One day in 1994, Zou Qixiu set up her small stall as usual at a public square in the city of Shaoyang, Hunan province, but by the time the day was through she had made a horrifying discovery; her son, four-year-old Yuandan, had disappeared, taken while she was busy working by unknown kidnappers.
For the next 22 years, Zou could only wonder anxiously about the fate of her son, but on April 24th — over two decades after his disappearance — a now 26-year-old Zhoudan was finally was reunited with his long lost mother, thanks to the help of a volunteer organization, NetEase reports.
Check out this mother’s reaction to seeing her son for the first time in more than two decades:
Unfortunately, child kidnapping and trafficking is a major problem in China, especially in rural areas. Boys are often abducted by gangs and then sold for a high price to couples desperate for a male heir. While occasionally parents are reunited with their long lost children, more often they can only search in vain for years.
For more on this problem, check out the documentary “Living with Dead Hearts.”
By Stanley Yu
[Images via NetEase]