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Saturday, August 23, 2014

How much do we know? (about our Vietnam adoptions)

Over on the Q&A Carol was curious about Tess and Jude's adoptions from Vietnam.  

I'm curious about the information about birth parents given in Tess & Jude's adoption files. I have adopted kids from China, and I completely respect your privacy. I'm not asking anything about Tess & Jude's specific stories, but I would love to learn more about that process of the information being deemed inaccurate by Vietnamese officials and what happens. You touched the surface of that this winter in a blog post, and it makes me want to learn more about it! 

As I'm sure you know, Carol, the China and the Vietnam adoption process are similar in some ways and different than others.  For our China adoption on Mimi, like the vast majority of Chinese adoptions we have no information on her birth parents.  She was abandon as a newborn with no identifying information, likely because relinquishment of a child is illegal and birth parents aren't likely to leave any information that could trace back to them.  Anywho, back to Vietnam. Tess and Jude were both born at the same hospital in Vietnam to 2 different birth mothers.  Both birth mothers provided identification upon checking in, had their babies, and left without them.  We were told it's not an uncommon way to "surrender" a child for adoption this way.  But there's nothing that says this identification was accurate or even theirs.  Based on the information they provided (who knows if it's true of not) we have both the birth mother and birth father's name, age, and address.  

***Yep!  You read that right... we have NAMES & ADDRESSES of their birth parents!
Those of your more familiar with the China adoption process can pick your jaw up off the floor now.***

A police investigation was conducted (we have no idea how thorough or how it was investigated) and stamped on the back of the paperwork we were given is that the information provided is "inaccurate."  We have no idea if the name is inaccurate but maybe the address is not.  If only the birth mom's age is incorrect.  Or if someone went to the address in her home town (The address listed is not close to where they were born.  It's not even in the same province.) and knocked on her door and asked.  Maybe she was home. Maybe not. Maybe she lied and said nobody by that name lived there.  If you had a child out of wedlock and the police can to your door would you lie?  With the implications it has in Vietnam, Carol, I think I might!  Maybe it's standard operating procedure to never investigate and say they did.  There was way nuttier crazy things going on in Vietnam adoptions back then. There are a million scenarios of what part if any or all of it is "inaccurate."  So Carol, when you ask about, "that process of the information being deemed inaccurate and what happens," ummmmm... well your guess is as good as ours!  We haven't a clue! I would also love to learn more about that process. 

But as I talked about here, what we do with the information, or rather what THEY do with the information, isn't up to us.  It's up to Tess and Jude and we'll support them regardless of what or when they do it.  

So Carol, as you can see, if they ever do decide they want to do a birth family search, they have a lot more information to work off of than Mimi does.  And that makes me conflicted.  what if Mimi is the one that really wants to search and has the empty hole and no info to go off of.  Yet her brother and sister do?  Still all these years later, there's not much easy about international adoption.  Few clear cut answers and blacks and whites.  Except for the one where you wonder if you can love with a child that another women grew within her womb.   The answer to that question became totally clear the very first time I held them in my arms. 
Our sweet things, 6 years ago in HoChiMinh City, Vietnam, before they came home.
They knew each other before they knew us!
Every time I see this pic I giggle. Tess looks a bit ticked off, ya think?


  1. On the surface it sounds easy as pie to locate them. We have our information as well for Joy. I don't think there is any way we could find her mother. I looked up her name on Facebool, and there are literally thousands of women with that name on Facebook. She could have made up everything. I would love it if she just wasn't home but I doubt that was the case.

    1. I totally agree. We just don't know what we don't know! I pray our kiddos have what they need to find their peace.

  2. We are so thankful to have a starting place if our children do decide to search. We had four from Vietnam and we have had a great experience. When and if they open their doors to intl. adoption again, we will be the first to adopt. I honestly doubt they will, but I'll believe it when I see it.
    Is the reason y'all chose China for Mimi that Vietnam closed?

    1. Emmelyn, after our awful experience with the US govt adopting Tess and Jude (we were part of the awful close down in 2008 full of all the horrible things that you heard going on) we chose China not because it has any less corruption, but because the US gov't ensure that programs runs like clockwork. I could not endure another process like what we had in 2008 in VN. Find me a soapbox and I'll go on.

  3. We had a similar experience with the horrible shutdown. It was a nightmare, but so worth it. That is something I do not want to relive! Zinnia has a starting place, but her Chinese siblings do not.
    Like you said, I don't care about the outcome of the search or if they even want to search. John 14:27 is my prayer for my adopted children. The Lord probably will not give them the results and information they want. But He WILL give them the peace they need in the situation. And oh will that peace flow.
    I agree with your standpoint on birth parent searches. I did extensive research on the address given to us, and I am pretty sure that address just does not exist. Their names given to us are not Vietanamese either and Zinnia is clearly Vietnamese. So in reality, she doesn't have a starting place. Again the Spirit's peace is all that they need.
    I pray for my children's first parents often. Roman's 8 is a comfort to me in that. "Though we do not know what to pray for, the Spirit intercedes for us through wordless groans."

  4. we have a similar situation, one from Vietnam, and two (twins) from china. we had the same kind of info about Vietnam BP and we too were very close to the shut down(I think we used the same VN agency). we do however have contact with the BF and write occasionally. We searched and found them. I have been searching hard for china Birth family, and have only found bits of info, a nanny that took care of them and a few pictures. I worry too, about my daughters wanting the info more than my son. They are all still very young and we talk a little about birth mothers right now. We will support what ever they choose in getting the closure they need, I just wanted to help them get as much as I could now before things change, people move and info is lost.

    1. Wow! You are inspiring me to look. We have three open adoptions, one Vietnam, and one China. My VN daughter Has expressed that to me a few times and understands the chances. It's not really fair to Lucie that her 3 older siblings have everything and are in contact with their parents, her VN sister has a starting place, and she doesn't have even a note or clothes.


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