June 16, 2005
I approach this event with some hesitation (actually a lot), obligated to be critical while personally wanting to be compassionate. As a returning orphan myself, I can empathize with the orphans of Operation Babylift to Ho Chi Minh City. I don't need historical or psychological background filler, I lived it as much as they. Yet, how genuine is this experience with Reuters, CNN, Yahoo!, Tuoi Tre, and the dozens of other media corporations following and recording their every move? And with every image captured by the media is an image of the adoptees themselves recording their own images. Everything is removed once or twice from by a lens. The lens refracts, filters, separates. I will not call it a charade, for the emotional turmoil will certainly be real for many of the returnees, but it will also be expertly framed by their organizers. It seems like an episode of Survivor: Saddled with lenses and memory cards, the adoptees are dropped smack dab in the middle of the Ben Thanh Market. Where is the bottled water!?
Meanwhile, Vietnam has just agreed to resume adoptions with the United States after suspending adoptions, rightly, for concerns of baby trafficking in 2002. "The United States is the seventh country to resume adoptions with Vietnam, which has also reached agreements with France, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Sweden and Ireland. In 2002, U.S. citizens adopted nearly 700 Vietnamese children. Last year, Americans adopted 23,000 children worldwide."
I hope this is the life changing event that everyone hoped it to be. Though I doubt it. Maybe an orphanlift adoptee has a blog and we can begin a conversation about this. This is all I'm going to say about this issue for now.
Posted by rst at June 16, 2005 05:40 PM
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