Monday, January 18, 2010

Back to The Roots?

Jakarta Globe posted this story about Indonesian born Dutch Jeroen de Graff who is in search for his roots in Indonesia with the help of Internet. Knowing full well how dodgy Indonesian administration was/is, I wish him lots of luck, as you never know if what your papers stated true things or not.

Let me give you some examples.

It happened more than two decades ago. I was ditching school that day as I had stomach ache earlier, in the afternoon I tagged along a friend of our family surveying her plot of land. When we visited the house of her land's guard, the wife was cradling this tiny baby that I helped feeding with mushed banana as the guard didnt have any money to buy her any milk. As it turned out, she was a foundling. A couple of days earlier a white car stopped by in the middle of the night not far from that place, a couple went out and placed a box on the ground. The woman wept as they went away.

Inside that box, there was this baby, still had her umbilical stump. It means she was less then a week old. From the clothing she was wearing it seemed that the parents were pretty well off.

Our friend wanted to adopt her, but a tofu maker saw her first and wanted to adopt her. Fast forward several years later, our friend was approached by her guard regarding that foundling. As it happened, the tofu maker's wife and kids had been abusive to her, calling her 'bastard child', 'unwanted child', and also hitting her. He wondered if our friend still wanted her. She did.

So, she took that child home. She asked my father to help her getting a birth certificate. My dad did. To this day, it stated that our friend is the biological parents of that child. I think that gal knew she was adopted, because I remember she asked why she used to live with that awful family, and some people near my friend's place touted her being adopted.

Another story happened to a friend of mine, who flew to Indonesia to pick up this baby, put the child's name in his passport, and went back to the country he resides.

I also remember watching many episodes of Dutch TV on finding people such as 'Spoorloss'. Each time when it comes to Indonesia, the chance is slim that they find the real parents due to 'fake' papers or incomplete information as where to/from people are relocated.

I hope Jeroen's story turn out well

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