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I Know Who I Want To Take Me Home, An Elegy

by Laura on September 26th, 2013

The “Baby Veronica” case has triggered so many adoptees and first moms, never more so it seems, than this week.

You see, adoptees are an empathetic resilient, strong, smart, fiesty and sometimes snarky bunch.

Even though we might not have a verbal memory of our relinquishment, we feel/experience/re-experience tremendous loss when we see a child being taken away.

A child who did not need adoption.

Yes, I’ll repeat: A child who did not need to be exposed to the trauma of adoption.

If you think the injustices for the father have ended, read on: Capobiancos Sue Dusten Brown for Nearly Half a Million in Fees

This week, Ronnie was turned over to her adoptive parents after a very public battle by her father and his family to keep her. She was/is a child who never should have been available for adoption for many reasons, most of all because she has a competent parent who wants to care for her.

Last month I wrote a Letter to Veronica, welcoming her to the sisterhood of Lost Daughters adoptees. I hoped and hoped that she wouldn’t become one of us, but it happened.

This week was a “collective conscious of sadness,” as Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy wrote, quoting Star Wars

“I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced.”

Yes, something terrible has happened. Veronica Rose Brown has been lost to the destruction of Adoption.

Truly, there has been such an outpouring of emotion, with so many people writing blogs, posting on Facebook and elsewhere. People who have felt the pain of adoption are re-traumatized, feeling so impotent at the fact that Ronnie has been exposed to the trauma of losing her family; all because these adoptive parents feel entitled to “get her back.” As if she were some possession for which they’d paid good money.

Alec, I’ll take Child Trafficking Across State Lines for $500.

Question: What happens when fathers don’t have much right to their own children in the United States?

Even through our triggering, even through our pain, we must keep on writing. We must continue to witness, for Ronnie and for other children … and for ourselves.


The Adoptee Lamentation

A reader recently told me about the song, Closing Time, which was actually written about the birth of the singer/songwriter’s son.

Dan Wilson says, “It’s not about being bounced from a bar; it’s about being bounced from a womb.”

While everyone believed it was a melancholy song about 2 am at a college bar, the story was about completing your time in the womb and coming out into the world. Dan Wilson tells the story in this video, starting at about 4:00. The reader said,

None of this is actually about adoption, but every time I hear the song, I wonder what that would feel like if I were an adoptee:

“I know who I want to take me home.”

How many of us adoptees have lived in the Ghost Kingdom, wondering about the What Ifs? But only on our darkest nights, in the solitary silence of our own hearts, might we dare to ask ourselves to answer the question:

Who do I want to take you home?

Who would I have liked to take me home, had I had the choice?

Because we were children, and we never had a voice.

“An Orchard in the Fog.” … The adoptee family tree is an orchard. Photo credit “Aureate Among Fogs” by prozac1 from

This is the lament; this is why it’s so painful for adoptees to watch this train wreck in action.

I know who I want to take me home.

I know who Ronnie wants to take her home, and it’s not the Capobianco’s. No effing way.

I know that in their hearts, adoptees know who they wanted to take them home.

Maybe not who, specifically, but perhaps certain qualities of a mommy and/or daddy.

Maybe even non-adoptees have an idea of the type of person whom they would want to take them home—qualities different than those exhibited by the parents who raised them.

Nevertheless, the statement hits a particular tender spot for adoptees: I know who I want to take me home.

Perhaps you could never say it, never even think of “who” in so many words, but the statement leads to so many further hurts.

I want someone who didn’t reject me.

I want someone who understands me.

I want someone who is from my blood.

I want someone who doesn’t hate me.

I want someone who won’t speak badly of my first family.

I want someone who loves me, truly loves me.

I want my mommy.

I want my daddy.


Elegy for Veronica

A tragedy, Veronica Brown stands alone, the lone tree in her new adoptive family, separated from her orchard. Photo credit “Silhouette Acacia Tree” by Vlado,

Dear Ronnie,

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

This is a tragedy for you.

This new beginning with your adoptive parents is a sickening tragedy, and while we hold hope that the Cherokee Nation will step in, or that you can be returned to your father, the reality is that you must survive.

You will survive.

The various beginnings that you’ve had already, being shuttled from your mother’s womb … to adoptive parents … and back to your dad … Well, now you can add another new beginning.

I am so sorry for that.

I know, I know, I have a daughter your age. Of course, NO! You didn’t want to go; you don’t want to be where you are.

“Closing time, time for you to go out to the places you will be from.”

In time, you will be able to read and write and access the internet. You will be able to read your story and know the truth of the love your father has for you. In the meantime, you may believe you’re from South Carolina, and that’s alright.

Maybe you’ll remember. I hope so. Maybe somewhere deep down in your psyche, you’ll remember the place that you were from … before being taken away. You lived in Oklahoma, and your home with your father’s family was the place that you were from. Are from.

“I know who I want to take me home.”  

I know who I wanted to take me home; I can imagine who you’d like to take you home.

I hope you’ll remember who that was when you had just celebrated your fourth birthday. I hope you’ll know deep in your heart who it really was who you wanted to take you home.

Yes, I get it, we get it.


Your brotherhood and sisterhood of adoptees

*  *  *  *  *

If you’re wondering, “What can I do?”

  • Sign-up at Keep Veronica Home, donate to help Dusten Brown with the legal fees incurred to fight for his daughter.
  • Keep track of the latest updates, clicking “Like” on Facebook: Standing Our Ground for Veronica Brown.
  • Share this post on social media
  • Write! Add a link in the comments section to your post about the Veronica Brown case.



From → Adoption

  1. Perfectly states what so many of us feel.
    Thank you.

  2. Gaye permalink

    Thank you for taking something so utterly shocking and crippling and presenting it with honesty, heart and most importantly hope.

    • Laura Dennis permalink

      Thanks, Gaye. It is shocking, I think we adoptees are ever-hopeful that justice will prevail. It didn't.

      • Gaye permalink

        Justice didn't and the outcome is terrible. But in your words and elegy you take our hopelessness, our impotence, and give it form and purpose. We will be there and most importantly her father and the Cherokee nation – her heritage – is always there. And you remind us of our resilience and need to continue the fight to have basic human rights afforded to Veronica and the children that come after her – and for our rights. And for us still wondering how we can achieve this – you give concrete practical acts we can all involve ourselves in. Your words build that bridge between hopelessness and utter defeat to resilience and hope. And for me at least, I need the glass half full. I need the hope that things one day will be different. And your powerful and truly beautiful words do give that hope. :)

  3. Barbara Thavis permalink

    Thanks, Laura. I think of Ronnie every day and pray for her. I hope she reminds her faux parents that they are not her mommy and daddy. I hope she makes their life a living hell. How can people do that to a defenseless child.

    • Laura Dennis permalink

      I agree. I hope she will give new meaning to "Reactive Attachment Disorder."

  4. I am an adoptee whose mother was tricked when I was 5 to sign away her rights without an attorney of hers present. My adopted parents had an attorney. I truly feel my parents did what they thought was best, but I truly believe it wasn't done in the best of ways. This story is just SO WRONG!! THIRTY years later and this STILL IS HAPPENING!!!!


    • Laura Dennis permalink

      Ohhhh I am so sorry. What happened to you is wrong, just like what's happening today. But at least, now, there are other adoptees who are adding their voice on behalf of Veronica. We have to witness, and know that our voices cannot be silenced.

  5. Many adoptive parents' hearts broke too. . . There are actually a good lot of us who don't want to see children adopted who don't need to be. This child was one of them. We cried too.

    • Laura Dennis permalink

      It's great to see you here! Yes, for the adoptive parents who "get it," it is heart-breaking, too. … This is not what adoption is "supposed" to be about.

  6. Tracy Hammond permalink

    I sure as hell have felt triggered!

    • Laura Dennis permalink

      Thanks, Tracy — Yes, I love your quotes, you did an amazing job on behalf of adoptees!!

  7. DonnaS permalink

    "You see, adoptees are an empathetic resilient, strong, smart, fiesty and sometimes snarky bunch.
    "Even though we might not have a verbal memory of our relinquishment, we feel/experience/re-experience tremendous loss when we see a child being taken away.

    indeed, we are!! and yes, this case touches many of us in all kinds of humanistic ways …. but mostly it gets us in our hearts because we just KNOW – like we just "know" so many other things – just how WRONG this all was from beginning to the point of this latest, most painful and horrific wrong.

    fabulous commentary!! :D

  8. Lavender Luz permalink

    What a poignant post. Your list of "I wants," while difficult to read, are important for me to understand.

    This song will now forever be tied in my mind to you and to the Veronica case.

  9. I can't quite get beyond…"how can this happen?" Keep writing, Laura. When this little girl grows up, she will need the body of literature that you and your sister writers in Lost Daughters are producing now.

  10. tchaiki permalink

    Maybe it sounds foolish, but I thought he might have a chance. I actually believed he might. :(

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  12. Three years later, and your words still ring true for so many who grieve for Veronica and her family.
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