Aban­doned as child, woman finds po­lice­man who saved her

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By CHI­NADAILY

When ap­proached in May by a Chi­nese woman look­ing for the po­lice­man who took her to an or­phan­age in Bei­jing 22 years ago, Hou Xiang­wei im­me­di­ately re­al­ized he was the man.

The woman’s dis­fig­ured right hand took Hou’s mind back to a chilly spring af­ter­noon when po­lice were called about an aban­doned girl at the Tem­ple ofHeaven park.

“WhenI ar­rived, there was a large crowd of peo­ple around. The girl was small. She could walk but couldn’t speak,” the 52-year-old re­called. “She was stand­ing there with her right hand cov­ered by gauze and stopped cry­ing.”

The girl’s hand se­verely burned.

Hou sent the girl to a hos­pi­tal for treat­ment, but am­pu­ta­tion of her fin­gers was re­quired. Over the next three days, Hou, the fa­ther of a fouryear-old boy, took the girl to sev­eral hos­pi­tals hop­ing to find any med­i­cal record that could help iden­tify her par­ents. He failed.

Hou and his col­leagues had no choice but to send the girl to an or­phan­age, where she had been was given the name Cao Haofei. She was adopted by a fam­ily from theUnited States a few years later.

More than 22 years passed, and all of Hou’s col­leagues who once played a role in car­ing for the girl have re­tired. Hou is still work­ing for the sta­tion with juris­dic­tion over the Tem­ple of Heaven park after 32 years.

“I never ex­pected the girl would come back to me,” said Hou. “She car­ried a copy of a doc­u­ment withmy name on it from the or­phan­age that ac­cepted her.”

Cao joined a news con­fer­ence onMon­day as part of her ques­tion to find her bi­o­log­i­cal par­ents.

She was quoted by Bei­jing Newsas say­ing toHou: “I want to thank you. Inmy mind, you are the man who picked me up. You aremy po­lice fa­ther.”

Cao’s foster mother works in spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion and her foster fa­ther is a mu­si­cian. Nei­ther ever made her ashamed of her adop­tion, she said.

Her foster fa­ther once said that if her bi­o­log­i­cal par­ents knew how out­stand­ing she is, they would be happy.

Cao de­vel­oped a love of China after a cul­tural trip to the coun­try when she was 15. Since then, she has vis­ited every year dur­ing summer hol­i­days. When she grad­u­ated from col­lege two years ago, she de­cided to move to Bei­jing to learn Chi­nese.

She also ex­pressed her wish to find her bi­o­log­i­cal par­ents. “I would like to show my grat­i­tude and ask about my birth­day and my life story. I want to meet them,” she said.

Though it may be dif­fi­cult to find her bi­o­log­i­cal par­ents, Cao now has some hope. Hou has re­ceived phone calls from around 100 peo­ple who wanted to see if Cao was their daugh­ter.

“I want to help her find her par­ents,” Hou said. “If they can be found, it will be per­fect.”

Of­fi­cer: Hou Xiang­wei Res­cued: Cao Haofei

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