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The government makes policies for our welfare but what if these policies break your family completely. A Chinese couple became a scapegoat of one of the policies made by Mao government when they had to sacrifice their daughter. The couple gave birth to a beautiful girl child in 1995 when One-child policy was at its peak. In order to avoid any misfortune, the couple left their baby all alone in a vegetable market with a note. In the letter, they had requested her adopter to make her meet them after 10 or 20 years on the Broken Bridge.
Ten years later, the couple goes to the bridge to meet her but does the daughter who had changed a lot throughout the years comes to meet them? Find out here………
A Secret Pregnancy
The story begins 22 years ago when Qian Fenxiang got pregnant with her second child. The news though was happy but it really bothered her a lot. In those days, China used to follow the one-child policy due to its rapidly growing population. So, any child beyond one was illegal in the country.
Qian had already come very far in her pregnancy when she learned that she was pregnant. Now aborting the child was not an option for her. She had to give birth to her unborn child. Soon the pair learned that Qian was carrying a baby girl. The couple was in quite a pickle! Neither were they allowed giving birth to the daughter nor were they in a state to abort it. So what were they going to do now?
Hiding It From The World
For the time being, Qian hid from the world. As the pregnancy was getting visible day by day, she had to keep herself away from the eyes of the world. If the authority by any chance gets the wind of her pregnancy, they would take their child away from them. The lady stayed put inside her house for six weeks. She came out on the day of her labor. Qian was not admitted to a hospital fearing someone would get a wind of it so she had to deliver her child at the weirdest place.
On A Boat
River BoatIt was a boat! Yes, Qian brought out her girl child out of her in a boat. The couple had to deliver the child on their own. There was no medical help around. Fortunately, the baby came out safe and healthy. After that, they severed the umbilical cord with sterilized scissors. As the couple had no sterilized scissors, they had to do it by putting it in boiled water.
A Hand Of Help
As the birth was done in absence of any proper medical care, complications were still lingering. Though the baby looked healthy, the couple soon sensed something was no right. Eventually, they had to seek the help of a physician who promised to keep this birth a secret.
To Save Her Life
The couple knew that the life of their baby was in danger as long as she was with them. Qian had not kept her inside her for months, not for nothing. However, the prevailing policy was prohibiting them from keeping her. Xu, the father decided to do something that would have torn their heart apart.
The next day, Xu woke up before the breaking of dawn and headed to the vegetable market with the infant. The sight had gone all blurred because of the tears that had welled up in his eyes. The market was all empty with no one around. It was then he put down his daughter in one corner with a letter and went back home, leaving her behind.
The Goodbye Kiss
Xu gave her a goodbye kiss before leaving her forever. He paced speedily and did not dare to look back. He knew even if for once he would turn around to see her, he would not be able to take another step away from her. Whereas he was battling with his inner feelings, Qian was crying inconsolably at home. She just had given away something that once was a part of her.
A Letter To Remember
So what was written in that letter that he had left by the child’s side? Xu did not know what was going to be the fate of her daughter nor did he have any idea if she was going to be picked by a reliable hand or not. Keeping all the possibilities in his mind, he wrote this letter for anyone who would get his daughter. the letter read…….
Words Straight Out Of Heart
“Our daughter, Jingzhi, was born at 10 am on the 24th day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, 1995. We have been forced by poverty and affairs of the world to abandon her. Oh, pity the hearts of fathers and mothers far and near! Thank you for saving our little daughter and taking her into your care. If the heavens have feelings, if we are brought together by fate, then let us meet again on the Broken Bridge in Hangzhou on the morning of the Qixi Festival in 10 or 20 years from now.”
One Child Policy
This all happened because of the one-child policy that was in force during that time. So, you must be wondering what’s the big deal about it. Observing China’s swiftly growing population, the Mao government decided to keep a check on it by bringing one-child policy into force in 1979. The policy was formulated with the intention of managing the population and cutting down the poverty.
The programme that started off in 1979 remained in existence for 35 years until 2015. It is said that about 400 million births were prevented because of the policy. However, the estimation has always been under suspicion.
The Adoption Agency
Fortunately, Jingzhi was found by a nice person who took her to the children’s welfare institute in Suzhou. The kid was admitted into the orphanage with the note. It was at the same time, Ken and Ruth turned to the orphanage with other nine families led by Bethany Christian Services. It was there they adopted a cute little girl child who happened to be Jingzhi. But they not only found the baby but also a letter with her that they could not understand as it was in Chinese.
They learned that the baby had been found with this letter. No doubt, this whetted their curiosity and they wanted to know more about it. They named the girl Kati. The couple took along a translator who was tasked with translating the contents of the letter into English. After boarding the bus, they handed her the letter.
What To Do?
With every word, their astonishment only increased. The letter indeed posed a dilemma for the couple. They felt that telling Kati about her birth parent at such a tender age would only worsen the situation. According to them, the girl was too young to put up with this truth. So, the couple decided to keep the letter away from her until she gets mature enough to deal with it.
She’s American Through and Through
It did not take much time for Kati to get along with them. Soon enough, she became the life of the family. She lived her childhood in a small town with a population of 7,000 people. The girl adopted classic American lifestyle without any trouble. What else she did?
Learning It Through
Kati started visiting the church from a very young age as her adoptive parents were very religious. Not only that but she also learned to play piano, violin. The little girl would contest in sports and loved traveling the country. After completing high school, Kati took admission into Calvin College to study public health and music. It is a liberal arts university.
Things Were Improving
Everything was running smoothly and perfectly in Kati’s life. Her birth parents too had made some progress in their financial status. Her birth parents had opened up a shop where they sold refrigerators, washing machine, and other things. Apparently, the couple was toiling hard to keep the wolves off the door. They would work every day without an off. The good thing was that their efforts were paying them off.
A Good Life
Xu and Qian had bought a two-bedroom apartment for themselves that seemed to be serving the purpose for their small family. The couple would stay out whole day running their shop in order to provide a good life to their one and only daughter. Whereas they were trying their best to keep their daughter happy, they still had not forgotten the daughter they had given up. And they still remembered the letter.
The First Attempt
Ten years had gone by but Xu and Qian still remembered their promise. They still wanted to see their daughter and that is why they went to the Broken Bridge with hopes. They had no idea whether the note had been read by the adopter or not. They were shooting in the dark.
The world surrounding them was celebrating the Qixi Festival. Everyone had a big smile on their face and so did the couple have. A smile that sourced out of hopes. Hope to see their daughter again. Their eyes did not rest a bit as they were continuously searching for their long-lost daughter Jingzhi. But the question was, were they going to see her?
Broken Bridge Uniting Hearts
As you can see in the picture, the broken bridge is not broken at all. It is situated in Hangzhou where Jingzhi’s took birth. Her biological parents are still there. And now as far as the Qixi festival is concerned, it is just like Valentine’s Day. But what sets it apart is that the festival is celebrated on the 7th day of July every year.
Tell Or Not To Tell……
The Poehlers were still skeptical about telling Kati everything. They loved Kati a lot and did not want her past to trouble her. How can you expect a ten-year-old kid to handle a big truth about her own life lightly? It was obviously going to impact her mentally. On the other hand, they were concerned about her birth parents too. they knew they would have come to the bridge to look for her. They needed to figure out a way.
As telling Kati about her past was not an option for them, they decided to take help of one of their friend from China. Well, they were not intended on beginning any relationship with her birth family but being themselves childless for years, they knew how does it feel staying without the kid. That is the reason why they decided to take this step. Mr. Poehler called one of his Chinese friend.
It Was Too Late
They asked their friend named Annie Wu to meet her parents at the broken bridge. Annie did go to the venue on that day looking for Kati’s birth parents and kept searching till the bridge got vacated. The evening had turned into night and the bridge had very few people on it.
Qian and Xu who had been on the bridge right from the time festival started left few moments before Annie entered. The couple had brought a big poster with them that had their daughter’s name on it. They held it all through the festival. However, nobody approached them and they went home, heartbroken.
Annie found no one on the bridge but she had not given up the hope yet. While searching, Annie saw a news camera crew recording the event. She requested them to show her the tape. Luckily, the crew agreed to it. While reviewing the tape, Annie spotted a man holding up a poster that read his daughter’s name.
All Thanks To The News Story
The news crew covered this story and ran that on their channel. Well, the story is nothing less than a tragic film script in which a just born Chinese girl gets separated from her parents and ends up in a country that is thousands of miles away from her birthplace and parents. Qian and Xu too came across this story that was about their own child. The two decided to meet Annie who had a letter given by the Poehlers to them.
And That Was It
Qian and Xu DocumentaryNo doubt, Qian and Xu were expecting to see their daughter. However, the Pohlers did not seem to be doing that. They did not want Kati’s childhood to get affected by that and so they had not told a thing to her. But Qian and Xu who had been yearning to see their daughter felt very bad about it.
From News Story To Documentary
Chang Changfu, a Chinese Documentarian immediately got intrigued by the story the moment he heard it. He decided to make a documentary on it. He met Qian and Xu to know more about this sad story. After that, he decided to meet Kati’s adoptive parents, Ken and Ruth. This was going to be a bit tricky for Chang as he had no idea about the whereabouts of the Poehlers.
However, he did not lose hope. The documentarian searched on the internet for any mention of Michigan based American family who had gone to Suzhou to adopt a Young Chinese girl. As they say, work hard always pay. The man finally got a clue about the Pohlers that led him to them.
It Took Some Convincing
Chang asked Pohlers to partake in the documentary but the family turned down the offer. They did not want Kati’s childhood spoiled by her past. However, they did reveal the secret to her when she turned 21. By that time, the girl herself had started feeling a difference between her and her parents. She herself had started asking her adoptive parents. She says, “I thought people there would have questions about me being Chinese and American. So I asked my mother to tell me about my past again.”
She Knew It Right Away
Kati had her world turned upside down when she learned that she was adopted. Her adoptive parents told her everything from the letter to the documentary. The girl was heartbroken but at the same time, she wanted to meet her birth parents. Kati expressed her wish to meet them.
Kati met Chang and expressed her desire to participate in the film. Little did she know this journey was going to emotion filled. Chang started off with taking her to the same vegetable garden of Suzhou where his birth father had left her to uncertainty with a note tucked in her clothes. The information caused a ripple in her heart. She had never felt so emotional in her entire life. However, it was just the beginning, the real twist came when she met her birth parents.
On The Bridge At Last
Chang had everything planned. The very first meeting of Kati and her birth parents were going to be recorded on the camera for the documentary. Chang planned on making them meet at the place where they were expected to meet. On the Broken Bridge! Finally arrived the time when Kati was standing face to face with her birth parents.
Right Before Eyes
After a long wait of 22 years, Qian and Xu were finally going to see their daughter. It was going to be a precious moment for them. And when they saw her, they had tears streaming down their eyes. Their daughter that they had been forced to give up was now standing right before them alive and kicking. They tried to talk to her but the girl did know nothing about Mandarin. On the other hand, the Chinese couple had not learned English.
Starting From Scratch
Those moments were special. Kati spent a couple of days with her birth parents. She put up in her sister’s room for the stay. Her birth parents also made her meet her grandmother who just had survived a severe stroke.
So, that is how a sad story came to a beautiful end. Kati still visits her birth parents and is building a beautiful relationship with them.