A homeless man raises abandoned girl for 13 years


On July 8, 2011, the 13 years old Xiao Li and her adoptive father Lao Huang (both faked names) Squatted at an abandoned well house in Nanjing City (南宁). Tear poured out on her face. This house is their home.

13 years ago, her adoptive father adopted this abandoned girl and raised her up and supported her to finish elementary school. But because she does not have “hukou” – the Chinese citizen registration, she is loosing her opportunity to continue to middle school.

Lao Huang said that they’ve lived here for five years. Xiao Li stands there quietly and is classifying the garbage that they collected.

This house has no electricity, no water and no furniture and is full of holes on the wall. The only things worth to mention are a radio set that Lao Huang picked from trash and a clock that Xiao Li needs for going to school. All the cloths are either saved from trash or donations from other people.

Lao Huang is 62 years old and was a resident at a near-by town. In 1978, after his father passed away and his mother remarried, He began to go out wandering incommunicado life, will never returned home.

On Aug. 13, 1998, Lao Huang saw a bunch of people surrounded by a cardboard box. Then he saw a baby girl crying. It was said that the girl had been abandoned for more than a day. Lao Huang could not help but picked up the baby. They started this relationship until now.

Lao Huang does not have a stable income. Sometimes, he couldn’t find anything worth of money and they wouldn’t have food. On the lunar based 14th day of 2009, a holiday for local people, Lao Huang bought a pound of duck for the holiday. Then they had only two pounds of rice.

Xiao Li, then 11 years old, decided to cut her long hair to sell. They sought her hair for 120 yuan (U.S.$18).

Xiao Li studied hard at school and she always helps her father after school and on weekend. Some classmates make strange nickname to insult her. But her father told her: “You were born in such an incommunicado family and so you must be strong. As long as you can go to school, you must achieve better results.”

But now, Xiao Li faces an even tougher situation. Because Lao Huang has been in incommunicado for dozens of years, his personal files disappeared and is considered a black hukou (黑戶口). In addition, he didn’t go through an adoption process and therefore, she is a black hukou as well. As a result, no middle school is willing to accept her.

Xiao Li could not help but to cry in front of reporters. “I want to go to school, really.” she said. She is only 13. Why she can’t go to school?


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