Yesterday the director of our tour, Joy talked to my mom about the possibility of sending a search team to look for Bethany's birth parents. Before this trip, Bethany was always skeptical but after seeing Rachel meet her family again in the beginning of our trip (I blogged about that in my fist blog "This is Vietnam") she was a lot more curious and was ready to say yes to the possibility of finding her parents! So mom gave Joy and the search team she works with the OK yesterday, Sunday afternoon.
Thankfully my amazing grandparents in Ohio were able to scan and send us alll of Bethany's documents we needed to get information from!!
The search team used those records to go to the city that Bethany's birth mother left with the orphanage when she gave Bethany up. In that city they didn't find her birth mother but they found her two brothers! Bethany's uncles. They knew she lived in Ho Chi Minh City but they didn't know where, so the search team went into the markets and asked around if anyone knew her and they found information giving them where she lived and everything!
As soon as they found her, they had her,her uncles, and brothers book a bus ride to where we are staying. They left two hours after they received the phone call because the ride is half way across Vietnam. An all day bus ride.
Bethany meanwhile and our friend Patrick who also met his birth parents today, went and got a bunch of pictures off of Facebook and the computer to develop and put into a photo album as a gift for the family.
We were told that the family was suposed to arrive at dinner time, but when we got back to the hotel after lunch they were already there waiting!
Bethany of course was freaking out but she was more nervous than anything.
Joy, my mom and Bethany all joined hands as they walked into the room where Bethany's mom was waiting.
As soon as Bethany's birth mom saw her, she enveloped her into her small petite frame and just started sobbing.
The pain and joy and thankfulness that were in those cries were so thick. It was so emotional. Bethany's birth mom couldn't stop staring at Bethany's face and couldn't stop kissing and holding her hand. It was so sweet...
Our tour guide translated what she was saying to Bethany and she said that she loved her so much but she just couldn't take care of her or feed her because of the living conditions they were under. A month or so before Bethany was born, her birth father passed away leaving her birth mother alone.
Can you imagine the sorrow this woman must have felt? That changed everything! What she did was incredible, and we couldn't thank her enough.
Bethany's birth family was so smiley and looked a lot like her. Her brother was very attractive... he looked like he just stepped out of a jcpenney catalogue! And her uncles who are tailors were so kind and gentle.
We went to the market to buy gifts for the mother and son. Bethany's brother picked out an outfit but her birth mother was shy about picking something out and said she didn't want anything because now that she met Bethany, she had everything.
Her uncles and brother left after we came back to the hotel from the market so they could get an early start on getting home but Bethany's birth mother and cousin that showed up before went with us and the group to dinner.
During dinner, Bethany and the cousin were passing notes talking.
I'm sure I missed a whole lot so leave a comment and ask me anything you want to know! Tomorrow we're flying to Hanoi in the morning. Patrick and Bethany's birth parents both stayed over in our hotel so we'll say goodbye to them tomorrow at breakfast.
Wow. Even as I'm writing this I am still processing it all.
Here is the link to the Bethany's reunion video...
Talk to you tomorrow, blessings!!! Xoxo Marisa