September 8, 2009

Xian- Home of the Terra Cotta Soldiers

Here are some photos from our day visiting the Terra Cotta Soldiers:

Kelly (my sister), me, Christian and Jamie (my brother)


  1. Hi Julia, my name is Sarah and I was was wondering if I could email you. I've really enjoyed reading about your experience, and wondered if you had any suggestions for me. I'm in a similar position to you when you met Christian, but am finding I am unable to adopt the child I want to because I am single. anyways, if you get time to write me an email, it's Thanks so much :)

  2. Hi Julia, What an amazing time you've had. We've been in prayer for you and your family. It's such a loving story and I know God has been with you all. What an emotional time and what an amazing and loving mother you are. Christian is so loved by so many. We are continuing to be with you in prayer! The return and cultural adjustment will be enormous I know but God will sustain you all through that as well. Much love! Maureen

  3. Christian is an amazing boy and you should be given much of the credit for that. You have handled things with his best interest at heart. Blessings, Debbie Sauer

  4. Hi Julia! My name is Julia as well and I have been following your blog and Christian's story. I just wanted to thank you for sharing and letting us be apart of this amazing story!

  5. HI Julia

    Just stopping by to see how things went leaving and how they are now that he is home.......

  6. Hope you will find time to share some more pictures and notes about your wonderful trip. Hope you both are safe at home and enjoying your daughter and friends. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

  7. Unfortunately I disagree how Christian was "lost". I am a Chinese, I followed your story. It was a sad one and a happy one. It was sad that his father did abandon him and it is happy that Christian did find the man who raised him and truly loved him in the first 6 years of his life, and still loves him, that man is his uncle.

    In China, if you have a job in the City and you have a second child, it is a punishable offence. This could be one of the reasons that his parents abandoned him. Also, he was raised by his uncle since birth, until he was returned to his bio-parents at the age of 6; there was no bond between this little farm boy and his parents. I knew of some one in the same situation when I was in China, where the older son was raised by an uncle, retuned to his parents when he was 14, mistreated by his parents because they favored his younger brother who was smarter. His uncle died, the boy committed suicide. There are bad parents out there!

    The volunteers’ account in Chinese blogs clearly reflected that his father was guilty. His farther was first contacted by the volunteers on the phone:

    “Did you lost a child 11 years ago?” asked the volunteer
    “No I did not lose a child” replied his father and hung up the phone.
    This repeated several times. The volunteers kept calling him, he kept hanging up.

    So the volunteers text-messaged him and told him the situation and that Christian was adopted by an American parent and he is looking for his birth parents. Knowing that his son is not a poor farm boy or someone who could burden them, instead Christian is in the “Rich America”, and then he decided to call back.

    When volunteers tried to ask him for the contact information for his brother (Christian’s uncle) he refused to give them the information, saying that they have not contacted each other for years. How could that be true? That village is also where his mother (Christian’s grandmother) lives. The volunteers had to spent so much more time and go the round-about way to find the head of the village to find Christian’s uncle.

    The footage of the reunion makes his father’s outpouring of emotions like a drama. Chinese men do not pour their emotions like that. It was a performance (or maybe he felt guilty). His uncle is genuine and authentic. His uncle is really the one I respect a lot. A simple farmer with true love for Christian. His father looks like a “Jian Chen” or a “cunning official”. I have no respect for him at all. Christian’s memory is amazing. He is really a good boy and an amazing young man. His memory of being abandoned in that restaurant sounds credible. So do not let it be distorted by believing his father’s lie.

    Christian is truly loved by his uncle and grandmother. More importantly he was lucky to have you as his mother who raised him and love him dearly and selflessly.

    Sorry, I always refrained myself from judging people, but this time I can not hold back because his father makes me sick.

  8. pchen0310- Thank you for your perspective being Chinese. I just thought I would clarify a few things based on what I learned while visiting the family and getting more information from the volunteers. Christian's father did deny he lost his son at first because he said for the first several years after losing him he was "scammed" by many people who claimed they knew where Christian was. He lost a lot of money and was afraid it was just a scam again. Once he saw a photo of Christian he immediately opened up and shared the truth.

    The uncle was so angry with the father for being careless and losing him that they had not spoken in 11 years. The father gave the volunteers the village name but the uncle did not have a phone.

    The volunteers told me they were convinced the father's story was genuine. Also, not all the details have been shared (perhaps in a book someday). The father did have a lot of guilt over losing his son and was ashamed. There really was no reason for the father to abandon him because the uncle and grandmother would have taken him back anytime. You are right though the uncle and grandmother very much loved Jiacheng. I don't think the birth parents ever really had a chance to bond and attach to this wonderful boy.

  9. Julia - praying you're safe and sound, that all is well at home and getting resettled... back to normal, everyday life... while recouperating from jetlag, as well as from what must have been the most emotional few weeks of your entire lives.
    God bless you in the coming months,
    Toni Benton

  10. Julia:

    I am looking forward to reading your book. It will be a best seller because it is a story of so many twist and turns and complex emotions, a story already touched hearts of millions on both sides of the ocean. It will be a best seller in China, too. I will translate it into Chinese for free (not joking!). I prey for you and Christian and wishing you the best. Please do write often on the blog and let us know how Christian is doing. He is really a good young man and you deserve all the credits for bring him up that way after his painful experience. The image of a tiny, helpless 6 year old little boy under a bridge in a crowded city full of high-rise buildings just stuck in my mind and makes me cry. On the other hand, Christian is really blessed. I can not stop imagining what his life would have been like if you did not adopt him and bring him to America and give the love every little kid deserves.

    I do not blame Christian’s reaction at the reunion as described by the media as “stoicism". He was shocked and more, only Christian himself knows. I clearly remember things happened to me when I was about 6 years old.

    Frankly, I have my reservations. I am ready to forgive only after seeing remorse based on telling the truth.

    Again I really respect Christian’s uncle Jin Xiao Wang a lot. He may be poor, he may be simple, but he has a heart of gold and represents the majority of Chinese peasants.

  11. There is a theory that the “foster parent” who beat JiaCheng with a belt and a shoe had heavy beard or mustache as JiaCheng remembered. Well, there is something called shaver! Also, in the picture of eating dumplings on the “Kang”, do I see a man with heavy beard or mustache on the very left? Not many Chinese men have that kind of beard or mustache growing back so fast in just few days after retuning from Beijing where he was all shaved. It IS unique of him. JiaChen’s memory IS amazing.

    Another theory is that JinGaoKe started looking for JiaCheng TOGETHER with his brother JinXiaoWang the very next day after JiaCheng was lost….. it all depends on when JinGaoKe claimed he “just lost” JiaCheng to his brother, the very next day, or 6-7 days later. I could see from CNN’s piece, JinGaoKe could be a very good actor.

    The only other person who knows the real truth is his wife XiaJuLian., it must be very painful then, and it must be very painful now.

    “The volunteers are convinced”…. well I could see that the young volunteers are very idealistic and extremely nice just like you, they wanted to believe in the good of people. They are the least suspecting group. I am older, and experienced a lot in China, I saw what happened in the Culture Revolution and how family members turned against each other to protect themselves.

    True, JinGaoKe cold just give JiaCheng back to his uncle and grandmother. Well, it is still his “problem”. You have to live there and know the mindset of those people.

    “5 minutes later the bus was gone…” to the direction of “DongJiaGou” village, right? unless he put JiaCheng on the wrong bus. Well how far could it go? Did he try to take a taxi to chase the bus? Did he report to the bus terminal and call the next stop? One thing is clear; JiaCheng was not abducted or stolen because if he did he would be someone’s son without knowing his true identity in China. Those who steal boys (preferred in China) will never let go of him. Since he was not stolen , a little boy alone on a bus could be found within the first two miles, he would be crying, he would be turned to police right away, not many days later and not three provinces away.

    JiaCheng’s memory was correct. He was 7 years old. He remembers who was nice to him and who was mean to him and what happened. Do not let him be lied to again.

    See the following translation from the Volunteers’ account:

  12. --------------------------------------------
    …they (the volunteers) searched the internet and found the name “Xia Ju Lian” who published an article in a medical journal. The co-author’s name was “JinGaoKe”…the names sounded very close to what the kid remembered as his parents. They are doctors in a hospital in a county in Ningxia Province. Then “One Meter of Sun Light” asked a volunteer in ZhanJiang (named: MiLanRuhe”) to find their address and it turned out that they share the same address, so they must be husband and wife. In the mean time they SEARCHED THE WEB AND FOUND OUT THAT THERE IS A “DONG JIA GOU” VILLAGE NEAR THE COUNTY SEAT. (Pchen0310 note: They did not get the name of the village from JinGaoKe)

    They found the phone number of the hospital. The operator gave the phone number of Jin Gao Ke. Volunteer “Guangzhou Mama” called JinGaoKe on the phone. He said his name IS “Jin Gao Ke”, but he did not lose a child and hung up the phone abruptly. He did not answer repeated calls afterwards. “Guangzhou mama” and “One meter of sun light “found this was strange, so they ask a volunteer in Ningxia Province who happened to know a doctor in the same hospital. According to this Doctor, Jin Gao Ke did have a boy but he gave that child up for adoption. (pchen0310 note: JinGaoKe did not claim he lost a child among his co-workers.) So, the volunteers analyzed that may be because he gave up a child that he adopted earlier to others and he did not want to admitted it. “One meter of sun light” continued to contact JinGaoKe hoping he will provide information of Jia Cheng’s birth parents. JinGaoke still did not answer those calls, “One meter of sun light” started sending JinGaoKe text messages explaining that they needed Jin’s help in finding JiaCheng’s birth parents, also sending current pictures of Jiacheng (Pchen0310:pictures in the US with an American Mother)………………..

    ………….in the end JinGaoKe still did not give the address and phone number of Jiacheng’s uncle and grandmother. “One meter of sun light” did not want to wait any longer, (he/she) found the township of “ShaTangZhen” (DongJiaGou village is under the jurisdiction of “ShaTongZheng”). Through the township government, they found the cell phone number of Mr. Zhang, the head of the village. But not knowing the name of JiaCheng’s uncle, it would be hard to find the person. (pchen0310 note; JinGaoKe did not give the name of his brother to the volunteers either). (One meter of sun light) asked Mr. Zhang if he knew Dr. JinGaoKe thinking he must know him if this village produced a doctor who works in the County hospital. Mr. Zhang said he did know JinGaoKe, and “One meter of sun light” told Mr. Zhang (she/he) wanted to find JinGaoKe’s brother………..(pchen0310 note: This was how the volunteers located JinXiaoWang)

  13. our publisher in China may be interested in your book. If you like please send your query (outline, synopsis, number of chapters etc) to my email at Thanks