In my early twenties I started to put my feelers out into the adoption communities. I didn’t really know where to start… so an internet search was my first port of call, as I’ve always been a “child of the Internet” anyway. Even early 2000’s social networks and online resources aren’t as wildly used as they are today, so to stubble across Adopted Vietnamese International (AVI) was quiet a find.
I tentatively emailed the founder, Indigo Willing, who was more then welcoming. She was the first real contact I’d had with another adult Vietnamese adoptee. For a few years after my initial contact, I kept in touch but I wasn’t as active in the group until, unsurprisingly, I got Facebook =P. And because of that I was in more regular contact with the VN adoptee community and in Feb. 2010 I was lucky enough to meet up with some of the UK Vietnamese adoptees for Tet (Vietnamese version of Chinese New Year).
In April 2010 it was the 35th university of the Fall of Saigon marking the end of the Vietnamese/USA War as well as Operation Baby Lift that air lifted many babies internationally from Vietnam. I contributed to other reflective writings by Vietnamese adoptees:
“To me the Vietnam War feels distance, just another war I learnt about in school. While I have no doubt that my adoption was the product of the Vietnam War, I feel that my adoption story is framed in the decade that followed…” (April 2010) Continue reading at AVI website →
In 2011 Indigo was looking for help to update the AVI website. As it had originally been made in 2000 and not fundamentally been changed in a technical sense, I felt this was the perfect time to contribute to the AVI & VN adoptee community in a way I’ve always wanted to. It wasn’t until I started to sort though the pages that I realised what a wealth of information there was that wasn’t easy to find from the original website interface and was determined not to allow it to be hidden any longer!!
I redesigned, organised & consolidated down the HUGE original website into roughly 150 pages and 100 news posts. I improved the navigation and co-edited 100s of pages & posts with Indigo. It was completely rebuilt from the ground up!
I can not recommend enough you check it out to see views of adult adoptees, VN information/roots tracing guides, info on orphanages and more… it’s just brill!!! I can’t take credit for the information, as it’s come from the very generous VN adoption community.
I use to draw and paint more when I was younger. I miss drawing just for the fun of it with no deep mean or adoption theme. Just simply observing. While i do miss psychical creating art, i find it amazing what can be done purely on the computer. This is a little self-portrait.
I’ve been working a lot on illustrations for Adopted the Comic a hell of a lot over the past two weeks. I bought a graphic tablet a number of months ago and finally getting to grips with it almost to the point where I can sketch/draw on it like on paper.
I’ve always loved the digital aspect of my artwork…. but there is a part of me that misses the physical aspect of art. I’ve been getting my head around the idea that if you do work purely digitally at may have a number of saved states and copies … Can you truly have a digital original? I miss being able to hold an original in my hands.
I than start to think about it from a practical working view point. As a working artist (photography, video, illustrator & designer) can i really afford to not use my computer? When i’m working on illustrations it is extremely awesome to skip out the scanning stage and there are things I can do on the computer that I couldn’t do when drawing on paper. The fact is that digital doesn’t take up that much room.
When I was in school I was so desperate to learn how to use computers and creative programs, especially I was keen to learn animation (sadly the animation thing never panned out, but hey there is still time =P). My frustration just lead me to learn it for myself and I am mainly self taught. So it makes me laugh that 10 years down the line I’m now having urges to go old school arts.
So as much as I love digital technologies i miss the simple, real and messy feeling of building, and making with my hands.
I’ve been meaning to write here for a while. I didn’t at first cos it felt like quiet hard to write in words.
Last month I finially got some info about my adoption from HK. While a lot of the info was facts I knew already, little things like dates, times, weights, heights & circumstances were made more clear. I also found out more info about my birth father who I had never been in my adoption story.
I’m a pragmatic and realistic kindda person. I’ve always been quiet clean cut about my adoption. But I have to admit when I read the info I was overwhelmed with emotion. It was the small things as well, like what time I was born, how old my birth mother/father was… it was crazy how much the little snippets of extra info was there to fill the gaps in my story.
It has been very liberating to find out more. And I also feel I have enough info to continue my search for my birth family.
After a month of knewing all this new info my mind suprisingly wonders back to some of these facts, to like remind myself that I have to reajust, that these facts are part of me and not just something on paper.
Don’t get me wrong I’ve very happy to have find the info… I’m not gonna push myself with this one, I know I will do everything in my own time =).
I started this blog about a year and a half ago, and I also had just contacted the adoption agency in HK when I started this blog. Today I got a letter saying they needed my notarized documents for march or they will put my case aside. Up until this point I have put it off due to lack of money, and a total lack of knowledge of how to approach a solicitors.
But deadlines can spar people into action! So after a phone around local solicitors and a call to my parents, I think I might be moving forward with this route tracing. Normally I’m quiet calm and collected about these things, but honestly part of me is very nervous, but excited nervous. I know I shouldn’t get my hopes up…
… ah well I wont believe it unless I hear it type thing, even if it’s only a little bit of info.
So I had this idea to start an adoption comic. I feel that adoption needs a bit of laughter… cos I believe if you can laugh at yourself you can turely accept yourself. Dont get me wrong I believe seriouslly in adoption wareness and the sesitivies of adoption, it would just be nice to have a balance of serious and light-heartedness =).
It’s nearly here! =D The teen adoption book that i have a bit of writing in. The book is Pieces of Me – Who do I Want to Be? Voices for and by adopted teens. A book by Bert Ballard (a fellow VAD adoptee).
I just got a reminder to send copy of passport and a official notarized documents of my birth documents so I can continue with my root tracing. A lot of people tell me that people don’t start to search until they are older. I’m starting to feel that part of this has to do with money… we are in a recession and honestly money is really tight. It pains me to have to put this off again, cos I defiantly have not forgotten about it… it’s just sadly food, rent and bills have to take priority.
Just as I started this blog I was in the process of finding more info on my birth mother. It seems that due to lack of money for a notary. In these tough times I seems I cant afford to do it at the moment. It makes me think how many people are held back in their searches cos of money. I mean I would go to Vietnam in a heart beat if I had the funds.
But hey I know I’m still young and only just turned 27… so I’ve not given up at all… just thinking I wish I could do all this sooner.