Friday, August 30, 2013

Dear Christy Maldonado . . .

You don’t know me and I don’t know you.  Though I have had the opportunity to communicate and learn more of the truth about your attorney, Lori Alvino McGill.

We do have some things in common though.  We are both mothers. We both gave a child up for adoption.  And we both have our own blame to hold for the fathers of our children being denied their rights to their own flesh and blood.  Whether our intentions were genuine, or through fear and uncertainty, we have both played our part in telling the fathers of our children that they aren’t important in their own child’s life - - The Worst Guilt.

For you, though, I know it goes much further than that.

In all that has happened with your daughter, Veronica Rose Brown, you are either hailed as a saint for giving your baby away or a monster for trying to take away Dusten Brown’s chance to keep and raise his child.

I hope, in reality, you are somewhere in between.  For Veronica’s sake, I pray that there will be a middle ground for her to understand some day because viewing her mother, who is a part of her, as a saint for giving her away or a monster for keeping her from her father, will only serve to add yet another struggle for her to deal with.  And she doesn’t deserve that any more than she deserves what is happening to her now.

But who really is that person who might be in the middle of all the opinions, views and representations. Who are you, truly, at the heart of all this with so many people talking for you, claiming to know your reasons, your intentions?

I recently read the transcripts from your cross-examinations in Family Court and the deceptions, the need, to cover up the full truth was so clear in your responses.  In your attempt to avoid giving solid, believable answers to what led up to Veronica being given up for adoption without Dusten’s knowledge.

. . . “I do not find birth mother’s testimony credible” - - - Excerpt from Judge Malphrus’s Bench Ruling . . .

And I can’t help but wonder what truths you were trying to hide.  What actually happened in that time between when you learned you were pregnant and gave Veronica up for adoption.

What is undisputed is that you and Dusten were engaged prior to learning of your pregnancy.  That once he learned of your pregnancy, he wanted to get married sooner than what was originally planned and that you broke off the engagement because of his desire to get married at an earlier date . . .

. . . “Q.  You testified - - Well why did you break up - - why did you break off the engagement with my client?
A.      Okay.  Because he was pressuring me.
     Q.   Because  he was pressuring you to do what?
     A.   To get married.” - - - Excerpt from cross-examination on September 13, 2011 . . .

Nobody can fault you if you truly did not want to get married.  We’ve come a long way from the time when women, like my own mother, were expected to marry, without choice, because they were pregnant.

But how did you go from not wanting to marry Dusten to deciding to give his own child away without his notice . . .

. . . “Q.  And according to you, and I can refresh your memory if you don’t recall, but you told this - - this individual with Nightlight that you had not told my client about your plans to adopt the child.
     A.  Right.
     Q.  And the truth is he had no idea you intended to adopt this child, did he?
     A.  No.” - - - Excerpt from cross-examination on September 13, 2011 . . .

It’s hard to imagine, or even assume, how you could go from agreeing to marry him, to becoming pregnant, to breaking the engagement because he wanted to get married sooner after learning of the pregnancy, to deciding the best thing to do was to give Veronica up for adoption without telling Dusten of your plans.  

Perhaps those are answers that nobody, but you, yourself, will ever know.

But why the ultimate decision to give Veronica away?

Was it because you truly didn’t want the responsibility of another child to raise?

Was it because you were angry at Dusten and wanted to hurt him in the worst way possible through the loss of his daughter?

Or was it because Nightlife Adoption Agency allowed, or led, you to believe that you were not good enough for Veronica?  That you could prove you loved her by giving her away?

I know, in the reality of it all, you don’t owe me, or anyone else answers . . . except for Veronica.

Except for your little girl who needs you now more than ever.  Who desperately needs you to step up and speak out about the truth of what happened.  To end this chaos that has become her life and allow her the right to be raised in a happy, normal life with her natural family.

Reading through your cross-examination, there is no question that you are hiding the full truth.  That, for whatever reason, you felt it best to be deceptive in your answers to protect either yourself or those around you who have pushed themselves into the controlling position in your life.

And they have pushed themselves into the position of controlling you, there is no doubt about it.

Their money, their gifts, their benefits, are meant for only one reason – to keep you as their ally.  To keep your voice on their side.  Though you might not see it, those who are offering you so much, helping you out to such an extreme, are not truly concerned about you or Veronica. 

What they truly care about is the power of your voice, your truth.  And as long as they can control you through providing benefits and advantages they believe you would never know otherwise, they are secure in believing you would never expose any of them for the truth of what happened.

But, regardless of what you might have been led to believe, you are worth more than that.  You are not the “less-than” who should be grateful for what they have offered you.  You are not their puppet who must do what they desire because they have presented themselves as having more than you, being more deserving than you could ever be.

And you do not owe them anything.  You have no reason to feel sympathy for them or believe it is up to you to fulfill the desires and needs they pile on your shoulders.

Your fear is what they thrive on.  The manipulation and coercion they have used against you is what reassures them that you would never speak out about the truth of what happened. 

Please trust me when I tell you that they need you to be weak for their own gain.  It isn’t about you or about Veronica.  It’s about them.  It’s about giving you whatever they can to ensure you won’t speak the truth.  Won’t even think about standing up and protesting what is happening to an, innocent little girl.

But none of that changes the fact that Veronica needs you, now more than ever.  She needs you to find the strength and courage to break away from the manipulation you are facing.  To look truly and honestly at what is happening, outside of the money, the gifts, the benefits, you are receiving and stand up for what is right, what is true, what is the best interest of Veronica.

I don’t know how to stress to you, reach out to you, with the importance of what you are facing right now with your daughter, with her desperate need for you to do the right thing.

And, perhaps I am traveling down the wrong path.  Because I, honestly, have no way of knowing if you truly are facing the coercion and manipulation that is so prominent in the adoption industry.

Perhaps you are one of the few who just doesn’t want to parent and so chooses to give up their child to be spared the responsibility.

Or perhaps you are still carrying whatever anger you had toward Dusten and will play this out to the very end, only satisfied when he is left hurting and bleeding, without giving a damn about the damage Veronica will suffer in the process.

But maybe . . . just maybe . . . your reality is closer to mine and so many other mothers.

And it’s on that chance, that possibility, that I reach out to you, for Veronica’s sake.

There is something, some reason behind your evasive and deceptive responses to the cross-examination you went through back in September 2011.  And if there is even the slimmest chance that any one of us can understand and help you,  then we have done good by you, and most important, by Veronica.

No matter what has been said, how you have been judged, I promise you, without hesitation, that there are many who  will support you, help you, stand by your side if you find the courage and strength to break free from what is controlling you and choose to speak the truth for yourself and for Veronica.

I know they seem strong and powerful.  I know it is beyond frightening to even think about defying their power, especially after all they have given you to keep your words in line with what they want the public to hear.

But, please, PLEASE, hear me when I tell you they don’t control the power.  They don’t control you.  And they, definitely, don’t control your daughter.  Whatever fear you might face by breaking away from them, so many of us know and understand.  Whatever guilt they have led you to feel, loyalty they have made you believe you owe them, is the same as so many of have known and finally found the best of freedoms by breaking away from it.

Veronica needs you now more now than she ever has.  She needs your honesty, your courage, your bravery.  Those who are providing for you, guiding you, expecting so much from you mean nothing.  No matter how terrifying it might seem to break away from them and their expectations, I can promise you that you won’t regret it when it comes to, years down the road, realizing you faced every obstacle, fear and threat, to stand up for Veronica and what was best for her.

And, honestly, regardless of your reasons for giving Veronica up for adoption, you are being used and, worst of all, your innocent daughter is being used to contribute to the gain and profit of an adoption industry and desperate couples who fear what would happen if the truth of this case, and so many other cases before and after it, came to light.

There is no question that Veronica is worth so much more than this. 

For Veronica, for your sweet, innocent daughter, have the courage and love to stand up, break free from the power over you, and fight for what is best for your child.  For Veronica’s right to be raised in her natural family, where she will always belong.

It is, no matter what you have been told, the most loving thing you could ever do for her.

Friday, August 23, 2013

To Lori Alvino McGill (Part Two)

I have to admit, in all the years I have been active in the fight for Adoption Reform and Adoptee Rights, been out-spoken for Father’s Rights, I have never come across a situation such as what has happened in the last couple days.

In my last blog post,  I shared the personal message I received from Lori Alvino McGill, the attorney for Christy Maldonado, the Birth Mother in the Baby Veronica case. (Miss Veronica now that she is almost four years old.)

And then I received an, oh, so polite, I’ll do everything I can to prove it wasn’t me response which obviously was written in the tone it was because I was expected to share it publicly right away so that she could redeem herself through the same pattern of deception we’ve seen over and over again from those fighting to remove Veronica from her own family.

And then, when I didn’t do as she wanted and go public right away with the response she sent, she came to my blog to call me out on it and again resort to deception in her attempt to deny the message she sent.

I guess what she didn’t realize is that this is my blog and it’s my time.  And I am in no way bound to her expectations and wants.

She brought this to me (regardless of her weak attempts and pathetic threats to prove otherwise.) I didn’t call her out, invoke a conversation of any kind, or even mention her once by name in anything I have written.  And so I have absolutely no obligation to respond, react, or do anything according to her desires.

I’m also just a mother and a writer.  I’m not a fellow attorney.  I’m not bound by any regulations or court orders (like the gag order that I would assume included EVERYONE personally involved in the case.) So there is absolutely nothing that requires me to act in the way Ms. McGill had hoped I would.  It wasn’t up to me to go public with her attempt to deny the message.  She has the same access I do to the messages between us so she had the exact same opportunity to publicly share her response.

And yet, working on my reply to her was nothing but writing and deleting . . . writing and deleting.  Because, honestly, what did I have left to say?  I’d asked the questions I had that she didn’t bother to answer.  And though, I kept thinking of responses to her platitudes of having sympathy for my story and requests that I respect a situation that is demanding a daughter be taken away from her loving father for no other reason than another couple wants her for their own, I knew there was nothing to be said that could ever change her beliefs, just as there is nothing that could be said to change mine.

I will admit, though, when I received her comment on my blog, I had all kind of responses ready to be shared.  I was on a roll.  I was going to fight this battle with her until the very end.  She brought me in to this with her.  She played her games, made her claims. And now I was going to fight it out.

But why?

That’s the question that got me. 

Because, sure, I could do a scathing response to her.  I could ride that wave of justification and just let her have it.

But none of that matters when it comes to the reality of the one who truly is important in all of this . . . Miss Veronica.  A little girl with a fourth birthday coming close and a life that is full of such chaos and uncertainty that she doesn’t deserve.

And so my response has changed.

Because, to me, this isn’t about messages exchanged or laws or courts.  This is about Veronica.  This is about a little girl who is, sadly, another victim in what our society accepts from the adoption industry and their continued destruction of a child’s rights to his or her own natural family, heritage, ancestory.

I see this picture and I know she is right where she belongs, where she has always belonged.

Veronica has a chance so many other children, who get caught up in this world of adoption, are denied.  She has it all there before her . . . a family that loves and cherishes her.  That will always understand her strange quirks, her unexplainable likes and dislikes.

She can look at her dad, her older sister, her grandparents, and see herself.  She can share the customs that are unique to her own family.  Can always know, good or bad, crazy or sane, the family she is surrounded by is hers by the strongest bond of all.  Because they share what can never be broken by any law, any court . . . the reality of who they are by the past of those who are a part of them.

I just can’t comprehend that anyone can look into that little girl’s eyes and tell her that they believe her dad doesn’t deserve to keep her, to raise her.  That because of laws created by the adoption industry to strip fathers of their rights, she must lose everything she has a right to have.

I can’t imagine taking her out of her father’s arms and telling her, this is what our society believes is best for you.  This is what they support, what our media portrays as the right thing . . . the loss of your natural family to be given away to others.

How do you explain to her why she must go through this?  Why she already had to suffer such a traumatic loss once in her life because there were no laws to protect her rights when it was clear, when she was only four months old – before any adoption was ever finalized - that she was not a child in need of another family.  That because the laws favored the couple wanting to adopt her, and not her own right to her natural family, there was nothing that protected her legally from being spared a long, drawn-out fight for what was, in every way, an unnecessary separation from her father, sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

In the end, when all the arguments and outside influences narrows down to what really is at stake, it’s about Veronica and the very real threat she faces of losing something so many of us take for granted . . . her family that is a part of her, reflects her and gives her the comfort and understanding of who she is because she is surrounded by the answer in those who share the unique bond of knowing her because she is a part of them.

There just are no excuses, no laws, no arguments that are worthy of taking her from that.  Taking her from everything that is her right to have.

And there is nothing to gain for Veronica in arguing with an attorney who will never be on the side of Veronica and her natural family.  But will always be on the side of the adoption industry and the profits gained by separating children from their families.

***If you believe in Veronica's right to stay with her loving, caring, natural family, please visit . . . ***

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

To Lori Alvino McGill

The picture is a screen shot of the Facebook Message I received from Lori Alvino McGill – the attorney representing, Christy Maldonado, Veronica Brown’s Birth Mother, in the case Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Veronica.  (But please do not refer to her as a baby.  She isn’t one.  Miss Veronica is a much better choice for this almost four year old little girl.)

Here is the text of her message . . .

**Should point out that Dusten/Dustin's atty spelled Christy!s name wrong in court papers in OK after he learned of adoption.**

Here is the link she left . . .

And here is my response . . .


I am a bit baffled why you, as an attorney for the Birth Mother in this case, would find it productive to message me in an attempt to discredit Dusten Brown and his fight for his daughter, Veronica.  I have been very vocal in several cases that involve the fight for Father’s rights, but this is the first time I have ever had an attorney resort to Facebook Messages to try and discredit a father for his fight for his own child.

And, honestly, if you were hoping this action of yours would sway my opinion, you obviously have no clue that everything I stand for, fight for, and believe in is in complete contrast to what you are representing.

I understand your message to me was quick and simple and was meant to serve one purpose . . .make me doubt Dusten Brown and his right to keep and raise his daughter, Veronica.  But, to me, the fact that you sent it in the first place, said a whole lot more than what your quick, simple sentence ever could.

You don’t know me or what I already know about the adoption industry and those, like you, who defend it.  But you assumed, off of a comment I left on a news station story, that I was one who would not question why an attorney was personally messaging me through Facebook, of all places, to try and taint the reputation of one who is in disagreement with the client you represent.
You obviously didn’t stop to question, or even look into, my experience or knowledge with the multi-billion dollar adoption industry.  Instead, you assumed, messaging me a mere repeat of the lies and deceptions that have been a part of this case from the start would be enough to sway me to the side of your client, Christy Maldonado and the couple she gave Veronica away to, the Capobiancos.

But, since you did choose to contact me and engage me, perhaps you will be willing to answer some questions for me.

--What exactly are you trying to accomplish by claiming Dusten’s attorneys misspelled Christy’s name on paperwork filed AFTER he learned she was trying to give his daughter away for adoption without his consent?  (Which I would love to know the source of this “fact” you are sharing with me to persuade me to support the Capobiancos.) Are you suggesting that this supposive name-spelling error was equal to the one that deceived the Cherokee Nation?  Is your stance that, had this particular misspelling not occurred, the transfer of Veronica out of OK, or the adoption, would or would not have happened?   

--What is your, and your husband’s exact relationship and past experience with Justice Roberts who ruled on this case in SCOTUS?  Are you in support of his actions of ruling on this highly-controversial case if he does indeed have personal ties to you and/or your husband?

--What expenses, exactly, did the Capobiancos pay for in regards to your client, the Birth Mother of Veronica?  As one who knows the greed of the adoption industry and is not surprised by the $30,000 to $40,000 the Capobiancos paid to the agency to obtain a child for them, I am extremely curious about the actual expenses that were covered for Christy and would very much like the honest answer that we all know . . . the money was given to her (in whatever form can be justified as legal) with the expectation and knowledge she would be handing over her daughter in return.

--What steps was your client advised to take by the agency to make sure Dusten Brown would have his rights stripped from him by reason of abandonment?  For those of us well-researched and knowledgeable of the adoption industry, we are more than aware of the coaching adoption agencies give to pregnant mothers so that they know just what to do to make sure a father is stripped of any chance to his own child.

--When, as stated by law, did Christy inform Dusten of her intent to give Veronica up for adoption? 

--How much of your client’s story should the public actually believe when the South Carolina Family Court ruling was that it did not find the Birth Mother’s testimony credible?

--Was your client aware of the deceitful actions of approaching Dusten Brown just days before he was to be deployed to fight for our country to have him sign papers that were falsely presented to him as a prerequisite to the service of a summons and complaint?

--Have you, acting in the best interest of your client, made sure she fully understands that the Capobiancos’ promise of open adoption is not legally enforceable and that they can, and very well might, close the adoption if they do succeed in getting Veronica back?

--Has your client expressed concerns over the fact that the Capobiancos are sensationalizing Veronica, an innocent child, by appearing on the Dr. Phil show, allowing his cameras to film what is happening and planning a return appearance on his show in September?

--What are your client’s thoughts on the fact that the Capobiancos gave permission for Troy Dunn to invade a preschool with a television crew in an attempt to locate Veronica and confront Dusten Brown?

--What are your client’s thoughts about the fact that Dusten Brown, a natural father providing a stable, loving home for Veronica, actually had an arrest warrant issued and had to turn himself in for no other reason than he believes his daughter is worth fighting for and isn’t willing to just hand her over because some couple desires to claim her as their own?

--And what is, as one First (Birth) Mother asking another, Christy thinking?  What is pushing her so hard to deny her own daughter the right to her natural family, her heritage?  Why can she not see that the material things the Capobiancos can offer Veronica are meaningless compared to what Veronica will have growing up with those who share her same talents and traits.  Who she can, every day, see the same mannerisms, the same resemblances?  Why is she so intent on denying Veronica her right to her natural family?

Those are just a few of my many questions.  Ones I hope you will answer.

And you may very well choose to ignore me since my response is obviously not what you were hoping for.  But, so you are aware, since you took the initiative to contact me, I will be taking the same initiative to post your message and my response to my blog, Adoption Truth.  And, in doing so, I will not be the only one waiting for your response.  Many of my followers and readers will also be waiting.  Hopefully, you will not disappoint us since you were the one who originally deemed it a wise decision to engage me in this debate.