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Indian American girl to look for mother in Goa

Last updated: 20 September, 2009
Devika Sequeira, Panaji, Sep 20, DH News Service: 1:04 IST

Journey to be documented by Nishas four Indian friends

It is difficult to foresee how this poignant story might end. But Nisha Grayson who was adopted from Goa by an American family, is determined to journey to India later this month to look for her biological mother.


Nisha, 26, will not be travelling to Goa alone. Three other Indian American friends from California will also put their lives on hold to document Nisha’s and their own journeys of self-discovery.

Delivered to her all-White adoptive parents at the Los Angeles airport in December 1983 as a six-month-old baby, Nisha drew away from her foster family as she grew up because she had never been exposed to her own culture and felt she did not belong. All she was told was that her mother, Amruta, had been compelled by circumstances to give her away in adoption after birth through the Society for Child Development orphanage at Caranzalem in Goa.

Nisha said on her website that she felt challenged to make the journey to India “to see the life I could have had so easily if Amruta did not make the decision of adoption. I want to feel like I blend in instead of standing out in the middle of the crowd alone. I want to see Indian women who look similar to me.”

She said she has been thinking of her birth mother almost every day. “The thought of having the possibility of finding information about her or even getting a hold of a picture makes me want to break down. This journey to India is going to help me honour my family history and my Indian mother.”

Journalist Frederick Noronha who is helping Nisha has been through similar cases before and says they all ended sadly. Four Goan children adopted in the Netherlands from the same orphanage didn’t get very far when they returned to trace their biological parents.

The orphanage run by an American woman once married to a Goa mining tycoon has shut down long since. The lady who now lives in Utah has always been cagey, parting with information about the children’s parents, he said.

Nisha and friends Reena and Sharmila Ray of Indian-Filipino descent and Hitesh Khalashi will be joined by Victor Lara on their India journey which they plan to turn into a documentary titled My India. None of the four Indian Americans has been to this country before. The film would be a soul-searching experience for them, they said.

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