Sunday, January 14, 2018

A Birth Sister's Experience

The following experience was told to Lan by a twenty-eight year-old married woman living in Qianjiang, Chongqing. She came forward as a result of Lan's efforts with the Chongqing Families Search Video. 
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When I was in middle school [in 2003], my family were selling small stuff by the side of the road. One day, I asked my mom for 200 yuan so that I could buy some studying materials. She was embarrassed, and told me she’d try to borrow some. I was very upset because I didn’t understand why our family was always short of money. Around the same time, the municipal police showed up and fined us 300 yuan for ‘dirtying the city’. I was a fearless rebel back then, so I confronted them, asking whether the city can be cleaned if I pay. They didn’t answer me. Instead, they wanted to destroy our little place. I fought with them, throwing all caution away. What else could I do? I couldn’t even afford school. In the end, I was hurt but we didn’t end up having to pay the fine either.

About half a month later, my mom told me I would be having a brother or a sister. I could tell she was happy about this, but she wanted me to keep it secret otherwise we’d be fined. I was the only child in the family and I was lonely, so she wanted me to have a companion. My mom barely stepped out of the door after getting pregnant, but somehow the Family Planning officers somehow knew. They came to our house and gave us two choices: Abortion or pay the fine. My mom didn’t say a word, but I knew she was unwilling to abort the would-be child. I asked the officers whether it was true that a family could have a second child if the first born died. They confirmed that was true. I was kind of relieved after hearing this because I had already been planning for it. 

Only a few days prior to my mom’s delivery, I went to different clinics and bought a bunch of sleeping pills because you are only allowed to buy a small amount at each store. That night I took all the sleeping pills. The only thought that I had at that moment was to do anything that would allow my family to keep my little brother or sister. When my mom tried to wake me up, she found out about it, and called my dad. My Dad rushed me to the hospital, where I had my stomach pumped. 

When I woke up the next day, the doctor told me there might be some damage for what I did, and said not to do such thing again, and that I should communicate with my parents more often. The fact that I didn’t die terrified me, because I feared they may not be able to keep my little brother or sister. After I was discharged, my parents convinced me that the only way to keep this child was to send him/her to the orphanage. Then my mom would try to find a job there, so that we could bring him/her home once we were in better condition. 

The day my sister was sent into the orphanage, it was so hard for my whole family to let her go. She was so little, hadn’t even had a sip of breast milk. I did everything I could to stop them, going crazy, trying to grab her back to stop them from taking her away, but in the end my sister was taken away. 

The next day, my mom told me my sister had been sent into the orphanage. My mom got a job at the orphanage less than a month later, but she could not identify my sister. She cried every day when she saw the babies. My mom was devastated, spent every day in tears, nursing these kids but not hers. One day, my dad couldn’t bear seeing her like this, so he asked her to quit her job and come home. She did, but in doing so we lost the only chance of getting my sister back. 

We have never spoken one word about this ever since, but I know my parents have been suffering too from the first day that we gave her away. Recently, I saw the video that you posted. I feel that this might be our last hope. I want to find her, even though she may hate us. If it weren’t for the Family Planning policy, I would still have her around, and be able to watch her grow up. I wouldn’t let her drift outside all these years. I don’t care if life becomes harder, as long as we are altogether as a family. It’s okay if she doesn’t want to come forward, I just want to know whether she’s happy now.


1 comment:

Chantalle Tiebie said...

How sad. It hurts to read this. This is one of the reasons why we are searching for the birth parents of our daughter. I want to let them know how their daughter is doing. I can't imagine that they don't think about their daughter. I don't want anything from them, just let them know that we all think about them