‘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 De Stem. I myself this morning, drove to the supermarket to buy the AD, a national newspaper. “That’s you right? There, on the cover?” the cashier noticed. “How did that happen?” And I told her about the Facebook call late August. Which was shared by so many. And gave me so many beautiful things since. Being reunited with both Victor, Lia and Coby.

I am a blessed woman.

And now? It almost feels like a complete story. Almost. There are still questions. Holes from the past that must be completed. Yes, they should. Feels like my duty to continue my search. No, not because it will change somewhat how I feel about the result of my adoption. I’m happy with my adoptive parents, they couldn’t have done better. And yes, I’ve got a nice life filled with opportunities. I found my biological family in Indonesia. And even in the Netherlands I gained a bonus-brother, Victor. Why then dig further? The answer is simple: I think I have a right to know what happened to me in my first five months of life. I am a journalist and curious by nature. Who, what, when, how and why. I have to know.

Since I have children myself, there’s this whole new feeling. I now know what babies need in their first five months. What influence you as parents, as a mother, have in your child’s development. Even, no, because they’re still so young. So vulnerable. Personally, I hardly cried as a baby, my adoptive mother told me once. Now I understand that babies – who have experienced lack of response, love and attention – just give up after a while. “Crying won’t help me.”

Where was I from the moment I was taken from my mother’s arms until my stay at the family Vijverberg in Jakarta? How did I get from my hometown Magelang to Jakarta? Was there an active network of people who just took away babies from mothers who were too poor to pay the hospital bill? This happened in other places also, in poor villages? Who was involved? Were (my) documents falsified  in order to initiate the adoption procedure (in 1983 the Indonesian government put a stop to all intercountry adoptions from Indonesia)? They say I had surgery. But no one seems to be able to tell me what kind of a surgery it was. Who can tell me that?

Looking for answers … If someone can give me those: please speak up!

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