A man who was kidnapped when he was 2 years old has been reunited with his family after 32 years.
Mao Yin, who was renamed Gu Ningning by his adoptive parents, went missing in 1988 in Xian, Shaanxi province, China, according to South China Morning Post.
He was finally reunited with his biological mother and father, Li Jingzhi and Mao Zhenjing, on Monday.
“I would like to thank the tens of thousands of people who helped us,” Mao Yin’s mother said at the heartwarming reunion.
“I can’t believe that after helping 29 missing children find their families, I am able to find my own son,” she said, adding that she will continue her effort in helping other families, Xinhua reported.
“This is the best gift I have ever got on Mother’s Day,” Li added.
Mao Yin reportedly disappeared when his father picked him up from kindergarten one day. His father briefly left him alone in front of the Jinling Hotel in Xian to get water. He was then abducted and sold to another family who gave him a new name.
Li and her husband spent 32 years looking for their child and had distributed over 100,000 missing child flyers. Since 1999, the child’s mother appeared on TV several times hoping that her son would see and to raise awareness for missing children.
Li started her volunteer work at the non-governmental organization “Baby Come Home” to help families locate their kidnapped children. The NGO has already helped more than 20 families by reuniting them with their lost loved ones.
“Because at that time I had been searching for my son for over two decades, I knew how hard it could be,” Li said in SCMP’s mini-documentary about missing children in January. “I also wondered if someone could give the same help to my son to find his family.”
Li followed 300 leads during her search for her son, but they were all dead ends. However, it wasn’t until last month when the police received a tip suggesting that a man from Sichuan province adopted a child for 6,000 yuan ($845 today) years ago.
An investigation was launched and discovered a man surnamed Gu who resembled Mao Yin. Their suspicions were confirmed after a DNA test.
Mao Yin, who went to a university in Sichuan and opened his own interior design business, said he would accompany his biological parents in Xian before he goes back to Chengdu.
No official word yet regarding Mao Yin’s adoptive parents as authorities are still investigating the case.
Feature Image Screenshot via South China Morning Post