

As we waited, I continued to search and, in the process, became a different mom.  I had no idea how adoptees felt and what they went through. This search changed our relationship. We became closer.

Lan left for China in June.  A couple of weeks later, I received a message that she believed she found the birth family. How will we know?  DNA.  Now we have to be patient and wait.
Translated from Mandarin:

“Hi.  My name is MeiFang.  A lady named Lan called and said she found my daughter and said she lives in another country. Lan said Emma wants to find me. I couldn’t believe it.  I'm happy and excited. I was crying. I never thought I would see my baby again.  She said something about needing DNA, but I don’t understand.  I cannot read and write.  Lan called my older daughter LaNing, because she knows DNA.  I think about my baby every day, but I have to ignore the pain.  She was taken from me. I just want to see her again. Please tell me this isn’t a scam. I am so happy, but what if it isn’t true?”
LaNing speaks English:

“Hi. My name is LaNing. I received a call from my mom. She said my baby sister was found. I am so moved and astonished. I even cried, for something impossible happens. Missing pours out from the bottom of my heart. I don't know how Lan found us.  She requested DNA and I understood it. I would know for sure if Emma is my sister.  I remember my mom was pregnant when I was a little girl, but I was not told what happened to the baby.  I know my family was sad and things were never the same again. I am eager to know.”

“Hi.  This is Lan.  Look on Gedmatch.  Emma has a mom and a sister.”

“Hi.  This is Alex again. I am now the “American mom.”  MeiFang is Emma’s mom.  LaNing is Emma’s sister. Lan did not just find Emma’s birth family.  She found Emma’s family.  MeiFang and LaNing are Emma’s family. Our family has grown.  Nature is strong. I can see changes in Emma. She is happier. Her eyes are brighter. She has more energy. Emma messages them everyday and has seen them on video chat. I am so happy to have been part of this reunion.”    

“Hi.  This is Emma:)  Lan found my birth mom. I saw the DNA results on the internet.  I now believe LaNing is my sister.  I finally have my birth mom.  My birth mom told me my story.  She didn’t abandon me.  I was taken and she has had a hard life since then. I am learning my history, my life from the very beginning. I am getting to know my mom and my sister. I found my family."


Alexandra: "We are very fortunate to have a match.  I understand many try for years and never locate their family, so we are very thankful.  DNAConnect.Org did all the leg work, all the hard work.  In the end, they could find a match, but no one will lay their head down on their pillow at night and feel 100% certain, without DNA. It’s easy for us here in the USA.  Order it, gather the sample, mail it in.  But on the other’s not that easy.  Most are not educated on DNA.  Kits are not readily available.  And the money?  Many of the birth families do not have the money. The DNA of the birth families is just as important in your search as your own DNA is. My recommendation is to get a DNA kit, get the results and post them on GEDMATCH.  Gedmatch is a free service that joins other DNA results of other companies together.  Keep looking as you wait for DNA results. Some families from China give information about their missing child, just not DNA.  Some of those facts will show up on various FB pages:  the province, the country, the city, the actual orphanage.  Some prefer posting baby and older pictures on posters.  Just remember, many of these families move.  Emma’s birth mom and sister are in two different provinces, and neither are in the province where they originally lived.  Another immediate family member is even in a different country.  Just remember, no matter what happens, DNA is the final match.  

OK, so all of that takes care of your side, but what about the China side?  DNAConnect.Org is where to donate.  You can donate kits or money.  DNAConnect is changing lives. Sounds like a commercial, but my family is living that amazing change.  Thousands of families are searching for their kids and only need a kit to make that match.

From a very lucky family:)

Monday, July 22, 2019

"We Didn't Know"

Xiao Xiao, you were born at around 10 am on lunar April 21st, 2001, Puyang County, Henan Province. You weighed 3.2 kg.

When you were born, the one-child policy was very strict. In rural areas, if the first kid was a girl, the family would be allowed to have a second kid, but was forbidden from having a third one. If the first kid was a boy, and the mother conceived a second child by accident, the government would force her to have an abortion along with a huge amount of fine. It’s believed in China that having more descendants means more happiness and luck, so many people wanted more than one child, which may cost a whole family’s hiding away from home.

It’s a traditional belief in China that “there are three kinds of being unfilial, among which having no child is the greatest,” which means that a family should have a boy to heir. Your birth parents are traditional and they wanted to have a boy.

Before you, the family already had a girl. Even though they knew in advance that you were a girl, they didn’t choose to abort. However, at the same time, they also wanted a boy. The final decision was that they would give birth to you, entrust you to your uncle for some time, and then take you back home.

You kept coughing since you were born. We took you to several hospitals, all in vain. Finally we took you to the People Hospital in Hebi, a city where your second aunt lived. Doctors there had better medical skills at that time. During this period, all of us were afraid of you being found by the government. We suffered both physically and psychologically. We rushed about for you and took good care of you in turn. We all loved you very much.

When you started to talk at the age of 2, you often said that you had three pairs of parents: your birth parents, your uncle & aunt, and your second aunt & uncle. They all loved you very much. Even then the family condition was not good, they would try their best to satisfy your needs, like if you wanted something to eat or play with. Especially your grandmother (your birth mother's mother): you were the apple of her eye.

You had shown many good qualities since you were little. You were outgoing, not afraid of strangers, and smart. The family all believed that you would be outstanding when you grew up. They said something like they would send you to a good school, and you could go to a college in the future (At that time, entering a college was not easy, and people thought it promised a good accomplishment in the future). When you were about 3, they sent you to a kindergarten near your second aunt’s, but didn’t know that you ended up in orphanage (It’s not until your adoptive mother told us did we finally get to know that the place you went was an orphanage). Your birth parents knew nothing about it. They were illiterate. They didn’t know what “orphanage” meant. They only knew that you were supposed to be studying in there.

When you were adopted and left China, we all missed you very much. Thinking of you, we were in tears, especially your grandma. Your birth mom said that your grandma missed you so much that she got ill. When she passed away, she still missed you, repeatedly saying that “Xiao Xiao finally came back home!””I finally met Xiao Xiao!” - she missed you so much that she had disillusions.

Later, we got in touch with your adoptive mother. Knowing that you are well and loved by your adoptive parents, we felt relieved. We often looked at the letters and photos your adoptive parents sent to us when we missed you.

Recently, we heard that you were going to go back China, we were all excited, anxious to meet you. The family members asked for leave at work ahead of time to wait for you. Your elder sister, your younger brother, your cousins all came to meet you, some from other places. Your aunt and uncle also planned to come, but they couldn’t get a leave at work. They had intended to have a video talk with you when you came back. The point I want to make by saying this is that all of us cared foryou very much. We didn’t abandon you on purpose. It was an accident that sent you away from us.

Following are two funny stories about you when you were little:

1. You were braver than all the peers. If you wanted toys or snacks, other kids were noncompetitive compared to you. You weren’t scared of fish at all, while other 3-year-olds were. When you saw the fish bouncing, you would giggle.

2. You loved singing, as cute as a cream in milk. You often wore your hair in four braids, jumping and dancing and singing. You were also a naughty girl, making all the little “damages”.

Monday, May 27, 2019

“A Glimpse of a Miracle”

Growing up as an adoptee, I've occasionally wondered whether I had siblings…it only made sense because why else would I have been put up for adoption? Maybe I had a brother or a sister… I wondered about my birth parents too, especially my birth mom. Both my adoptive mom and dad were very open to talking about my adoption when I had questions about it, how it all happened, and what they understood to be true. I understood that there was this One Child Policy, and that the situation in China at the time wasn't the best. Growing up, I did not feel as though I was abandoned, and I did not feel resentful. I am very fortunate and grateful for the life I've been given. I couldn't have asked for any better parents or an any more loving family to be a part of. I am incredibly blessed, and the life I live is something I will never take for granted.

It wasn't until fairly recently, within this past year, that I thought seriously about getting a DNA test. I was curious about my ancestry and my health. I've been told I looked Vietnamese before, so I was curious about that, but I mainly wanted to know if I had a predisposition for anything. By doing a test, it crossed my mind that maybe, on the very off chance, I could match with a sibling or close relative. I had never really had a strong urge or need to find my birth family, but with DNA testing being what it is today, I figured, it’s worth a shot. I was not holding out a whole lot of hope, so my expectations were pretty low.

I got my 23andMe results back a couple months later, and my results were interesting, but not too surprising. Turns out I did have a small percentage of Vietnamese in me! Otherwise, I was mostly Chinese, with a few small percentages of other Asian ethnicities. As far as matches, the closest match was a 2nd cousin and from there it went towards distant cousins. I briefly chatted with a couple of them, but nothing really came out of it. As I started back at school, I didn't really check my results again all semester.

It wasn't until the end of winter break that I decided to upload my results to GedMatch and check to see if any new matches came up that are relevant. To my complete surprise…I matched with an aunt…Um, what?? I really couldn't believe it. I looked at her name, I looked at how similar our ancestries were—it was just so crazy! Then I saw that she had left an email… or really it was a message from the person managing my aunt’s profile. I was congratulated on my search and then encouraged to email this person named Brian if I wanted more information. My parents and I were very skeptical… the email handle was “DNAConnect.Org”, which sounded like a website, so I did a little investigating. Sure enough, there was this full website about birth searching, being run by Brian and Lan. Although we still had our reservations, we thought it wouldn't hurt to send Brian an email and see what happens.

He emailed back a few days later, and that began a back-and-forth chain of emails between us, basically trying to piece together how “birth family searching” worked and what Brian and Lan’s roles were in it. We were still pretty skeptical at this point and weren't really sure how to process all this information. It was very unknown territory for us. My parents and I discussed it, and my parents decided to reach out to the adoption agency we used to inquire if they had any information about birth family searching and if they had heard about Brian and Lan. Turns out, the agency had heard about Brian and Lan through other families, with no negative feedback, which made us feel more comfortable about everything. With that, we decided that we would go ahead with the search.

Brian connected me with his wife Lan for the next part of the search. We messaged back and forth through the app she asked me to download, which she would later use to put me in contact with my birth family if the time ever came. She asked me to send her some pictures that would help with her search. I was still away at school and didn't have all the pictures available, so I planned on sending them to her a week later when I was on break. My parents and I had planned to be out of town for the first few days, so I had planned on sending her pictures when we got back.

However, while we were away, I got a message from Lan, saying that she believed she found my birth family and asked me to check my matches. My parents and I were completely stunned. How in the world did she find them already?? I didn't even send her the pictures yet. I go to check my results, and there was a match with my birth mom. Needless to say, my parents and my heads were reeling. We were at a loss of words.

A couple days later, after some processing and time to get back home, I had agreed to be put in a group chat with Lan and my birth family. Lan sent me a picture of my birth family before she connected us in the group chat. I had gotten the impression from Lan that my family was big, but I never imagined how big! There were five siblings pictured with my birth parents. I couldn't stop looking at the picture. I scrolled over each face. At the time, I wasn't sure if it was all siblings or if some were cousins or friends or what. I just couldn't wait to learn about my family!

My oldest sister was the first to talk in our group chat, and Lan was there to help facilitate the conversation. For one thing, my sister was typing in Mandarin, which I obviously didn't understand, but the app we’re using has a translation feature (technology is INSANE), so Lan told me how to translate the message, and from there I got introduced to each sibling. I discovered that I have two older sisters, one older brother, one younger brother, and two younger sisters (one of whom was also adopted outside of China and has yet to be found)! So, I went from being an only child to being one of seven kids. Talk about mind-blowing! For a number of days, I messaged them night and morning, learning more and more about them and telling them more about me. I soon came to learn about my birth, which in itself is pretty extraordinary.

I was born at home with the help of a midwife. At the time, family planning was very strict, and the economic situation was not good either. They were unable to keep me, so the midwife told them that she had already found a good family that wanted to adopt me, and that she would help arrange the adoption. With this assurance, my birth mom gave the midwife some money to help with the adoption. The midwife took me the second day after I was born. However, what the midwife told my birth family was not true at all. I ended up at an orphanage 80 miles away from my hometown, and was adopted by my parents, outside of China. All this time, my birth family thought that I was adopted into a family in China, not internationally. They have since been trying to find me, but the midwife never provided any information on where she sent me.

By sharing my story, I hope can inspire other adoptees to take the chance and do a DNA test if they are curious and/or have an interest in finding their birth families. For me, it has been a really positive experience. My family has only grown bigger since! In fact, that second cousin I mentioned earlier-- She recently got matched [through] with her birth family and by extension, has been in touch with me and my birth family. Small world! Also, in the midst of all this, I became an aunt, which was a role I never really imagined playing- at least biologically!

But to further reiterate, doing this search process and finding my birth family has answered a lot of questions for me. It’s really liberating to know the truth. Most of the information that my adoptive parents and I had known to be true about my adoption and where I came from, was essentially false. It was a bit mind-blowing to learn about the circumstances in China at the time and what my birth parents were going through. My perspective has definitely shifted a lot. I hope I can serve as resource for other adoptees and give hope to those who are looking for their families. I also hope to find my younger sister, so that my whole birth family may be reunited one day!

Articles published about this match:

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

All In Our Family Are Happy!

Dear little sister,


I am your sister. My name is [Meiyan], I am a freshman at the university in Jiujiang City, Jiangxi Province, three years older than you. You were born on March 6th, 2003. I am happy to have the chance to write this letter to you, to express the true feelings of our family these years.

On March 6th, 2003, you were born in Linchuan, Fuzhou City, Jiangxi Province. Your father’s name is [Chen Fengmiao], your mother’s [Wang Lanxi]. Though I never met you face to face, I have always wanted to have a little sister. I miss you very much, and look forward to getting in touch with you. In fact, you have three elder sisters. Unfortunately, one of them haven’t been found yet. Your eldest sister’s name is [Chenjing]. She now works in Zhejiang Province.

At that time in China, birth-control and the one-child policy was very strict. One couple was only allowed to have one kid. Our mother was so weak at that time that she couldn't receive the abortion operations. Besides, she didn't want to end the kids’ lives, so she gave birth to all of us. We were poor then. Our parents made a living by working for others. We struggled in life with a tiny salary. My elder sister was brought up by my grandma, while I grew up with my aunt in the countryside. Till elementary school did I come back to the city. Because of the one-child policy, my parents couldn't make it public that I was their child. In fact, when I was young, I didn't know they were my birth parents. Instead, I regarded my aunt and uncle as parents, and my parents as uncle and aunt. My aunt and uncle treated me as their birth daughter, but I still resented my parents for abandoning me and stopping me from feeling the true love from my birth parents for a time. I felt I was cheated. When I grew up and learned about the real situation, I started to understand them. The policy was strict, and they were poor. I’m sure if they had had the ability to bring us up, they definitely wouldn't have given their birth children away.

When they talked to me about you, they were always in tears. They have suffered a lot these years. My parents told me that you were taken away from home by the staff from the orphanage on March 9th, before they even had a chance to give you a name. For the rest of the decade, they kept asking the orphanage about your information, but the staff there refused to talk. My mom only got to know that you were adopted by a foreign family, unaware of which country. You know, at that time, the Internet wasn't advanced like now. Besides, they had little clues nor money. It was really difficult to search for you.

I don’t want to see them in regrets through out their life. I assumed that you may want to know the conditions of your birth family, so I began to search for you with them. One day, I saw a video about foreign kids searching for parents, so I contacted Lannie. She helped us to do a free DNA test, asking for nothing in return. After some time, she told me that your DNA successfully matched with my mom’s. All in our family are happy! Our endeavor in searching finally paid off! However, we are worried that you don’t want to get in touch with us. We feel uneasy. After all, you are innocent. It’s all because our parents did something wrong.  I am very excited to talk to you! We are close in age, and I’m sure we’ll have a lot of topics to talk about!

My little sister, we really miss you! At the same time, we also want to thank your adoptive parents for bringing you up.

Mei Yan
May 13th, 2019