Kozhikode: Kerala's links to lands overseas develop in myriad ways and adoption too is one among them. A chain of orphanages and shelter homes run by missionaries help miserable and unwanted ones, including babies, to survive and lead a better life.
For Navya Sofia Dorigatti, an Italian national, Kerala is not just a beautiful tourist destination. It is where she was born and probably where her biological mother still lives. Navya has been looking for her mother, who had left her at an orphanage in Kozhikode, around 35 years ago.
“I just want to see her, at least once. I wish to protect her if she is in a difficult state. She has done me only good,” says Navya.
Navya had reached Kerala, 9 years ago, accompanied by her husband, in search of her mother. However, they had to return disappointed. But the daughter in her couldn’t shake off her thoughts about her birth mother and still keeps looking with the help of social media.
Navya was born at an orphanage in Kozhikode on 31 March 1984. The mother left the orphanage leaving her new bornbaby girl there. Navya had grown up at another orphanage in Wayanad, run by the same organisation, till she turned two. However, fate had something else in store for her. She was adopted by Italian couple Silvano Dorigatti and Thisiyana and became a citizen of Italy.
Navya discovered the truth about her real parentage in a rather strange way. When she was 9 she asked her parents why she wasn’t as fair complexioned as them. Silvano and Thisiyana, who dearly loved their daughter, didn’t hide the truth from her and told Navya how she was adopted from Kerala.
Letters had been reaching Navya in Italy from the Wayanad orphanage enquiring about her well being. Navya had traced the trail of those letters and reached Wayanad, 9 years ago, hoping to meet her real mother. She could, however, only discover the names of her mother and grandmother and her birth date. Navya also realised that her mother was just 19 when the latter had given birth to her.
The officials at the orphanage too had limitations to reveal more details.
Navya has since then added her mother’s name to her own to honor her. She currently lives in Trento, Italy, with her husband and two daughters. She regularly posts notes about herself along with a video collage of her childhood pictures on all the Facebook groups in which Keralites are members. A Malayali friend, whom she met through the social media, had translated these notes into Malayalam.
Navya says that lots of Keralites encourage her and offer their support. “Maybe my mother is leading a happy life with her family and children. If that is the case, I would then take a look at her from far away and just leave. However, in case she is in a bad state, I would take her to Italy to have her stay with me,” vows Navya. She eagerly waits for a message in her email id firstname.lastname@example.org, which could finally lead her to her birth mother.
Similar tales have been reported from Kerala occasionally.