Sometimes the most beautiful silver linings appear after the worst storms.
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In February 2023, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey, killing tens of thousands of people and trapping still more in rubble. In the city of Adana, a months-old infant was unearthed from the wreckage after being trapped for a staggering 128 hours. Miraculously, she was unharmed, but her family was nowhere to be found.
The baby was put into state care, and nurses named her “Gizem,” which means “mystery” in Turkish. For the next 54 days authorities searched for her missing family members, but it seemed they had been tragically killed in the earthquake.
Meanwhile, Yaseming Besdag lay in a hospital bed in Istanbul, mourning the loss of her husband, two sons, and her infant daughter, Vetin. A family member learned that authorities were returning thousands of children to their families after being separated by the tragedy, so they reached out to the government to be sure all of Yaseming’s children had perished.
But when officials did a DNA test, they discovered that wasn’t the case. Gizem, the mystery baby, is actually Yaseming’s daughter!
Derya Yanik is Turkey’s Minister of Family and Social Services. In a video shared on Twitter, Derya personally made the journey to Yaseming’s bedside to return Vetin to her arms. It had been almost two months since mother and daughter were separated, and Yaseming had spent that time thinking her whole family was gone. Imagine the relief and joy she felt when her baby was placed in her arms!
The video of their reunion is a powerful reminder of the strength of a family bond, and a reminder of how important it is not to lose hope.
“To witness their happiness is an emotional and beautiful moment for us, too,” Derya said in the video. “Uniting a mother with her child is one of the most precious deeds in the world.”
Our hearts ache for the children and parents who won’t be reunited, but seeing this family pick up the pieces gives us hope. As long as love is present, anything is possible.
Watch the video below to see the emotional reunion, and be sure to share.
54 gÃ¼nlÃ¼k hasret sona erdi.ðŸ˜Š– Derya YanÄ±k (@deryayanikashb) April 3, 2023
Enkaz altÄ±ndan 128 saat sonra kurtulan, hemÅŸirelerimizin Gizem Bebek ismini koyduÄŸu Vetin BegdaÅŸ 54 gÃ¼n sonra annesine kavuÅŸtu.
Vetin artÄ±k bizim de bebeÄŸimiz.
BakanlÄ±k olarak desteÄŸimiz her zaman yanÄ±nda olacak. pic.twitter.com/66sWKR53z3
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