"The whole world told me I didn't have a mother - but I do!"
A Chinese couple have found their daughter who went missing 24 years ago.
The BBC reports that parents Wang Mingqing and his wife Liu Dengying have been reunited with their daughter, Qifeng, who went missing in 1994.
Wang and Liu were fruit sellers in Chengdu when Qifeng, aged 3 at the time, disappeared. Wang had briefly popped over to a neighbouring stall to change money but when he returned, his daughter was gone.
Neither parent gave up the search. Wang even became a taxi driver, hoping he would one day pick her up as a passenger. “One day, my daughter may just be the person sitting in my car!” he was quoted as saying.
The couple handed out leaflets, advertised in newspapers and tirelessly searched for her in the city and surrounding areas.
Wang and his wife never left Chengdu, hoping Qifeng would return to them.
Several false flags appeared over the years; a number of women who could have been Qifeng but were cleared after DNA test results.
However, last year, a police sketch artist decided to help the family by drawing a picture of what Qifeng may look like as an adult. The sketch circulate online.
A woman named Kang Ying, who was in Jilin, thousands of kilometres away from Chengdu, saw the picture and was shocked by the resemblance.
Qifeng had been adopted by a family who found her on the side of the road in Chengdu.
Kang contacted Wang and the pair realised that she shared some particular features including a small scar on her forehead.
On Tuesday, Kang Ying went to Chengdu with her adopted family, reuniting her with her birth parents.
The reunited family hugged each other and cried.
“The whole world told me I didn’t have a mother – but I do!” Kang Ying said.
“I can’t tell you how much hope, disappointment and despair we have gone through these past 24 years. Now we can finally meet again,” Wang said.
“From now on, Dad is here – you don’t need to worry about anything – Dad will help you,” he told his daughter.