Friday, 6 September 2013

When "Baby Girl" Grows Up

I inherited many things from my father, including insomnia. One summer night when I was four years old and everyone else was sleeping, I heard my father going outside for a walk. I climbed out of my bedroom window and asked if I could go with him. It was warm and the stars were shining brightly. We talked about all sorts of things; rare one-on-one time for a child who is one of five. When I rode on his shoulders I felt so tall I could almost touch the stars. His beard tickled when he kissed me and I giggled uncontrollably. I felt so safe with him, so protected and loved and invincible. I was four years old, and I remember every detail, the smell of newly cut grass and the sound of crickets. I was a four year old girl and my daddy was everything to me.

She has a right to that hug
Veronica Brown is about to turn four years old. She will remember her daddy. She will remember the way his arms feel hugging her tight and the special words he uses when he kisses her goodnight. She does not remember the Capobiancos. She will know them only as the people who took her father away. And in just a few short years, maybe only four or five, she will google her own name and find that the Capobiancos did everything they could to have her father sent to prison for fighting to be with her. What will they tell her? How can they possibly try to justify this to her?

Adoption is a wonderful solution for children who are in need of families. Adoption is not a wonderful solution to get pay-back against an ex by cutting him off from his child. Adoption is not an arrangement to be entered into as a financial transaction. Adoption of a child with a loving extended family fighting for her custody is human trafficking. Removing a child from her father, sister and grandparents because a contract and financial transaction take precedence over what is clearly in her best interests is inconceivable.

She is not an item to be bought and sold. She is a person. She will remember her daddy. She will remember the moment he was ripped away from her.

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