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Author's Name: Susan McDonald, SL

Title: "Orphans of Vietnam"

It was 1972.  I was nursing in Kentucky and was seeing the war in Vietnam on the evening news...every night.I knew I wanted to do something.  I wrote to several volunteer organizations in Vietnam.  Rosemary Taylor,  a woman from Australia, responded to my letter.  She said she had an organization that takes abandoned children in, cares for them and then facilitates their adoptions worldwide.  She mad it clear that as a volunteer organization, they operated solely on donations  only.

Within 2 months, I was in Saigon and was the director of a nursery in Saigon.  We took infants who were found in the markets, on church steps, on the roadside.  We did not take any children who had known relatives. 

Many infants were severely malnourished and if they had not been left where they would be found, would have certainly died.  

The stories of the children, the childcare workers, the generosity of many servicemen and women, and the adoptions that we facilitated for the 2 years I was there are many and a witness to human spirit of hope.

When I returned to the states, I wrote a book--a "baby book" for the children we cared for so they could have some record of their beginnings in this war-ravaged land.  The book is For Children Cannot Wait.  We cared for over 1,000 infants 1973-1975.

I left Vietnam April , 1975, shortly after the C5_A plane crash in Saigon---a crash in which we lost over 100 babies and several adults who were accompanying the babies.
The orphans of the Vietnam war are now adults throughout the world; their story is an important part of this history.