By Reuters, Nov. 27, 2019 NYTimes.com
(Reuters) – The message appeared on my cellphone with an intriguing opening line: “I am sure you won’t remember hearing my real name, Nguyen thi Phuong Mai…”
By the end of the message, I remembered everything.
The young woman writing me had just watched a YouTube video of me talking about a documentary I produced seven years ago on Operation Babylift, the mass evacuation in 1975 of 3,000 Vietnamese children from Saigon to Western countries for adoption. I had interviewed a woman named Nguyen thi Dep in Vietnam, who gave up her 3-year-old child Mai for the chance at a better life. Dep told me she had been desperately searching for her daughter for years.