Xi’an Mother Finally Finds Kidnapped Son 32 Years Later

For a mother, being separated from her son for a year is already just about unbearable.

But one mother in China had to deal with that despair and separation for a staggering 32 years — before they were finally reunited.

Years of blood, sweat, and tears later, Li Jingzhi tracked down her son after he was kidnapped as a baby and sold in 1988, BBC reports.

Kidnapped and sold as a 1-year-old

According to South China Morning Post, Mao Yin, the only child of Li Jingzhi and Mao Zhenjing, was kidnapped as a 1-year-old while his dad left him alone for a few minutes.


They never managed to track him down for years, and Ms Li was close to giving up many times.

However, she channeled her grief and longing into raising awareness of missing children around China, thousands of whom are kidnapped and sold to childless families.

Many of these parents live in countryside areas.

Tracked over 300 leads to no avail

Ms Li’s journey was fraught with many difficulties and false leads.

One of these led to a dead end when she realised the boy was not her son, despite an arduous journey across towns and cities.

In total, she visited 10 Chinese provinces on her hunt.

Despite this, she never gave up. She’d look for him every weekend right after she finished work on Friday, and return to work the next Monday.

Jia Jia – her affectionate nickname for him – never left her mind.


Police finds Jia Jia

On 10 May 2020, also Mother’s Day, police gave Ms Li a call, informing her than they’d found her son.

The month before, someone had told her about a boy who resembled him, now an adult.

Police then tracked the man to Chengdu City, and after a DNA test, his status was confirmed.

After 32 years, Ms Li had finally found her son. It turned out that a couple had paid S$1,182 (6,000 yuan) to adopt Jia Jia a year after his kidnapping.

Tearful reunion

On Monday (18 May), mother and son finally got to meet each other in person.

The tearful reunion was captured on camera — 32 years of cumulative emotions packed into a single moment.


It had been such a long journey, but better late than never for them.


Jia Jia then stayed a month in Xi’an with his birth parents, taking turns with both of them — they’d separated 4 years after his disappearance.

However, he still resides in Chengdu as she felt that it wouldn’t be right to uproot the life he’d built.

Jia Jia is married with a family and runs a home decoration business there.

Mother and son together in a park 3 days after their reunion

However, they still chat daily through WeChat and often meet up to make memories — to make up for the 32 years of separation.

They resemble each other, don’t they?

Strength of a mother’s love

More children in China and around the world are still forcibly separated from their parents. Unfortunately, many may not have the happy reunion that Ms Li and Jia Jia had.

Ms Li said she’ll continue her work to help families reunite, as many others are still out there, separated.

Regardless, the efforts Ms Li put in over 32 years is commendable — it can arguably only come from the strength of a mother’s love.

Featured image adapted from YouTube and BBC.