But things started to change in 2015, when Wang started working as a taxi driver to expand his search. He put a sign on his car and handed out flyers to his passengers. Chinese media outlets learned of his efforts and shared his story.
Two years later, a police sketch artist who had heard about Wang's search drew an age-progressed picture of Qifeng. Last month, 27-year-old Kang Ying, who lives 1,700 miles away in the northeastern province of Jilin, saw the image and thought it looked a lot like her, the Global Times reported. Kang, who was adopted and grew up just 12 miles from Chengdu, tracked down Wang on social media and took a DNA test, which confirmed that she was his missing daughter.
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The family had an emotional reunion Tuesday in Chengdu.
"The whole world told me I didn't have a mother, but I do," Kang told thecover.cn, according to the BBC.
And Wang was finally able to give his daughter a hug again.
"Daddy loves you," he said.