Thursday, October 28, 2010

Have Christy and Jason Vaughn No Morals?

Lorraine
Christy and Jason Vaughn have gotten truly hysterical as the days dwindle down to the actual, physical transfer of Grayson, who will be three years old on the 29th of October. Transfer is set for the next day. According to some sources, Jason Vaughn went on WHAS radio calling the boy's father, Benjamin Wyrembek, a criminal. Christy has reported somewhere that the kid is biting his fingernails. (You think he might be picking up on some of their anxiety? You think?) On their Keeping Grayson Home Face Book page, they are asking for donations and have set up a PayPal account--either to pay their lawyers or to continue to file petitions to keep this boy from the father who wants to take him home to Ohio.


There is always talk of a "transition" time if a child who has been in the wrong home for such an extended period, but they do not work. The kidnapping Christians typically use the time to delay, file new petitions, and transfer their anxiety to the child in question. Some of you must remember the hysteria that occurred when Anna Schmidt (known to the world then as Baby Jessica DeBoer) was transferred in 1991. The rapacious DeBoers pulled out all the stops and had television cameras rolling in their driveway when the police took away a screaming child from Roberta DeBoer. It was sickening.*

I was the lone supporter for the Schmidts on the MacNeal-Lehrer Report, the then PBS News Hour, against a phalanx of adoption attorneys and adoptive mother-Harvard law professor, Elizabeth Bartholet, who had just published a book called Family Bonds about the two children she adopted from Peru. The attorneys and other so-called experts were on live hook ups, but Bartholet and I sat side by side.

She called any research that shows that adopted people have any problems with being adopted, or that they have more psychological problems than the rest of us who are not adopted, "garbage." The adoption attorneys were apoplectic that my point of view--that the natural parents should have their child back--was being given a hearing.  In that case, the same kind of shenanigans went on between two states, Michigan, where the DeBoers lived, and Iowa, where the Cara and Dan Schmidts, the natural parents, lived, as the Vaughns have been able to concoct in Indiana/Ohio.

But Jessica became Anna and has no memory of that time. In the current adoption controversy, the Vaughns fight on! even though the transfer is two days away. According to an unconfirmed source, the Vaughns' last petition filed in a U.S.District Court (during the supposed transfer time) was dismissed. What I will never understand is how people who took a child and then in a week or a few days longer learned that the father was asking for his own son live with their consciences. Have they no morals? Will nothing stop them?

As the story has come out, the biological mother lied to Wyrembek, told him he was not the father as she was still married, but then as her marriage was breaking up, she surrendered the boy. But then Wyrembek filed in seventeen days with the putative father's registry in Ohio and asked for custody should the child be his. It took a year before the DNA test was completed and court agreed he was the father. As I have heard it, the Vaughns knew seven days after they took the boy from the hospital that paternity was an issue and the real father wanted his own, true, biological son. The Vaughns had not yet filed for adoption of the boy. This is different from a kidnapping only in degrees.

What is it with these good Christian people? They demonize the boy's father, they have put up every roadblock possible to keep this child that is not theirs and who has a father who wants him, and they get the blessings of thousands of people out there in the universe? I know that the birth mother did agree to the adoption, and that she and Wyrembek were no longer in a relationship at the time the boy was born. But that in no way negates the right of a father to raise his own child.

We have seen these stories come out year after year, and it is always the same, when the prospective adopters decide to dig in and keep a child who is not theirs: We had the Jessica DeBoer/Anna Schmidt and Baby Richard, both of whom were returned to their (birth/biological) fathers and (birth/biological everything else) mothers. Now we have Baby Emma (What Ever Happened to Baby Emma? and good news on the Wyrembek boy) , also being fought in two states: Virginia and Utah, the least friendly natural parent state in the Union. I swear, if I won a vacation in Utah on Wheel of Fortune I would not go.

Anyone wanting to send a card, present, or note to support Wyrembek and his son may do so can. Make any donations payable to "The McQuades Co. Trust Account" and put in the subject line "Wyrembek". The address is McQuades Co. ATTN: Lehenbauer P.O. Box 237, Swanton, Ohio 43558. Lehenbauer is Wyrembek's attorney. As I said, the boy will be three on the 29th. Tomorrow.
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(Fellow expert Jane Edwards covered this and how such children fare: Transition Time in Contested Adoptions: Just Another Excuse for Delay.) 
For how the DeBoer/Schmidt case played in the media see: May the Richest Parents Win--The DeBoer Case. 

I was going to try to write a post for Happy Adoption Month, which is November, but I think this one will have to suffice. Perhaps it is a good sign that Grayson (or whatever his father has named him) will be returned to his father before that happy occasion comes to pass. If I do write anything, it will be a call for adoptees and birth parents alike to speak out/act up for their rights! If you have not yet written a letter to some legislator in your state (unless you are one of the lucky six) please do so! during National Adoption Month. We need letters in New York. Please see previous posts for addresses.

And one more thing: Do Vote in the Pound Pup Demon in Adoption Award. You will find all kinds of interesting candidates for the honor. See the sidebar and link at the top of the page. Enjoy! Just doing it will make you feel good. I voted for the Church of the Latter Day Saints. Yes, those good Christian folks in Utah.--lorraine

60 comments :

  1. Thanks for writing this Lo. I've written something in my head and need to get it out on paper. I've had the same thoughts.

    A couple things jumped out at me on the Keeping Grayson Home page. One was a comment from a supporter claiming that if Grayson were sent to Ben that he'd develop RAD. RAD WTF!!!!!!

    The other is the utter disregard for adopted people who speak up for Grayson and Ben, and for the entire adoption process.

    In cases like this and the others you mentioned, a case is brought and with luck a child returned because something was wrong with the legalities of the placement. So, it appears that the Vaughns prefer illegal adoption: they have no regard for ethical adoption or the law in their repeated attempts to retain Grayson. I could even understand an initial suit to keep him, but after losing repeatedly, they still maintain this delusion that all the courts are wrong and they are right. Obviously, God put Grayson in the wrong tummy.

    BTW, I looked up Grayson's birth certificate downtown and Grayson is the name given to him at birth. I hope Ben doesn't change it. It's who he is now.

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  2. I can understand the people who have been raising the boy being upset but they put it on to themselves by not giving him back to his Dad when this all first came about. I really hope he gets to go home soon.

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  3. The screaming that Anna Schmidt did as she was returned to her family was separation anxiety, which is normal in all small children. When Grayson is returned to HIS family, he most probably will cry too. Don't let the good Xtian supporters of the Vaughns characterize it as anything other than what it is, ie, separation anxiety.

    Separation anxiety is normal in all young children, and some crying should be expected. The good news is that it subsides quickly, and does not return.

    This little boy will adjust very quickly, and will have no memory of this event .

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  4. I agree Suzie Kidnap. Just because a child cries when s/he is being taken back to the biological parent doesn't mean it is the wrong thing to do. Many children cry when they go from parents to the babysitter and back again. I think this little boy will be so happy that his natural father loved him enough to go through this very public fight to keep him. It will make Grayson feel valued and important. I sometimes wonder if the Vaughns keep him and Grayson finds out as an adult, what will he think of his aparents for not returning him to his natural father? I wouldn't be surprised if he was very angry if he learned he could have lived with his real family and the Vaughns denied him that opportunity.

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  5. BD: I have mixed feelings about the name. Since the Vaughns were at the hospital and took Grayson home from there, a practice I abominate, they would have chosen the name that went on the birth certificate. It may be difficult to keep his name, the one given by Vaughns, for the father, and I would support his changing the boy's name.

    I was watching that new Detroit cop show last night, being from there, and a black suspect referred to two white girls as "Beckys."

    Beckys? Asked the cops, one black, one white.

    You ever hear of sisters called Becky? was the response. Great line, great acting too.

    Grayson is probably not the name the father, Wyrenbek or the mother would have given the child. He's young, he'll adjust, he could get involved in choosing his name. Anna Schmidt was Jessica, remember, and transferred at not too much younger than this boy.

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  6. The whole scene makes me cringe. It is one of the reasons placement directly from the hospital should not be allowed in any circumstances and that all paternity work be completed prior to placement or even filing for adoption. The variables in the world today are too great. The idea that the child will develop RAD is ludicrous...good grief, if the child does, it is the adopters fault. RAD is, according to everything I read, a disorder that is caused by being ignored or improper bonding in the first year - yes, not later - of a child's life.

    @Suzie, you bet it is normal! They use the same crap to deny visitation when a child is in foster care. If the child crys or acts out, something bad must have happened or will happen...talk about crap psychology!

    So, anyone know how we can get on the news or on a talk show regarding the truths in adoption? I would love to spend an hour talking about unethical adoption practices, abuse and the issues with reunion.

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  7. Elizabeth Bartholet, She called any research that shows that adopted people have any problems with being adopted, or that they have more psychological problems than the rest of us who are not adopted, "garbage."

    I wonder if Ms. Barholet is a very self-centered aparent. Since she herself is probably not adopted, how does she really know what it is like for her children? She sounds like she has her own agenda and possibly wouldn't even listen to her children if they differed from her in their opinion of adoption. After all, she is only experiencing adoption and had the choice to become an aparent while the children are actually the ones who are adopted.

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  8. I am with you 100% on the name issue, Lorraine. "Grayson" is 'his' name like Jason is 'his' father. Both need to go away considering the baggage that comes with them. And, hey, don't the 'real parents---*the ones who dry the tears and play ball and teach their kid to drive* get to chose and change the name" ? Just ask any AP! They have almost no respect for a name that comes with a child. Perhaps they might like to see what it feels like to see the ONE thing they can send with the boy just striped away once he is out of their sight. Thankfully, the child known as Grayson will remember little if any of this.
    It just can't be over soon enough.

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  9. Of course they have no morals. And they have hired another new attorney to stall.

    http://keepinggraysonhome.com/?p=225

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  10. Do they have any morals? Not a one... yet they claim to be such "good Christians". Am I ever familiar with that line; the "were such good, saintly Christians" line, that is.

    Those people don't care what is best for that child. They care about what is best for THEM, as do a great many AP's (not all) and PAP's.

    It sickens me to read all those comments on their FB page, posted by all of their "supporters", who blindly jump to the defense of people who are essentially kidnapping a child from his father and have been the last THREE YEARS. The blindly jump to the defense of those people and "PRAY" that a child be kept from his rightful father and parent.

    It just boggles the mind, as adoption does.

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  11. The new attorney supposedly on the case, Lin Wood, is an attention seeker; he probably volunteered his services. I've dealt with him before.

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  12. Why can't he have two names, the one he was given at birth and the other given to him by Ben? The name Grayson (It's a nice name, regardless of how and where he got it) is part of his history, whether people want to accept that or not.

    Of course I think he should be returned to Ben pronto, although I do think a transitional period would have been fairer and kinder to him. Unfortunately the Graysons are unethical and untrustworthy, so it's not an option.

    And no, I don't believe he will necessarily adjust easily or have no memory of the "event". I have a hard time understanding why anyone assume so easily.

    Haigha

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  13. I don't either, we can't assume he won't remember at this age, he may well.As to names they should never be changed except by adoptees themselves.
    The morality of adoption never fails to amaze.

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  14. I read the comments at http://keepinggraysonhome.com/?p=225

    How interesting that all of the adoptees who posted comments adamantly felt that Grayson should be with his biological father. It is time that the world realizes that adoptees are the experts in matters like this. All of the adoptees mentioned the importance of the blood connection which the non-adopted so often want to say is irrelevant. One adoptee even said he would be very angry if his aparents had kept him from his first family if the first family wanted him.

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  15. I agree that the Vaughns have no morals, and that Grayson should go back to his father now, as he should have when it first started and trauma to him would not have been a question. I also agree that in this case the Vaughns have shown they would just use any transition time to stall more. Ideally there should be a transition, but they have made that not feasible.

    I am surprised at some other thoughts expressed here, particularly that there is no lasting to trauma to the child if he cannot remember it, and the thought of anyone changing the name of a three year old because it makes them uncomfortable.

    If this is about the child, how the father feels about his name should not be a consideration. The poor kid is going to have enough to adjust to, and I hope his father is sensitive to that.

    Also interesting those who believe that separation from the mother at birth causes irreparable psychic harm, when this is something nobody can remember, yet a traumatic event in the life of a three year old is dismissed.

    This never should have happened, the Vaughns are at fault, but since it has, I hope that Grayson gets some good therapy to deal with what will be a hard and confusing place for him, at least for a while. I also hope that from now on his father and everyone around him really do put his needs first, as was not the case with the Vaughns. He is a child with feelings, not the prize in a game adults play.

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  16. Sorry, Von. Childhood amnesia is universal in humans, since the prefrontal cortex is not developed enough to form autobiographical memories before the age of four.

    Grayson won't remember. Period.

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  17. I remember a few things from age 3. My husband and some of my friends do as well. Not traumatic things because there was no trauma, but I certainly knew my name, my mom and dad, my cats, grandma, grandpa and auntie we lived with, and the nuns at my nursery school. I think this can vary from child to child, a lot.

    I do not get how possible trauma to Grayson at age 3 can be dismissed by those who believe in Primal Wound Trauma at birth. Are bad things only bad or traumatic when adoptive parents are the cause, but OK when perpetrated by a natural parent?

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  18. Kidnap, whether he remembers or not doesn't mean the "event" won't mark him in some way. He may not remember, at least not in the sense that we understand memory, but the influence of the experience will remain in some way or other because it has helped form him.
    Besides, even if he doesn't "remember" in the long term, is that any reason to not to be concerned about causing him distress?

    Interesting links:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/memory/
    understand/childhood_amnesia.shtml

    and
    http://128.95.148.60/meltzoff/pdf/
    88Meltzoff_DevPsy.pdf

    Haigha

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  19. Well, I do believe that this poor kid is going to remember something of this traumatic event in his little life, whether consciously or unconsciously.
    Just the other day I was having a convo with my 38 yr old son. We were talking about the old neighborhood, the people, etc. He said he couldn't really remember anything (he was 3 1/2 yrs old), BUT! then he said he had a clear memory of the kitchen (it's lay-out)and the pantry off the kitchen. And he was absolutely correct when telling me the lay-out of. Why did he remember this so clearly? Evidently it was tied to a 'traumatic' event in his little mind then. He was a bottle-baby, even at 3 1/2. I had a hell of a time getting that bottle from him. One day I took the bottle and *hid* it in the pantry, til I could take it out to the garbage. He went looking for it
    amd found it in the pantry. I was astounded at the clarity of his memory of this one singular event, that evidently was "traumatic" for him. He remembers little else from that time..except the kitchen, the pantry and his O! so loved bottle. So I am not going to automatically discount that little Grayson will have no memory..I am suspecting he will at some level and it won't necessarily be a good one.
    Even at 38, I could hear a bit of angst when my son was talking about this to me. I would have never guessed in a million years how profoundly that 'event' had affected him and his memory had retained it, from 3 1/2 to 38 yrs of age.
    My sister can remember being molested by her father (my step-father) when she was just a little over 3 yrs old and she can remember nothing else from that age.
    As another person here said..if the initial wound of separation from it's mother can be remembered on some level by an infant, why would a 3 yr old have no memory, no trauma from a crisis like this in his little life? I think he will. Poor kid.

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  20. Kidnap, you have uttered heresy!

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  21. "Baby Jessica" aka Anna Schmidt, has no memory of her time with her adoptive parents/kidnappers. She had a pretty easy transition. So it's easy to assume he will have the same experience.

    Also, here is a great article about the whole situation written by David Houston. He is on the fathers side, and lists his reasons as to why he has taken this position.

    http://www.internetserver37.com/dfh/id22.html

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  22. Let me get this straight. A mother who had a child by a man not her husband lied to the actual father and gave that child away to people named Christy and Jason Vaughn. The actual father found out about this lie and, wanting his child, filed immediately to have the child returned to him. Within, what, a week? ten days? But the new adoptive parents say no.

    Already this sucks. No other word for it. That child is his, not theirs, by natural law, by any kind of moral consideration you can name, by genetic heritage. And the real father wants his son, wants to raise his son, to love his son, to do right by him.

    From the beginning, then, these people are in the wrong. Then they compound their crime by fighting in the courts for three years to keep this child for themselves. On what grounds? That they want him? Have come to love him? Sorry, that doesn't cut it. The only people who have a natural right to a child are his natural parents or parent. Break that law and you wind up in the kind of world you don't want to think about, where children are assigned to the people who could "do best by them" or "love them the most" or "could give them the best advantages."

    The Vaughns disgust me. They're not thinking of the child, they're thinking of themselves and their "great love" for the child. Pure bull. If they were thinking of the child they would have given him up at the moment the father asked for him back. And it's a sick legal system that allows this kind of thing to go on so long. They stole a child. Now they want to claim the moral high ground. I once wrote the Ethics column for Esquire. I don't claim any great expertise in these matters, but there's no question where the rights and wrongs lie here. And the Vaughns make me want to throw up.

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  23. Robin--Bartholet is over the edge. I heard her speak at NCFA this year and a couple people said to me later, "did she say what I think she said." I was going to nominate her for Demons of Adoption, but didn't get it done. I'll be writing about her in November.

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  24. Lo--I thought Drucill had Grayson for a few days before she turned him over. The birth certificate in Ohio is his OBC (Grayson Thomas Bocvarov.) so I'm not sure that the Vaughns gave it to him. I had assumed that at first, but I don't know.

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  25. BD: I read that they got the boy in the hospital, that Christy was the FIRST ONE TO HOLD HIM....

    Given, that I think we can assume they were the ones who chose the names. "Grayson" sounds very Vaughnish, nest ce-pas?

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  26. With regard to the statements about not having a memory of those kinds of events, I beg to differ. I remember the house we lived in when I was 2, the Mexican ladies down the road that made tortillas in big outdoor kettle things, the sow that got loose and thinking that my mother was going to be injured....

    I also know, in spite of what my daughter says on occasion, that my daughter remembers me. She never even questioned that I was who I said I was the first time I called her. She knew who I was. At one point she stated that she knew the minute she heard my voice. She was taken when she was 3.

    All trauma, even traumatic pregnancies affect children. It is not something that people want to consider...and as far as long term memory not developing, that issue is still in debate today. After all, what we call long term memory as adults, that is very different simply because we have been alive much longer than a baby.

    As for the name, I do have to agree that the boy is a bit too old to change his name. They attempted to change my daughter's name and she wouldn't respond to them when they used the name. So, names, no matter where they come from, are important.

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  28. It will be sad and difficult for Grayson, but the blame for that should be put where it belongs - with the Vaughns, who caused this mess!

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  29. Do the Vaughns have any morals? Nope, because if they had any, or any shred of dignity or decency, they would not have dragged this out.

    If Grayson cries as he is returned to his father well, that is due to the Vaughns dragging this on for over three years. Had he been given back alot earlier, there would have been time for him to adjust and although some confusion, it would not be anything like it would be at this age.

    If they are truly concerned for Grayson's wellbeing and it appears they never have been given their actions, then they wouldn't be badmouthing his father in front of him and would be keeping the whole situation out of the media and CALM. But no... this was NEVER about Grayson but about what the Vaughns wanted. They prove this time and time again. If anyone has hurt this littl eboy it has been them.

    Love? Nope, no love here.

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  30. Kidnap, actually you are not correct. It used to be believed that children did not have memories before the age of two (Piaget) however in more recent times, as of this year in fact, more and more research is coming out that events that happen in the WOMB are being captured and remembered; not perhaps in a way we adults recall things but in a more primal way. There is even evidence to suggest now that DNA captures memories and these are actually passed down to generations. So for example a child who has NEVER suffered abuse behaves in a way one might expect from a child who HAS been abused. If one investigates further, they find there was abuse but in the mother or grandparent's background.

    It is very interesting stuff. Grayson will recall all this and there will be a time of adjustment for him. To deny this is silly. Children's levels of anxiety are increased dramatically when removed from their primary carer even if for a small period of time; this has been studied and the DNA of many toddlers was examined only a couple of years ago - the measuring of cortisol levels was used.

    So yes Grayson will suffer through this but it needs to be remembered that it is the Vaughns who have caused this by withholding him from his father in the first place.

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  31. Just like being separated from the only mother one has ever known at birth can be an extremely stressful event with a lasting impact on a person (while a baby cannot record cognitive memories, they are more than capable of recording emotional ones), so can any other stressful event that happens after birth.

    Babies and small children who have experienced extreme stress, such as severe illness that needed hospitalization, have been studied for the prolonged impact stress in infancy can have. It's no longer thought that babies and small children are oblivious and they can, indeed, be impacted by their environment.

    This has the potential to be stressful for him. We can't write that off for a child, especially one who has experienced separation before.

    But he should go back to his father, not because he won't have cognitive labels for the event, because it's the right thing to do and the best thing for him. Period.

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  32. Yes. the Vaughns caused this. But no matter who caused it, Grayson will have a hard time, and it is him I am concerned about, that his father will have the sensitivity to get the help he needs to get through this hard time.Necessary at this point, yes, but still so sad for the child.

    Children in these awful custody cases when asked years later seem to echo the views of the parent that won. "No memory, no problem" from Anna Schmidt, "my adoptive parents are my heroes" from Lenore DeMartino, whose adoptive parents fled to another state when her mother tried to get her back in 1970, one of the first dragged-out media custody cases.

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  33. Well, in fact the boy's mom caused this by placing him with the Vaughns.
    The Vaughns have perpetuated it by keeping him.

    No name change!

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  34. "There is even evidence to suggest now that DNA captures memories and these are actually passed down to generations. So for example a child who has NEVER suffered abuse behaves in a way one might expect from a child who HAS been abused. If one investigates further, they find there was abuse but in the mother or grandparent's background."

    One need not investigate too much further to suggest that you're up woo creek without a paddle there. The emerging science of epigenetics suggests that the environment can cause "permanent" changes in genes and that these mutations are heritable. But there is no emotional "memory" stored and passed on in the way you are suggesting so that behaviour in one person could be explained by what her grandmother did. If a child is behaving "as if abused" (whatever that means), then there must be physiological, psychological, or social/familial reasons why.

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  35. The AP me cannot imagine what it would have felt like had someone come to us a few months after one of our children had come into our family, and told us our child must return to his or her first family. Devastating, no question.

    But I hope that simple human honesty would have kicked in and allowed me to do the right thing, because I don't see how anyone could consider themselves a parent with such an injustice hanging over their heads.

    This is not to deny the injustice inherent in adoption across the board. But that's another discussion.

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  36. Why is it legal for ONE parent to sign away the rights that BOTH parents have to their child? Don't get me started on the rights of the child that no one seems to consider or care about.

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  37. I had never heard that story, Maryanne. Here's an article about Baby Lenore for others who haven't as well. Heavily leaning toward the a-parent side but does include info about the first mom.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/1995/08/20/1995-08-20_custody_fight_left_scars_paw.html

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  38. FYI: For those who don't remember the work that Florence Fisher did for adoption reform, she was heavily involved in this case. It still breaks her heart.

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  39. Margie said "The AP me cannot imagine what it would have felt like had someone come to us a few months after one of our children had come into our family, and told us our child must return to his or her first family. Devastating, no question."

    I can't imagine that either, although, like you, I would have turned the child without question.
    But I just want to point out that it wasn't like that for the Vaughns. Of course one doesn't know who Drusila had told them was the father, but even if they didn't sense that something was fishy before (which I doubt, but who knows?), they knew within "just weeks" that Ben would be petitioning for the return of his son.
    ttp://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/09/28/
    earlyshow/living/parenting/main6907366.shtml

    Haigha

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  40. Oh yeah, and apart from all the other pro-Vaughn propaganda, etc., notice how The Early Show refers to Grayson as the Vaughn's "adopted" son, even though no adoption has taken place.
    At this time he is not their son in any sense other than in their own minds. By saying he is, the media is trying to put one over on the public.

    Haigha

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  41. Lorraine, yes, I remember Florence being involved in the DeMartino/Scarpetta case. Like all of them the mother changed her mind within two weeks after birth, but the agency and adoptive parents let it drag on until it became "the only parents she has ever known." And the fact that the mother had wanted her child back right away got lost in the shuffle of "the horror" of moving a year old child.

    People said afterwards that "Baby Lenore" would be angry at her adoptive parents when she learned that her birthmother fought to keep her. I guess not. "To the victor belong the spoils" no matter which way the courts rule. And this was one where the courts ruled the child should be returned and they fled to Florida where they could not be prosecuted.

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  42. Separation, for whatever reason, causes trauma. Children can and do heal from that trauma, but the initial event, no matter who's at fault for it, will be traumatic. Just because another child turned out fine ("no memory"), does not mean he will. Each person is unique and responds to things in their own way. Praying for healing for all involved.

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  43. I won't go into the morals of the Vaughns (yes they have some - that's the problem - they are not only weird morals but shared by many fans apparently!) but want to pick up on the infantile memory thread.

    When I first read Primal Wound, I had doubts because it was predicated on the child having awareness and memory of the first events of his life.

    Then I spoke with my sister in law. When each of her children turned three, she sat them down and regressed memories back to the previous birthday and then to their first birthday. Then they each were able to recall details of the day of their own births! One recalled the living room of the house they had moved from soon after her birth, and the midwife who attended. Another (premature) recalled the intense heat and light of the incubator, recalled her parents briefly visiting then having to leave, and even recalled a "man counting numbers" - it took her parents a while to recall a male nurse reading out oxygen levels in the delivery room.

    Point being that the human brain stores everything; it's just the filing systemn that develops holes. If you've spent time with someone with dementia or Alzheimer's, you know they can recall incredible detail from 70 or 80 years ago. The human memory is sort of like a hard drive - if the "directory" gets a glitch, the file is lost even though it stays on the drive. That's why education involves so much repetition, often repeated through different forms (hearing, reading, speaking, writing, even music or counting - it forms multiple pathways to the memory. If we don't access a memory frequently, we forget where it's filed (like I have forgotten my college calculus!) But the memory remains, and may occasionally surface when triggered.

    Yes, Grayson will retain memories of this period; if he has little need to recall them, they will fade with time. I agree that his name is a possible reminder of this period (as I recall it was chosen by the Vaughns to honor their grandfather?) but it is his name and I agree that changing names should be the child's right.

    Robert Wilson Harrington McCullough Haight (yes, I've recovered all four of my family names...)

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  44. Ooops, sorry. Missed out the "h" for the link to The Early Show. This will work:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/09/28/
    earlyshow/living/parenting/main6907366.shtml

    Haigha

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  45. @Anthony Brandt, Your comment captures the whole essence of this case. You wrote "Within, what, a week? ten days? But the new adoptive parents say no." However, the Vaughns are NOT Grayson's adoptive parents. This is an important point in the case. They filed a petition to adopt but were DENIED because both natural parents had not relinquished the boy.

    And Kristi wrote:

    "Don't get me started on the rights of the child that no one seems to consider or care about."

    Boy, you got that right! It doesn't seem that the child is ever considered. And for those of us from the BSE that status is FOREVER.

    With all the comments on news stories stating the "best interests of the child" no one ever mentions that it is usually not in the child's best interest to be an "adopted child".

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  46. Of course this child will be traumatized. He was already traumatized once, when his first Mom gave him to strangers. Now he will be traumatized again as he settles into his new life. This ALL could have been prevented- by his first Mother, and then by these kidnapper Vaughn's.

    I think his name should be changed if he wants it to be, when he is older. I know I wouldn't want to keep the name kidnappers gave me.

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  47. I totally agree with those people who think that changing his name should be his decision when he is older and has had time to try to assimilate all this difficult stuff.
    But I think that to suggest changing his name, especially at a time when he's already old enough to answer to it, shows remarkable insensitivity. To change it now would simply be adding insult to injury. At three years of age he will have already identified with the name Grayson. As far as he's concerned it's *his* name, and a perfectly good one, regardless of whether it is "Vaughnish" or not.
    No decent person would think of doing that. One would hope not even to a dog.


    Haigha

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  48. All of this could have been avoided if the Birtmother kept her legs shut.

    Seriouly, what woman sleeps with another man when she's married to another? Not only that, she lies about the child and then turns around and tells the 'real" fathers she's placed the kid for adoption. If you want to talk about morals, look at the birthmother-awful

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  49. On the naming issue.... I am pretty sure the Vaughns, not the mother, picked the name, because it seems to match the names of their children (Jackson & Addison). Perhaps the father can give him a new middle name and he can choose which he wants to go by when he is older... I think getting him used to living with his father now is more important than changing the name right away.

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  50. I find it ironic that people are so concerned with his name change. Yes, it IS his name, and he knows his name. But how many adoptees have their named changed when they are adopted? Especially International adoptees. You know, because their old name was either "too ethnic" or too hard to pronounce, or just because the adopters wanted to change it. This happens all the time, and with older adoptees, too. It's all so twisted.

    And to "anon" who wrote the tired old "shoulda kept her legs shut" comment. Seriously? Yawn. Sounds like an adoptoraptor to me. Get a new line.

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  51. Adults should never change the name of a child who knows his or her first name. Not unless the child is old enough to want to change the name, and requests it. I always cringe when I hear that first names are changed in older child adoptions.

    Who is that for? It is for the adults, a symbol of their power and ownership of the child. Bad if an adoptive parent does it, equally bad if a natural parent who gets his child back does the same thing if the child is old enough to know his name.

    As far as I know, this is all conjecture. Has the father said he will change the name? Like a previous poster, I would not change the name of a dog or cat I adopted who knew his name, let alone a child.

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  52. @ anonymous:

    "All of this could have been avoided if the Birtmother kept her legs shut."

    Do you "keep your legs shut?". Is someone else's sex life any of your damn business? Get the hell over yourself.

    Who the hell are you or anyone else to judge the birthmother. I have a serious problem with people passing judgement on someone they don't know.

    People sit on their holier than thou thrones and blame someone, like they have never made a mistake in their lives. Who knows how she feels about losing her child to adoption? This could all have been traumatic for her as well.

    Now run along and "keep your legs shut" so you don't have an unwanted pregnancy.

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  53. Right on Linda. How many Chinese girls do you know who have Chinese names, even if they were adopted when they were no longer infants?

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  54. The name issue is complicated. I read that Grayson was named after Christy Vaughn's grandfather so the name could have an uncomfortable association in his natural family.

    I also remember in the Anna Nicole Smith case that Larry Birkhead said he was keeping the name Dannielynn because that IS his daughter's name. Even though it was not one that he would have picked.

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  55. To me it is ironic that certain of the people who are so focused on the importance of biological history should have so little respect for personal history. It's really just another manifestation of historical revisionism, not that much different in essence from the blank slate paradigm.

    Haigha

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  56. Christy Vaughn did name little Grayson.
    http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/fighting-grayson-indiana-couple-refuses-give-adopted-son/story?id=11704478

    ""Cristy Vaughn didn't give birth to Grayson, but she was the first to hold him. She and her husband, Jason Vaughn, took him home when he was just 8 days old after his mother gave him up for adoption. He was named after Cristy Vaughn's grandfather.

    "He's our child and he has been since the moment I held him," she said. "And I don't know anything different than that." ""

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  57. I feel sad that Grayson's mother could not go on to continue mothering the life she nurtured in her body. I feel sad that her character has been assasinated and her chocies villified by virtual strangers. It must have been difficult to carry a baby boy, select other care givers to be his parents through adoption, and then give up that baby.

    I feel sad that Ben's character has been assasinated by virtual strangers and his choices villifed for following for so long the procedural steps to gain custody of his child, for an opportunity to experience parenting, only to find that parenting will first be about learning to care for a traumatized three year old child.

    I feel sad that the character, even the Christianity, of the Vaughs has been questioned by virtual strangers and their actions been villified for bonding with Grayson's mother and then her baby, for valuing and honoring the trust placed in them to nurture and care for Grayson through adoption, and barring that outcome and knowing only what they can know of Ben in this situation, for wanting the courts to confirm through the usual and customary testing and investigation that Grayson will be safe and cared for in the custody of Ben.

    Human beings all.

    I feel very sad about the loss that comes to Grayson now. Grayson can't understand what is happening and, of course, he will remember this trauma and this loss.

    Please pray with me for God's grace and genleness in Grayson's life...for patience in all who comfort and support him...for compassion and peace in the hearts of all those who judge the character or actions of others. I thank you for hearing me and I wish you peace.

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  58. Can I please say that I am so, so tired of hearing about anyone's God in this mess?? Humans caused it, Humans will have to fix it!

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  59. If all parents had to prove their capabilities to parent their children before being allowed to take them home, how many of us would have grown up in the families we did, or raised the children we have?

    The assumption in every society has always been that it is best for children to be raised by their biological families; adoption, foster care, and step-parenting in all their forms only comes into play when the original family is incapable of providing parenting.

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  60. @d28Bob,

    I disagree with your statement, "The assumption in every society has always been that it is best for children to be raised by their biological families".

    In actuality, adoption has quite often been pushed even coerced (particularly during the BSE and even today) when the first mother is not unfit but is simply unwed.

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