English version below the Vietnamese translation.
Many thanks to GoodHappenings.com reader, Mimi Lam for translating the Vietnamese version. 🙂
Tôi tên Trần Mỹ Tiên, sanh ỏ Sài Gòn, Viêt Nam, tháng 10/20/ 1957.
Khoảng mầy ngày sau khi trào đời, Ba, Mẹ trở tôi trên xe hơi, và tai nạn xảy ra, xe bị lật ngược, Ba Mẹ tôi chêt, và tôi dươc cưú sống. Thơì triền chanh, khó khăn, tôi bị coi như trẻ mồ côi, nên toi bị ỏ viên mồ côi ỏ SaíGòn.
Sau dó toi dược nhân làm con nuôi trong gia dinh cũa ngươi quân dội, Mẹ và Đì nuôi không thương tôi, và bị hành hạ nhũng khi không dủ thúc ăn, hoăc nhà không sạch. Cha,Mẹ đổi tên họ tôi thành Trần,còn tên Mỹ Tiêncó thể viên mồ côi đạt. Tôi dươc di học dến lớp Ba, Mẹ băt nghi học, làm viêc nhà, nấu ăn cho gia dình, toi không dươc ăn chung với gia dinh, phaỉ ăn chung vớí ngươì làm, và toi phải săn sóc mây em nhỏ. Nhũng dám em toi khong phải làm viêc, chỉ di học và chơi, Những anh chị lớn dã đi học ở ngoại quôc.
Rât may măn, có mọt ngưòi anh lớn, rất thuong toi, toi săn sóc, ủi quần ao cho anh, cho dến ngày anh di du hoc ỏ Hoa Kỳ.
Thời thơ âu, toi ỏ vơi Bà dì nuôi, ỏ dồng quê, tơi khi 10 tuổi, bà rầt thuơng yêu tôi.
Bà săn sóc, nuôi dưỡng toi, toi tuởng Bà là Mẹ ruộc. Nhưng môt hôm, Bà và toi di xe lửa vào Sai Gòn, Bà nói di thăm gia dình. Khi tới nơi, toi thây sợ haĩ, vì thành phô quá lón, tôi gặp hai ngươi lớn lạ, Bà giới thiệu họ là Ba và Mẹ cuả tôi, nhìn họ, tôi chỉ có cảm giác lạc lõng,và bơ vơ. Tôi phaỉ rơì Bà, về sống vơí họ ỏ một căn biêt thư lớn,có rât dông ngươi ỏ . Tôi sồng ỏ dó cho dến khi rơì Việt Nam qua nước Mỹ.
Khi tôi khỏang 13 tuổi, Mẹ dưa tôi 10 ghìn di chợ, mua thưc ăn và cá, nhưng không dủ tiền mua cá, hôm trướ,tình cờ, tôi dể ý, Mẹ tôi trữ thức ăn, dầu ăn, bột,gia vị trong nhà kho, tôi khám phá, Mẹ mua qua chợ den. Tôi lén lấy bớt dem bán, lâý tiên mua cá, thức ăn nâú cho gia dình, toi vui mưng, vì dã nâú dược bưã ăn ngon cho gia dính.
Trong lúc toi dang lo cho heo, gà ăn, mâý ngươi cậu lớn,và dám em, lén ăn hết cá, dến giờ ăn, hết thức ăn, toi bị Mẹ chưỉ, và dánh, khi Mẹ biêt toi lấy dồ dem bán, Mẹ kêu toi là ăn cắp. Toi buồn, nhưng không thấy tộị lỗi, vì toi chỉ lâý mua thức an cho gia dinh, chứ khong có xài cho cá nhân, hoac mua nữ trang.
Một hôm, toi quyết dinh bỏ nhà ra di, di xuống phố, toi gặp một người lính, anh thây tội nghiệp, cho toi ngủ trong lêù của anh, và anh ngủ ở ngoài trời, nưả dêm, tiếng dạn nổ lớn, anh lính khuyên toi yên tâm, dến khi buổi sáng, toi không thấy anh dâu cả, toi nghĩ có thể anh dã chết trong chiến trận. Toi đi lang thang dươí phố, tình cờ gặp một ngươì cậu, cậu hoỉ toi di dâu?, toi nóí toi bỏ nhà trốn di vì bị Mẹ dánh, và hành hạ, câu dẫn toi về nhà cậu, gặp vợ và mẹ cậu, toi cách nghĩa lý do toi bỏ nhà di, Bà lấy cơm cho toi ăn, rôì Bà noí, có thể Ba, Mẹ và gia dinh dã di qua bên Mỹ, toi buồn quá, không ai nghĩ lo dến tôi, Đêm hôm dó, diện thoại reng, toi nghe Cậu nói chuyện vơí Ba,Mẹ, một lúc sau, ngươì tài xế tơí dón tôi về nhà Mẹ. Ngươì Dì noí, mọi ngươì xẽ di nước Mỹ, tôi dược di theo bơỉ vì Bà Dì trách Ba Mẹ tàn nhẫn, taị sao, nuôi tôi tơí 13 tuổi, rôì bỏ tôi laị, không công băng . Tôi thâu góp quần aó, và mâý tấm hình vào bao, dám em tôi dều có valise, dả chuẩn bị sẵn từ lâu.
Lúc dó là tháng 4/30/1975, gia dình tôi di ra phi trường vào lúc dêm, tôi rất sợ hãi, chuyến trực thanh dâù tiên bị Viêt Cộng bắn rớt, bâù trơì chói lưả sáng rực, mọi ngươì la hét, khóc lóc và rất sợ haĩ. Họ rât vui vì dươc di khỏi Viêt Nam, nhưng chứng kiến tai nạn naỳ, làm họ bị khủng hỏang tinh thần.
Sau khi gia dình tôi và moị người lên trưc thanh của quân dội Mỹ, chúng tôi bị gồm góp ngôì dồn dưới sàn, như chuồng heo, không có ghề ngồi, chuyến bay dáp cánh ở Phi Luật Tân, dổ xăng, mọi ngươì dang ngủ, và bay tiếp tới Guam sau mâỵ tiếng dồng hồ .
Gia dình tôi sống ở dảo Guam khỏang nưả năm, có thề rơì sớm hơn, nhưng vì Mẹ bị dau thận, khóc lóc và năn nỉ chính quyền Mỹ chở bà di nhà thương, ở Pensyvania, Mẹ sống sung sướng quen, không chịu dau dớn dược. Khi Mẹ khỏe trở về, thì 2 hai em tôi bị cúm gà, tôi và em phải vào bệnh viện, ở phòng riêng, chúng tôi không nói chuyện với ai hết, vì không hiểu tiếng anh.
Sau khi rơì bệnh viện, gia dình tôi di qua Pensyvania, tơí tỉnh nhỏ tên là Indy Gap,dể dơị bảo lãnh, khoảng hai tuần sau, chúng tôi dươc bảo lãnh. Gia dinh rơì di New York dể gặp ngươì bảo lãnh. Gia dình tôi tơí Grêenville New York ngày thứ bảy.
Hôm âý trơì lạnh buốt ré, trên dơì tôi chưa bao giờ thấy lạnh dến vậy, gia dình di nhà thờ vơí người bảo lãnh sáng sau. Qua ngày thứ hai, người bảo lãnh giúp tôi tìm việc lam, dến thứ ba tôi có việc và di làm, nên tôi chưa dược nghỉ ngơi và thăm quan thành phố.
Khỏang một năm sau, vào lúc mùa hè, mọi ngươì di nghỉ hè ở Washington DC, bỏ tôi ở nhà một mình, vơí con chó, dể săn sóc nó và lo dọn dẹp nhà cưả mỗi ngày. Một hôm, toi dang di bộ về, tình cờ tôi gặp một anh thanh niên trẻ, dẹp trai, anh hỏi tôi bằng tiếng Anh, “cô phải la ngươì Việt Nam không?”, tôi gật dâù, anh hỏi gia dinh tôi ở dâu, và tại sao tôi di lang thang một mình, rất nguy hiểm, khi thấy tôi băt dâù sợ hãi, anh lái xe dưa tôi về, anh không tin, khi tôi nói gia dinh di chơi xa, tôi ở nhà một mình. Khi tơí nhà, thấy vắng hoang, anh hoỉ tôi ăn dì chưa?, rôì anh mở tủ lạnh, chỉ thấy vài trứng gà, anh bảo tôi nấu cơm, và chiên hột gà, và anh ngồi ăn chung vơí tôi.
Khoảng tám giờ tối, anh dứng lên, và nói anh phải về di ngủ sớm, mai di làm, và anh khuyên tôi nên nghỉ ngơi sớm, anh hỏi tôi cách di làm, tôi noí tôi di chung xe vơi bạn.
Sau hôm dó, mỗỉ ngày anh gọi hỏi thăm, và gia dình dã về chưa? Một tuần sau, mọi ngươì về, Mẹ phàn nàn, trách rằng nhà dơ, và hôi, tôi dọn dẹp mỗi ngày, nhà rất sạch, chỉ hôi vì bị lông chó, va thức ăn chó bị hư. Tôi tủi thân, âm thầm nghĩ, sao Mẹ tàn nhẫn, nhớ dể thức ăn cho chó, nhưng lại không thương nghĩ tơí tôi, chẳng dể gí cho tôi cả, mà còn la, và trách móc.
Sau dó, anh thanh niên tơí nhà, hỏi thăm, và nói chuyện vơí Ba, Mẹ, và anh dể ý, tại sao tên tôi khac hẳn vơí tên dám em. Thấy quần áo, giầy của tôi cũ quá, anh hoỉ về tiền lương tôi, tôi thú thật, tiền lưong Mẹ giữ hết. Mỗi khi anh tơí thăm, anh hay tặng những món qùa, tỉ dụ kem xoa tay, thuốc gội dâù, …, bơỉ vì anh dưa tiền mua, tôi ngại không lấy.
Anh nói tên anh là Nguyễn Bi, tôi thâý rất têú, khoang thời gian sau,anh tỏ ý muốn kết hôn vơí tôi, anh nói, anh mến tôi và muốn giup dỡ tôi, anh có cảm tuởng, moị sự không dược tôt dẹp trong cuộc sống của tôi. Nhiều khi anh tơí thăm, tôi không có nhà, bơỉ ví tôi di làm mỗi ngày, và cuối tuần phải chăm coi trẻ con, nhiều khi 2 giờ sáng mơí về dược. Sau dó, cô em di phụ chăm trẻ, em tôi xúi tôi giấu tiền, dừng dể Mẹ thấy. Nhưng tôi không biêt cách, Mẹ dứng sẵn ở cửa, khi tôi về, không trốn dược, em tôi, biết lén lút trốn dược, và Mẹ không bao giờ thắc mắc cả. Suốt thơì gian này, tôi không biềt hình giạng dồng tiền Mỹ, và chưa dược cầm dến bao giờ cà, cho dến khi tôi sống với Bi.
Giang Sinh năm 1977, anh Bi di lễ vơí gia dinh tôi, và về ăn tôí chung dêm lễ, nửa dêm anh di về. Sáng thứ hai, tôi di lam trở lại, bình thường ra khoảng 4:30 chiều, nhưng hôm ấy, vì công việc qúa nhiều, tôi phải ờ laị trễ tơí 6:00, tôi gọi gia dình dến rước, nhưng không ai trả lời, tôi tiếp tục gọi, dến 11:00 khuya, tôi phải gọi anh Bi, anh dến dón dưa tôi về, dến nhà, toi bấm chuông, không ai mở cưả, em toi, Thúy Nhi nhìn ra cưả sổ, nhưng không xuống mở của cho tôi vào, trời tuyết rơi, lạnh buốt, chúng tôi dơị dến 1:00 giờ sáng, không chịu lạnh nỏi, anh Bi dưa tôi về nhà ngươì bạn anh ngủ tạm. Ngày hôm sau, ngươì bạn gọi diện thọai, Mẹ trả lời, và nói, tôi dã bỏ nhà ra di vơí anh Bi, và họ không muốn tôi trở về nhà nưã. Tôi phải ở tạm nhà người bạn 2 tuần, và anh Bi tìm dược chung cư, ơ tỉnh nhỏ tên Hudson.
Tôi tìm dược việc làm. may quần áo, một năm sau, tôi mang thai. Rôì mùa dông dến, hãng dóng cưả, cho nghỉ viêc, tôi ở nhà, may dồ cho con, một hôm, dang coi TV, tôi thấy quảng cáo về California, khí hậu ấm áp, giống Việt Nam, tôi thấy tốt cho gia dình, tôi bàn với Bi, tản cư qua Calif.
Khoảng giữ tháng bẩy, chúng tôi, sắp xếp, lái xe dọn di từ New York dến Calif., di mất trên hai tuần, chúng tôi lái xe ngày dêm, ngủ ở trong xe, không dịp ngăm cảnh, vì tôi sợ bị xẩy thai, hoặc sanh con nưả dường hoang vắng, không bac sĩ. Bac sĩ New York, nói tôi có thể sanh tháng tám, nếu sanh sớm. Rất may mắn, con tôi ra dơì váo tháng 09/06/1979, con gái, chúng tôi dặt tên là Bích Thy Thủy Nguyễn, tên tiếng Mỹ là Jessica.
My Tien Tran was born in Saigon, Vietnam (Saigon is now known as Ho Chi Minh City) on OCtober 20, 1957. A few days after her birth, her parents were riding in a cyclo when it was involved in an accident. Her mother died instantely and her father was injured. My Tien was in a oprhanage in Vietnam.
She was adopted by a large Vietnamese military family with many children and many other people depending in them. Adoptions in Vietnam at that time was always money first and then the child second. Her adoptive mother and cousin were very mean to her. Hitting My Tien was there was not enough food for the family to eat or when the house was not clean enough. Her last name, Tran, was given to her by her adoptive family, but she does not known where her first “My Tien” comes from. Perhaps from the oprhanage or by someone else. Because in her adoptive family, all the family’s biological children match each other and ryhmed.
My Tien attended school until she was about 3rd or 4th grade. Then her adoptive mother made her stay at home. My Tien had to cook for the family and the staff, and clean along with the servants. Then she began to grocery shop, cook, feed and bathe the animals, and take care of other children. There were servants, but the servants didn’t participate in all of the helpings.
The family’s biological children did not help. They went away to school and studied all day. The eldest children were in France, England, and America on foreign student exchange programs or in boarding schools. My Tien had a brother that she was very close to. She mended his clothes when he asked and her would watch her mend and iron his clothes. Her made her a rack to put her sewing things on and gave her a crocheting book (because she loved to crochet) and she made him a armload of scarves before he left to America to go to school. They had a close relationshiop, better than any relationship she had with anyone else in the Tran family.
Ba Di – Great Aunt
My Tien’s great-aunt who raised her until she was 8 in a rural part of Vietnam. My Tien had a great relationship with Great Aunt. Great Aunt’s daughter went to live with My Tien’s adoptive family in the city. My Tien believed
Great Aunt was her mother who she had lived with for 24 hours every day from the day her adoptive mother had given My Tien to Great Aunt to raise. Great Aunt went no where with My Tien and My Tien no where without Great Aunt. “I can’t remmeber what I called my Great Aunt when I was little, but I remember calling her Great Aunt when I grew up”. said My Tien.
When My Tien was six or seven, she rode on a train with her Great Aunt to the city. My Tien assumed they were going to see someone one or visit the city. When she came off the train, she saw 2 people. My Tien asked Great Aunt who the people were. Great Aunt pointed and said the man was her father and the woman was her mother. My Tien felt very weird, it looked very strange to her. I felt so confused. The city (Saigon) was big and look confusing.” After living in a small country town in a tiny humble house, then moving to a big city and a huge house, who wouldn’t feel weird, confused and surprise?” said My Tien.
Then she went to live with her “parents” in Saigon in their huge house in Saigon with their children and other
family members until she left for America.
The Not so Fun and Fun Times
My Tien from a young age was made to cook, clean, grocery shop, take care of the house, the younger siblings, the french bread business and the farm animals. Her adoptive mother told her if she was good, then her adoptive other would rewarded her. That never happened.
My Tien was taken out of school after the third grade to “help” her adoptive mother. Her adoptive mother told My Tien that she was her mother’s right hand. If she was good and took care of all the chores, her adoptive mother would allow her to go learn how to sew. My Tien loved to watch the neighborhood ladies who would set up show during naptime and look over their shoulder and sew.
One Day when My Tien was thirteen or fourteen years old, My Tien’s adoptive mother gave My Tien money to buy food that would last 2 days. My Tien took one look at the amount of money and knew that it was not enough money to buy a fish that would feed the whole family. So one day when she was cleaning, she noticed the attic door was open. My Tien looked inside to find a big quantity of oils, sugar, spices, flour, etc. “Yes, enough to buy food for the next 2 days”, My Tien thought.
My Tien later found out her adoptive mother had purchased it from the army’s black market and hidden it away. My Tien took 3 big bottles of oil and sold it to different people: to a fish fryer, and a woman who made tofu. Then she had enough to buy a big fish for dinner and the next.
Unfortunately, after she had made a delicious fish for dinner, she went outside to bathe the pigs and feed the fish, some of the uncles went to the kitchen along with her adoptive sisters and ate the fish. By dinner, there was only bones left for dinner. My Tien was yelled and hit with chopsticks on her head by her adoptive mother because she had taken her adoptive mother’s precious oil that the adoptive mother had hidden and she had “lost” the fish.
“But to this day, I don’t feel guilty, since I tried to help my family. My mother thought I was stealing. If I was
stealing, I would have lots of money or jewelry.” said My Tien.
Another day when My Tien was thirteen or fourteen (a lot of things happened to My Tien at this age) she ran away from home. She said it was a fun experience. After being hit and yelled at by her adoptive father, she ran away to downtown Saigon. My Tien met a soldier that let him stay in his tent, since he was afraid for her. The soldier went to sleep outside and for the longest time, My Tien wasn’t able to sleep. She was awaken at 4 am by the sound of a bomb dropping. The soldier ran back into the tent to see if she was OK. When My Tien woke up that morning, the soldier was gone. My Tien thinks now that he may have died in battle that day. My Tien then began walking into town. When of a sudden, she ran into her adoptive uncle. He asked her all sorts of questions and she told him why she ran away from home. That her parents were hitting her and that’s why she left. My Tien went to see him in army camp (he was a new solder) and in training. It was 4 PM when adoptive uncle took My Tien to his house to visit his wife. His wife was not home but his mother (My Tien’s adoptive grandmother) was home. My Tien’s adoptive grandmother asked why she had ran away. My Tien told her adoptive grandmother how her parents had hit her and she ran away. My Tien’s adoptive grandmother told her to stay there and would get My Tien something to eat. Adoptive grandmother gave My Tien some food to eat and then told My Tien that her family had left for America that day. My Tien was upset that her family had just left her like that, as if she didn’t matter.
Around midnight, My Tien’s adoptive father called adoptive grandmother’s house. They said something on the phone, My Tien was in another room and it was muffled and she could not hear what they were saying. My Tien’s adoptive father’s chauffer came and picked My Tien from grandmother’s house. My Tien’s aunt told her “We go to US tonight”.
She later found out from the mean cousin that My Tien was brought home because her aunt (the nice one) yelled at My Tien’s parents for raising a child from a infant to a teen and then leaving her there would not be fair.
My Tien hurried upstairs to pack her bags. “Everyone had a small suitcase in their hand, ready to leave. As if they had been packing all day” My Tien said. My Tien took with her a shirt, pant, and a handful of photos. Those photos once in America, would be rip away from My Tien.
Good-bye Vietnam! Hello America!
It was April 30, 1975, the day My Tien left Vietnam. It was about midnight, a scary night. The plane ahead of them had just started to fly when it was hit by the Viet Cong. “It lit up the sky, like a lot of light in sky. People cried and screamed when the plane went down” My Tien said. My Tien said all the people were happy that they were leaving Vietnam and for this to happen if front of thier eyes was horrifying.
On the plane, “It was like a bunch of pigs in a pig pen. Some people were lying down, some was sitting down, some people was sitting on other people. Every where you looked, you saw people” My Tien said. She explained that it was a small cargo plane that usually flew army jeeps around Vietnam. The plane landed in the Philippines to refuel the gas tank. “They announced in the loudspeaker that we were in the Philippines that how I knew where we landed.” said My Tien. People were told to leave the plane when it was refueled. Then the people were called back to another plane and they boarded. They finally arrived in Guam a few hours later. “Look at the people who come to the US now. Such luxury. They sat in chairs in luxury. When we came over, we sat like pigs everywhere”. My Tien said.
My Tien and her adoptive family lived in Guam for 6 months. My Tien said they would have left Guam earlier but her adoptive mother became ill with kidney stones and cried to the officials to let her to go to the hospital. Her adoptive mother had lived a life of luxury all her life, and life in Guam had made her sick. My Tien and her adoptive family had to wait until her adoptive other was well before they could leave. When My Tien’s adoptive mother came back from Pennysvania, My Tien’s 2 little adoptive sisters fell ill with the chicken pox. “I took them to the camp infirmary and from there, Guam officials took us by car to a hospital. They put all three sisters in a small privare roo in the hospital”. My Tien said. My Tien had a hard time communicating with the officials because she could not speak English and did not know how to use the telephone. So My Tien sent a letter back to the family.
“The others didn’t seem to care”, My Tien said.
From Guam to Pennysvania, to a town called Indy Town Gap, My Tien and her adoptive family waited for months for sponsors. They didn’t have to wait long, about a couple of weeks.
They arrived in Greenville, New York on a Saturday. My Tien is not sure of the date, but she remembers it was a Saturday. “It was a cold night, the first time I ever been cold” said My Tien, the day she met the sponsors. On Sunday, they went to church with the sponsors. On Monday, she was taken to look for a job. By Tuesday, she had a job. My Tien had no time to rest or explore.
The Kind Handsome, Vietnamese Gentleman
About a year after arriving in America, My Tien ws walking home from work. It was a warm, July day. My Tien’s adoptive family had went to Washington D.C. for vacation and left My Tien home alone with 2 big dogs. My Tien had to clean the house, take care of the dogs, and went to work, day after day.
One day, My Tien was walking home when a car pull up beside her. It was a handsome, Vietnamese gentleman. He asked her in English “Are you Vietnamese?”. My Tien replied “Yes.” He started speaking Vietnamese to My Tien and asked her all sorts of questions (where her family was). He told her “A young girl like you, don’t walk by yourself, it is dangerous”. What he said scared My Tien. He said “OK, show me your house and I will take you home” he said. She said she thought in her mind, that he didn’t believe her that her family had left her alone. He drove her home, nobody was there. He asked her if she had ate anything yet. She said “no”. He opened the refridgerator to discover there was nothing there but a few eggs. He told her to make an omelette and cook some rice. So she cook the food and he ate with her. It was about 8 in the evening when he left to go home. He mentioned it was late and he had to go home and go to sleep.
He asked her what her transportation was to work. My Tien told him that she carpool with other ladies from work.
Then he left. Every day he would call to see if her family had came home yet. A week later, My Tien’s family came home. My Tien’s adoptive mother complained that the house was dirty and smelly. The house was clean expect for the dogs shedding. “She did not leave me any food, but she did leave food for the dog” said My Tien, mumbling to herself how unfair her mother was being.
The kind handsome Vietnamese gentleman came back to her house and talked to My Tien’s parents on how they left Tien at home alone. After the conversation, the gentleman got suspicious. Why did all the daughters in the family had matching names expept My Tien? He asked My Tien where did her paycheck go? My Tien replied it went to her parents. He mentioned that her clothes and shoes were very bad. So every time he visited, he brought for her, lotion for her hands, shampoo for her hair. He gave her money but she was too afraid to take it so he gave her things.
She laughed when he told her his name. His name was Bi (prounced bee). She said it was funny.
Later, Bi asked to marry My Tien because he knew something was wrong and he wanted to help. My Tien always worked overtime and was never home when he came to visit on week days and weekends. She baby sat until 2 AM.
After a long period of time, My Tien’s adoptive sister started to go baby sitting with My Tien. The adoptive sister told My Tien to hide the baby sitting money, but she could not do that because her adoptive mother would be wating by the door for the money. Her adoptive sister always got away with it, since she slipped thru the door and went straight up to her room. My Tien’s adoptive mother never asked the sister for the money. “I never knew what American money looked like until I had left with Bi” said My Tien.
It was Christas day 1977. My Tien, Bi, and her adoptive family went to church for midnight mass. Then they went to back to the Trans home. Bi stayed overnight at the house, but when My Tien woke up, he had already left. On Monday, My Tien went to work as usual. Her usual going home time was 4:30 PM, but she had to work overtime that night since there was things that needed to be sent out so My Tien stayed later than usual. My Tien had no money so she had borrow coins from the janitor to call home. At 6:30 PM, she called so someone would pick her up but no one answered. My Tien waited until 11:30. Still no one picked up the phone. My Tien decied to call Bi. Bi picked her up and drove her home. They knocked on the door. No one opened the door. She looked up and saw her adoptive sister, Thuy Nhi, looking down but did not let them in. They waited and rang the doorbell until a snow storm hit at 1 am.
Then Bi took My Tien to his friend’s house. She stayed at woman’s house overnight. The woman that My Tien had stayed at called her parents. Her parents told the woman that My Tien had ran away from home with Bi. They told the woman they did not want My Tien to come home either.
Up until then, My Tien had always believed that her parents were her parents. From there she knew there were her adoptive family.
My Tien stayed with that woman for 2 weeks until Bi could find an apartment and rent it. He found one in the small town of Hudson. There My Tien took a job in a sewing factory. A year later, My Tien was pregnant. Before long, the winger came and it started to snow. The sewing factory laid people off because of the winter. My Tien was among the people laid off. My Tien stayed home, sewing baby clothes. One day, she was watching TV and saw a TV show about California. My Tien liked that for her, Bi and the baby. So she and Bi set off for California.
It was the middle of July 1979, when they traveled to California from upstate New York. It took over two weeks in their small cramped car. Bi drove all day until the late evening and they rested at night. They did not stop anywhere to enjoy the sceanery because My Tien was afraid the baby might come early since the doctor said the baby would be born in August. But the baby was not born until September 06, 1979. The baby was a girl and named Bich Thy Thuy Nguyen. Her english name was Jessica. 🙂