It was her daughter, B., who approached me last week spontaneously through Facebook. B. wrote to me that her parents had lived in Jakarta for ten years, precisely during the period when I was (born and) adopted. “They know a lot about the adoptions in that time. They also have saved a lot of correspondence from back then.” If I wanted, I could contact them. Today I met M., B.’s mother.
I won’t mention their full names, because this turns out to be still a sensitive matter to them. “Please just describe us as former expatriates in Jakarta,” M. requests while sipping her coffee. We’re enjoying a terrace in the sun, opposite the train station. M. has taken the trouble to travel all the way from the east of the country, just to meet me. Although I would have gladly taken a two hour drive to her place (I also suggested to meet halfway), M. had insisted she would come over to Haarlem (which is close to where I live). “As a senior citizen I can travel free.” She did have a point.
M. pulls out a couple of letters. Letters with names in it that I recognized. She had made copies and said I could keep them. I was amazed she would share something that personal and valuable with me – someone she didn’t even know that well. She did it to help me in my quest. I was speechless.
Everything and everyone seems to be connected. And I only need to find out what the connections are. Easier said than done. Because a lot of secrets are well kept. Knowledge unwritten. Many things unsaid. Shut death. M. and her husband had at that time a critical stance with regard to adoptions, as they had seen the procedures up close. So much was wrong from their point of view. The way the babies were sometimes taken away from their mothers, the frequent absence of any information about the mother, the fact that they didn’t search for an alternative first (such as adoption closer to home) … They had been studying adoptions thoroughly. And they had seen enough with your own eyes to have an opinion. This controversial, outspoken opinion however was not appreciated at all.
M. was afraid all this information would deter me. She kept emphasizing she had absolutely no intention to make me feel upset. How could she know this was precisely the information that I had been looking for. The missing pieces of the puzzle, the truth behind my adoption. (Perhaps starting with the truth behind adoptions in general?) I have one goal and that is to find out the truth. I’m not looking for a story that will just make me feel better about my adoption. M.’s testimony today has helped me get wiser. Inspired me to dig further. Until I’ve completed my history.
I am grateful. People like M. give me hope. Thank you M. And next time: apple pie at your place!