A couple in China was finally reunited with their kidnapped son after spending 32 years looking for him. The son named Mao Yin, was stolen in 1988 when he was just two years old.
It was a devastating day for the family when Mao’s father was bringing Mao back home from the nursery. They stopped at a hotel after Mao asked for some water. The father looked away for a brief moment, but it was enough for someone to grab him and take him away. And that was the last time he saw his son for the next 32 years.
After Mao vanished, his mom, Li Jingzhi, quit her job so she could dedicate all of her time to finding him. She and her husband Mao Zhenjing searched every nook and cranny of the city of Xian in Shaanxi province, desperate for any information that would lead them to their missing boy. She even sent out more than 100,000 flyers and made appearances on numerous national TV programs to tell her story and give out a plea for any help.
According to CCTV, Mao Yin had even watched one of her television appearances and felt so moved by Li Jingzhi talking about her missing son. But what Mao had no idea was that he was, in fact, the missing son that she was talking about.
In the meantime, Li also worked as a volunteer with a major non-governmental platform called ‘Baby Come Home, where collects information about missing children and helps them to come back home to their families. While trying to reconnect with their own son, the couple helped 29 other missing children to reunite with their families.
“Hope is what motivates me,” Li said in an interview earlier this year. “I believe that someday I will find my son.”
In late April, the Xi’an police received information about a man in the Sichuan province who bought a child back in the late ’80s. The police used facial recognition technology on a photo of Mao as a baby and produced a simulated image that showed how he should look as an adult. They checked with a government database for possible matches and found a man named Gu Ningning who resembled Mao. A DNA test later proved Gu was indeed the lost son of Li Jingzhi and Mao Zhenjing.
The couple received the good news on Mother’s Day. A week later, the family was reunited in the western city of Xi’an, where Mao was born. Mao said he would move to live with his birth parents in Xi’an despite running a home decoration business in Sichuan.
Mao’s parents fought for many years just so they could see him once again. Luckily, they finally got the happy ending they were looking for after 32 years. Li also said that she will continue to help families whose children have gone missing.
“This is the best gift I have ever got,” Li said at the conference. “I would like to thank the tens of thousands of people who helped us,” Li said, according to Xinhua. “I can’t believe that after helping 29 missing children find their families, I am able to find my own son.”
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