‘All these years, you have always been on my mind. I often dream. I dream of coming back to this place, to see you both. Now, I have found you. My dream has come true.’
These are the exact words that escaped Lin Jingmei’s mouth when she was reunited with her foster parents at the Pingtung Family Center. Lin was a little girl when Zhang Hongqi and Guo Jinjin took her into their foster home and cared for her.
Not long after, her biological mother returned and took her away. However, Lin experienced many hardships when she was growing up. She believed that it was not a ‘perfect process’ compared to the life she had with her foster parents.
To her, the love her foster parents showered her with was the most beautiful and unforgettable memory that was treasured in her mind.
It was this unconditional love that kept her going through what she calls ‘the most difficult and helpless times’. She says that their words of encouragement are the things that motivated her whenever she was upset.
20 years later, Lin decided that it was time for her to return the kindness. With the help of a few volunteers, she traced back her foster parents and to her surprise, they still kept her photo with them. She kneeled in front of them with tears in her eyes, saying ‘Thank you for taking care of me.’
They took a walk down memory lane and reminisced the good times they had as a family. Lin’s recalls the delicious pastry her foster father would make for her and the lemon tree that they grew in the backyard.
The citrusy fragrance left a lingering impression on her.
“She loved to play the flute when she was a child, and she loves to be spoiled”, delighted Zhang as his wife pointed to the window sill where Lin would play the music instrument every day.
Lin’s bond with her foster parents shows us that family or not, love will always be love.