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 I was operated on and why? Don’t have a clue. I have no name of the hospital, just the knowledge that I’d been in surgery just before I flew to Netherlands.

Also in July the adoption came around. I would be transferred to the Netherlands within a couple of weeks. To gain strength for my journey, they put me in a host family for a while in Jakarta (from August 2nd until 23rd). A Dutch family who at that time had been living as expats in Indonesia for 4 years already: the family Vijverberg. They themselves had also three adopted children (3 years, 2 years and 9 months old). Of this family I have no further info either.

I know of a certain miss Lia Maas. A Dutch woman who was on vacation with a friend (Miss Tack) in Indonesia when she heard about the problems concerning transport of adopted children from Indonesia to other countries. Lia and her friend contacted the adoption organization to offer their help. Eventually these two tourists accompanied me and another adopted child, Victor, on 24 August 1977 on our flight to the Netherlands.

Martha Chen is the key figure here. My feeling says we should start with her. As she arranged my adoption she must know more details. She may know my mother. She may know what happened during the period between my birth and the day I actually flew to Holland. My Roots will therefor first try to trace Martha.


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