A week or two ago, my delightfully wonderful pal Jenny sent an email alerting me and other local moms about Operation Vanessa and the travesty that is our adoption system. It is simply a devastating tragedy that has a beautiful two-year old named Vanessa at its heart. Please take a moment and read Vanessa’s Mom’s soul-wrenching words on the hows and the whys she finds herself and her daughter in this terrible place. As a Mom, it just tore me to pieces.
The short version is this: Stacey Doss worked with a California adoption agency, where she was introduced and eventually selected by Vanessa’s birth mom to become Vanessa’s legal mother forever. Stacey welcomed Vanessa into her heart and home when she was only a day old and she has been the center of Vanessa’s world since that day two years ago.
Vanessa’s birth mom for reasons of her own lied to Stacey and the adoption agency/system when she told them (under penalty of perjury) that she did not know who Vanessa’s birth father was. Regrettably the truth came out shortly after Vanessa’s birth – the birth father was known and now knew his daughter had been placed for adoption.
At first glance it would be easy to cry FOUL! How could the birth mother lie like this? How could she steal this man’s child? How could this happen? And at first glance perhaps there are folks out there that would side with the birth father who claims to have unknowingly lost his child.
But as with nearly all things in life – there are many sides to this story too easily lost if you take it at first glance. I truly believe Vanessa’s birth mother did what she did to protect and save her daughter from the potential danger that is the birth father. Most of you reading this are likely parents, if not moms yourselves and you know when faced with imminent danger to your children, you’d take whatever action needed to keep them out of harms way. I have to think that Vanessa’s birth mother saw no other choice and that lie, though ultimately destructive, was Vanessa’s way out. Penalty of perjury would mean little to a mother trying to save her child.
The bottom line in this mess is that for two years Vanessa has known no other world than the one beautifully created for her by Stacey Doss. And it is there that the birth father’s rights (if he in fact is owed any) become irrelevant to me. The only rights that should matter are Vanessa’s – her right to the life and unconditional love she was granted when she was placed into Stacey’s arms by the birth mother. To strip her from Stacey would be the equivalent of ripping both their hearts out, leaving two broken souls that will never heal. This child deserves to stay exactly where she is. Is it unfair to the birth father? Maybe. But I don’t care. All that matters is Vanessa – her best interests.
Montgomery County (Dayton, Ohio area) is asking the courts to return Vanessa to Ohio where she’ll be placed in foster care while this issue is sorted out. I find this shameful and beyond comprehension. And like Stacey said: “… children are not a commodity that you put in a warehouse until a decision is made as to where to place them!” The law is wrong here and this child should not have to suffer to prove it.
If you are in the area and can spare some time to show support for Vanessa and Stacey, we invite you to join us for a candlelight vigil in Montgomery County on Thursday, July 15th at 8:30 pm in the Carillon Park. We’ll assemble at the Carillon (see pic to right). You can get up to the minute info on the vigil at Operation Vanessa’s Facebook Page which will be updated regularly.