Searching for birth siblings – Latest status 2011 FOUND
Thank you so much for David for giving permission to share his story, and his wife Claire’s ongoing correspondence with AVI too.
David (Hoang) writes:-
SIBLINGS UNITED AFTER 36 YEARS
When I left Vietnam in 1975 during Operation Baby Lift, I was 7 years old and was able to remember the whole turn of events around that time. I was adopted to an English couple living in Australia with my younger brother Mark (Luan). I told my adoptive parents that I had a mother still in Vietnam, and an older sister living with my mother and other siblings. With the help of my adoptive parents I was able to locate my mother in 1983. Over the coming years we corresponded by letter and swapped photographs. That was when I found out that my other siblings, a younger brother (Tung) and sister (Tuyen) had been adopted out to the USA. My parents then tried to find them also right up to this very day.
It wasn’t until 1996 that I was able to meet my biological mother face to face, which was a very emotional moment. Since then I have returned to Vietnam a further 5 times.
In 2007 my wife and I visited my mother, 8 years after the last visit. On this occasion she gave me birth certificates of my brother and sister that had gone to the USA and asked if I would look for them. I told her that I had been trying all these years, and would continue the search for them.
I would like to note that by now, we had come to the conclusion in the back of our mind that my brother and sister might possibly have died on the last plane that crashed on its way to the USA, explaining the reason why we hadn’t been able to locate them all these years.
With renewed hope that we would find them, when we came back to Australia, my wife joined up to the facebook page, Adoptive Vietnamese International (AVI) and many other websites posting on them details of my brother and sister and that we were searching for them.
In early July of this year (2011), my wife had a phone call at her work from an American called Todd. He had seen our post on one of the websites and was saying that he was my brother. My wife told him that he had 2 brothers here in Australia and a mother and sister still in Vietnam.
My wife rang me and told me the good news, a wave of emotion came over me.
That night, I telephoned Todd. I found out that he and my sister had been adopted together and had western names of Todd and Katina.
Over the next couple of months we corresponded many times by email, skype and telephone, trying to catch up with 36 years of news and also decided that we should all meet in Vietnam.
So after 36 years, we are going to be re-united. In November 2011 the Pham family will all be meeting in Saigon.
Archive message from David’s wife Claire Medhurst posted on AVI website
Operation Babylift person, David, is searching for 2 siblings who were also airlifted out. These two – a boy and a girl – were sent to the US on 26th April 1975 (we think, as this is the date his mother gave us last week) – this may be incorrect as David remembers the younger two leaving before him (he arrived in Australia on the 18th April 1975). There are varying stories relating to their father – one being that one of the children (Tuyen) was fathered by a US soldier – Clyde Leverett from Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The children’s birth names are:
Pham Van Tung (boy) – born Feb 2 1973 in Tay Ninh to Pham Thi Bach-Tuyet (mother)
Pham Thi Tuyen (girl) – born July 29 1970 in Tay Ninh to Pham Thi Bach-Tuyet (mother)
My husband’s birth name is Pham Van Hoang, his adopted name is David Hoang Medhurst.
Tuyen & Tung were possibly accompanied to America with a Lawyer by the name of Mrs Tran Ngoc An, or she is the person who arranged their adoption from Vietnam. The children were in the care of the Theosophical Society and were adopted from the Thong Thien Hoc Orphanage in Saigon, where their mother was apparently a wet nurse.
Is there any way you can help us locate his siblings as his search has been ongoing for years but has so far been fruitless.
Any assistance you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
David and Claire Medhurst