An office staff of Ho Chi Minh City’s biggest obstetrics hospital has spent the last six years seeking birth certificates for a number of children abandoned at the infirmary, and is always willing to have her name appear in the mother section on the documents.
Le Thi Kim Thuy is in charge of guaranteeing birth certificates for children left by their parents at the Tu Du Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital.
She has since become the ‘mother’ of abandoned children at Hoa Binh (Peace) Village, a charity center of Tu Du that is home to numerous orphans and children whose parents refuse to give them a family.
‘Mother’ on birth certificates
Many of Thuy’s acquaintance advised her against being legally bound to the children as it may cause complications in the future.
Whenever she is given such a piece of advice, Thuy would fearlessly respond that she is not scared of anything because “this is my destiny, my debt to the world.”
It was only five months ago that Kim Thuy found another newborn left on the stairs of the hospital in District 1.
The baby boy weighed 3.3 kilograms and had a chubby face with black hair.
Thuy is always reduced to tears when she finds a new child abandoned at the hospital, as most of such unfortune kids are left there right after birth with their parents nowhere to be found.
There are even children born elsewhere but are left at Tu Du.
Usually the parents leave their children where a lot of people come in and out, apparently to make sure that someone will find and help the newborns.
“Most of those parents leave no traces behind so the children’s wish to find their origin is near hopeless,” Thuy said sadly.
“No matter how tiring and how much time it is going to take me, I am going to help the families reunite. The children were born without their parents by their side, which is a sad thing and a huge misfortune,” the generous woman added.
Among many children she helped, a girl born in 2014 left her with most emotions as the baby has the same birthdate with her.
Thuy named the baby girl after herself when she was taking care of the baby’s birth certificate as she believed it was a destiny, and a memory to remember.
A true home
Most newborn orphans left at Tu Du Hospital are put in Hoa Binh Village.
The charity center was established to help abandoned and disabled children, and Agent Orange victims.
However, the center will soon be closed as another one is being developed in the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City.
Only 36 residents, whose ages range from three to 37 years old, currently live in the center according to Thai Thien Huong, chief nurse of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department.
Two thirds of the children at Hoa Binh were abandoned since birth.
|21-year-old Pham Thi Thu Thuy (right), a disabled orphan of Hoa Binh Village, got accepted to the Ho Chi Minh City University of Education. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
The charity home has succeeded in creating a true home for the unfortunate residents besides providing a shelter for the children.
“Moms at Hoa Binh Village had done everything for me that you [my biological mother] could not and I believe that is love,” Vo Thanh Giang, one of the Hoa Binh Village’s residents, wrote in a letter to the mother she does not know.
“Thank you, moms [staff at Hoa Binh Village], for turning this home into the happiest place in the world.”
What makes the staff of Hoa Binh Village charity center the happiest would be seeing the children who grew up here become successful in life despite their setbacks.
|A class with disabled children and orphans at Hoa Binh Village. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Dang Minh Bang, a student at University of Architecture in Ho Chi Minh City, Tran Minh An, who studies at the University of Information Technology, and and Pham Thi Thu Thuy, student of the Ho Chi Minh City University of Education are the three most admired residents of the center as the caring “mothers” keep mentioning these names as role models for others.
The three have defied their serious disabilities to make it to those outstanding and highly competitive universities.
Bang, 20, has only one leg left, and he also suffers from syndactyly, a condition in which fingers on both of his hands are fused together, while 23-year-old An has dislocated spine and an abnormality in the throat.
In the meantime, Thuy, 21, suffers from carpenter syndrome that leaves her head unusually pointed at the top and can cause permanent brain damage, as well as disabled legs that force her to walk on her knees.
* A letter to an unknown biological mother from Vo Thanh Giang, one of the Hoa Binh Village’s residents
“Ever since I was born, I have lived in Hoa Binh Village. I do not have the privilege as other children because you do not hold me, feed me, or take me to school or to other places.
“I do not get to be scolded when I do something wrong, neither do you teach me what is right. I was born in the inappropriate time, is that right, mom?
“But mom, I am not mad at you or feel sad. I believe you did not want to leave me behind, it was just that life was too tough for you, is that right, mom?
“Moms at Hoa Binh Village had done everything for me that you could not and I believe that is love. Thank you, moms, for turning this home into the happiest place in the world.”