Trail of Tears
Worst kind of bigotry: I am amazed, appalled and concerned that our federal government would allow the Cherokee Nation to prevent the adoption of a precious, innocent child regardless of nationality into a loving familial environment ("The Parent Trap," by Andrea Grimes, June 15). I cannot believe that they would consider FOSTER care a "better" environment for this child. This innocent child knows nothing of the circumstances in which he was conceived; at this stage of his life, it is not a critical issue. The potential adoptive parents have committed to teach him of his heritage, to provide a diverse environment for his development. What more could anyone want for a child but to be in a loving and supportive environment at this early stage of development? This reeks of political injustice and should be closely scrutinized by the citizens of our country! Shame on you, Cherokee Nation! This is PROMOTING discrimination and BIGOTRY in the worst possible way! Get REAL, please, for the sake of this precious child!
Readers respond to "The Parent Trap"
All about the kid: This is a very sad situation. On one hand you have a family that loves and wants to raise this child and give him a nice home and a family life and has even offered to keep him up on his culture. On the other hand the Cherokee Nation wants to keep him on the reservation with a chance he would be raised in a foster home! Let me think about this! Who is more concerned for the child's WELFARE? Seems one family is more concerned about loving and raising the baby in a family home while the other is more concerned about heritage and not the baby itself! If the Cherokee Nation were so concerned about this child, where were they when the mother needed them? Will they be there to make sure this child has a happy home and a good education? I hope and pray they can see beyond their culture and do what's best and right for this child.
Loving parents: I found this article totally heartbreaking. I know Kelley and Tracy Cato, I pray for them every day. These two young parents are the most loving people I know. They don't just love Jacob, they love him with every cell of their body and heart.
I think it is a shame to take their son, no matter what race he is. Kelley and Tracy can provide for Jacob very well and will give this child unconditional love. They are wonderful parents, and he would have a very large back-up family that supports them all.
Dana L. Dickerson
Cruel and unjustified: I can understand the Cherokee Nation wanting to preserve their heritage, but to leave a child in a home until after the bonding process has taken place and then step in and remove the child is cruel and unjustified. Certainly more so when the adopting family is more than willing and able to educate themselves and the child about his customs, history and language.
Lost heritage: As a Tsalagi [Cherokee] Indian raised in an "American" setting, I cannot list the things missing from my life--I can feel them missing, however. When Indian children learn their language, it is not from a book, or on paper, or through tapes, it is told to them by their parents and grandparents. For all of the Catos' attempts to raise that child as a Tsalagi, in his heart he would be white (values are the difference here). We did not know of poverty before you came here; we did not know of adoption before you came here; our children have always been raised by the community. They are our future, and they carry the best of our values and heritage after we have gone.
Picking a fight: I think it is a crying shame that a baby has to be jerked from really good parents whom Jacob has bonded with and given to parents that Jacob has never met. Kelley and Tracy sound like ideal parents, and what will this do to the 6-year-old big sister when she loses her baby? I am really sad that the birth mother gave them the baby and wanted them to raise her baby, and the Indian nation (and I am Indian) wants yet another baby just for the sake of having something to fight.
Safe at home: God love you, Kelley and Tracy Cato. I am 100 percent on your side and will pray that you will continue to have the right to raise baby Jacob in your home.
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Buried: I know descendants of Kelley's Cherokee ancestors and have seen pictures of his Indian ancestors, who wear their heritage in their faces. By marrying, one grandmother escaped the tragic Trail of Tears march, but to escape discrimination she and her descendants had to hide their Indian identity. Not only was their identity buried--now, their ancestral homeland lies under a TVA lake in North Carolina. By its treatment, the white nation robbed this Cherokee family of their identity. Now, it seems, by using the criteria set up by white America--rolls that excluded large numbers of native Americans--the Cherokee Nation is willing to do the same: to deny this bloodline a claim to its own heritage. Where's the justice?
Cape Girardeau, Missouri