The following article appeared in the Henan Daily Newspaper on June 25, 2009. The reporter’s name is Ju Chang (朱长振)
“I think my son has the right to know where he is from” an American adoptive mother described her response to her Chinese son’s request to find his biological parents. The son is 17 years old. He asked for help in finding his birth family when he was 14. Since then, this American mother has tried many different ways to help her son find his relatives.
This June their wish finally came true. Due to the help from numerous volunteers, they found the son’s home and got in contact with his biological parents. His past is not just “time spent in a Children’s Home in Luoyang” anymore.
The pain of losing a son in a Ningxia Home
In the last few days, whenever he had time, the 40-year-old Ningxia resident Jin Xiaowang (Christian’s uncle) sat guard by his telephone hoping that it would ring.
He spent more than 400 Yuan to install the phone about 10 days ago. Now it is bringing in one after another good news for the family.
The two brothers, Jin Xiaowang and Jin Gaoke lived in Ningxia, Longde County, Town of Shatao. The older brother, Jin Gaoke lives in the city of the county and works as a doctor. Around 1992, Jin Gaoke and his wife had their second child, Jiacheng. Jin Gaoke sent this child home for his younger brother and mother to raise.
Because he is poor, Jin Xiaowang did not think he would ever be married, so he raised this baby like his own. He gave the baby a nickname “Jian-Jian” and the official name Jiacheng (meaning “forming a family”). Maybe because of the name and the baby, soon after Jiacheng came to the house, Jin Xiaowang got married and had two biological children (a boy and a girl). However, Jiacheng always lived with them, and Jin Xiaowang loved him dearly.
When Jiacheng was 5 years old, he was sent to the village school. Jin Gaoke suggested it was time to take him to the city to study. Jin Xiaowang finally agreed with his older brother.
However, soon after, Jin Xiaowang heard from the neighbors that Jiacheng was lost. Jin Xiaowang hurried to the city to talk to his older brother. Jin Gaoke told him with regret that a few days before Memorial Day (Chinese memorial day is in early April- usually April 5th) in 1998, Jiacheng did not like the city life and cried to go back to the village. Therefore, he took Jiacheng to go back to his old home in the village. However, when he got to the bus station, the boy was lost immediately.
Jin Xiaowang was so angry that he picked up a bat and beat the hell out of his older brother. After that, the two families never talked to each other again until now.
Throughout the years, Jin Gaoke tried many ways to search for Jiacheng. He put notices in the newspaper, traveled to places to search. However, after years of searching and being scammed for a lot of money, he was left without any luck. Because she was missing her son so, Jin Gaoke’s wife fell sick and retired early from her hospital job years ago. Jin Gaoke himself has had a lot of health problems as well.
Jin Gaoke never thought that after so many years, he would get news about his son again.
In recent days, he kept getting phone calls describing the look of his boy and checking on many details.
After sending pictures and checking on names, Jin Gaoke finally confirmed that he found his son – he was adopted by an American woman at 8 years old, and was looking for his biological parents.
Jin Gaoke told his wife the good news. “Her sickness instantly got much better.” He said Jin Xiaowang still living in the village also got the good news.
An American Volunteer Adopted a Little Boy
No one knows how Jiacheng got from Ningxia to Luoyang. On February 17th, 1999, he was found under an overpass bridge, the police from the Tang-kung Rd. Police Station brought him to the Luoyang Orphanage.
On the 23rd of this month, when the journalist arrived at the Luoyang Children’s Welfare Center (the orphanage), the person in the office looked at the boy’s pictures downloaded by the journalist from the computer and called out “Jiacheng, it’s Jiacheng” again and again.
Another worker – Ms. Chang- who was a care taker for the children also remembered him. “Jiacheng was very smart and friendly. Everyone liked him.”
Jiacheng was adopted by an American woman named Julia in 2001. She volunteered in the orphanage for over a month and liked Jiacheng very much.” Chang said.
Because the person in charge of records was not in that day, the journalist was not able to read Jiacheng’s file from the orphanage. Yesterday, the journalist arrived at the orphanage again and met the director of the orphanage. He said, Jiacheng was brought to the orphanage by the police. Before the adoption, his record was posted in the province level news media. Moreover, he himself went to the United States for a post adoption visit at Jiacheng’s home in the United States.
The journalist asked if he had tried to look for Jiacheng’s family based on the information he provided. The Director said no because the public notice went out and looking for the family is the police’s responsibility. The Tung-Kung Police Station told the journalist that the police staff had been changed many times, and the records were not well kept from that long ago. So how Jiacheng was sent to the orphanage was not possible to know now.
April 28th this year, Beijing Law Firm, Attorney Zhang Zhiwei received an English letter. It was a letter looking for help mailed by Jin Jiacheng’s adoptive mother, Julia.
In the letter, Julia described that she adopted a Chinese boy from Luoyang Children’s Welfare Center in 2001. The missing children notice said his name was Dang Ziyang. He was about 8 years old when he was adopted. Now he is seventeen years old. His name is Christian. When Christian was 14 years old, he asked his mother if he would help him find his biological family.
Julia said “I feel that my son has a right to know his past.” From that day on, this American mother started the journey of helping her son look for his family.
From Christian’s fragmented memories, Julia organized the original pieces of her son’s memories: he was born in Dongjiagou Village. His name is Jing Jiacheng. His parents are both farmers. His mother and grandmother made noodles and hung them to dry. He also had adoptive parents. They are both doctors. Mother’s name is Shao JuLian, and father’s name is Jin GaoKuan.
Finding family on line
Chang Chu-Fu (volunteer) posted Christian’s information on the missing children website “Baby Come Home.” The volunteers started helping to look for the family based on the information. They looked for Christian’s parents’ names online and found a “Shao JuLian.” She published a medical related paper in a journal. There are two authors in the paper, and the other author was Jin Gaoke. This is very close to Christian’s adoptive father’s name.
Volunteers also found out that Shao Julian was a doctor in a small city in Ningxia. That matches Christian’s description. Later, volunteer “One Meter of Sunlight” asked volunteers from Ningxia to help check into their information and found Jin GaoKe’s cell phone through the county hospital.
“One meter of sunlight” kept up with sending Jin Gaoke short letters and sent him Christian’s pictures. Jin Gaoke soon determined that the boy in the pictures was Jiacheng.
Jin Gaoke identified a birthmark on Jiacheng. After contacting Julia, it was confirmed to be true. At the same time, volunteers also got in contact with Christian’s uncle, Jin Xiaowang. From him and the grandmother, they confirmed Julia’s report of the two birth marks on Jiacheng.
Preparing to Come Home
These days after looking at the pictures sent by the volunteers, Jiacheng remembered more. He recognized his uncle, Jin Xiaowang and his grandmother in the pictures right away and also remembered the small farmhouse courtyard he played in while he was little.
Now Jiacheng has a wonderful large family in the United States. He has a mother, a little sister, two aunts, three uncles, two first cousins and a grandmother. Julia hopes to have some of the family accompany Jiacheng to visit his family in China. She is trying to find enough funding for the trip and hope to have Jiacheng meet his family soon.
Julia wrote in her letter that Jiacheng has grown up to be a handsome young man. He is a junior in high school, and is doing very well at school. He likes to play lacrosse and has won a lot of awards over the years.
When the journalist talked to Christian’s uncle, Jin Xiaowang yesterday morning, he was very emotional explaining how he saw the pictures of Jiacheng sent by the volunteers. The family was crying when they saw the pictures. The grandmother could not stop saying “that is my “Jian Jian,” my Jiacheng.”
Jin Xiaowang said he will not fight for the child with the American adoptive mother. The adoptive mother raised the child so well. He is very appreciative.