The country we were born to is both wonderful and beautiful, filled with people who are generous, caring and loving…
Analee Matthews – Vo Thi Thanh Thuy
Left Vietnam in 1974 and was adopted into an Australian family. Resides in Sydney, Australia and is currently 30 years old. Returned to visit Vietnam in 2003 for the first time.
Magazine editor for the Australian fitness industry and freelance photographer.
On Being Vietnamese:
The best thing about being Vietnamese is being able to say we are the folk behind the rice paper roll; it really is my favourite delicacy!! The best thing about being a Vietnamese adopted person, is the fact we can claim legitimate association with two countries! So not only can we boast ownership of the rice paper roll, but also the pavlova, cherry ripe chocolate bars, twisties and the tim tam. I think my life may be a little too consumed with food!
As Vietnamese adoptees, our history is unique. Our stories are special. I found the country we were born to as both wonderful and beautiful, filled with people who are generous, caring and loving. We come from a culture that prides itself in unity and caring for those we love. And even if we didn’t grow up in it, I feel the same values still surge around within us, like the blood in our veins. It’s like the innate sense of love and caring that we all develop as humans, but perhaps more remarkable from our being born Vietnamese but raised elsewhere. We have the capacity to love our country and its people despite of this. And that is something we can and should be proud of.
Happy To Have Achieved:
Being able to speak openly and honestly about adoption issues at forums around the country. My efforts to assist future generations of adoptees are only just beginning and I am very proud to be on that path of trying to turn my passion for the cause into tangible results.
I dream of successfully establishing, with the help of adult adoptees, an Australian-based mentor program and cultural camp program for child adoptees. I feel these are two methods can provide the younger adoptees with ongoing and unconditional support and is a great way to ensure future generations have a positive adoption experience. This type of program not only ensures that the younger generations of adoptees are looked out for, but it can also act as a means to further unite the adopted Vietnamese people and Vietnamese communities in a more formal and ongoing manner.
My Vietnamese heroes are my fellow Vietnamese adoptees. I feel so honoured to become a part of the lives of so many wonderfully, inspiring people who have used their adoption experiences to help better the lives of future generations.