Interview with Martha

My Roots has managed to trace Martha Chen. Meanwhile, Ana has added me to a chatgroup on Facebook for adoptees who came to the Netherlands via Martha Chen like me. All born in 1977. One of the other adoptees turns out to have been in contact with Martha through al these years! I never knew Martha was still alive.

There has also been a conversation with Martha. Ana has arranged one of her Indonesian contacts, Eko, to visit Martha. Eko has tried to figure out what Martha remembers of that time in the 70’s. The adoptions and us. She is now 74.

I don’t know exactly what I expected. But have to admit I’m a little disappointed with the outcome of their conversation. Martha claimed she couldn’t remember much. Yes, babies were not brought to her by the biological mother, but all went through intermediaries. About individual children she couldn’t remember anything. She no longer knew who I was, even though Eko showed her some photos and scans (of letters and postcards that Martha sent to my parents between 1977 and 1983).

Martha allows us to get in contact with her individually. Through whatsapp. We can even call her. But quite honestly I have no idea what to say. I’m also still too skeptical at this time. Yeah, it’s possibel Martha has always acted from the goodness of her heart. That she’s always been sincere. And convinced that what she was doing was in our best interest. But she must have known that not all babies were put into adoption in a decent way. That at that time a lot of babytrade was going on. I just can’t believe she wasn’t aware of all the mothers who were lied to and left empty-handed. Was she really that naive?

At the same time, I have considered Martha an angel throughout my entire life. Now that new facts of the past year detract from this, I find it damn hard to digest.

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