The story that continues to annoy me just won’t end

Anita Tedaldi appeared on the Today show yesterday. I was watching the Today show when they made the announcement that she would be on, but had to go to work and school before her time slot.

Here is Lisa Belkin at the New York Times Motherlode blog writing about Anita’s appearance. This part made me laugh out loud:

“as a journalist, I fiercely believe that sunlight is almost always
better than darkness, and that shining a spotlight on all corners of a
topic is the only way to understand it.”

Keep on keeping on, Lisa.

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The Today show write up is here.
Lisa Belkin’s Motherlode blog story is here.

Author: JaeRan

Assistant professor at UW Tacoma, writer, and researcher.

14 thoughts

  1. I saw this last night and felt physically ill. I read (and commented) on the original blog entry but never thought she’d go for more publicity. Why in the world would she go on the Today show? It makes no sense. She says she wants to keep the child’s identity a secret yet she continues to speak in a very public way. I totally suspect her motives. Even Lisa Belkin says in her follow-up blog entry that she tried to convince Anita not to do the program. Something weird going on. I feel for that child.

  2. I was horrified at the end where the host (Is that Matt Lauer? This isn’t a show I watch.) is asking her if she’s still in contact with D. and his new family and just sort of talked over her and made assumptions about it being a happy ending even though I don’t think Tedaldi was actually saying she was in touch. It really gave me the creeps.

  3. I can’t believe this woman is still being presented as a hero!
    Reading between the lines of her accounts, I’m guessing that the disruption wasn’t due solely to “lack of a connection”. Frankly, I think she’s massively hedging to make herself look better. I think she realized her son had RAD and/or some sort of serious neurological/medical/biological condition. I think she realized that things were only going to get harder, not easier, and that he might never live independently, and it was too much for her on top of everything else.
    Maybe the disruption really was the best thing for the child and he’ll be in a better family situation now. But Tedaldi is still not taking full responsibility for her decision. Why not detail exactly what special needs he has and exactly why she couldn’t meet them? That would be a lot more useful for the public in terms of “shining a light”. She’s already disclosed so much already, why not disclose that?

  4. And THIS is Belkin’s takeaway. Unbelievable.
    “Today’s parents are often too stressed themselves, leading them to be too quick to judge others. Perhaps seeing how easy it is to mess things up in spite the best of intentions — and Anita is the first to say she completely messed things up — might make all of us pause and realize that we could just as easily become “that kind of parent.”
    THIS is what we’re supposed to learn?!

  5. This is appalling, especially the Today show’s weepy packaging of what Belkin calls a “hot topic.” It’s not surprising that Belkin is milking this for her own reasons, claiming that she’s upholding the torch of journalistic integrity:
    “…shining a spotlight on all corners of a topic is the only way to understand it.”
    Please. Journalists often spin many-faceted topics like adoption in self-serving ways, so there’s no way we’re getting light on “all corners” here.
    I agree with other commenters that Tedaldi is hedging her bets; and going on TV with this story undercuts her credibility. Rather than illuminating the difficult topic of attachment disorder–and the question of whether adoptive parents can bond adequately with non-biological children–this turns it into her personal travail.
    I’ll repeat here something I wrote about her original post in Motherlode. I reflected on it in an Open Salon piece called, “Uh-oh, Mom’s a Writer: The Ethics of Memoirs About Kids”:
    “Yet does she [Tedaldi] really believe it’s easier for a mother to attach to a biological child? Or is it just her? She skirts a hard answer, which leaves this zinger in readers’ minds, reinforcing all sorts of stereotypes about adoption.
    If she had answered this question, she probably would have received even more criticism, especially from other adoptive parents like me. But at least there would have been a real debate about the elephant in the room.”

  6. As an adoptee myself and having 2 biological children of my own, I believe that I would NOT have the same bonding to a child that I adopted.
    Biological connections can be dismissed by the pro-adoption community, but that doesn’t change the FACT that they are what is BEST.
    I don’t know my biological father. He probably doesn’t know that I even exist. This is WRONG. I had to wait until I was 18 years old to meet my biological mother. That is WRONG. No one’s ethnicity, heritage, and blood lines should be kept from them. This is the “state” interferring with the private lives of people just because they were adopted.
    Treating others differently and keeping birth records from them because they are adopted is DISCRIMINATION.
    Adoptees are not blank flesh canvasses on which to paint identities onto.

  7. I definitely think you’re right, Jae Ran. It seems as if she’s trying to get some face time in before the book comes out. The thing that really disgusted me was the pitiful look on her face. It is a horrible situation, but she sat there looking like she had no control over it, as if this was done TO her.
    That poor boy had to go through yet another transition, but the truth is that she had no right to have him in her home, ever.
    This story continues to bother me as well and yet it’s everywhere I look.

  8. T*edal*di does have a book coming out in March 2010, I believe. Another “military mom” is co-author. So I’m guessing that’s why AT just won’t go away.

  9. I hadn’t heard of this story but it makes me extraordinarily uncomfortable. I, like others, can’t understand the need to ‘go public’ even if there are difficulties. I wonder about the screening process as well. I wonder if there is an expectation in society in general for ‘happy ever after’ endings when actually a lot of work is involved.

  10. I haven’t noticed any comments on Motherlode or elsewhere about the fact that this was a transracial adoption. I wonder if this was significant in the family’s inability to bond–NOT at all to suggest that transracial families in general have a harder time bonding, but just to wonder if this particular family (obviously unprepared in so many ways) was naive about adopting a child of another race.
    And like so many others, I agree that it’s repellant that she continues to seek publicity (disingenuously claiming that it’s for the good of other families) and continues to avoid taking any responsibility for what happened.

  11. This story has me seething – literally seething, as an adoptive mom. The way that she places responsibility to bond on the child. “HE just wasn’t attaching . . .” WTF? I’m guessing she wouldn’t place that burden of responsibility on her bio children.
    And the reporting. Sheesh. The sappy music, the victim mentality, and the bullshit happy ending bit. Killing me.

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