Sweet Home Alabama

August 31, 2015



"Over a decade later, I am in Alabama visiting my very caucasian grandfather and meeting my uncles for the first time. Strange because last night, I told my best friend something I didn't even put together until it came out of my mouth - "You know, I didn't even know I needed this until it happened." Meeting them, being in their home, talking to them, diving slightly into their world really connected some puzzle pieces in my life." 

A really personal story...







Miriam Flute Sleeve Dress in Santorini Navy - Motel Rocks // Cognac Monk Sandals - Mango // Toscano East/West Tote - Patricia Nash 

This is my second time having ever stepped foot in Alabama. The first time I was in Alabama was shortly after my mother found her father through some strange stroke of faith. Technology of the world wide web and my mother's open heart lead her to him. When my mother and her family came to America, she was in search of her father but her search was also a viable way to get her entire family in the Land of Dreams. Her search continued until she was in her mid-30s with three kids in her arms.  Hard to say if she was even actively searching. I say "my mother's open heart" because my mom has never stopped telling her story. She's a nomadic manicurist. That's what I like to call her. Every hand she touches, she has always left a piece of her. I don't think this women has any shame in her bones. She is proud of her origins, her unique story, and how the path lay in front of her and had laid behind her. One evening, my mother came home from work. She had a piece of paper. One of her clients had handed her a list of phone numbers in the United States listed under his name. My mom only knew her father's name. That was it. You see, back in the early internet age, yellow pages still existed and so were land lines. Unlike the modern cell phone age, names and numbers still coincided and were consistent. You can imagine the nervousness and tension, and then the level of disbelief when she found him. I don't think I can ever forget how underwhelming yet subtly groundbreaking that moment was. She actually found her father. Not many Vietnamese love children ever really find their fathers. I still can't fully fathom how rare this is. 


Over a decade later, I am in Alabama visiting my very caucasian grandfather and meeting my uncles for the first time. Strange because last night, I told my best friend something I didn't even put together until it came out of my mouth - "You know, I didn't even know I needed this until it happened." Meeting them, being in their home, talking to them, diving slightly into their world really connected some puzzle pieces in my life. What stood out to me the most is how much my uncles reminded me of my brothers, who have never met one another before. I understood my own brothers more from this experience. I understand my brothers' mannerisms now and where they get it from, even down to their allergies. Traveling really has really taught me some valuable lessons, many one can never expect. I traveled 2.5 hours south on a plane into a diabolically different environment and found a new home, a Sweet Home Alabama. 




Photos by iPhone & Momma-Do


August 31, 2015
"Over a decade later, I am in Alabama visiting my very caucasian grandfather and meeting my uncles for the first time. Strange because last night, I told my best friend something I didn't even put together until it came out of my mouth - "You know, I didn't even know I needed this until it happened." Meeting them, being in their home, talking to them, diving slightly into their world really connected some puzzle pieces in …


"Over a decade later, I am in Alabama visiting my very caucasian grandfather and meeting my uncles for the first time. Strange because last night, I told my best friend something I didn't even put together until it came out of my mouth - "You know, I didn't even know I needed this until it happened." Meeting them, being in their home, talking to them, diving slightly into their world really connected some puzzle pieces in my life." 

A really personal story...







Miriam Flute Sleeve Dress in Santorini Navy - Motel Rocks // Cognac Monk Sandals - Mango // Toscano East/West Tote - Patricia Nash 

This is my second time having ever stepped foot in Alabama. The first time I was in Alabama was shortly after my mother found her father through some strange stroke of faith. Technology of the world wide web and my mother's open heart lead her to him. When my mother and her family came to America, she was in search of her father but her search was also a viable way to get her entire family in the Land of Dreams. Her search continued until she was in her mid-30s with three kids in her arms.  Hard to say if she was even actively searching. I say "my mother's open heart" because my mom has never stopped telling her story. She's a nomadic manicurist. That's what I like to call her. Every hand she touches, she has always left a piece of her. I don't think this women has any shame in her bones. She is proud of her origins, her unique story, and how the path lay in front of her and had laid behind her. One evening, my mother came home from work. She had a piece of paper. One of her clients had handed her a list of phone numbers in the United States listed under his name. My mom only knew her father's name. That was it. You see, back in the early internet age, yellow pages still existed and so were land lines. Unlike the modern cell phone age, names and numbers still coincided and were consistent. You can imagine the nervousness and tension, and then the level of disbelief when she found him. I don't think I can ever forget how underwhelming yet subtly groundbreaking that moment was. She actually found her father. Not many Vietnamese love children ever really find their fathers. I still can't fully fathom how rare this is. 


Over a decade later, I am in Alabama visiting my very caucasian grandfather and meeting my uncles for the first time. Strange because last night, I told my best friend something I didn't even put together until it came out of my mouth - "You know, I didn't even know I needed this until it happened." Meeting them, being in their home, talking to them, diving slightly into their world really connected some puzzle pieces in my life. What stood out to me the most is how much my uncles reminded me of my brothers, who have never met one another before. I understood my own brothers more from this experience. I understand my brothers' mannerisms now and where they get it from, even down to their allergies. Traveling really has really taught me some valuable lessons, many one can never expect. I traveled 2.5 hours south on a plane into a diabolically different environment and found a new home, a Sweet Home Alabama. 




Photos by iPhone & Momma-Do