Born During the Vietnam War: An Operation Babylift Adoptee’s Story

The following is reprinted on this blog with permission by AsiaTrend Magazine. It originally appeared in AsiaTrend Magazine’s June 2015 issue.

Born During the Vietnam War: An Operation Babylift Adoptee’s Story

By Jodi Katherine Kiely

Vietnam is not the war of my generation. It is, however, a war generations before mine have ensured won’t be forgotten. Growing up I read Tim O’Brien’s book “The Things They Carried” and watched the 1980s drama “China Beach” on TV. In school I studied the Tet Offensive and the Fall of Saigon, however, one event never made it into my history books: Operation Babylift, the U.S. government’s humanitarian effort to evacuate more than 3,000 Vietnamese orphans – many fathered by American servicemen and considered vulnerable – as Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) was about to fall to the Communist North.

Greg Maaswinkel was one of those children evacuated in that high profile mission of 1975. He came to the United States from Vietnam at nearly four years old. Continue reading “Born During the Vietnam War: An Operation Babylift Adoptee’s Story”

Why I Have Chosen Not to Search for My Birth Parents

Last night I spoke with a good friend of mine who is also an adoptee from Korea. We’ve known each other for years, and I am very familiar with his story and his search for his biological parents. In fact, he has agreed to be the subject of one of my upcoming column articles – although his story doesn’t have a happy ending, it is still incredibly fascinating and shows the very realistic side of searching for one’s birth parents.

During our conversation last night, he asked me about my own search story. He said it is funny how after all these years of knowing each other, he has never heard me share my experience. Continue reading “Why I Have Chosen Not to Search for My Birth Parents”