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:)

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