I have a trip coming up soon to Ireland in which I’ll be talking with families that have adopted from Vietnam. I’m actually very nervous since it’s not very often I meet people that have adopted from Vietnam.
I have done some talks over the past year with a group I’m involved with. We are a group of adopted girls from ages 13-30, mainly of Chinese decent, though based in the USA. So many of the talks I’ve done this year have been mainly focused around Chinese adoptees… this is the first Vietnamese focused talk I will do and it’s been on my mind.
It definitely has not been on my mind in a bad way, but more that I’ve been thinking about the different questions that might be asked… but especially that every time I do a talk I actually learn much more than the audience might think. I defiantly dont know all the answers and I’m still pretty young myself (26) and my opinions about adoption seem to change on a daily basis. The main things I’ve been thinking about today have been my constant pulling between the fact I was born and grow up in Hong Kong with a Chinese culture and the fact that I am indeed Vietnamese.
I’ve only been back to Vietnam once in 1997 (when I was 15). It was on a school trip where I helped at an orphanage Called The Christina Noble Children’s Foundation. At the time I stupidly didn’t openly tell the teachers or a lot my peers that I was adopted from Vietnam (though they may have known). I’ve dug up some photos from that trip =).
I think the trip was very much needed. The hardest thing for me was to relate to the poverty in Vietnam compared to my very Westernized up bringing. And also a lot of the touresty type things to do at the time was very much related to the Vietnam War, which is a shame cos vietnam is not just about the wars it has had, and I wasn’t able to really get to the heart of the culture on that trip. However, that was over 10 years ago… from what I hear there is a growing number of tourism and I really hope to go back =D.