By anne b.
Welcome Ramblers to my humble blog post! Grab yourself a cup of your favorite drink and get cozy because today, I am going to tell you everything I know on my biological Vietnamese family. Now, I already talked about my Vietnamese family a little bit in the podcast. However, since the universe likes to work in funny ways, I received a big load of news literally less than 24 hours after recording this week’s podcast. So, here is a blog post to update all of you and to clarify any questions you might have had after listening to the podcast!
I was born on April 14th, 1997 in a two-room hut in Khac Niem to two lovely Vietnamese parents. In our little hut lived my parents, my grandma, and my three older sisters. At the time, my parents were pretty poor and they knew that they didn’t have the necessary funds to support 6 people. So, they decided to place the two youngest daughters for adoption: me and my sister Vivienne. Funny enough, we were both adopted around the same time by French people. Since our French parents were able to meet each other, they were able to stay in contact after we had all gone back to France.
Fast forward to Summer of 2008 when my French mom and I went to France for our annual visit (we were already living in the United States at this point). We went to see all of our friends and family as usual, but this time we also met up with Vivienne and her French mom in Paris! We spent the day catching up and learned that Vivienne and her mom had gone to Vietnam earlier that year (winter 2007-2008). They showed us a picture of our Vietnamese family and told us that everyone was doing well. I also found out that our Vietnamese parents had two more kids after me: a girl and then a boy.
After that day, I didn’t really hear anything related to either my Vietnamese family or Vivienne. But then came the era of Facebook. Sometime when I was in high school, I found Vivienne on Facebook and friended her. We didn’t actually start talking until my Freshman year of college, however. When we did start messaging each other, we mostly talked during important parts of the year like our birthdays. After awhile, though, we started messaging more consistently and talking more about ourselves. To this day, we are still messaging and staying up to date with each other’s studies, love lives, travels and more!
At the beginning of January this year, Vivienne’s mom asked for my parents’ email so that they could catch up as well. This is when we received the unfortunate news that my Vietnamese father had cancer and was in the terminal stage. The email also said that one of the death wishes of my Vietnamese father was to either see both Vivienne and I in person or receive some sort of letter and pictures of us. So, last weekend, I mailed a letter (shout out to my awesome friend in Montréal for translating the letter into Vietnamese) and some pictures to my Vietnamese family.
Unfortunately, Monday morning I found out that my Vietnamese father had passed away on Sunday. Although I am heartbroken by his death and that I will never get to meet him, his death somehow managed to reunite our Vietnamese family. I actually found out about his passing from my little sister, Thuan, who is now 18. Thuan had found Vivienne through Facebook, and then through Vivienne found me on Monday! She sent me a message telling me she was my younger sister along with the heartbreaking news. I found out that she recently started learning English. Even though Thaun is still learning, she knows enough English to speak with me and Vivienne, and is now our way of communicating with the rest of the family.
Very soon after Thuan found me on Facebook, my older Vietnamese sisters and my little brother also found me. However, I can't communicate with them because of the language barrier. The time difference also makes it hard for me and Thuan to communicate consistently, but I am hoping to Facetime them soon! I can’t wait to see what everyone looks like and hear about their lives.
Funny enough, even before Vivienne’s mom contacted my parents, I was already thinking about going to Vietnam this summer with my French cousin and her boyfriend. Having all of this happen has to be a sign that somehow, someway, I will end up in Vietnam this summer and will see my Vietnamese family in person. I cannot wait for when that happens and I’m so happy and amazed at how extraordinary life can be.
So, now that I’ve spilled all I know about my Vietnamese roots, I'm going to go drink some tea and ponder at how incredible the universe is for the rest of the night. I hope you guys enjoyed my little background story!
Have a lovely weekend and until next time, Ramble On!