Tuesday, 16. September 2014
18. 08. 14. - 16:00
A daughter who went missing from her parents 37 years ago after catching the wrong train has had an astonishing reunion in southern China after her own daughter spent a year tracing her family.
Jiang Ai-wu - now 43 - was just six when she got lost in her home town in the south-central Chinese province of Hunan and decided to try and find her way home by a train from the local station.
"I had no idea where I was going and one wrong train led to another, and another and another. The harder I tried to get home, the further away I seemed to go," said Ai-wu at the tearful reunion.
The frightened youngster ended up 450 miles away in Xuzhou, a city in Jiangsu province in eastern China, where she was taken into care by the authorities.
"I always wanted to find my own family, I dreamed of it, but I was so young I didn't know how to find them. I didn't even know our address.
"Gradually I had to concentrate on the life I had but I never gave up hoping that one day, my mother and father would come and get me," explained Ai-wu.
Meanwhile, her frantic parents kept up the search for their daughter.
Mum Ju Yeh, 70, said: "She had gone on a small errand but never came home. We were desperate. We went to the police, searched the city, went to all the train and bus stations but we couldn't find her.
"We didn't know what to think had happened but in my heart I never forgot my little girl and sent a prayer to her every night."
The family were finally reunited when Ai-wu's daughter Mei contacted a missing persons website and spent nearly a year tracking down her relatives, even though they had moved north to Shanxi province.
"I couldn't believe it when I received a phone call one day asking me if I'd ever had a daughter who'd got lost.
"Then my little Ai-wu came on the line and it was as if she'd never been away," said mum Yeh.
Ai-wu added: "We have a lot of catching up to do - I have a huge new family to get used to now."
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