Rewrite, rewrite!

So Anita Tedaldi has reached over the ocean to spread her pablum.   (Thanks, I think, to graculus for the link.)  She has republished her blog post from the New York Times.  Only this time “D” or “David” is now “Dan.”  He’s still from “South America,” however.

Let’s look at the additions first:

Overall the additions appear to be trying to paint Tedaldi in a better light. She adds the “my baby” in front of “Dan,” she points out several times that her husband was deployed away from home, she says D or David or Dan “became a part of my family” whereas in the original he “came to our home.”

She adds “Less than two years after he arrived” to a sentence about D or David or Dan leaving her home. Lisa Belkin of the New York Times says that the time frame was 18 months. But hey, what’s a month or six or a year when the whole story is spun so often the truth can never be assumed?

Now let’s look at the deletions:

The longing.  “After waiting many long months, I’d finally hold and kiss my son.”  Gone!

“Five biological daughters.”  Now just “daughters.”  No mention of the pregnancy and giving birth twice during D or David or Dan’s brief little stay in the house. 

The research on adoption.  Deletion of that little part about “complications that older adopted children can have,” which implied that D or David or Dan was older.  He was probably about four months old.  In the original blog post, Tedaldi claims to have spoken with her therapist.  Her therapist disappears in the Guardian version.  Undoubtedly because it implies approval by the therapist.  She had panic attacks and severe stressors in the household, in addition to having three babies in a very short period of time.

Original sentence:  “I spoke to my therapist and went through a thorough screening process with social workers to figure out if I, and my family, could be a good match for a child who needed a home.”

Revised sentence:  “I did lots of research on adoption, including attachment issues, and went through a thorough screening process with social workers.”

(By the way, I’m still wondering why nobody has contacted the adoption agency and asked about this case. Because it seems like she was not a good match. Tedaldi had a number of red flags that normally would prevent placement of a child by a reputable agency. Some risk factors here.)

Her son also has medical problems instead of medical issues, she eliminates the part about people asking her if he had brain injury as well as the part about his alleged coprophagia. Remember that? Gross! He ate his feces! Which might have been the result of being left unattended for large periods of time. In any event, a one-piece sleeper would have been a simple solution.

Gone too is the sentence “His social worker, his pediatrician and his neurologist all told me that he had come a long way, and that attachment issues were to be expected with adoption.” But she still refers to “all these experts” (who aren’t named in the second version). Sloppy editing.

She takes out the small details about her attachment therapy. She deletes the sentence “Eventually I told her that I’d look at profiles of potential families, but stressed that I wasn’t committed yet, just considering options.”

In the original version, Tedaldi says that the social worker helped her talk to “my kids, to family members, even strangers,” but in the second version “strangers” are eliminated. She still talks to D or David or Dan and tells him “we” love him very much, but she eliminates the part about how he never reacted to her words.

She deletes the adjective “coarse” which she uses to describe his hair. In talking about his next family, she deletes “They went to great lengths to legally adopt him, to welcome him into their home and provide him with the best care he can receive.”

And for the closing paragraphs, I think you will have to read the swill for yourself. Original:

My husband had originally asked me not to write about D., because I’d only open myself up to criticism. But I wrote this essay because D. taught me a lot about myself and about parenting and because I hope that by sharing this experience others can feel less alone in their failures. D. deflated my ego by showing me my limitations. Because of my little man, I have more compassion for the mistakes we make as parents, and I’m far less willing to point my finger at others’ difficulties.

I’m still processing this experience and I think I always will.

I don’t have anything left from D.’s time with us. Samantha didn’t want D.’s clothes, I think she preferred to make a fresh start, so I donated everything to the Salvation Army. We don’t have D.’s pictures around because my husband thought it’d be too difficult, but in my wallet, I carry a small close-up photo of D.’s face, which I took after his first haircut at a barber shop. When I think about him, I take it out and look into his big dark eyes as a deep endless sadness fills my heart.

Revised:

My husband had originally asked me not to write about Dan, because I would only open myself up to criticism. But I wrote this because Dan taught me a lot about myself and about parenting, and because I hope that by sharing this experience others can feel less alone in their failures. I have more compassion for the mistakes we make as parents and I’m far less willing to point the finger at others’ difficulties.

I don’t have anything left from Dan’s time with us. Samantha didn’t want Dan’s clothes – I think she preferred to make a fresh start, so I donated everything to the Salvation Army. We don’t have Dan’s pictures around because my husband thought it would be too difficult, but in my wallet I carry a small close-up photo of his face. When I think about him, I take it out and look into his big, dark eyes as a deep, endless sadness fills my heart.

Thank you, little Dan, for all that you have been to me, to us. Despite my failures, I loved you the best way I could, and I’ll never forget you.

Postscript This account first appeared on a blog several months ago. Since then my family has come under intense public scrutiny in the US, where we live. I knew there would be a lot of criticism, but my intention was to share a very personal experience. I don’t mind the criticism, but I have been surprised by the degree of hatred displayed towards me and my family. Some readers have made fun of my children’s looks.

There have been many positive comments, too, and I’m thankful to the many families who shared their own painful stories with me.
I do not regret writing about Dan. I shared this experience because when I saw my own shortcomings, I was humbled. We all struggle with our weaknesses, too often alone.

I’m sure “little man” is glad to have been able to teach Tedaldi.

8 thoughts on “Rewrite, rewrite!

  1. You know I could almost understand if Anita had said, “I wrote this article so that people think more carefully before they become adoptive parents. It’s not fair for any child to go through what Dan went through.” But no, she doesn’t write the article to prevent others from failing children, she wrote it so they wouldn’t feel alone in their failures. She wants those who fail to feel less alone — not more responsible.

    Oh, she loved him “as best as she could.” To paraphrase Toni Morrison , “Love is never any better than the lover. Wicked people love wickedly. Stupid people love stupidly, but there is no gift for the beloved. He remains shorn, neutralized, frozen in the matrix of the lover’s gaze.” And thanks to Anita, the world’s gaze.

  2. I thought you’d find it interesting to see how the story has evolved, but I was somewhat heartened to see the vast majority of comments on the story, at the time I read it, were ‘poor Dan’ rather than ‘poor Anita’, with a side order of ‘what were the adoption agency thinking?’.

  3. She “shared her experience” because she wanted a book deal. She wants fame. She wants money. Some even say she purposely adopted this child solely to abandon him, that she always had the purpose of disruption in regard to this child. I tend to believe it.
    She never loved this child. She used him and then she abandoned him and I think the color of his skin and the place of his origins had a lot to do with her motives. For her, this child was simply an opportunity.
    Anita Tedaldi is a sociopath and a monster. She should not be allowed within ten feet of any child including her own.

  4. I have disdain for this woman and disgust for how she irresponsibly traumatized this child.

    But I don’t see the point in making assumptions about her motives. Maybe she just failed. I do agree that her articles should be about preventing such failures, not assuaging her guilt.

  5. What a bitch. I read about this and followed all the comments on the NYT article, my blood pressure rising with each “I think you did the best thing for your child.” I didn’t believe she could manage to top the freakshow that she called parenting, but wow, I guess you can’t keep a bad bitch down.

  6. This is actually more than speculation. Months before her disruption, she wrote an article online about how horrible adoption disruption is and about how children are not interchangeable. When it was discovered after the NYT blog, the article suddenly disappeared and then reappeared under a new last name.
    This woman has been milking this child for a long time.

  7. this lady needs to go away, now. while we’re at it let’s have balloon boy’s parents go too. they can all keep each other company as long as they promise never to come back.

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