Vilsack learns about his past

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Vilsack learns about his past, grapples with whether to learn more

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Tom Vilsack, the first candidate of either party to announce he is running for president in 2008, is now grappling with another decision -- whether to learn more about the circumstances of his birth.

The outgoing Iowa Democratic governor, who launched a presidential run three weeks ago, told Iowa's Quad City Times that he received a letter last weekend from an orphanage administrator in western Pennsylvania who said Vilsack was born there and that he has certain non-identifying information about the politician's birth mother, the newspaper reported Thursday.

"I'm 56 years old, I didn't know where I was born until Sunday," he told the newspaper's editorial board.

Vilsack, orphaned at birth in Pittsburgh and adopted in 1951, told the board that the orphanage administrator said he had learned of Vilsack from a newspaper article.

Asked if he would search for more answers about his past, Vilsack told the Times he was still weighing what to do. "This is not something where you make a snap decision," he said.

-- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

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Iowa governor gets lead on

Iowa governor gets lead on birth mother

By Mike Glover

Associated Press

Published December 23, 2006

JOHNSTON, Iowa -- Gov. Tom Vilsack said he has received a letter with details of his birth that could help him track down his birth mother.

Vilsack, who has been open about his adoption in Pittsburgh, said he has not decided what to do with the information and will ponder the matter over the holidays.

"You have to have time to think about things like this," Vilsack said Friday after the taping of a public affairs show on Iowa Public Television. "This is a decision nobody else can make."

The matter could focus greater attention on Vilsack's personal history as he prepares to leave the governor's office and pursue the Democratic presidential nomination.

Vilsack, 56, was adopted shortly after birth and has spoken of growing up in a family where his adoptive mother struggled with alcoholism and his adoptive father had financial setbacks. He has used his past as an example of rising above adversity, but the latest development could add detail to the story.

He said the letter arrived at his presidential campaign offices in Des Moines and he almost discarded it, thinking it was yet another holiday solicitation.

"You get a lot of solicitations this time of year," Vilsack said.

Instead, he opened it and read a letter from a nun who had served at a home for unwed mothers.

"It was a place for young women to go to have their babies and then decide whether to leave them there," Vilsack said.

Vilsack's mother decided to leave her son at the home.

In the letter, the nun told Vilsack that the records of his birth still were available should he choose to find out details.

Vilsack said his adoptive mother had told him the records were destroyed by fire, probably as a way of protecting him from the past. Despite knowing nothing about his parents, Vilsack said he never has been haunted by questions about his past.

But he acknowledged that learning about his family history could be useful for medical reasons.

The choice has left him conflicted.

"You have loyalty to the family who raised you," said Vilsack, whose adoptive parents have died.

Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune

Vilsack

But fat Chance it was a "decision".   No one freely or willingly "decides" self-amputation.  This happens when there is no help and no hope.  In despondency, desperation or destitution.  Throw in a good measure of externally imposed shame and being emotional beaten down for 9 months by those in authority positions who "know better". 

Vlisack OPPORTUNITY

This is a great opportunity for us to get some educational points across to the public by writing letters-to-the-editors of our local newspapers.

1) No one wakes up one morning adn DECIDES they will have a baby and place it for adoption

2) Because adoptees birth certificates are falsified, it allows people such as Vlisack to live their lives as a LIE.  This is dangerous in terms of giving false medical history.

3) The fact that nun contacted him very likely indicates that his mother signed a waiver and wants to meet him. 

4) he was not "haunted by questions" but would like his medical history -- this indicates understandable ambiguity and conflict becaus eof the secret nature of adoption.

We need to pray he goes with gut and it has a good outcome!

Close but no cigar for missing parent

2) Because adoptees birth certificates are falsified, it allows people such as Vlisack to live their lives as a LIE.  This is dangerous in terms of giving false medical history.

This is assuming the side of ignorance, because ANYONE of Lost or Missing parentage is at a loss taking a Medical Exam. OUR incomplete health-record is far too Questionable to fool around with Reality.   What idiot would lie to a medical doctor relating to the Family History page?!?  " I am Adopted/Abducted/; History Unknown".  It's a bold-faced lie to suggest an honest and available  birth certificate will change the health of Closed Cases.

3) The fact that nun contacted him very likely indicates that his mother signed a waiver and wants to meet him. 

Or... a nun felt compassionate appreciation for the poor pup, and sent a him an olive-branch of gestured kindness for Christmas.  Who knows?  Stranger things have happened, especially in the life where The Unknown is Accepted by the signed adoption papers.

4) he was not "haunted by questions" but would like his medical history -- this indicates understandable ambiguity and conflict becaus eof the secret nature of adoption. 

An Adoptee not haunted by the ghosts of Unknown Pasts is a case of life-time Open Communication done responsibly and respectfully by all four parental participants.   [Does such a creature exist?]

Here's a Teaching Opportunity:  Survival for the Broken-Bond is simple  -- Out with the bad, and In with the good. 

Just think, I was able to figure that out all by myself, without the use of a birth certificate of any kind!   Does that earn me a picture in the newpaper?   

Pound Pup Legacy