love

What a remarkable father he is...

Dusten Brown's statement yesterday gives me chills, sadness abounds. These are his words:

Thank you all for coming today. It’s been two and a half weeks since our daughter Veronica left with Matt and Melanie Capobianco for South Carolina. It’s difficult to put into words how empty our home feels without her. To come home from work and not have her greet me, to come to the door and grab me no matter how dirty I am, or going into her room and seeing all of her toys, without her playing with them—is the worst pain I have ever felt.

Me, my wife, Veronica’s grandparents, her sister, cousins, aunts, uncles and extended family and friends are heartbroken without her, but I know we did everything in our power to keep Veronica home with her family.

During this four-year fight to raise my daughter, I had to make many difficult decisions—decisions no father should ever have to make. The most difficult decision of all was to let Veronica go with Matt and Melanie Capobianco last month. But it was no longer fair for Veronica to be in the middle of this battle. It was the love for my daughter that kept me going all this time. But it was also the love for my daughter that finally gave me the strength to accept things that are beyond my control.

The time has come for me to let Veronica live a normal childhood that she so desperately needs and deserves, and that means stopping the ongoing litigation here in Oklahoma. Veronica is only 4 years old, but her entire life has been lived in front of the media and the entire world, and I cannot bear for that to continue any longer. I love her too much to continue to have the spotlight on her. It is not fair for her to be in front of the media at all times. And her safety, happiness and well-being have always been my number one priority.

I want to thank everyone who has supported me in this fight to keep my daughter at home with me and her family. We never dreamed that so many people from around the world would support us in this effort to raise our daughter. We appreciate each and every one of you more than you know. Every card, letter and email has been precious, and we cannot thank you enough.

I know that the Capobiancos love Veronica very much and will provide her with a good home. It is my greatest hope we can work together on a solution that is best for Veronica—one that allows me to continue to be a part of my daughter’s life, and see and speak with her on a regular basis.

And to Veronica—one day you will read about this time in your life. Never, ever for one second doubt how much I love you, how hard I fought for you or how much you mean to me. My home will always be your home, and you are always welcome in it. I miss you more than words can express. You will always be my little girl, my princess, and I will love you until the day I die. I love you and hope to see you soon.

My mom and my birthmom

This black and white photo accurately represents my birth mother and my mom's respective skin tones, but it is inaccurate in their worldviews. Even though they've only just begun their friendship, it's neat to know that they've shared their accepting attitude for all people regardless of skin color.

“The quickest cure for racism would be to have everyone in the country adopt a child of another race. No matter what your beliefs, when you hold a four-day-old infant, love him, and care for him, you don’t see skin color, you see a little person that is very much in need of your love.”

—Robert Dale Morrison

Are we hard-wired to desire biological children?

If you're considering adoption in conjunction with having biological children, then you may encounter the statement, "your child is so lucky to have gotten your great genes!" This statement has the potential to leave the adopted child in the lurch. Consider how the adoptee may feel at that moment... I grew up with seven other siblings (six of whom were adopted), thus only one out of my seven siblings was privy to receiving these genetic comparison comments. This sibling routinely heard, "you've got those striking blue eyes just like your dads!" My origin-less brown eyes watched this scene play out time and time again over the years. I began to wonder why people's go-to comments when making small talk is generally related to physical appearance and comparing that to the biological parents. When meeting newborn babies, the run of the mill conversation usually settles around physical appearance and which parent the child resembles more. Is this a simple culturally polite conversation starter, or something more?

Ang and Sandy
Ang and Sandy

It wasn't until I searched for (and found) my biological family at the age of 26 that I began hearing these social niceties for the first time. I'll admit, the fact that my birth father and I resemble each other so closely, does hold a special place in my heart and I'm not sure why. Even though my birth father and I don't know each other very well, I do feel an extra flutter of connectedness when people look at our picture and comment "you and your birth-dad have the same smile!" This makes me wonder, do I feel this way because I've waited for 26 years to hear this, or is this a comment that we are all hard-wired to hear and enjoy?

In the same way that humans may be genetically predisposed to show empathy, to tend towards social altruism, or have an inborn belief in a higher spiritual being, are we also hard wired to desire biological children?

The search for my birthfamily

I am getting so frustrated with searching for my birth family. It is an emotionally draining experience - that may not become of anything. Ever. I was adopted when I as almost one year old from Chattanooga, Tennessee. I began this search as soon as the legal world said it was okay (18 years old). I began searching out of sheer curiosity. I have had a wonderful life and I love my parents to death, but I do have this intense longing to meet someone who looks like me. I am curious about why my birthmom got pregnant with me, after giving up three other kids for adoption. It was obvious that she was not financially able to provide for anyone other than herself. But, what is the rest of the story? Who is my birthfather? What's his story? I wonder if my birthmother shares my interests. I wonder if she is athletic or musical like I am. I just wonder, wonder, wonder...and often feel jealous when others can know this priveleged information so easily.

The law allows for you to begin searching when you turn 18. So, for my 18th birthday I was on the internet, SEARCHING. I searched for weeks/months to no avail. Finally I learned that I could get access to my OFFICIAL birth certificate which should have my birth parents FULL names printed on the certificate. I waited anxiously for days, when one afternoon I went to the mailbox one day and saw it. The envelope's return address said "State of Tennessee," I ran up the stairs to my room and ripped open the envelope only to find that my  birth certificate listed my adoptive parents as my birth parents, and my adopted last name as my birth name. Why? I have no idea. Anyways, roadblocks seem to be the norm. Uggh, SO frustrating.

I've watched the movie Antwone Fisher, and longed to personally recreate the scene where adoptee Antwone is flipping through the phone book with his girlfriend in a hotel...his girlfriend calls a number and voila...the next day they are at his birth mom's house. I wish it worked like that! Anyways, maybe someday soon I will be on a plane to Chattanooga Tennessee with an address and phone number in hand. Or maybe I am never supposed to know.

In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage - to know who we are and where we came from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness." -Alex Haley