Cup of coffee reunites 2 Taiwan sisters separated since childhood

Other News Materials 3 July 2008 04:14 (UTC +04:00)

Two Taiwan sisters separated since childhood 40 years ago were recently reunited, virtually by a cup of coffee, a newspaper reported on Thursday. ( dpa )

Ho Mei-yun and Fang Chuang-li were born into a poor family which had 13 children. Hoping to give their kids a good life, their parents kept only 8 kids and gave away the rest to better-off families, the United Daily News said.

Ho was put up for adoption when she was 11 months old. Her adopted parents allowed her to see her "nanny" - who was her mother - once a year, but Ho later found out the "nanny" was her mother, so she eventually resumed contact with her biological family.

Fang, Ho's younger sister, was given away when she was 2 months old. She heard from neighbors that she had been adopted and found out that her parents lived on Hami Road in Taipei, but her adopted parents barred her from tracing her parents.

Ho and Fang have been working as insurance agents at the Cathay Life Insurance to work as insurance agents, but did not know each other as the company has nearly 30,000 employees across Taiwan and they worked in different departments, the United Daily News said.

Recently Cathay Life Insurance paid for its outstanding insurance agents to go to Los Angeles for its annual meeting which doubled as a bonus vacation. Ho and Fang sat in the came coach but did not know they were related.

On the day of departure, Ho bought a large cup of coffee. Seeing Fang and another colleague also wanted to buy coffee, she suggested the two share her cup of coffee because the cup was too large for her.

So they sat down to chat and asked one another's age. Both Ho and Fang said they are older than their registered age because they were adopted and their adopted parents did not register their correct birth date.

The more Ho and Fang recalled their childhood, the more they felt they were from the same family, and the other colleague even asked: "Don't you think you are separated sisters?"

So from the Los Angeles airport, Ho phoned her eldest sister in Taiwan to check the details of the Number 8 sister, and concluded Fang is the No 8 sister.

When Ho brought the news to Fang, the two cried in a tight embrace while their colleagues stood around clapping hands for their reunion.

Ho and Fang returned to Taipei several days ago. Cathay Life Insurance held a news conference Wednesday to break the good news to the press.

At the news conference, Fang said the theme of the company's annual meeting in Los Angeles was "Change Your Life," and the trip has certainly changed her life.