After years apart, Li Jingwei (37), of Yunnan province, China, was able to reconnect with his mother, thanks to a map he made from memory of his long-lost village.
Following his kidnapping decades earlier, a father was able to trace his family back to their original house by sketching a map of the area from his memories.
Li Jingwei, 37, was barely four years old when he was kidnapped and trafficked by a neighbor in Yunnan province, southwest China, in 1989. He is now a successful businessman.
According to the boy, he was lured away with a toy and sold to a family in Henan, 1,000 kilometers away, who nurtured him, according to China’s The Paper.
Mr Jingwei would create maps of his hamlet on a daily basis to ensure that he would not forget where he came from and had “countless nights of yearning”.
After reading stories of other kidnapped children who had been reunited with their families, he posted one of his drawings on the internet in December and sought for help in identifying the child. Mr Jingwei would also draw a map of his old village with a stick on the ground, which he would then burn.
He was startled to receive an almost instantaneous response, and a police inquiry was initiated, which ultimately led him back to his childhood home and mother after 33 years of separation.
Mr Jingwei collapsed to the ground in an emotional video, as his mother sobbed: “I’ve finally found my little baby.”
Their reunion took place over the weekend, thanks to the efforts of the police.
Mr Jingwei, who is now married with kids, later showed his family the map he had created of rice fields and bamboo forests, which he had drawn on his own time. After 33 years of separation, Li Jingwei was reunited with his mother.
Following his kidnapping, his mother unwittingly relocated to the province where he had been abducted, and she was now only 60 miles away from where he had been kidnapped.
Trafficking in children and kidnapping of children is a severe problem in China, where earlier restrictions on the number of children allowed per household, as well as a traditional preference for boys, fueled the trade-in of minors.
Many of those who have been reunited with their biological families have expressed reluctance to take legal action against their foster parents, whom they have grown to like over time.
“The principles of being a human,” Mr Jingwei claims, were taught to him by the family that adopted him, allowing him to focus on his studies and develop into “a talent in the future.”
At the time of publication, it was unclear whether his foster family would be convicted.
Image Credit: Getty
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