I recently watched a documentary on Netflix that I want to recommend to you. Found is about three adopted American teenager girls who discover they are cousins after taking a DNA test. They were each adopted from China, by different white American families, and getting to know each other inspires them to journey to China together to learn about their earliest days, meet the women who cared for them until they were adopted, and maybe even find their parents.
As they work with someone in China to help piece together what happened to them up until their adoption, what we find is incredible love on both ends. What an incredible blessing that each of these girls was adopted into such loving families. At the same time, there is no less love from the families that were forced to give up their daughters.
It seems most likely that each of these girls was given up because their families could not afford the fines for having more than one child under China's one-child policy. What touched me the most was hearing from the potential biological parents. It's clear their hearts ached over the children they had to give up and the pains they went through just hoping that their daughters would be safe and taken care of.
There's one scene when the girls meet one of the families who was thought to potentially be a match, but turned out was not. On this trip to visit the family, the genealogist who was working with them and guiding them around China needed to deliver the news to the family that unfortunately, the DNA test didn't match. But let me just say, when you look at their first daughter compared to the American girl who was possibly their second daughter, the two girls look so similar it's still hard for me to believe it wasn't a match. What got me though, was the disappointment and sadness in the father's eyes. He held back tears and gracefully accepted the truth while trying to smile through the pain. I certainly couldn't hold back my tears and I just wanted to give him the biggest hug.
This documentary delicately peels back the layers of such a complex situation. I don't know that I've ever given much thought to China's one-child policy, but whenever it's brought up in the west, or we fleetingly learn about it in school, it's general discussed from a political and judgmental perspective, not a human one. I remember people used to talk about Chinese people giving up their daughters, but no one ever talked about the human toll that actually was on parents and families. So, I really appreciate this documentary putting a human lens on the subject.
What's more is that these girls are still so young. They're just teenagers and it's clear that they're still figuring out who they are as individuals, let alone figuring out their Chinese roots. A lot of the things they express and share I can totally relate to and was even taken back to my own teenage years.
I think that Found is an important watch, especially in this time when anti-Asian attacks continue to happen every day. The documentary shows real Chinese families and real Chinese people who work hard, love their families, and take care of their communities.
Grab a box of tissues when you watch this one!