David Perry Finds the Missing Piece in Vietnam

Jack Kramer, Staff Writer

This past summer, Ramsey High School student, David Perry journeyed across the world to his birthplace: Vietnam.

David was adopted when he was just a year old, living with no memories of the nation in which he was born. In addition, he had no recollection of his biological parents. Ever since he was old enough to understand his situation, David felt as though something was absent from his life, as if there was a piece missing from a puzzle.

He could only wonder what life he would have had in Vietnam if he had not been adopted, so David decided that the only way to find out would be to travel to Vietnam and experience it firsthand.

Determined to make his dream of visiting his home country come true, David raised money through the Catalyst Foundation for a needy community in Vietnam. The organization is involved in building communities and charity works. One of the foundation members is a family friend of the Perry’s, making it a simple and easy decision for David to choose that route.

He remembers feeling especially nervous before the trip, saying he did not know how the food would be or how he would cope with the incredibly hot and humid Vietnamese weather. Although he was slightly apprehensive, David explains he “just knew” that he needed to meet his parents, and that the opportunity to do so is a  once in a lifetime event. Once arrived in Vietnam, David’s fears were quickly put to rest. He quickly made friends within his group, adding that although the weather was extremely hot, the food was amazing.

David toured numerous cities, each one “special and beautiful in its own way.” The most emotional part of his trip was when he met his birth parents, fulfilling a lifelong dream. Despite the language barrier, David and his parents were able to communicate with the help of a translator. Many tears were shed, and David will never forget this experience.

Without a doubt, David’s time in Vietnam has changed him in countless ways. David says that what stood out to him as the biggest change was his sense of completion. After a lifetime of wondering “what if?” David was finally able to fill the missing piece in his life through meeting his parents and visiting his birthplace. Because of this trip to Vietnam, David explains, “I learned that you need to take that opportunity of a lifetime that everyone talks about, because if you don’t, you will wish you had.”