Operation Babylift (Vietnam Adoptions 1975)

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Operation Babylift - Vietnam Adoption Airlift 1975

Stories and articles about Operation Babylift

By Allison Martin

Operation Babylift articles and photos from people touched by this experience : adoptees, parents, air force crew, nurses, adoption workers, and many more.

Babylift Overview | Books | Photographs | Those Who Assisted | Adoptees | Parents | Letters | Share Your Story | Links

Introduction:
This is the story of Operation Babylift, an amazing and far-reaching event in adoption history. In 1975 over 2,000 infants and children were airlifted from Vietnam and adopted by families around the world. When spoke to participants of the Babylift many years ago I was touched that a story with such impact and drama had all but become buried. There was almost nothing on the internet at the time, and very few books. As I learned more, I began to understand the various reasons for the silence on this story - not only was it a reaction to the Vietnam American War, which many wish to forget, but there are some cautionary notes here for those involved in adoption today. But this story deserves to be told, both for the wonderous courage and committment shown by those involved, and because it is responsible for bringing so many adoptees home.

Since I wrote the original article for Adoption Today magazine and published some of the original interviews on our website, many people have volunteered to share their stories and photographs. Hundreds of people have written me that they are touched by our site and it has even been used by Oprah, as well as BBC, ABC, and PBS. I hope you enjoy reading these first hand accounts and personal stories as much as I have!
Allison Martin, Families with Children from Vietnam

Share your Operation Babylift experience and pictures

Operation Babylift Articles and Photographs

Overviews | Book Reviews | Photographs | Those Who Assisted | Adoptees | Parents | Letters | Links

Overview Articles about Operation Babylift

The Legacy of Operation Babylift
What was Operation Babylift? The story of the airlift and adoption of over 2,000 children from Vietnam in 1975. Allison Martin

Each Child Had a Story
The conditions of some of the rural orphanages in South Vietnam in the mid-seventies, at the close of the Vietnam American War. Shirley Peck Barnes

Vietnam's Shadows Are With Us To This day: "What's Going On? California and the Vietnam Era"
Impact of the babylift and other Vietnam-American War events are considered in light of an exhibition at the Musuem of Oakland. Steve Winn

Interview with Andrea Warren
Author of Escape from Saigon

Photographs of Operation Babylift

Operation Babylift Photographs
Dramatic and touching photographs from the Pan Am Airlift - April 5, 1975. Joyce Wertz Harrington and Edwina Aki Lee

World Airways Photographs
Photographs of Operation Babylift from World Airways.

Vietnam Homeland Tour Photographs
An adoptive mother travels to Vietnam with her daughter on an Homeland Tour for adult Vietnamese adoptees. You can also read her excerpts from her travel journal. Vikki Murray

Original Stories from Those Who Assisted with Operation Babylift

Adoption Workers, Volunteers, Armed Forces, Red Cross, Airplane Personnel, Nurses

The Holt Flight to Freedom - Operation Babylift
A detailed description of the Holt airplane flight during Operation Babylift. Andrea Warren

The Story of the Pan Am Airlift -- April 5, 1975
A nurse shares her amazing journey of care and comfort of over 400 babies and children during the emergency flight to their new homes. Joyce Wertz Harrington

This Must Be My Brother
The inspirational story of two midwestern homemakers who brought 100 babies home to United States, during the Vietnam Orphan Airlift. LeAnn Thieman & Carol Dey

Helping and Loving Orphans : Betty Tisdale's Story
Betty Tisdale arranged the transport of more than 200 children from the An Lac orphanage to the United States, up to the end of the Vietnam war. Betty Tisdale

The Magic of Music Amid Operation Babylift
Compassion mixes with confusion when the children from Operation Babylift arrive at the Continental Care Center in Denver, Colorado. Shirley Peck Barnes

Operaton Babylift - Homeward Bound Creates New Memories
Twenty-one Vietnamese-American adoptees became the guests of World Airways for a whirlwind visit to Vietnam in 2005, commenorating World Airways' significant role in transport of children during Operation Babylift. Steve Forsyth

A Team Flies to Vietnam
Operation babylist mission and adoption, a personal story. Jim Wallis

Operation Babylift at Clark Airforce Base
A soldier at Clark Air Force base shares the story of his participation in Operation Babylift. Claude Wayman

Red Cross Volunteers in Operation Babylift
A Red Cross volunteer cares for the babies of Operation Babylift. A touching story of love and compassion. Paula Richardson

Operation Babylift, An Interview with Cherie Clark
Cherie Clark, former director of FCVN in Vietnam, recalls the events during Operation Babylift. Allison Martin

This Must Be My Brother, An Interview with LeAnn Thieman
Author LeAnn Thieman discusses her inspirational adoption adventure during Operation Babylift, when two thousand babies and children were adopted from Vietnam in the 1970's. Allison Martin

Rosemary Taylor, Adoption Hero
Rosemary Taylor's service to orphans and homeless children in Vietnam between 1967 and 1975. Patricia Palmer

Betty Tisdale - Babylift Volunteer and Humanitarian
Betty Tisdale evacuated 219 orphans from An Lac Orphanage during the time of Operation Babylift.

The War Cradle
An interview with Shirley Peck Barnes, the author of The War Cradle. Allison Martin

Babylift
A friend describes the memories of a woman soldier recalling the airlift of the babies and children in this poem. Christina Sharik

Articles and Poetry by Operation Babylift Adoptees

Going Back to Vietnam
A news article about an adult adoptee's experiences during her visit to Vietnam with her family. Karen Herzog

Helping and Loving Orphans
ThuVan, adopted by Betty Tisdale from An Lac Orphanage during the Vietnam War, describes her emotions when she holds an orphaned baby in the Vin Son Orphanage in Vietnam. ThuVan Tisdale DeBellis

Homeward Bound: Returning to Vietnam
My story in Vietnam began in a small orphanage in the central coastal city of Quy Nhon. During the Vietnam War, children were evacuated from the Ghenh Rang Orphanage during the North Vietnamese occupation, migrated south to Saigon, and eventually put on planes as part of Operation Babylift in 1975. Brad and Julie Davis

Helping and Loving Orphans : An Lac Adoptee
An adult adoptee describes his meeting with Betty Tisdale, who brought him out of Vietnam duirng Operation Babylift. Bert Ballard

An Emotional Bridge to the Past
"Babylift orphans carry their curiosity aboard Oakland-Vietnam flight." Kristin Bender

Fragile Flames
Poem in remembrance of the children who perished on the C-5A plane crash of the 1975 Vietnam Operation Babylift. Sue-San King

A Belonging of Looks - An Adoptee Returns to Vietnam
An adoptee's journey on a Babylift Anniversary homeland tour to Vietnam. Julie Hessler

Monrovia Karate Instructor Succumbs to Heart Failure
Tribute to the life of a survivor of C-5A crash Babylift.

Sky Girl
An adoptee from the babylift comes to terms with her past. Brent M. Eastwood

A Search for the Past - A Vietnamese Adoptee Visits Vietnam
An adoptee shares his thoughts on his journey to Vietnam in search of his past. Joshua Woerthwein

Adoptee Connection
An adoptee shares his story of growing up in America and his connection with other adoptees. Tuan-Rishard F. Schneider

Operation Babylift Stories from Adoptive Parents

Helping and Loving Orphans : An Lac Parent
An adoptive mother shares the adoption story of her son from the An Lac orphanage, during Operation Babylift. Colleen Bonds

Interview with Andrea Warren, author of Escape from Saigon
Andrea Warren is the author of Escape from Saigon, a true story for older children and adults about Operation Babylift.

Pioneer Mom
A Babylift adoption story of one of the last babies adopted to the United States during Operation Babylift. Lana Noone

Footprints - A Visit from Immigration
Immigration officials take photographs, fingerprints and footprints of a child adopted during Operation Babylift. Pamela Chatterton Purdy

Vietnam Homeland Tour Diary
An adoptive mother travels to Vietnam with her daughter on an Homeland Tour for adult Vietnamese adoptees. The insights she gained from this journey are shared in her travel journal. Vikki Murray

In Remembrance of the Babylift Airplane Crash
An adoptive mother recalls the morning of the crash. Susan Winterbottom

Interview with Lana Noone
An interview with Lana Noone, the author of Global Mom, and mother of two children adopted during Operation Babylift. Allison Martin

She Shimmered in Time
The last baby out of Vietnam during Operation Babylift; her mother Lana Noone shares her story. Charlene Edwards

Babylift Letters

We have been blessed with many touching and informative letters since I wrote the original article about the Babylift. Here are a few you all might enjoy.

Letters - Personal Babylift Experiences

How have you been touched by Operation Babylift? Please send your story or photos to share with others on the website. Write to Allison Martin, at babylift@adoptvietnam.org. (For questions on searching, see the babylift resources.)


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