Born & adopted in 1972 (Saigon/Vietnam)
Current country: Germany
What does the 35th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War mean to you?
This is a very complex issue for me with at least two sides, that as an adoptee, you can fall in the middle. Firstly, for many it describes the end of a conflict long time ago where the Vietnamese struggled to free themselves from several unscrupulous dictators and ruthless colonial powers. Since beginning of the 19th century Vietnam repeatedly became a battlefield seeing everything from riots to civil commotions and wars. The last-ditch attempt to lead an emerging country and it’s proud people to liberty and independence ended up in the death of millions civilists.
Secondly, April 30th and the fall of Saigon is also considered the end of the war when US-military decided to leave the country and millions of south Vietnamese fled leaving everything behind try to find their freedom and reams of Vietnamese lost their lifes in re-education-camps of the north-vietnamese.
Vietnam is not independent but I am feeling very happy that wartimes are over and the beautiful country that I saw is continually recovering along with it’s very friendly and courageous people.
What makes you feel drawn to and proud to be a part of the adopted Vietnamese community?
As I am an adopted Vietnamese myself I feel great fellowship with all other vietnamese adoptees. Being part of this community with same backgrounds is a little bit like having found a big family of extended brothers and sisters.
What I find very special about this community is that I am really moved by how so many adoptees are active in organizing themselves in different groups and support each other in any ways they can, creating events to meet and share some time together as well as exchanging info and thoughts what only VN adoptees can tell or know about – and especially very brave individuals who are participating in volunteering-networks about funding and working on caring projects with VN orphanages and the children who are there now and other causes beside of their regular work jobs.
Feeling fascinated and grateful for who I am and how knowledge of my background can let me explore more about my history, I have finally started to research my past after 37 years. I feel lucky to be able to find many people, facts and friendship I would have never expected in the beginning of this journey into the past.
What hopes and dreams to you hold for younger generations of Vietnamese adoptees?
My hopes for younger generations of Vietnamese adoptees would be that maybe with a little help of their adoptive parents they shall be able to better aquainted with their history, much earlier than I did, and experience their birthcountry by a visiting there. It’s also about growing up with choice, because while some might not wish to deeply explore every aspect of their past until they reach maturity – I feel sure our Vietnamese and adoption heritage cathces up with us all one day in some way.
Do it – and do it now :)