A bed of roses, jasmine and orchids

The only way I could concretely contribute to mother’s memorial service, was to provide a headstone which was still missing. I assumed my family did not have the financial means to buy one. I was a little hesitant however on offering my help. Didn’t know how sensitive these financial matters were (I realize I know little about Indonesian culture and manners). A headstone would cost less than twenty euro, so what we were talking about. But for their standards it was expensive. For me it was the same amount that…

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Closer to the truth

It is a true blessing that Mujihah is still alive. That she was willing to tell the story of her sister, my mother Marwiyah, to Teguh. Without aunt Mujihah I would never had known the truth. Partly it was true what Teguh had learned during his previous visit to Magelang. I was, indeed, born from an affair with a man who played no part in my mother’s life after she got pregnant. But the rest of the story didn’t add up. The version as had been told to Teguh by…

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A second visit to Magelang

Although Teguh has answered the most important question – is my mother still alive? – during his earlier visit to my hometown, it does not end my story. Instead it has caused more questions. During which period of my mother’s life was I born? Was she married to the father of my sister? Was she pregnant of me during her marriage (as my half sister is 3 years older than me)? Can anyone tell me more about the pregnancy and childbirth? Was I born in the hospital or at home?…

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Message from Ana

Surabaya, February 15 Hi Wendy, I am contacting you with a latest update. Unfortunately we have not received any reactions to your ad via social media and from organisations which are involved with your search. The next step is that someone is going to search a whole day in Magelang for more information. I would prefer to do this myself, but since I am 38 weeks pregnant, the baby is due any time now. It would only be around May until I can search for you, which is on voluntary…

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A small piece of my history

On 14 March 1977 I was born in Magelang (Central Java, Indonesia). On March 30 1977 my mother Marwiyah gave me up for adoption. From that moment on – at least, that’s what my adoption-papers say – the care and responsibility was handed over to a woman named Martha Chen. I assume she worked on behalf of an Indonesian adoption organization. Next thing I know about the first months of my life, is that was operated in July that same year, most probably in a hospital in Jakarta. But to which…

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