Asha Dijkstra was adopted from India. As a little girl, she wasn’t allowed to grow up with her biological parents.
Themes like identity, inclusion and gender equality are intertwined in her personal story supported by research. Asha works at the Dutch Inspectorate of Education to provide input on adoption policies as an expert by experience. She also set up her own charity in India, the Aara Foundation.
‘What does it mean to be adopted?
Asha, born in India, has written a beautiful and moving book about her experiences, feelings and perspectives as an adopted child in the Netherlands. About what it feels like to grow up with Indian DNA in the Netherlands. Her joy when her parents gave her a brown doll with black hair. After all, the doll looks just like an Indian girl. About the love of her adoptive parents and being grateful for the fact they never hid the truth from Asha. About her pride in her Indian ancestry and her increasing desire to search for her origins in India. About her search for her roots, her past in that distant and unknown yet familiar India. About joy when Asha learns that she has a big Indian family; when she receives her first letter from her birth mother and when she can give her birth mother a hug at the age of 15.
Marten van den Berg, Dutch Ambassador to India