Heartwarming Story Of American Woman Searching For Her Parents In Vietnam

American Amanda Wright has captured the hearts of many as she embarks on a journey to find her lost Vietnamese parents.
April 03, 2024 | 12:08

Nguyen Phan Que Mai, a writer and reporter, wrote about the unique story of Molly Wright, during her 4th trip back to Vietnam to find her parents. Her story has gone viral and brought tears to the reader’s eyes.

Abandoned at 9 month old

“On February 12, 1995, the Tay Ninh Province Orphanage recorded that I was found by a caregiver at 5 a.m. outside the gate. At that time, I was only 8-9 months old,” Molly started.

Heartwarming Story Of American Woman Searching For Her Parents In Vietnam
Molly Wright and her adoptive mother. Photo: Courtesy of the character

Ha Thi Yem, Director of the Orphanage, wrote in the old report, “At around 5:00 a.m. on February 12, 1995, we found a 9-month-old girl who had been abandoned in front of the gate. Since then, no relatives have visited her. The authorities also searched for this child's family to no avail.”

Cared for by the people working at the orphanage, Molly was then given a birth certificate with the name Nguyen Ngoc Huynh, born on June 20, 1994. Two months later, the baby girl was immigrated to the US by the Maine Adoption Placement Service (MAP) - an organization that helps bring babies in need to safe and stable parents.

"On May 9, 1995, I was adopted by a woman from rural western New York state. She raised me on her own. I am also the only child in my family, but I have many cousins and friends,” Molly said.

The young girl grew up with many questions about the difference in her appearance from those around her. Deep inside, she always questioned why she is so different because her mother decided to keep all information about the adoption a secret. “This really hurts me,” she said.

Learning about her origins

With a different appearance from her relatives, friends and neighbors, Molly has experienced bullying and racism. She had to face a lot of hardships, from her childhood to adult years.

Heartwarming Story Of American Woman Searching For Her Parents In Vietnam
An old picture of Molly when she was a child. Photo: Courtesy of the character

Molly asked her mother many times about her origins, but her mother refused to tell the truth. She believed that finding the people who abandoned Molly was unfair to her daughter. After constant efforts, Molly finally persuaded her mother, and she gave her information about the young woman’s past.

In 2015, Molly got married. Shawn Wright, her devoted husband, is always supportive and willing to accompany his wife back to Vietnam to find her biological parents and other family members. In 2018, Molly learned more about the country she was born in. She watches many documentaries about Vietnamese cuisine and uses these films as a way to get closer to Vietnamese culture.

"In the spring of 2018, I had my first trip to Vietnam. This trip changed my life in many ways. I burst into tears because I realized something deep inside me was healed when I came here, it was like coming home. The people, the food, the places that I love, are all here,” Molly could not hide her overwhelming emotions.

Heartwarming Story Of American Woman Searching For Her Parents In Vietnam
Molly and her adoptive mother, Christmas 1998. Photo: Courtesy of the character

Molly has returned to Vietnam 4 times, and although each trip is different, a part of that journey remains unchanged. She always visits Tay Ninh Orphanage, where she was abandoned. Currently, the building is made into a sewing factory, but the old locals are still there. Molly is always welcomed with warmth and hospitality, despite the language barrier.

She said, “They invited me to sit down and we tried to communicate with each other through hand gestures, eye contact, and interpreters. I walked around the grounds of the former Orphanage, breathing deeply and moving slowly. I suddenly realized that I was returning to my childhood and this memory stirred strongly, even though I only lived here for about 3 months before going to America.”

The former orphanage has moved to a new facility a few kilometers away. Every time she comes here, Molly brings clothes, toys, and food and plays with the children.

Looking for her parents

To find her biological parents and relatives, Molly went through DNA banks in the US and groups on social networks, but to no avail. However, fate allowed her to meet Huynh Tan Sanh, living in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Sanh was very enthusiastic in helping Molly find her relatives and introduced her to Ha Thi Yen, the former Director of the Orphanage.

Heartwarming Story Of American Woman Searching For Her Parents In Vietnam
Molly visited the Orphanage. Photo: Courtesy of the character

79-year-old Ha Thi Yen recalled, “I remember the little girl who was abandoned in 1995. Because normally, people will leave their babies behind when they are still red, and many babies still have the umbilical cord intact. But this baby girl is 8-9 months old, which means she already had an attachment to the mother and relatives for a period of time.”

Listening to the old woman, Molly could not hold back her tears. She said she did not blame her mother, since she understood it was a very difficult decision to make at that time. “I just wanted to find her again. She must have suffered after leaving her own daughter at the gate of an Orphanage, and maybe this decision still haunts her to this day,” she said emotionally.

During her conversation with the reporter, Molly always hoped to one day connect with her biological family. In this journey of searching for her long-lost parents, she found wonderful friends who became her family every time she went to Vietnam.

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