Every adoptee is supposed to have an adoption story…

24 Sep


I remember my adoption story.  It is still told today so many years later, most of it involves how I came to be adopted into my family.  It describes exactly what took place, and, why I needed to be adopted.  All of which was valid, all of which was done ethically, and, all was done with grace.

Your adoption story is an integral aspect of who you are, how you fit, what your place is in your family.  It’s supposed to be a truthful account of both sides of your story, created into a moving timeline of how you joined your family.

My story works…

If the story for Veronica ends here –

How the hell will Veronica’s adoption story work for her?  Because it will have to be truthful because not only does she have memories – she will have the internet including her very own Wikipedia page on the legal aspects, and dozens, and dozens of news stories, blogs, forum postings, Dr. Phil reruns, CNN news segments.  At least she will know she was wanted, desperately wanted, by her family of birth – something many of us never had. 

I just don’t think you can craft an adoption story that is going work in this case, no, I just don’t think it’s possible… 

If you haven’t already read this post – go read it now.  An Open Letter to Matt and Melanie Capobianco


Posted by on September 24, 2013 in Adoption, adoptive parents, biological child, Ethics


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

20 responses to “Every adoptee is supposed to have an adoption story…

  1. Brent Snavely

    September 24, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    …maybe she will make zillions writing a book…???


    • TAO

      September 24, 2013 at 9:05 pm

      Good point – a cautionary tale perhaps of what not to do?


      • Brent Snavely

        September 25, 2013 at 5:15 pm

        Contrasted against the story of/for V, we find that the poor adoptors are wondering about stories:


        • TAO

          September 25, 2013 at 5:29 pm

          Brent – I know Luanne to be a caring individual who does speak up about ethics in adoption. I don’t wish her to be hurt. Intentions and actions make a difference to me.


          • Brent Snavely

            September 28, 2013 at 1:32 pm


            I am sure that you and Luanne have a narrative or “story” of your own, and that your relationship with her, or with her story, fits your line of thought and your emotions. I do, however, have concerns about fairy tales…

            Just days ago, Luanne included a post about the “perfect story” ( ). Various problematic issues may surround all stories – yours, mine, and even the story of the adult who related the circumstances leading to her adoption of a child and telling a story about how the “perfect story” fit into that narrative. In “The Mind of a Child”, (Roth, S. N. (2005). The mind of a child. Journal of the Early Republic, 25(1), 79-109.), it was pointed that out children’s literature may have long-lasting and socially significant effects. Although that article focused on “race” perspectives, more general “instruction” and “comfort” uses of stories told to children are fairly well known. See, .

            I suspect that both you and I were told stories about “intent”, with the standard narrative being that if one has “good intentions”, they can not be held accountable for the bad outcomes that stem for actions/inactions based on good intent. This issue came up in a fairly recent discussion I had with he-who-raised-me. We were talking about the facts and circumstances surrounding my “adoption”, and he said, “We had good intentions – you can’t blame us for that.”

            I pondered the facts and circumstances of my adoption, the cultural myths surrounding the “invent-vs-mistake” narrative, and various tales told about how “perfect” and “good” adoption happens to be. I also discussed the matter with others. I have come to think that raising “good intention” as a defense is a method of sidestepping the fact that those with good intentions cause very real harm as to which they should, and can be held responsible.

            Perhaps all stories that are told, whether by myself, you, Luanne, or others are simply tales that are used to justify what has taken place…


            • TAO

              September 28, 2013 at 1:54 pm

              No Brent – there was no intent narrative in my story – only the facts of how society dealt with unwed mothers and their families at the time. Mom and dad weren’t looking to adopt – they were asked to adopt me. They gave me a home and the SW honored her promise to my mother, and, went outside the pool of people wanting to be parents, to find a home that met all the conditions my mother asked for in a home for me. I realize my story is a rare story, I am not wearing blinders and one of the reasons I blog. Nor did mom or dad throughout the years try and justify any choices they made – again – I understand how rare it is for people to own their choices. I just wish others had the moral compass, and, strength of will to deny themselves when they want something – instead of having the attitude of damn the ramifications to others, or, the planet along the way.


  2. maybe

    September 24, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    I think they will give her a new name, hide out, and make up a wild story about the whole thing. What other option do they have? They certainly can’t tell her the truth: “your daddy and real family loved you but we had lots of money and lawyers so we took you away!”


    • TAO

      September 24, 2013 at 9:06 pm

      that’s the point – I can’t the truth working for them – can you imagine the teen years?


  3. Jennifer

    September 25, 2013 at 12:31 am

    This outcome is tragic. I wonder if all the friends and family members of The Capobiancos really agree with them here. When Veronica is suffering through her inevitable grief across the lifespan, are all the witnesses of her trauma just going to turn blind eyes? All the people in Veronica’s life will help form her adoption narrative–even her classmates will know her story as she grows up. I don’t know how these people can set her up for so much suffering. It’s an outrage.


    • TAO

      September 25, 2013 at 12:31 pm

      People only chose what the want to see. Adoption has been seen as a savior for children for so long that they can’t see past it – all you have to look at is the lucky/grateful comments that don’t stop. People don’t look past the gaping holes in all the statements and actually question them. Everyone knows someone who knows an adoptee who is just fine…so it’s all good because peeking beneath the surface might just strip away that pretty picture. How many who have a chronic illness will respond in the most positive manner when asked how they are doing? That answer is instilled in all of us (chin up), and, we do it to protect the other person from feeling bad, and, so it can be said about us – gee what a positive attitude. Win-win…


  4. Valentine Logar

    September 25, 2013 at 11:56 am

    I have to wonder, just how much will she remember? I don’t have a great deal of memories from that time in my life. What I do know though, as an adult I wanted to know my history and I found it. What her adoptive parents have done, it will haunt them forever and it may will cause their loss in the future.


    • TAO

      September 25, 2013 at 12:37 pm

      Val – I don’t have a lot of memories from that time except for traumatic events and a vague memories of other events. I have been asking myself that question and I think the answer lies in it being traumatic and in the drive to remember. I have been thinking about what the four year old me would do if dad disappeared – I would have been lost – if V has that type of relationship, then I think she will remember and work to retain those memories even if they fade over time. There is also a difference between what I would have remembered at age 10 or 14 when I am really questioning my story and 4 wasn’t that long ago compared to today.


  5. kellie3

    September 25, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    This is a little personal, but my parents divorced when I was 5 years old. The circumstances of the divorce, I learned much later, caused my father a lot of pain. He disappeared for a while. He didn’t tell anyone where he was going. He just left. I still remember looking for him everywhere. I remember scanning men’s faces in public looking for my father. I remember going to a movie with my mom and brother and seeing a man I thought was my dad and wondering why he didn’t talk to us. I wondered why he had left me behind. I did not understand what had taken place between him and my mom, and I never told my mother what I was doing. In fact, I’ve never told any other person about this until now. It always felt deeply personal and not something I could share.
    I was a little older than V, but I will always remember the loss even though my father eventually came back to us.


    • TAO

      September 25, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      Of course you do Kellie – and like many adoptees those feelings are so deeply personal that it isn’t something we are able to share and even if we want to and try – finding the words to relay the feelings are hard. You found the words to make what you felt real to me.

      I was attacked by a dog as a small child – I still replay that “movie” in my head from the initial attack to after I was patched up – although a few frames are missing – I question sometimes if I remember it or only because of the stories told about it – but deep down I know I remember it because I feel the same paralyzing fear retriggered every time I come in contact with a strange dog that is loose. I can’t run, speak, call out – I am frozen and I know the dog can sense the terror as a threat which makes it worse. Trauma does not go away – it stays inside you for ever.


  6. maybe

    September 25, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    I think her memories will be sharp because she is losing her entire clan. She has a father, step mom, grandparents, extended family…..all being taken from her in the blink of an eye. It can only be devastating. It will be bad enough when she cries for her father and (step) mom (will they just poo-poo that and say were are mommy and daddy now?), but what will they say when she asks for her grandparents and other family? How will their disappearance be explained? Or do the White Hair’s relatives just sweep in as replacements?

    It boggles the mind.


    • TAO

      September 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm

      Boggles my mind to – I am heartened by the many adoptive parents who have stood up and said it is a travesty – there is hope for the future.


  7. shadowtheadoptee

    September 25, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    I can’t stop myself from wondering what must be going through Veronica’s 4 year old mind. I can’t stop myself from wondering just what Her APs’ ar telling her, and them selves, because, in my mind, I just can’t come up with any explination for her either. There just isn’t one.

    According to the news reports, Veronica took the transition well. I can imagine the C’s telling themselves, “See, V’s better off with us, and this hasn’t hd much effect on her. She didn’t even cry.”

    Did they even expect her to? I wasn’t surprised she transitioned fine. As an adoptee, myself, and as she’s already been passed around a number of times, what else would she do? Veronica learned early how to survive…alone. It’s what most adoptees learn, when you leave your mother’s womb, and are placed in the arms of strangers, be it nurses, social workers, or new adoptive parents, what are the choices, but to accept, and survive? Oh, the things the C’s must be telling themselves to rationalize what they’ve done? I can’t imagine what they will say to her when she ask, “Where’s daddy, and grandma? Why can’t I see them?”, and like you say AO, in the end they will say Veronica is fine, because she’ll never tell them she isn’t. If she is like most of us, she will never know she isn’t “fine” until much later in life. I can see the teen years too, for Veronica, yes, another “angry” adoptee in the making.

    I’m thinking more than a book. I’m betting it’s going to be a movie.


    • TAO

      September 25, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      So very true – adoptees learn very early that they must survive and shutting down the pain is a tool. Sometimes it is a good tool but only as a temporary measure. Poor Veronica. I just can’t imagine what she will feel about all this throughout her life – so unfair…


  8. shadowtheadoptee

    September 25, 2013 at 3:36 pm


    Oh, can you hear people telling Veronica, “But look at all you have, all the C’s have given you that your father couldn’t”…

    you know it wil happen, and I don’t care whose side your on…

    I bet there isn’t an adoptee anywhere that hasn’t heard that, or something similar, at some point in their life…

    getting really pissed now…gotta go for a while.


  9. lynnemiller

    September 28, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    I hope the adoption agencies learn something from V’s case. They need to do a better job from the beginning to make sure this type of nightmare doesn’t happen to someone else. I suppose the Cs think the outcome is only right since they were awarded custody of V before her father came along. Thank God these types of disputes don’t happen every day.



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