These tear-jerking images show a woman’s emotional reunion with her mother who she hadn’t seen in nearly three decades.
The woman from Weihui in China ran away from home without telling her family in 1991 at the age of 17. Yan Dongai, now 46, found work as a waitress but says she was later kidnapped twice and trafficked as a bride.
“We had an argument,” Yan said. “I left without saying a word.”
She wound up in a restaurant working as a waitress, says she was whisked away to Jiangsu Province and allegedly sold as a young bride by traffickers just two months later.
Yan said she endured domestic violence and was trafficked a second time to the neighbouring province of Anhui, where she suffered a similar fate – being sold off to a second husband.
The mom-of-three couldn’t recall her family’s rural address, but she finally mustered the courage to escape with her young daughter, returning to her native province of Henan by bus.
“She arrived in Henan and was kicked off the bus because she had no money,” Yan’s sister-in-law said.
“Later she met my brother, who took her in.”
Her third husband, Ren Qingguo, and his relatives took it upon themselves to help her find her long-lost family after she revealed that she missed her parents and sister, and desperately wanted to see them again.
They registered her name and any details she could remember on the website Baobei Huijia (Baby Back Home), which is a not-for-profit organisation responsible for reuniting more than 2 000 lost or trafficked children with their parents.
The database turned up a result on 15 August and with the help of a police DNA database, volunteers were able to confirm a match and send Yan back to her hometown.
For the first time in 28 years, Yan and her mother, Li Gailan (75) met and embraced in a tearful reunion.
She was sadly unable to see her father again, with her dad having passed away eight years prior.
Yan, who lives in Henan’s Gushi County with her husband’s family, revealed they’ve already made plans to visit her mother again during Chinese New Year.
Henan authorities told local media they hadn’t given up searching for the suspects involved in her trafficking all those years ago.
Sources: Magazine Features