Double loyalty

As a child I felt loyal to both my adoptive parents and to my biological parents – or rather, my biological mother. My biological father I did not think of very often (…). He never played a big role in my life. I didn’t miss him or whatsoever. I didn’t bother my adoptive parents asking questions about my past. They might think I was ungrateful. Ungrateful for everything they had done for me. That’s just what I thought. And the last thing I wanted was for my adoptive parents to think I didn’t appreciate them. That I didn’t see them as my real…

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Nina Bobo, Somewhere over the rainbow & Indonesia Raya

A box of tissues would have come in handy. Yesterday the second My Roots Foundation-meeting took place at the Ambassy of Indonesia in The Hague. Finally I saw my ‘brothers and sisters’ again. Feels special. In the days before musical multi-talent Sander Metz and I had rehearsed our performance we were requested to give. That is: we sent each other mp4’s. Cause with both a full agenda and a long distance in between our residences, we decided this would work as a rehearsal also. And it did. Somehow we just manage to ‘find each other’…

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Will Victor get some answers too?

“I have a strange question …” The opening of this email immediately draws my attention. The sender apparently has read the article of Victor and me in the newspaper. Via Google and eventually my wuzzel-website she’s found a way to contact me. It’s her father who has read our story with great attention. And who now wants to get in touch with Victor, she writes. Victor has more holes in his past than I have. Much more. Thanks to My Roots Foundation I was lucky enough to have found my Indonesian family. To Victor such an outcome still seems…

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Radio

Radio station Omroep Brabant had noticed my Indowees-blog. “And so, by clicking through your website I found your name. And a phone number,” said the man on the phone whose name I didn’t catch. “I’m calling you about the story of Victor and his sister, that you wrote about. And Lia and Coby from Bergen op Zoom.” The fact that I was not Victor’s real sister, I had to explain first. Also the radioman was a bit surprised when he realized he was speaking to the ‘sister’ herself. He probably thought I…

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‘You were so cute’

Thus, one of the newspapers quoting Lia. Today our names are in the AD, BN De Stem, Dagblad van het Noorden, De Gelderlander and the PZC. Yesterday we were already overwhelmed by everything that happened, today we relive the whole thing by seeing our story published in several newspapers. Early this morning Karin, Victor’s girlfriend, sent me the article as published in the Dagblad van het Noorden. My parents let me know from Zeeland they had seen me in the PZC. And my dear friend Sandra (also adopted) sent me a message through Facebook that she spotted me in BN…

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Lia, Coby and us: 39 years later

It was raining hard. The Volvo’s windscreen wipers could barely keep up. Victor had already drove for more than two hours from his home in Groningen up to my house, including traffic jam. I myself had – thanks to my two toddlers who had been awake whole night – barely slept at night. Still, we were both in a strikingly sunny mood, when we drove to the airport around noon. This was a day that we had been looking forward to. Watch our special reunion with Lia and Coby. Tomorrow our story will be published…

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Countdown to sunday

“I can hardly wait,” Lia e-mails me. Just a few days before we’ll see her and Coby again! Right there, on that same spot where they had to leave us 39 years ago after a long trip from Indonesia. At Schiphol (the airport). That’s where our reunion will take place. Initially, our intention was for Victor and I to visit our guardian angels in Bergen op Zoom, where Lia and Coby still live after all these years. But Google Maps laughed at us: yes, for me it would only be a 1,5 hour drive. But –…

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The perks of being a peanut

“Peanut!” That’s what children – especially boys – my age called me sometimes. As an adult, I can’t think of a sweeter nickname. But as a child it could hurt me tremendously. It felt like a dirty word. A curse. It meant that I was different. That I came from another country. I had a different skin color. A different history. Being different is lonely at that age. I grew up in Zeeland. As one of the few colored children in the small town where I lived. But I got used…

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The reunion

What made our reunion somewhat uncomfortable was the camera crew from RTV Noord that was practically on top of me when I got out of the car. I believe a director would call it ‘filming at an appropriate distance’.(Makes me curious what shooting at an inappropriate distance looks like. But that aside.) The attention our story is getting in the media is insane. Journalists from the AD and the Dagblad van het Noorden visited us this afternoon. Is always a surprise how a story ends up in black and white. Which statements are…

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