Homeland Travel Reactions of the Kids, Nico’s Story

By Guest Author Molly Kaye, aka Mom

Vietnam Ties

I love the look of adoration in our guide's face--it's like he's infusing Nico with pride

Nico and I returned from his birth country in January, and Nico headed back to school. Since our return, his teacher has commented how different he seems. She says he is participating more eagerly in class and is more open and engaging. He was always a popular and charismatic kid, but now he seems more confident and self-assured.

He presented the videos we made to his class, and did very well. His teacher asked him if he would be willing to present his adoption video, the compilation I made from ten years ago when we took the adoption trip, and he eagerly nodded and said, “YES!” It is amazing to me that he is now so willing to put his adoption story front and center in his classroom! That is definitely a change. Not that he was secretive about it before, but sharing that aspect of his life wasn’t something he sought out opportunities to do.

He’s now very proud to be Vietnamese, wears his Ho Chi Minh shirt everywhere, and has a big Vietnamese flag on his bedroom wall.

I think Vietnam was mostly an abstraction before the trip. He now sees his genetic and cultural heritage in context, and though he doesn’t want to live in Vietnam, he wants to go back and find the woman who cared for him in the orphanage, to know her, to express his gratitude to her, since, in his words to me, “She is the closest thing I had to a mother, besides you.” Indeed she is.

Nico Ingebrand, age 10, and his mom Molly Kaye traveled with Vietnam Ties.

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