Ben's Adoption Story: Vietnam to United States

Posted by Gladney Center for Adoption on 9/27/18 8:07 AM

The Beginning

Adoption Story - Vietnam to USIt started in Can Tho, Vietnam when I was placed into a baby home 9 days old until I was two. As I was living in the orphanage for those two years my adopted parents were searching for a child to adopt. It’s crazy to think how I got adopted because I knew they really were looking to adopt a Chinese girl until the adopted agency told them that they have a bunch of Vietnamese kids waiting to be adopted. They’ve told me the story many times and I can still recall it till this day. They received the video, and both of them watched the video separately to see if they would pick the same kid out of the video that they would want and as crazy as it is to think both of my parents picked me. They said that I was the biggest kid and most energetic, so it was easy to point me out, and I still carry those traits today. I have no memory on my travel from Vietnam to the United States, but I’ve definitely been told that I was very scared and confused. I mean, who wouldn’t be confused when coming to a new home?

I know some kids don’t understand that people can be adopted or really what it is and fortunately I never had a problem with people growing up with me being adopted. No one ever asked me if I was adopted or nobody was judgmental enough to really care if I was or not which was awesome for a kid especially. A lot of questions I get are “Do you wish you knew your real parents” and “Do you want to visit”. To be honest, I have no interest in knowing who my parents were or going to visit because I love where I am. The parents I have are the best thing I could have ever asked for and especially the home I am with the people around me.

Adoption Story - Vietnam to USThe one thing about me from growing up in a white household is that I have become white and I think I am because the way I act. It’s funny because I clearly am not, and I am straight Vietnamese, but all my friends and family think I can’t be fully Vietnamese because I am 5’ 10” and have a Chicago accent. Don’t get me wrong I love where I am from, but I have no culture or background whatsoever. That’s probably another reason why my interest of going back or finding things out about the culture is very little.

I have been so blessed in my life with the opportunities I have been given, growing up with a loving and supporting family through all the ups and downs. Not a day goes by where I am not grateful for the family I have. There have been times in my life that could have easily gone wrong, but my family was always there for me and made sure that I didn’t go down a bad route. I definitely wouldn’t have the opportunities I have here then if I was back in Vietnam, with that being said I am making the most of my life here and with the people I am surrounded by. I don’t think there are that many Vietnamese adoptive kids that could say they earned a Track Scholarship to one of the top universities in the country (University of Illinois).

Adoption Story - Vietnam to USI wouldn’t be where I am without the support of my parents. They put me in everything and gave me the chance to be a kid. I was always a free spirit child who loved to do everything and anything, a lot of my friends always got tired and didn’t do things, but I always remembered that I was always running around somewhere. Looking back at my childhood I would say it was awesome and free. I didn’t have those strict parents where I could only hangout from certain times and I can’t recall them saying no to many things. My parents got divorced at a young age which was hard at times but comparing them to other families that have been divorced they definitely made it work between them and my siblings and myself. My mom moved close to my dad’s house which was very convenient since I could easily go back and forth from house to house. Since I was young I was still confused on why it happened but as I grew up I knew it was best for the both of them and I’m glad that our relationship didn’t change from it.

My teen years were the best, I played basketball, football, baseball, and track and they were there for everything with all the support in the world. I was always a standout athlete, so it was fun for them seeing me succeed in what I loved. Other than sport they let me be free and do whatever I want because they knew I would always make the best choice. Throughout school they made sure I was on my grades and not slacking, school was always important to them and that’s a big reason why I decided to attend the University of Illinois because of the education.

Adoption Story - Vietnam to USBack to sports. Sports are my life and to be honest I don’t know what I would be like without them. My dad would always encourage me to go to camps and make the most of each opportunity. He would pay a lot of money for me to succeed which included traveling all over the country to attend track camps and even pay for a personal trainer that I can work with during the off-season. I won State in the Long Jump my junior year of high school; after that it opened up a lot of doors for me for college. I started to get recruited by a lot of schools like: Kansas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Memphis, Arkansas, etc. I couldn’t have been as successful without the help of my dad. That right there tells my story of how fortunate I am to be in this position.

My life is great, and I love every minute of it, through all the ups and downs I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Like I have said many times already that I am very blessed to be in this position I am in. This story probably isn’t as exciting or interesting as others but it’s cool to talk about and hopefully others can relate. I believe in a quote that my mom has always told me and that is, “Believe in yourself and anything is possible” She is the strongest person I know with all the diseases she has gone through like lupus and trigeminal neuralgia and still is going through and she has taught me to always be strong because life will be okay in the end. I feel like it’s hard to write about my story because there have been so many things that have influenced me in becoming the person I am today.

Adoption Story - Vietnam to USThis story is mine to share, and for everyone who hopefully reads this to know that you can do anything when you put your mind to it, as well as to make the most of the opportunities you have. There are a lot of people out there that wish they were in your position so don’t take what you have for granted.

~Ben

  • My life as a Gladney baby...
  • The first time I saw you...
  • Our placement day...
  • We chose Gladney because...
  • Our adoption journey...
  • Our roller coaster ride...
  • Not knowing what to expect...
  • Gladney helped us...
  • The trip home...
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Topics: Adoption Stories, Intercountry Adoption