‘Not alone anymore’: Rochester woman meets her dad for the first time

Here’s your daily dose of sweetness:

The Vietnam War hasn’t ended. Just ask Lan Thi Kim Do, of Rochester, Minn., who only met her father for the first time on Wednesday when Wayne Brown, 72, of Los Angeles arrived at the airport in Rochester.

Until recently, Brown didn’t know he had a daughter, the Rochester Post-Bulletin says.

“I had spent the last 50 years trying to forget about Vietnam. This brings it back, but it brings it back in a different kind of way. It’s kind of in a good way.”

Kind of.

“I feel very happy now,” said Lan. “I’m not alone anymore. I have a dad and I have sister and brother. I have family now.”

Brown, a combat medic in Vietnam from 1966-67, has no memory of Lan’s mother and didn’t know he had a daughter until February when a friend of Lan’s found him on Facebook and told him about the results from the DNA site, Ancestry.com.

There almost certainly would not have been a discovery if not for the persistence of [Beka] Berhanu, Lan’s friend who encouraged Lan to search for her family. Despite Lan’s initial reluctance, it was Berhanu who pushed Lan to take the DNA test. He even bought the test kit and opened an Ancestry.com account for her.

“She was so excited,” Berhanu said describing Lan’s mood the day before the meeting. “It was a long, long night.”

For Lan, the discovery of her dad ended a sense of being cut off from a family history or family roots. Lan was a 10-year-old girl living in a farming village outside of Saigon, Vietnam, when her mom left her.

Lan immigrated to the U.S. and forged a life in her adopted country, but lacking knowledge of her own family instilled within her an abiding sense of disconnection. Finding her dad restored that connection.

“I”m just anxious to know how she lived her life up to this point, how she got from Vietnam to here. What she has been doing for the past 50 years,” Brown said. “I’m sure that’s going to take a little while to unravel.”

  • Erik Petersen

    Same here: the timing of my conception, and thus my existence, was dictated by Vietnam.

    It is a sweet story