Leaving a child behind has to be the greatest heartbreak a parent can ever experience. Unfortunately, due to the law imposed by the Chinese government that no family could have more than just a one child, implemented between 1980 and 2015, many parents were forced to abandon their little ones. The country was tying to fight the poverty and overpopulation, so if a woman who already had a child got pregnant with another one, the family either faced abortion or heavy financial penalties.
When a couple, Qian Fenxiang and Xu Lida, learned they were expecting a second child, they were perfectly aware they couldn’t have it. But as they didn’t want to abort their little baby, they hid the pregnancy and Qian gave birth to her second daughter on a houseboat, away from the eyes of everyone.
Once the sweet baby was welcomed into the world, the devastated parents took her and left her at a covered vegetable market along with a hand-written note.
The note said: “Our daughter, Jingzhi, was born at 10am on the 24th day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, 1995. We have been forced by poverty and affairs of the world to abandon her. Oh, pity the hearts of fathers and mothers far and near!
Thank you for saving our little daughter and taking her into your care. If the heavens have feelings, if we are brought together by fate, then let us meet again on the Broken Bridge in Hangzhou on the morning of the Qixi Festival in 10 or 20 years from now.”
The girl, now named Kati, was adopted by a loving family from Michigan, the Pohler family, who already had two boys. Kati has been loved and cared for, she was extremely lucky to end up with such special people.
They knew their adoptive daughter’s parents wanted to meet her in ten or twenty years time, so 10 years after she became part of their family, the Pohler’s sent a friend of theirs to meet with Kati’s biological parents.
“We didn’t want to involve Kati in something as vague as this,” her dad said.. “But it was important to us that the birth parents knew their daughter was adopted by a family who love her very much and provide her with a good home.”
Unfortunately, the friend arrived around 10 minutes after Qian and Xu left. They spent quite some time hoping to meet their long-lost girl on that bridge and even held a sign with her name written on it. But when they realized she wasn’t coming, they went home.
The story was picked up by a local news outlet that helped Qian and Xu got in touch with their daughter’s new family.
When Kati turned 20, her mom and dad told her the story of her birth. They also told her that they were in touch with her biological parents and gave her their blessing to go and meet them. She was eager to do that, especially because she knew they were simply forced to abandon her against their will.
In the city where she was born, on the broken bridge on the eve of the Qixi festival in 2017, she finally met her birth parents.
“We couldn’t communicate meaningfully since we don’t speak English and she doesn’t speak Mandarin, but we could tell she’s a really nice girl. But now that we have met her, we miss her even more than before,” her birth mother Qian said.
Kati also met her older sister. “It was really nice to see them. I was surprised by how emotional my Chinese mom was. The first thing they said was, ‘You are skinny, you’ve got to eat more.’ If I didn’t eat they would feed me. I guess they were just super-excited and missed looking after me for all these years,” this young woman said.
We are so very sorry for all those families who were forced to part ways with their children and never saw them again. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case with Kati’s biological parents. Although it took two decades to see each other again, we are glad they were given that incredible opportunity.
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Love and Peace