A Chinese-American teenager has been reunited with her biological parents after beleiving she was abandoned for more than a decade in China, and it is all thanks to the power of the internet.
Kylee Fengmin Bowers, or Liang Jinglang, her birth name, was accompanied by her adoptive mother when she went to China to finally meet her biological parents 13 years after she had gone “missing.” The 18-year-old was welcomed by her parents and siblings in a very heartwarming reunion at the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport last Sunday, according to Nanfang Daily via South China Morning Post.
“I am so happy to finally be able to see my birth parents and my brother and sisters face to face today,” the teen said. “I feel so lucky to be able to find them. Everybody has been so nice to me.”
Bowers was separated from her family in Zhongshan, in South China’s Guangdong province, in 2005.
The teen, who was only 5 when she went missing, was reportedly left in the temporary care of a family friend while her parents went to work. However, Bowers managed to sneak out of their family friend’s house to search for her dad and ended up getting lost.
“I kept begging my dad to take me to work with him so he finally agreed. We left and stopped by a ladies house, I think my aunt’s and she gave me some money that I put in my pocket. On the way to work, my dad dropped me off at a house. I think it was a family friend. I snuck out of the house because I missed my dad and wanted to go find him at work. It was raining really, really hard. I got lost,” she said in her story, as posted in the GoFundMe page set up by her adoptive father, Matthew Bowers. In a month, the campaign has raised only $3,000 of their $12,000 goal to help the Bower family go to China to meet their daughter’s biological family.
She was later found by an elderly woman who took her to the police station. Sadly, Bowers couldn’t understand what they were saying as she could only speak the local dialect of her family in Leizhou.
Bowers was then sent to the Zhongshan Children’s Welfare Institute where she stayed for two years and was given the name Zhong Fengmin. Then she was moved to a foster home for three years before being adopted by an American family at the age of 12.
Her real family, meanwhile, had kept their desperate search to find her. Bowers biological father, Liang Hua, and her mother, Wu Qinmei, even set aside a seat for her in their house where her siblings did their homework. Her uncle even stayed in the house in the hopes that she would remember where it was and come back home.
She repeatedly insisted to her adoptive American parents that she was never abandoned, and how she remembered the story when she was left at her uncle’s care. Bowers relived this story years after being adopted.
Desperate to find her biological parents, Bowers contacted the website that helps reunite parents with their missing children, Baobeihuijia.com, in the hopes that they could help her case.
Through sheer luck, Chinese media picked up her story and word eventually traveled to Liang, who later contacted Bowers through social media sometime in May.
The father then asked Bowers several questions to confirm if whether the woman is in fact his daughter, including if she has a small mark on her nose or if she remembers how she dislocated her shoulders after falling from a theater stage.
Without a doubt, Bowers wept and responded, “You are my father!”
The realization was later backed by DNA testing with the help of authorities. It was later confirmed by police that both Liang and Wu’s DNA were a direct match to the sample that Bowers had in the database before she was adopted, making this the very first case of an international match through their database.
After the emotional meeting at the airport, the family traveled for ,most two hours to their home in Foshan where they live. Bowers was greeted by banners and balloons prepared by her biological family.
They also plan to visit her grandparents in Leizhou before Bower returns to the United States to begin her study at a university.
According to Bower, she plans to go back to China to study and get to know her real family there.
Featured image (left) Weibo via SCMP | (right) via ECNS