Manassas, VA, USA
April 28, 2000
As we approach the 25th anniversary
of the fall of Saigon, I felt compelled to share a piece of my life with the world.
I was abandoned on the doorstep of an orphanage in a province in Southern Vietnam in 1972. Later, I was transported to New Haven Nursery in Saigon,
where I spent most of the first year of my life. In 1973, I was adopted by my parents, who were working in the U.S. Embassy at the time.
Twenty-five years later, I returned to my native land. The trip home was a very emotional one. I was fortunate to visit my orphanage, which is still in operation. Even though my nursery is no longer operating, I wanted to see the very building that kept me safe during the war. I also met with Ambassador Pete Petersen in Hanoi. It was very interesting to hear what his views were of the war, especially since he was captured by the Vietcong while serving in Vietnam.
The highlight of my trip was taking a boat trip to the region where it is believed that I was born the Mekong Delta. While in the Delta, I kept
imagining how different my life would have been had I not been adopted.Would I be performing backbreaking work in the rice fields? Perhaps make a few dollars a day working in a little store on the side of the road? Or would I have even made my way to Saigon?
The effects of the war are very personal to me. After visiting Vietnam, I am even more thankful for being adopted. I am especially thankful to my
(adoptive) parents for the life they have allowed me to lead.
I often wonder what it would be like to see my natural parents. Would they recognize me? What would they say to me? Are they even alive? Every
picture that I see of a Vietnamese person, I cannot help but ask myself, "Am I related to that person?"