At the newly relocated Nutrition Center (the first orphanage set up by Mme Chan Haran Vaddey after the Khmer Rouge were driven out of Cambodia leaving a legacy of thousands upon thousands of orphans), the staff produced the "big book" for us to read. We found the entry for Mardya, showing that she was born in a local hospital on 28 December, 1986. She was taken 2 days later to the Nutrition Center where she lived until she was adopted by her US mother, Joanne, in 1990. Another very emotional moment shared...
Mme Vaddey (pictured above, center, in 1990 with the first 10 children to be adopted from the Nutrition Center - Mardya is the child seated on the steps turning toward her) is now an Under Secretary of State in the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation in Phnom Penh. After so many years of dedicated service to the children of Cambodia, she nonetheless still works to improve the lives of her nation's disadvantaged children. She remembered Mardya from 1990 and from her subsequent visit to the USA in 1991 when she was part of the first official delegation from the new Cambodia to visit the USA. Together we traveled around the States visiting the families who had adopted her children - some 57 in all.
(Dr Daniel Susott, AAI Medical Director)