meeting biological parents

The Broken Bridge



adopt abort (2) biological parents
guess poverty for a while
curious prepare bring up (2)
policy penalty over there
fine (2) force (2) give away
severe pregnant sterilize (2)
tummy afford to feel sorry
decade steep (2) raise/rose/risen
hug heart (2) hold/held/held
kiss point (4) disappoint
orphan care (2) orphanage
choice abandon obviously
bridge request birth mother
hope was like long time ago
fear farewell let me down
pain sympathy go through (2)
birth heartfelt break/broke/broken
beg look like uncontrollably
forgive stuck (2) throw/threw/thrown
dearly raise (2) lose/lost/lost
gently sense (2) contentment
exist fulfilling overwhelming


Video: The Broken Bridge



Kati is traveling to China to meet her biological parents. They have been waiting to see her for 20 YEARS.

Biological Father: “I just saw her.”
Biological Mother: “Which side?”
Biological Father: “Over there.”

Kati Pohler: “I was adopted from China when I was a year old.

Adopted Mother: “She asked me whose tummy she came from. ‘Did I come from your tummy’?
And I said, ‘No, you didn’t come from my tummy: you came from a lady’s tummy in China — but you came from my heart; you were born of my heart.

And she was off running, doing something else. That was all she needed to know, and she was happy with that.”

Kati Pohler: “I guess there were times when I was curious, but it never really got brought up.”

For decades, China had a one-child policy. The penalties for having more than one child were severe, including steep fines, forced abortions and sterilization, when Lida and Fenxiang got pregnant with their second child in 1994.

Lida: “I would’ve felt so sorry if we had aborted her. I thought that even if we couldn’t afford to raise her, we could give her away.”

On the morning of the third day after she was born, I prepared her milk, I held her and hugged her for a while.

Then I walked to the market.

She didn’t cry; she was asleep.

I kissed her gently. I knew it was the final farewell.

Ken and Ruth travelled from Michigan to China to adopt a baby girl.

They called her Kati.

Ken Pohler, Adoptive Father: “The orphanage gave us a document written in Chinese. And it was a message from the birth parents.

Lida, Biological Father: “Because of poverty and other problems, we had no choice but to abandon our little girl on the street. If you have sympathy for us parents, please meet us on the bridge in Hangzhou, ten or twenty years’ time.”

Ken Pohler, Adoptive Father: “A heartfelt request to us.”

Lida, Biological Father: “Since 2004, I have visited the Broken Bridge every year. I knew there wasn’t much hope, but I still kept waiting.”

Kati didn’t know any of this until last year, twenty years after she was born.

Kati Pohler, “Growing up, I never really asked questions. I asked my mum, ‘what do you know about my adoption?’ one time in the car.

And she was like, ‘Oh yeah. There is something we should have told you a long time ago.’

I was like, ‘Oh, this sounds interesting’.

I think my biggest fear in meeting my biological family is that somehow I’ll disappoint them more.

In a lot of ways, obviously they feel like they’ve let me down. But I also know how much pain they’ve gone through.”

Lida, Biological Father: “What can I say to her when we meet? Would it help to say sorry? No, ten thousand sorries wouldn’t be enough.”

Kati and her birth family are finally meeting on the Broken Bridge.

Fenxiang, Biological Mother: “I will absolutely and uncontrollably throw myself at her and beg for her forgiveness.”

Lida: “I just saw her.”
Fenxiang: “Which side?”
Lida: “Over there.”

Fenxiang, Biological Mother: “I’ve finally seen you. Mom is so sorry.

You look so much like your mum, but you don’t understand what I’m saying.

Come on baby, let’s go home.

Kati Pohler: They were stuck. They were stuck in a system that was so broken. I think there were a lot of small moments where I just saw how much they really cared.

Ken Pohler, Adoptive Father: “We love her dearly, and she knows that. We haven’t lost anything today. We haven’t lost anything at all. We’re just happy for her.

Ruth Pohler, Adoptive Mother: “I’m just happy that she’s come to this point. I just hope there’s a sense of peace and contentment with her.”

Kati Pohler: “It was good in different ways for us, but for me, it was definitely fulfilling.

The love is almost overwhelming. I know my adoptive parents love me, and now I have this whole other love that I never knew existed, but I guess was always there.”


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1. Kati Pohler was born in the United States. Is this right or wrong?

2. “You didn’t come from my tummy — but you came from my heart.” What did Ruth Pohler mean by this? Was Kati shocked when she heard this?

3. Did Chinese government have a draconian policy regarding its population?

4. There was a link or connection between the adoptive and biological parents. Is this correct or incorrect? What was the link? Why did Kati’s biological parents give her up?

5. Did Kati and her parents always talk about her adoption?

6. How did Kati and her birth parents feel before, during and after their meeting?

7. Kati remained with her biological parents. Is this right or wrong? Was the visit something that needed to happen?


A. I know some people who were adopted. Yes or no? Is adoption common in your country?

B. Describe the typical adoptee. Why were they orphaned or given up for adoption?

C. What kind of parents or people adopt children or babies? Why do they adopt children? Do they prefer to adopt babies, children, adolescents or teenagers or it doesn’t matter?

D. Are there many couple who would like to adopt children, and many orphans who need a family?

E. Are there controversies in adoption?

F. What will happen in the future?


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