Good NewsAdoptionChance Meeting Reunites American Adoptee With Biological Family in Vietnam

Chance Meeting Reunites American Adoptee With Biological Family in Vietnam

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An American woman visiting the Vietnamese orphanage she was adopted from got the shock of a lifetime when a chance meeting led to her reuniting with her biological family.


Melissa Brozier, from Columbus, Ohio, had only planned to visit the orphanage as part of a bigger trip to discover the culture of where she was born.

Having been adopted through an agency, Melissa grew up in a predominantly white community, which, she said, provided her with a loving home and opportunities, but also led her to question her heritage.

Melissa during her vacation to Vietnam, where she was born before being adopted to the U.S.

In Melissa’s teens, her aunt offered her an incentive she had also extended to other family members in the past: if Melissa graduated high school, her aunt would take a trip to anywhere she wished.

Having made it to college, Melissa decided she would simply like to take a trip to Vietnam to learn about the culture and travel around.

As that visit was due to take place over the holidays, Melissa decided she would also like to stop off at the orphanage she was adopted from so that she could present children with Christmas gifts.


Having made it to an orphanage in HoiAn that Melissa and her aunt thought she was adopted from, the pair started talking to a member of staff, expressing that they hoped they’d come to the right place.

The man encouraged Melissa and her aunt to follow him to his office, offering little context before pulling out a big red book.

Inside, Melissa saw her childhood photo, which she recognized as one of the few ties she had to Vietnam herself.

The man then said that Melissa’s biological family returned to the orphanage every few months, leaving new phone numbers and addresses in case she ever came back.


That moment hit Melissa hard, and the man asked if she would like to meet her biological family.

Having said ‘yes’ in what felt like a whirlwind, Melissa and her aunt then waited for a number of mopeds to turn up, helping facilitate a first meeting with her mother, Giap.

Melissa poses with the register showing her baby photo and adoption details.
Melissa’s baby photo (top) next to a photo of her now.

Melissa’s aunt was able to capture the emotional meeting on video – along with interactions with her dad, Hien, and her biological siblings.

Given that things unraveled so quickly – and on Christmas Day – Melissa said that she truly saw this meeting as a Christmas miracle.

Though the moment happened in 2018, Melissa – then 20 and now 25 – said she did not feel ready to share the story with the world until Christmas 2023, when she posted a video on TikTok.


Since the meeting, Melissa has kept in touch with her family via Facebook, and she is planning to learn Vietnamese to make communication easier.

Melissa’s mother arrives at the orphanage to reunite after years of hoping for this moment.
Melissa with her mother, father and other relatives.

She also hopes to one day return to Vietnam with her adopted family so that they can meet her biological parents.

She said: “Being able to sit next to my biological mother and hold each other, it felt like I couldn’t hear or feel anything, but there was some level of understanding that everything was okay while neither of us spoke the same language.

Before she returned home, Melissa got to meet all her extended family, including sisters she never knew she had.

“In a very weird way, I felt whole.

“At first, it was a mental and emotional feeling.

“To see a woman I have never met or speak the same language as, but feel a closeness and understanding I never knew existed, all while being confused how my life ended up so different than theirs, was so oddly fulfilling.

“I had never known what it was like to have the psychological comfort to look around a dinner table and have people who have the same exact genetic makeup as me.


“I found myself crying at random times throughout the trip when I would sit down to eat with them because I now have the luxury of knowing where my ears come from or why my nose is the shape that it is.

“It is the weirdest comforting feeling, but also the most confusing and emotional as well. “I later found out the same photo that is in the book at the orphanage, all of my siblings had in a wallet size and kept it close to them, as well as a framed photo in the house, to remember me by.”

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