While weddings are supposed to make you feel like your heart is getting ready to explode with love, there are plenty of other less pleasant emotions that go along with it. Weddings can be, frankly, annoying. From organizing the fun at $200-some-odd per person to maintaining the strictness of the black-tie dress code trends and dealing with the never-ending speeches, a wedding may be the last place you want to spend your weekend.
In 2019, it was reported that weddings were costing an average of $22,715 each, and they only get more elaborate – from choreographed dances to over-the-top invitations and more. Based on surveys done in the UK, people have reported how they felt about the newest wedding trends – and many are hating the most recent ones.
The Trends That Are Not Making the Cut
3-day “epic” Vegas bachelor parties are falling out of favor. There’s a big surprise there. Many men can’t wait for this weekend with the boys. Still, many now are seeking to skip this trend as it ends up accumulating unnecessary costs. You have to think about the flights, the awful customized t-shirts, and other extravagances – some more controversial than others.
Many newlyweds also reported that they had church weddings even though they were not the slightest bit religious – a tradition that more and more people are starting to turn away from.
Other trends that people are disliking are complicated hashtags, confusing poems that are on the wedding invitations, and the doughnut walls.
There’s Some Good With the Bad
There are some things that people, of course, love about weddings. These include good food. Many admire the food truck trends, the fireworks, wedding favors, and even the photo booths.
What hits hard about the wedding trends people hate most and what proves people are a bunch of cynics is that having your pet be your ring bearer is not something that should be done. People would rather skip on seeing a little pup in a tux strut down the aisle. Aside from this, the cake in the face photos aren’t so hot, either.
Parents will do anything to make their children’s lives perfect. It turns out that one married couple from Michigan was, without hesitation, prepared to call a Chinese baby their own after adopting her.
Desperate For A Child
Ken and Ruth Pohler were desperate to adopt a child. When the opportunity presented itself, they flew to China to adopt a baby who was found in a market. However, they never anticipated the journey they were about to embark on with this mysterious baby girl.
Five-day-old Jingzhi, wrapped in a blanket, was in the most inconspicuous part of a vegetable market in Suzhou, China. It was unclear where exactly she came from. However, it didn’t take long before somebody found her and knew that she needed to be brought to the authorities. She was taken to Suzhou’s children welfare institute. Meanwhile, thousands of miles away, there was a couple living in Hudsonville, Michigan who would end up becoming an integral part of her life…
Despite already having two biological kids, Ken and Ruth Pohler were determined to adopt. “We didn’t really think it mattered which country we adopted from,” Ken said. “But we have a brother-in-law who is Chinese and Ruth’s sister adopted from China, too, which was neat.” Just a year after Jingzhi’s birth, Ken and Ruth were told that they would be able to adopt her. So they flew to China and were introduced to her. After signing the adoption papers, they renamed her Kati.
Delighted with the new addition to their family, the couple noticed a note that was attached to Kati when she was found. They couldn’t believe what it said. “She was so moved by it, she was in tears while she read it out to us,” Ken admitted. However, they knew that it was important to wait until Kati was older to tell her about this note. It was a sensitive subject but with time, things would become much clearer.
Typical American Kid
Once Kati was delivered to her new home with her new family, she was instantly immersed in a world that she would never question. As far as she was concerned, she was just like any other American kid. Growing up in Michigan, Kati did typical kid stuff, like playing musical instruments and sports. Her parents loved her dearly and vice versa. “I had a solid, good childhood,” she said. “Everyone knew I was adopted, obviously, so I was never asked about it…”
Despite her curiosities, Kati is proud of the religious family she has grown up in. “My two brothers are quite a bit older. I guess if I felt different, it was because I was the youngest and I was a girl,” she said. If you look at the family photo albums, all you can see is Kati enjoying her life with her family, playing with her brothers and excelling at school. Things were great, for a while, at least…
Time To Tell The Truth
Life practically flashed before their eyes and the Pohlers were so proud of their 18-year-old Kati. At this point, they decided that she needed to know where she came from. “We didn’t want to involve Kati in something as vague as this,” Ken said. “But it was important to us that the birth parents knew their daughter was adopted by a family who love her very much and provide her with a good home.”
Travelling Back In Time
Luckily for Ken and Ruth, they had a connection in China who was able to do some useful research for the couple. They provided Anne, a friend of a friend, with the information that had been written on the note attached to Kati when she was found all those years ago. Eventually, all the pieces to this fascinating puzzle would come together. The question remained, who exactly wrote the note, and what did it say that was so important to Kati?
When Kati was 21 years old, she was planning on studying in Spain for a semester. However, she wasn’t sure what to say if people asked her about her background. Therefore, she was determined to find out the truth and asked Ken and Ruth to tell her about her past. Naturally, they were worried about finally sharing this key information that they had held back for so long. Nevertheless, they told her. How did Kati react to such life-changing news?
The Truth Comes Out
Although Kati knew that Ken and Ruth weren’t her biological parents, this didn’t take away from the sense of shock she felt upon hearing the news. They told her that they were fully aware of who her real parents were and that they had known for quite some time now. Unfortunately, Kati felt angry that Ken and Ruth had kept this a secret from her for so long. She was hellbent on meeting her real parents. But who exactly were they?
Mom And Dad
In 1995, it seemed like things would work out for Qian Fenxiang and Xu Lida. The couple from Hangzhou were delighted when they found out that they were expecting their second baby. However, this good news would quickly be overshadowed by one dark revelation. In order to alleviate the poverty issues in China, a law was put in place, stating that couples could only have one child. This put Qian and Xu in the most terrible of situations.
The reason that this news was so inconvenient was that Qian was already half a year into her pregnancy. Abortion certainly wasn’t the option at this stage. “We thought we could get away with it since we lived so far away from the family planning cadres in our village,” Xu confessed. “We thought the sheer size of the city would give us cover…” She didn’t realize that they were about to get into some serious trouble with the government.
There was no denying that this could potentially be the biggest risk they had ever taken. Despite the fact that she was so deep into her pregnancy, this would not stop the government from intervening and forcing her to have an abortion. Not just that, but they also could have been severely fined for the crime. So the couple decided to take matters into their own hands and hide the entire family on a boat, 75 miles away from their actual home.
Amazingly, the family ended up spending six whole weeks on the boat and no one caught them in the process. However, the inevitable happened, and Qian ended up going into labor. However, the family was in the most complex of situations because they couldn’t take her to any hospital to give birth. This is because the doctors would have alerted the authorities. As a result, Xu helped Qian give birth to the baby on the boat. On July 24, 1995, Qian gave birth to a baby girl – Jingzhi.
Needless to say, Qian and Xu were incredibly delighted with their new bundle of joy. Although they were desperate to hang onto Jingzhi, they knew that it wouldn’t be possible. They simply didn’t have enough money to pay the authorities who would soon find out about her existence. Even if they could pay the fine, they were simply too poor to support two children. After thinking hard about what to do next, the couple was ready to make their next move…
Act Of Desperation
Jingzhi had only been alive for five days. 24-year-old Xu had convinced Qian of a plan that they were both completely apprehensive about. However, they knew that it was the right thing to do. That day, the sad parents took their baby girl to Suzhou. They entered the local vegetable market, which was full of little nooks and crannies. Once they were deep inside the market, Xu tearfully hid Jingzhi away with a note attached to her.
“Our daughter, Jingzhi, was born at 10 AM on the 24th day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, 1995,” they wrote. “We have been forced by poverty and affairs of the world to abandon her. Oh, pity the hearts of fathers and mothers far and near!” Xu and Qian had hidden Jingzhi in the market and prayed that somebody would find her and take her as their own. As far as the couple was concerned, they would never see their baby girl again.
Keep Hope Alive
The final sentences of the letter took the story to another level, emotionally. “Thank you for saving our little daughter and taking her into your care,” they wrote. “If the heavens have feelings, if we are brought together by fate, then let us meet again on the Broken Bridge in Hangzhou on the morning of the Qixi Festival in 10 or 20 years from now.” This showed how Xu and Qian had such undying faith that one day, they would be reunited with Jingzhi.
Moment Of Truth
Fast forward 10 years and the time had come. In 2005, Qian and Xu made their way to the Qixi festival and waited on the bridge they had promised to meet Jingzhi at in that note they wrote all those years ago. Unfortunately, no one came, and they eventually gave up after waiting virtually all day. At this point, it felt like all hope was lost. However, it was at this point that the story started to make a lot more sense…
It turns out that Annie, the friend of a friend who had been in touch with Ken and Ruth, had also shown up at the Qixi festival, specifically to meet up with Qian and Xu. After Ken and Ruth shared the note with her, Annie followed the words written by Qian and Xu all those years ago and made sure to be at the Broken Bridge in Hangzhou on that very day. However, she arrived just minutes after the couple had given up and left.
Annie felt completely distraught. She was worried that she had completely let her friends down. However, when all hope seemed lost, she noticed something – a TV crew. She approached and decided to explain why she was there. The crew was automatically interested and after sharing the story, they were able to get Annie in contact with Qian and Xu. However, things weren’t going to be so clear-cut, especially seeing that Kati was only 10 at the time.
Annie was so excited to bring these two families together. However, after the Pohlers found out that Annie had told Qian and Xu about Kati, they told her to sever ties with them. It seemed like a weird move, but Ken and Ruth had their reasons. “We thought that we should wait for Kati to grow and see if she wanted more information,” Ruth explained. As a result, Qian and Xu were denied any more information about their daughter.
Sharing Her Story
Initially, 21-year-old Kati wasn’t so sure how to get in touch with her real parents. Although Ken and Ruth knew their names, that was the extent of their knowledge. Eventually, Kati contacted a filmmaker by the name of Chang Changfu. He was in the middle of making a documentary about people who had been adopted from China. The pair made a deal; Kati agreed to take part in the documentary, as long as Changfu helped her locate her parents.
The Stage Was Set
Although it had been over two decades, as it stated in the note, the moment Kati had been working hard towards had finally come. After working with Chang, she finally got the chance to meet Qian and Xu. Fittingly, it was during the 2017 Qixi Festival. It should be worth noting that this festival is essentially the Chinese equivalent to Valentine’s Day. To make matters even more special, the meeting took place on the beautiful Broken Bridge.
So there they were, on the brink of meeting each other again, and with an entire TV crew ready to film the encounter on the bridge. It was like something out of a movie, with both parties running towards each other in a truly powerful scene. Unsurprisingly, it was an emotional moment, particularly for Qian, who was forced to let go of her baby girl. “It was really nice to see them. I was surprised by how emotional my Chinese mom was,” Kati said.
Yes, both parties were absolutely ecstatic to be reunited once again. However, it was certainly bittersweet. “We still feel so much guilt. If we hadn’t abandoned her, she wouldn’t have to suffer so,” Qian said. It was so overwhelming for her to hear about how Kati, or Jingzhi, as she called her, had lived such a happy, stable life in the U.S. Then, Qian revealed the main reason she felt so guilty about letting her go all those years ago.
Full Of Regret
Although it may seem irrational, there were aspects of Kati’s upbringing that she found deeply upsetting. The main detail that she couldn’t forget was the fact that while Kati was studying, she had decided to work as a waitress in order to financially support herself. This simply added to her strong sense of regret. “My Xiaochen [her first daughter] here has never had to wash a single bowl,” she said. However, there were many more obstacles to deal with.
For two surreal days, Kati stayed with Qian, Xu and her sister, Xiaochen in their apartment. Qian didn’t like how Kati would refer to them as “Mama and Baba,” but that was just scratching the surface of the issue. “We couldn’t communicate meaningfully since we don’t speak English and she doesn’t speak Mandarin, but we could tell she’s a really nice girl,” Qian said. “But now that we have met her, we miss her even more than before.”
More Questions Than Answers
The trip eventually came to an end and Kati flew home, back to Ken and Ruth. The truth though is that the young lady has more questions now than before she flew out to meet them. She is still trying to make sense of everything. “I want some sort of relationship. I want to see them again,” she said. “But the big question is, what are they to me? I don’t even know what to call them.”
There is no denying that Kati is a jack of all trades; a talented individual who has an eye for art. During her trip to China, she took many photos of her experience, including this one. On her Facebook page, Kati simply captioned the image as “Beijing in black and white.” This is certainly not without a sense of irony, especially since Kati’s entire experience, finding out the truth about her past, is very much not a black and white situation. It’s complicated.
With A Little Help From My Friends
One thing is for sure, Kati would have found this entire experience a lot tougher without having her core nucleus of friends by her side. Kati is just a normal American teenager with friends, hobbies, and talents. Based on her social media, Kati is a very active individual and will hardly ever pass up the chance of having a good time with her friends. Of course, she also has her viola responsibilities to attend to…
Viola Is Everything For Kati
To this day, one of Kati’s core passions is still playing the viola. Not only does she love playing the instrument, but she is also in heavy demand, regularly playing at events. She has even been the keynote performer at a number of events. One event on Facebook had the following blurb: “Join Kati Pohler, viola, and music major, Morgan Rukstales, viola, for their joint recital.” There is no telling how many events Kati has performed at since.
Without a doubt, Kati’s viola prowess is a huge contributor to her social life. As you can see, she has a close-knit group of friends who she not only performs well with but also has a lot of fun performing with. It is with this group of individuals that Kati has regular recitals and if she maintains her regular performances, there is no telling where she might end up in the world of music. Like previous photos, this was taken by Ruth H. Photography.
Not only does Kati have a fantastic time at home, but she is also an avid traveler. At least, that’s what her social media suggests. It seems that if Kati gets an opportunity to travel to new places, then she’ll never say no. Even at her young age, the teenager has visited some pretty obscure places. She has been to Oviedo, and many parts of Canada, to name a few. Of course, she also recently went to China, her country of birth.
Great Memories With Great People
Of course, it’s not always about the places you have been to, but who you have been to those places with. It seems that since developing the travel bug, Kati has never visited a foreign place alone. She has always visited foreign destinations with at least one other person. She has been on plenty of trips with her family, friends and band members. Who knows, maybe her next trip will be with her biological parents…
She Joined The “Gram”
It was just this year when Kati began a new chapter of her life. She took to a new social media outlet and created her own Instagram account. While some simply take pleasure in vainly taking photos of themselves, Kati is more interested in documenting her life in a more sophisticated way. Some of her photos are more cryptic than others and this was her first. “Because you wanted me to get Instagram. Because Brahms is tomorrow. Because you are a babe,” she wrote.
Go Prague Or Go Home
When Spring Break comes around, many students choose to flock to popular holiday resorts in places like Miami and Cancun, for example. However, as previously established, Kati isn’t like most other students. She is more interested in spending her time away from studies immersing herself in new, enriching cultures. So Kati packed her bags and flew to the capital of the Czech Republic – Prague. “A land of creation, castles, and cathedrals,” she wrote on her Instagram caption.
Honoring Her Heroes
Not only was Kati’s trip to Prague a refreshing break away from her studies, it was also a chance for her to explore some of the historic figures who have had such a huge influence on her musical life. In one photo she took on Instagram, Kati found a statue of the famous Czech composer Antonin Dvorak. The maestro of yesteryear was a fine violin player in his own right when he was just a kid. “Look who I found!?” Kati wrote on her caption.
More Inspired Than Ever
There is no denying that Kati must have taken a lot of inspiration and joy from her trip to Prague, learning about so many classical musicians who came before her and have directly or indirectly influenced her style. Ever since returning from her Spring Break, it is clear to see that she is more determined than ever to grace audiences with her wonderful viola playing. This begs the question: what was her next musical endeavor after Prague?
It seems like Kati is getting a little help from her friend in her next musical endeavor. Her school, Calvin College, announced on their website that she would be performing alongside violin player Benjamin Mohr on May 5, 2018. Kati was so proud of her most recent duet that she even plugged the show on her own Instagram account. There hasn’t been any footage online just yet of the duo’s performance. However, you can rest assured that Kati would’ve given her all.
Sail Away With Me
When Kati isn’t dealing with family matters, going on inspirational trips to Prague, or performing in front of hundreds of people, she is normally enjoying the breezy waters of Lake Michigan, which she gets a gorgeous view of from her home city of Chicago. There’s nothing that Kati loves more than sitting by the water and watching the boats sail along ever so peacefully. “Summer vibes in the Windy City,” she wrote on her Instagram caption.
As proven by the previous few glimpses into her life, Kati has plenty of reasons to be happy. She now has three groups of people that she can call her family. We are firstly alluding to the Pohler’s, secondly to her biological parents, and thirdly to the many young talented musicians who she has worked alongside in the last couple of years. Here is a photo of her on holiday in Oviedo, enjoying the sun and watching people walk by.
Celebrating The Good Times
Amazingly, Kati is reaching an age where some of her friends are even tying the knot! She recently attended the wedding of one of her friends from her time spent on A Christian Ministry In The National Parks (ACMNP) back in 2016. She traveled to Fort Wayne, Indiana for the occasion. “Congratulations to one of the best couples ever!!!” one guest wrote on Instagram. “Words can’t describe how much I appreciate each and every one of these people…Love you both so much!!!”
Born To Run
One string that Kati added to her bow in the last few years was an innate ability to run long distances. Just this year, she took part in the annual Fifth Third River Bank Run. In this event, there are a variety of races one can participate in, including the 5k, 10k and 25k runs. Kati believed that she was absolutely capable of completing the big one. Lo and behold, she did, and she even posted a picture on Instagram of her medal to prove it!
Beautiful Inside & Out
If there is anything that one can learn from Kati and her incredible story, it is that she is one of the most humble people you will ever meet. Not only is she a talented photographer, she is also very photogenic. However, she doesn’t take this innate talent for granted. One friend commented on this particular Facebook photo, saying, “You’re beautiful my friend!” But Kati was quick to respond by charmingly saying, “It’s because I hang out with beautiful people!”
There is no denying that this type of situation would affect even the strongest of characters. One thing is for sure; Kati is one of the strongest young women you will ever meet. She is a popular, fun-loving, determined individual who has already been so successful in her young life. However, it is hard to believe that she wouldn’t have been affected on some sort of emotional level by the events that have transpired. If someone can handle it though, it’s her.
Who Am I?
If you’re presented with the opportunity to meet your real parents after spending years apart, a million emotions and questions must be racing through your mind. For Kati, she just felt unsure of who she was and wanted things to be clearer. “It’s good that I am more in touch with where I came from, but it is also confusing. I am a product of where I grew up and that is not Asian in any sense of the word.”