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For Creighton and Reilly Ward, just saying hello to their parents in China would be a dream come true.
The sisters, who were adopted by US citizen Bonnie Ward, know almost nothing about their birth parents.
Creighton (right) and Reilly Ward, who were adopted separately by a woman in the United States, later found out they were sisters. They now hope to contact their birth parents in China. [Provided to China Daily]
"They do not wish them any ill feelings. They wish them only good things and hope that they know they are together here in America and very happy," said Ward, a single parent and IT executive from New Hampshire.
"We hope that one day we will know the birth family of my daughters. They want to know if they have a sister or brother in China and they want their birth mom and dad to know they are healthy and happy," Ward said.
However, Liang Zhiyong, assistant dean of the Changde Welfare Institute in Hunan province, said on Friday that locating the birth parents will be very difficult.
"Our records only indicate where the children were picked up and nothing else. Also, many of the institute's staff from that time have already retired," Liang said.
Stranger things have happened, though.
In 1999, Ward adopted Creighton, who is now 15. Then two years later she adopted Reilly, now 11.
No one realized at first they were sisters.
Ward said she had suggestions from her parents and a spiritualist that the two girls might be related. But when DNA tests proved it, she was astonished.
"I could not believe the results - I was screaming when I saw the results, 99.7 percent certain they are biological full-siblings," she said.
Ward said it was miracle because the matching of a parent and adopted child is done in Beijing, where nobody knew the girls or herself.
Meanwhile, Ward has asked volunteers in China for help.
Yu Chenglin, a student at Guangxi University for Nationalities, has previously helped four other Americans.
She and Ward learned from a senior staff member at the institute that the children were from Qianjiang district in Chongqing, though Liang from the institute refused to confirm that.
Yu has been distributing flyers in Qianjiang district, but so far has no feedback.
"I can only get the message to the urban areas in Qianjiang, and there is a vast rural area I cannot cover," Yu said.
Volunteers from the non-governmental organization Baby Come Home in Chongqing have also started to help search for the parents.
"So far we can only make general searches according to the simple clues we have, even though the clues cannot be confirmed," said Huang Xusheng, a volunteer from the organization.
For Ward, the adoption of the two children from Changde has been "a blessing" to her.
"I am forever grateful for the great gift China granted to me. To be a mother has been the most meaningful part of my life," she said.
Ward has paid six visits to China with her daughters and raised funds for the Changde Welfare Institute as well as other orphanages in China.
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