Tue, Mar 18, 2014 - Page 5 News List

Hawaiian letter reaches mother with police help

By Wang Chun-chung and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A letter from Hawaii sent to Greater Tainan has reached its destination after nearly three months, enabling a reunion between a mother and the daughter she gave up.

Greater Tainan Police Department’s Hoshen station said the address on the letter was incorrect, which resulted in the correspondence being sent to a police officer surnamed Wang (王), who lives in Annan District (安南).

Wang hired a translator for the English-language letter after his colleagues decided that the contents requested a reunion between a mother and daughter.

In the letter, Timothy Burrett, the adoptive father of Mia Burrett, said that Mia was living with his family in Honolulu, Hawaii, and that she was in the third year of junior-high school.

However, despite her happy life, Mia missed her mother very much and wished to meet her in Taiwan, he wrote. The letter enclosed a few family photographs of Mia’s life in the US.

Mia’s birth mother, surnamed Hsu (許), had raised Mia to the age of three or four, but had then asked a local church to find the child a foster or adoptive family because of her inability to continue raising Mia on her own.

Hoshen station head Yu Jung-chin (余榮欽) said they received the letter on Thursday last week, and had initially searched the household registration data system for the surname Hsu (徐), which resulted in nothing.

The persistent efforts of officer Lin Chin-te (林金德) eventually located a possible Hsu (許), a different Chinese character, but with the same phonetics, Yu said.

A telephone call to the household revealed that this was the maternal family of Mia’s mother, but that she had moved out years ago.

The police finally established contact with Hsu through her mobile phone number and delivered the letter to her the next day.

Now married, Hsu was extremely emotional when she collected the letter, police chief Wu Shih-chih (吳試智) said, adding that she had thanked him over and over for the officers’ help.

Hsu said that she would return to thank the police again, once Mia arrives in Taiwan, Wu said.

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