An Open Letter to the US Consulate
Dear Sir and Madame,
My name is Đinh Bảo Hùng and I was born on June 3rd, 1972 to a Vietnamese mother, Nguyễn Thị Kim Liên (nicknamed Kim Anh) and an American father who was stationed in Qui Nhon at that time.
My late mother left her hometown of Vinh Long in the Mekong delta to work as a secretary in the 85th Evacuation Hospital based out of Qui Nhon. There she met my father, whom she only knew as Joseph, who was stationed at the hospital as a military doctor or a nurse from 1970-1972. They eventually got married at a local Catholic church.
My mother wasn’t sure when he left Vietnam but she did mentioned that it was probably before I was born and perhaps three or four months into her pregnancy. Unfortunately when the Communist came to power after 1975, there were rumors that everyone who ever had any connections to the South Vietnamese government or the American will be severely punished by death or send to re-education camps. Thus, my late mother and my grandmother not only didn’t apply for my birth certificate they also destroyed all evidences they had of my American father out of fear for the safety of the family.
As a child I didn’t attend school because we didn’t have my birth certificate; instead I was sent to a village tutor who taught poor children at his home. I finally obtained my birth certificate when my uncle helped me apply for it in 2001. Since I didn’t have any formal education I took a job as a waiter at a local restaurant in Vinh Long and it was there I met a very generous Vietnamese man who took pity on me and persuaded my grandmother to let him adopt me.
He took me home and taught me embroidery skills so that I can work at his factory to produce handicrafts for export. He sent me to school to receive education and eventually made me a manager at his embroidery workshop. It was here that I came to meet my wife, Nguyễn Thị Kim Hạnh, and we got married in 1989. We now have two children: an oldest daughter of 22 and a younger son who is 13. I’ve since left the protective fold of my adopted father and struck out on my own. Since 2006 I’m employed as a security contractor for one of the private security company in Ho Chi Minh City.
I’m writing in hope that the US Consulate and the Officer in charge of the Amerasian Resettlement Program will take a look at my case and consider our application for an immigration visa so that we may begin to locate my biological father and reunite with him.
Dinh Bao Hung