Vietnamese mother finds her daughter during 43 years in Babylift programme

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In March, 26th 1975, this mother thought that she sent her little daughter to America in Babylift programme and her daughter would have a beautiful days later. But from that time, the mother lost her daughter and has to keep finding her in 43 years

Nguyen Thi Dep is now 70 years old,  she is working at High School in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City. She is always willing and looking forward to seeing her children again. She said tearfully, “I just want to meer my daughter again.”

Her baby is called Mai, the result of her relationship and an American officer named Joe. Mai’s artwork, photographs are still held strictly by her and she always brings back every day to look. She always wondered: “Do not know where she is now, what she is doing, if she is healthy ?”

Mrs Dep and her daughter Nguyen Thi Mai Phuong before babylift campaing in 1975
Mrs Dep and her daughter Nguyen Thi Mai Phuong before babylift campaing in 1975

When she was 19-year-old, she was from Kien Giang Province and went to Saigon as agent for the US military base in Long Binh, Dong Nai province. Nice, speaking fluent English, nicely conveyed by management. At that time, she met Joe – a US officer and thay falled in love. After three years of dating she allegedly became pregnant when Joe declined to serve and return to America. ” We kept contacting in one year, I asked him and tell him about our situation but he never answered,” Mrs. Dep remembers.

On January 5, 1972, the daughter gave birth to a daughter named Nguyen Thi Phuong Mai. Mai has brown curly hair, high nose, brown eyes like her dad.

Before the Liberation Army entered Saigon, the United States launched the Babylift campaign. “Some friends advised to sent my little daughter to America and we could reunite later. As I did not think carefully, I made the procedure. At that time, my daughter cries scratch, but I still write paragraph because i think it would be good for me and her” . Before leaving Vietnam, the children were gathered at a nursery and then, on April 26, 1975, a plane with Mai and other children from Tan Son Nhat airport took off. And came to America.

“My heart has sunk and cries all the way home, since I have no information about her. My father blamed me:” You have children, You have to live and die with them. “. 

Mrs Dep is keeping looking for ward for hearing from her daughter lost contact in baybylift campain in April 1975
Mrs Dep is keeping looking for ward for hearing from her daughter lost contact in baybylift campain in April 1975

After the liberation day of April 30, Mrs Dep has always been waiting for her daughter’s news, but every day my news still bothered me. She read books on the operation Babylift, sought and contacted children who were now adults returning to Vietnam to ask for information, to request help from the US Consulate in Vietnam, writing a letter to the president to ask for help, To ask for information from friends living in the US to try out the organization of the world’s vision for help … but all did not yield any results.

Nobody knows what flight Mai should take on that day to which country the children were taken to flight. The only person she can handle to get for help is Joe, but he died in 2013.

“I have cried, resentment. In the last few years I have never slept, always waiting to hear from my daughter. In my mind, shewas3 years old girl, nice faced, calling mom “said Mrs Dep.

From 1975 until now she did not marry and she did not have children. She wants to spend time for her baby. All she hopes is that Mai grew up, healthy and married. “At the delivery of her baby, I have a birth certificate and a photo of her mother and daughter together, expecting her to know her mother looks forward to finding out,” she said.

Duong Ngoc Duong, the standing member of the Women’s Union of Linh Chieu Ward, Thu Duc District, HCM City, said that Mrs. Dep has lived in closed space for the last few decades and exchanges with her. Neighbors are afraid to hear people say they leave their children.

“I was born the same year as Mai. Over the past ten years, Mrs Dep has asked many people, doing a lot of organizations, hope this time will be successful for her to meet her. I promise, if Mrs did not find out her daughter, I’d definitely love her as a mother, ” she said.

I put this article in Vietnamese language at Website : http://chientranhvietnam.com at the link : Người Mẹ Tìm Con Theo Chương Trình Babylift 43 Năm Trước 

Anyone who have any information about her daugher Nguyen Thi Phuong Mai. Please contact me : Gia Hao Informatics Company – Mr Ly Gia Khang : Tel 00-84-0989282818 – Email : lygiakhang1979@gmail.com . Address : 593 Kha Van Can street, Linh Dong Ward, Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam 

5 Comments
  1. Leigh says

    hello…. this article is about me! She has found me!!!! Ms. Dep and I spoke last night for the first time ever and i am hearing what she endured. It breaks my heart that she worried about me so much. It’s a lot to take in but in time, i hope to get to know her and meet her one day. This is very surreal for me. I have been reading so many articles about her trying to find he daughter, and I had no idea. As the language barrier will be difficult to get through, I am sure we will be able to connect.

    1. vietnamba says

      I sent you email and informed Mrs Dep about you. Mrs Dep said that could you send some your pictures at age of a little girl. It will be easier for her to recognize you. Please contact me with email : lygiakhang1979@gmail.com

    2. Liem says

      Words are not enough to express how happy I am to know she has found you. There is a long road ahead for both of you. There will be culture shock, broken Vietnamese, broken English, things that might receive a side-eye in the states, etc…
      Just come to meet your mom. You as a mother know A mother’s love is unconditional and eternal. Someone said Mother and daughter never truly part, maybe in distance but never in heart.

    3. Liem says

      Words are not enough to express how happy I am to know she has found you. There is a long road ahead for both of you. There will be culture shock, broken Vietnamese, broken English, things that might receive a side-eye in the states, etc…
      Just come to meet your mom. You as a mother know a mother’s love is unconditional and eternal. Someone has said Mother and daughter never truly part, maybe in distance but never in heart.

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