As Jing-mei learns from Canning, her twin half-sisters survived being left on the side of the road by their mother as she fled the Japanese.
Suyuan took a great risk in abandoning her children, as in those desperate times, anyone could have taken the money and jewelry she attached to them and left the babies to perish. However, the two babies were found by Mei Ching and Mei Han, a kindly couple without any children, who raised them as their own. They found the photos and valuable items left with the babies. Suyuan had written down the address in Shanghai where the girls could be brought for a reward, but Mei Ching and Mei Han were illiterate.
By the time life settled down enough for Mei Ching and Mei Han to find someone to translate what was written on the photos, Mei Ching had become so attached to the two girls that she didn't want to give them up. When the twins were older, and after her husband died, Mei Ching decided the best solution would be to take the girls to their Shanghai family and ask if she can stay on as their nanny. However, when she got to the address, the family was gone, and the site had become a factory.
After Suyuan was settled in America, she wrote to her friends in China, asking that they look for her daughters. Unfortunately, the twins are not discovered until after Suyuan's death, but Jing-mei is able to fly to China to meet them, thanks to the Joy Luck Club.