Swedish girl yearns to find her Vietnamese mother

By Anh Ngoc   October 5, 2019 | 11:15 pm PT
Alma Mansson was only four months old when she was adopted and taken to Sweden, and she has always wanted to trace her roots. 

Alma became the second adopted child of Mr. and Mrs. Mansson, and on one winter day in 1997 she was taken to Falkenberg, a town on the west coast of Sweden. 

Alma Mansson, birth name is Nguyen Thi Thuy. Photo courtesy by the character.

Alma Mansson, birth name Nguyen Thi Thuy. Photo courtesy of Alma.

Despite being deeply loved by the Mansson family and enjoying living conditions everyone arguably aspires to, Alma also realized she looked different from those around her with her darker skin and black hair.

Her adoptive parents understood her feelings and never shied away from talking about her origins. 

They showed her adoption papers and other documents and encouraged her to return to Vietnam to find her roots. 

"Deep down in my heart, I have always wanted to find my biological parents no matter how the truth turns out," the 22-year-old told VnExpress.

In October last year she had the opportunity to return to Vietnam for the first time on a two-week cultural exchange program at her university, and took advantage of that short trip to look for clues about her family. 

According to her hospital records, Alma's real name is Nguyen Thi Thuy, and she was born on August 18, 1997, at Hospital A in northern Thai Nguyen Town. 

To Van Thu, the then director of the hospital, had given Mr and Mrs. Mansson permission to adopt Alma. But there was no information about her parents, not even in the official birth certificate. 

Alma met Thu and the doctors and nurses who worked in Hospital A’s obstetrics and pediatrics department in 1997, and went to the Thai Nguyen Province People's Committee to check the records. 

But it was all in vain.

Last September Alma was determined to return to Vietnam to resume her efforts after graduating from Uppsala University and becoming a nurse giving care to older people in Norway.

"I decided to put everything behind to return to Vietnam and find my biological mother. I know many people like me who have returned to Vietnam, been helped by many people and found their biological family." 

"I also wish I could be that lucky".

With help from new friends in Vietnam, Alma sent her profile to a television program that helps trace relatives, but a month passed without any response. 

They then decided to set up a Facebook page named "Swedish daughter Alma looking for her biological mother in Thai Nguyen" in the hope her mother or some relatives would see and recognize her.

Posts with pictures of Alma quickly attracted 5,000 shares and more than 800 comments within a few days. 

She said she received encouragement and support from many strangers, especially from Thai Nguyen. 

The Thai Nguyen Red Cross, doctors and nurses at Hospital A also promised to try their best to help her.

"I am truly grateful to everyone because I do not speak Vietnamese, nor am I used to the life and culture here."  

Alma Mansson at a young age in Sweden. Photo courtesy by the character.

Alma Mansson as a child in Sweden. Photo courtesy of Alma.

Alma will have to return to Sweden in early December and racing against time on her path to find her biological mother.

While acknowledging the difficulty, Alma has not lost hope. In her mind there is something sacred about a biological mother she has never met and the feeling she probably did what was best for both at the time. 

"I am not resentful or angry, I just want to find my mother."

"I am thankful for a life full of opportunities and happiness. I am just sad that we were apart for such a long time and I have never had the chance to see her. I hope she also wants to meet me someday."

go to top