This baby girl was only 9 days old when she was abandoned: 23 years later, she received a letter of apology

Mark Bennett

April 05, 2023

This baby girl was only 9 days old when she was abandoned: 23 years later, she received a letter of apology

Often, there is a tendency to judge some events too hastily, without having all the facts of the case. And many are quick to assign blame and withhold forgiveness. Fortunately, however, some people are empathetic by nature and will offer others a second chance - if it's deserved.

This is the case of Zoe Halbeisen, a 23-year-old woman who was abandoned by her parents when she was just nine days old on the steps of a department store in the city of Changzhou, China.

via Amomama


The department store's employees found Zoe wrapped in some blankets and entrusted her to an orphanage. The story hit the press and Zoe's biological parents were universally condemned. Zoe grew up believing her parents were selfish people and simply didn't want her. At the age of three, Zoe was adopted by an American couple: Valli and Stephen Halbeisen from Charlotte, Michigan. Upon learning of Zoe's story, the Halbeisen's decided to adopt Zoe and never mentioned her biological parents again.

Zoe grew up happy, even if she did sometimes feel the need to find out about her origins. Then, 23 years after being abandoned in China, Zoe received a letter from her biological parents, which revealed the real reason why they had done so. In reality, they had no intention of abandoning her, but they already had a daughter and Zoe's birth violated the then government's rule that there be only one child per family.

The penalty for a violation would be a very large fine, which Zoe's parents would not be able to pay. So, they decided to abandon Zoe and hope others would give her a better life. However, almost immediately, Zoe's parents regretted what they had done. When they managed to track baby Zoe down, it was already too late: the orphanage refused to return Zoe to them. Zoe was never told this story and the truth was kept from her by the orphanage's authorities. After her adoption, Zoe's parents kept looking for her, until they finally found her address and sent her letter explaining what had happened and begging for forgiveness.

Wouldn't be here without them. PC: Payton Halbeisen

Pubblicato da Zoë Halbeisen su Lunedì 14 maggio 2018

Thrilled by this, Zoe quickly set up a video call to speak to her biological parents, learning that she has two sisters - one older and one younger than she. Zoe's adoptive parents convinced her to go to China to meet her family in the flesh, so she organized atrip: "All the pieces of the puzzle came together in just the right way", Zoe said .

Once Zoe arrived, she went to the department store where she was found by staff. The building is now a hotel, but Zoe was greeted by about 20 employees who were working at the store on that fateful day. "There were more than 20 people there waiting for me. There was a neon sign on the hotel roof that read: 'Welcome home Zoe' in English," Zoe described. Her meeting with her biological parents and her sisters was very emotional and the young woman immediately bonded with all her relatives.

A story with a happy ending that teaches us how important it is not to judge others too quickly. Before we pass judgement, we should always try to understand the reasons which motivated the parties involved.