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Schermafdruk 2018 05 11 08.53.35Han Zicheng survived the Japanese invasion, the Chinese civil war and the Cultural Revolution, but he knew he could not endure the sorrow of living alone. On a chilly day in December, the 85-year-old Chinese grandfather gathered some scraps of white paper and wrote out a pitch in blue ink: “Looking for someone to adopt me.” “Lonely old man in his 80s. Strong-bodied. Can shop, cook and take care of himself. No chronic illness. I retired from a scientific research institute in Tianjin, with a monthly pension of 6,000 RMB [$950] a month,” he wrote. “I won’t go to a nursing home. My hope is that a kindhearted person or family will adopt me, nourish me through old age and bury my body when I’m dead.” He taped a copy to a bus shelter in his busy neighborhood.  Then he went home to wait.  Han was desperate for company. He said his wife had died. His sons were out of touch. His neighbors had kids to raise and elderly parents of their own. He was fit enough to ride his bike to the market to buy chestnuts, eggs and buns, but he knew that his health would one day fail him. He also knew he was but one of tens of millions of Chinese growing old without . . . . . read more in The Washington Post. Photo Yan Cong/For The Washington Post.

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