I have been asked more than once, by well intentioned people, that wouldn't it have been better for TM to have stayed in Vietnam. He was living with foster parents who loved and adored him and he considered them his parents. They were comfortable according to Vietnamese standards and TM was thriving. Separating from his foster parents and attaching to us was very difficult and some thought it was an unnecessary trauma to put him through. On some level, I have to admit, I sometimes wondered the same thing. Were we doing the very best thing for TM?
I'm sad to say I now have my answer. My standard response to such questions was, that while he appeared to be in a stable environment, he was still a ward of the state and there was no guarantee that he would be able to stay there the length of his growing up years. I had no idea how these words would be fulfilled. Because of the moratorium on adoptions to the US from Vietnam, the VN agency which works in tandem with our US agency can no longer support the orphanage they were working with in Vietnam. Without this support the government decided to close the orphanage. As of December 31, all of the children were moved out of the center, some to less than stellar situations. Not only were the children living in the actual facility affected, but those in foster care were removed and either placed back into family situations or into another care facility. It breaks my heart. The only bright spot is that an NGO working in Vietnam, the GVN Foundation, which has worked closely with the orphanage, has been working to ensure the safety and well-being of the children who have been displaced.
Not only am I sad for the children, it makes me sad for my son. He has so little of his past; this feels as though he has lost some more of his history. I always assumed that we would be able to go back and visit the orphanage and the agency staff when he was older so he could see it first hand. And now we can't.