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Man stolen as baby reunites with mother 25 years later

It’s a hug put on hold for 25 years.

Zhang Xuexia has been looking for her only son for about a quarter of a century.

The three-year-old was abducted in December 1991, while playing in the snow not far from their home in Duyun, southwest China’s Guizhou Province.

SOUNDBITE: ZHANG XUEXIA, Mother
“I was so perplexed when the child was gone. I thought about how he might be doing, how much he would suffer, and probably be hurt.”

Zhang and her family tried every means they can to search for their boy, traveling extensively in the southern parts of China, but to no avail.

Tragedy struck again in 2006 when Zhang’s husband committed suicide. He left a note saying, “I only want my son, Song Yanzhi.”

SOUNDBITE: ZHANG XUEXIA, Mother
“I felt the skies were falling down. I was so helpless and even wanted to commit suicide myself. But then I had a belief that my child is still alive and one day I will find him.”

In 2009, the rise of the Internet makes Zhang more determined.

She posted articles online, and sent messages via microblogging sites and instant messaging platforms.

Her messages were forwarded by many influential accounts.

Her son, Song Yanzhi, turned out to be one of her contacts on the instant messaging service QQ.

He was living in the southern Guangdong Province when he began to search for his biological parents.

Zhang and Song underwent DNA tests in Guizhou.

When the good news came, the two couldn’t help crying.

SOUNDBITE: ZHANG XUEXIA, Mother
“Our family were so overjoyed that we couldn’t help crying. It’s so exciting, and so painful.”

Song has returned to Guangdong after a brief reunion. From now, he says, he will take a good care of his mother.

Despite the hardships she has gone through, Zhang says, the best thing she had, is that she never lost hope.

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