Sun Dingyi and her Dutch adoptive mother Petra de Vaal chat in a garden in Shanghai's Jiading District. In a bid to fulfill Sun's long-held wish to find her birth parents, the pair have traveled nearly 9,000 kilometers to the city where she was abandoned shortly after her birth. Yesterday they visited the Juyuan police station in Jiading to have Sun's DNA collected for a possible future match. The girl was left at Jiading District Central Hospital two days after she was born on November 15, 2007. Sun then spent the next 22 months of her life at Shanghai Children's Welfare Service Center until she was adopted. She had been born with a left ear deformity. Her Dutch family raised her in a small village about 20km from Utrecht in the center of the Netherlands. (Jiang Xiaowei)
Nine-year-old Sun Dingyi has one wish — to find her birth parents in China.
And to try to fulfil that long-held ambition she has traveled nearly 9,000 kilometers with her Dutch adoptive mother to Shanghai.
They went to Juyuan police station in Jiading District yesterday to have Sun's DNA collected for matching. She was abandoned and left at Jiading District Central Hospital two days after she was born on November 15, 2007.
She spent the next 22 months of her life at Shanghai Children's Welfare Service Center until she was adopted. She had been born with a left ear deformity.
Her Dutch family raised her in a village near the city of Utrecht.
But Sun often thinks about her birth parents and she has been asking about them for the past six years.
"When she was 4 years old, she sometimes cried and started asking about her birth parents, and we think it is the good time to come to China to find out her birth parents," said Petra de Vaal, Sun's adoptive mother who works as a nurse at a senior home.
"There are really a lot of sad moments as she was crying and saying 'I want to see my mommy, I want to know what she looks like, and where is she'," de Vaal told Shanghai Daily. "She asked a lot of questions about her birth parents."
She is the only Chinese in her school, her mother added.
"I was waiting until she was older. Now she is almost 10, and I think it's the good time."
"I also want to find the mother because I feel the bond with her, and they are part of our family," said de Vaal.
The decision was made one year ago, and the air tickets were bought that time.
"We gave the tickets to her as a Christmas gift, and she can't believe it, saying 'wow, I am going to China! Is it real?'"
Sun's Dutch name is Eloise Hannah Ding Yi de Vaal. She can only speak Dutch — fortunately for her Petra de Vaal can speak English and was therefore able to communicate with a Chinese translator.
Sun said she felt a bond in China. "The trip to China is amazing and it's a very special trip for me."
"The Netherlands is my first hometown, and China is my second hometown. I always want to know who are my birth parents and it is good to see the country where I have been born."
Asked if she had a message to her birth parents, she responded: "Hello, where are you? Because I am leaving, so I hope you come soon. I miss you so much and I love you. I am waiting for you."
In a notice posted in Shanghai, she added: "I have been well taken care of by my adoptive parents in the Netherlands. I am a cool girl and I like music. I also like playing outside and eating chocolate.
I have a happy life with good health. I miss my birth parents and I am grateful for them for giving me life. I don't hate them for being abandoned, and I just want to see who they are and make them know I have a good life now.