The Norman Transcript

September 17, 2013

What about young Veronica?


The Associated Press

NORMAN — In a perfect world, daddies do not give up their babies. Neither do mommies.

In a perfect world, adoptive parents aren’t needed because there are no children who need their love. They can love as many of their own children as they want to bring into the world.

But we don’t live in a perfect world with happy endings all the time.

And no matter how one looks at it, there may be no truly “happy” ending for one little girl — Veronica.

Childhood should be about safety, trust, knowing when you lie in bed at night that people who love you are just down the hall if you have a bad dream. It’s about playing, learning, exploring, coloring, laughing. It shouldn’t be about coming home from preschool to find a news photographer in your bedroom or playing to the sounds of people crying about the possibility of losing you or being carried away from the only parents you’ve known for two years and not seeing them again for more than a year.

In the ongoing fight over little Veronica, there are two sides who both appear to mean well. The fight’s focus should not be on the past characters of birth parents, it should not be on winning and it should not even be about an Indian tribe.

At the center of everything is a little girl — a living, breathing little girl who has to live with what is decided on her behalf.

A little girl whose birth mother chose to bring her into the world despite less than ideal circumstances and chose what she thought was a good situation. A little girl whose birth father loves her so much that he would go to jail before he would hand her over. A little girl whose adoptive parents love her enough to fight for years to regain custody of her. A little girl with a half sister, cousins, grandparents, adoptive grandparents — all loving her and wanting her to be a part of their lives.

Between all of those people and the supporters of those people, Veronica has got to be the most loved child in America.

We can’t ask adult Veronica what would be best for her at this point. Somehow, if we could, it would probably be a response centered around not shutting anyone out of her life. It would probably be about wanting safety, security and love, no matter where, or with whom, she lives.

And that, alone, should be the constant focus of those who must decide this case.

— Bartlesville

Examiner-Enterprise