An elderly woman in China stopped to ask a street cleaner for directions and realized it was none other than her long-lost daughter from 24 years ago.

Cai Youxiu, 78, had lost touch with her daughter Hu Jun, 46, after the latter left her hometown of Yunyang County and traveled to another province to find work in 1999.

Hu said she had lost the piece of paper that had her family’s phone number while she was away from home. She also said her family was forced to leave their old house due to the construction of the Three Gorges Dam in the area.

The daughter completely lost contact with her family after they moved from the house, according to NextShark.

Cai had been working with the police to track her daughter down, and cops located Hu’s whereabouts in the city of Langzhong. They had also arranged a meeting for the mother and daughter. But a day before their scheduled reunion, Cai bumped into her daughter by chance while asking for directions.

It took Cai some convincing to realize that the street cleaner she asked for directions from was the daughter she had been looking for.

“I was cleaning in front of a school entrance when an old lady came to ask me for directions, and I immediately recognized her to be my mother,” Hu told The Cover, according to the outlet. “I was so excited, but she didn’t recognize me even after I called her ‘Mom.'”

Cops confirmed the street cleaner’s identity, and Cai was finally convinced that she had found Hu.

Social media users were moved by the story of the mother and daughter's reunion and said it was fit to be a movie plot.

"Fate is such a mysterious thing — I wouldn't even dare to write a novel with this plot because it's so incredible," a netizen said, according to Business Insider.

Some social media users, however, also criticized Hu for not doing enough to find her family.

"I tried sending them letters, but they were all returned because the old address was invalid," Hu told The Cover. She said she now plans to make up for lost time with her mother.

"I've lost too much time with my mother. I vow to spend as much time as I can with her now," the daughter added.

Representative image Credit: Pixabay / brendageisse