Operation Babylift, at the end of the Vietnam war, was looked at as a humanitarian mission, but it was problematic. There was a plane crash that killed 138 children and adults, there were thousands of families split apart, and at the time there was very little for the children who were relocated to prepare them for their new lives in foreign lands and cultures. Not so different from the complications of international adoptions today.
In the years following the relocation of thousands of Vietnamese children, ranging in ages from newborn to teen, lots was written and documented about the children who were taken from their home/land and expected to fare better in the hands of foreign agencies and adoptive families. There are volumes written by the children of the airlift and academics looking at the fallout, and the success stories, of such an extreme transition.
The latest story comes from Al Jazeera correspondent, Cath Turner who was relocated to a white Australian family. For an episode of Al Jazeera Correspondent, she told her story in “So Close, So Far Away“.
It’s compelling story of discovery, identity, and family. Highly recommended. The Operation Babylift diaspora has a lot of stories that are worth knowing. There are some happy endings out there, but not without struggle. They are stories which should never be forgotten as the world gets smaller, and small people are taken across borders everyday with no idea what lies on the other side.