4 Times The Power Of The Internet Reunited Long-Lost Family Members In 2018
Being apart from your family for decades, with no idea where they are or how to contact them, is hard to imagine.
This is unfortunately the reality for some people, who have spent most of their lives looking for long-lost loved ones.
Every so often though, a story of separation ends with celebration - some families have been lucky enough to find their way back to each other.
As of late, many owe their miraculous reunions to the power of the Internet.
Here are four remarkable reunion stories from this year that may never have taken place without the world wide web:
1. This Malaysian has the Twitterverse to thank for finding her biological mother in time for her wedding
On 5 March, Ayu Razak took to Twitter to ask for help in finding her long-lost biological mother.
The 22-year-old was about to get married and wanted her birth mother and biological family to attend her wedding. She included what little information she knew about the woman and old photographs of her in her tweet.
Barely 18 hours after posting the tweet, Ayu received a direct message from her biological aunt, who immediately put her in contact with her birth mother.
Later that night, the pair reunited after 22 years apart!
2. Hong Kong actor Anthony Wong found brothers he never knew he had after fans took his search for family to Facebook
Anthony’s father, Frederick William Perry left Anthony and his mother in Hong Kong when he was just four years old.
In an interview with BBC in February, Anthony said that his father's departure left him struggling with his identity.
Inspired by his story, several of Anthony's fans set up a movement to help him search for his dad on Facebook. Days later, on 2 March, someone tracked down his father's other sons, twins John and David Perry, who lived in Australia.
On 20 March, Anthony got to meet his newly found half-brothers in Hong Kong for the first time!
Anthony called the experience "the beginning of a new journey," while John and David said that their father, who died in 1988, would have been pleased to know that the brothers had found each other.
3. A couple's 24-year search for their missing daughter ended after an image of a police sketch went viral
Wang Mingqing and his wife Liu Dengying were working at their roadside fruit stall in Chengdu, China when their daughter Qifeng disappeared on 8 January 1994, reported Straits Times.
21 years later, Wang, a driver for ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing, gave out business cards with information and a photograph of his daughter to all his passengers.
After local news media caught wind of Wang's search, the story quickly went viral in late 2017. A police sketch artist drew what Qifeng might look like in present day, and the image soon circulated far and wide online.
The sketch eventually reached a 27-year-old woman from Jilin, who had been adopted after she was found on the side of a road in Chengdu as a child.
After results of a DNA test confirmed that Kangying was a 99.9% match, she and her family travelled to reunite with her biological parents.
"It's like the people in my dreams have walked into reality and are standing in front of me," said Kangying.
4. YouTube brought this 66-year-old man in India back to his long-lost family after 40 years
In 1978, 26-year-old Khomdram Gambhir Singh left his home in Imphal, Manipur after separating from his wife. Having gone into a depressive state after his marriage fell apart, he lost contact with his family for four decades, BBC reported.
A video of him singing a popular Bollywood song in Mumbai, which went viral once it was posted on YouTube, caught the attention of a local association in Imphal. His family and the Mumbai police were then informed.
Gambhir was found in Bandra, where he was living rough as a beggar, and he was flown home on 19 April to reunite him with his long-lost family.
"This story is a ray of hope. If a video can change a man's life there can be no bigger miracle than this," said Mumbai-based street photographer Firoze Shakir, who shot and uploaded the video on YouTube.
Our hearts can't take it! We're so happy these families found each other <3
Some are still looking for long-lost loved ones. This Singaporean woman is asking the Internet to help find her sister who has been missing for four decades:
Read more heartwarming Lifestyle stories here: