Linda Sacks in Native Condition. Discussion »
Now two women came to the king and stood before him. One of them said, "Pardon me, my lord. This woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was there with me. The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.
During the night this woman's son died because she lay on him. So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. The next morning, I got up to nurse my son and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn't the son I had borne."
The other woman said, "No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours."
But the first one insisted, "No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine." And so they argued before the king.
The king said, "This one says, 'My son is alive and your son is dead,' while that one says, 'No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.'"
Then the king said, "Bring me a sword." So they brought a sword for the king. He then gave an order: "Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other."
The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, "Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don't kill him!"
But the other said, "Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!"
Then the king gave his ruling: "Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother."
When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.
I Kings 3:16-28
Last Monday, Dusten Brown willfully gave his four year old daughter, Veronica, over to her non-Native adoptive parents as was ordered by the courts. It was the most honorable of actions to not make a traumatic situation for Veronica unnecessarily worse.
As a true parent and a true warrior, Dusten Brown in his own way said, "Please, my Lord, give her the living baby," because that is what a true parent does.
"The transfer, although emotional for the Brown family, was peaceful and dignified. It was not ordered or supervised by law enforcement, rather Dusten Brown willfully cooperated with today's order,"
stated Cherokee Nation Attorney General Todd Hembree.
While court proceedings took place over the last several years, Veronica wasn't subject to the media, other than the spectacle of what her adoptive family allowed including their one sided Dr. Phil appearances.
At the Cherokee National Holiday powwow, Veronica proved she was going on with her culturally rich life in the Cherokee Nation. She was surrounded by people who love her and wanted her to grow up with the sense of community amongst her tribe.
I am Cherokee and I love being home in the Cherokee Nation. I may not have grown up with large expendable incomes at my disposal, but I did grow up with an extremely rich culture filled with love and community and values that come from growing up in a Cherokee family. I am extremely blessed and wouldn't change anything for the world. In the words of Sitting Bull, "God made me an Indian." I am blessed, I am Cherokee.
I used to live one mile outside of the Cherokee Nation jurisdiction and that was a world of difference, so much so, I moved a mile. There isn't anything like returning to feel the spirit of the community in my tribe, it is home. My parents speak, read, and write Cherokee and I had grandparents that only spoke Cherokee. My culture is at my fingertips. I have so much. I am extremely blessed and rich beyond my imagination. In my heart and in the depths of my soul I can miss the richness of being home with other natives and Cherokees when I am outside of the community.
True love is such a foreign concept anymore that people can't recognize it when they see it. We are dealing with imperfect people in an imperfect world. Some would rather see a man suffer over his imperfections than applaud his overcoming tragedy and obstacles. Despite his imperfections, we still have a man that is honorably rectifying his parental role with his daughter and our courts and communities decided to punish him in one of the most cruel of ways. A way the native community knows all too well.
Chuck Hoskins Jr., Secretary of State for Cherokee Nation, commented:
“Cherokee Nation has a long standing history of obeying the rules of law.”
We still walked the trail and our children are still taken but it is with integrity we thrive!
As a tribe, as a nation, we still have faith and hope in all things, but without love, faith and hope we are nothing.
Last Monday, when Dusten Brown packed Veronica's bag of clothes and her bag of toys, he was not without hope and he was not without faith, he was just laying a foundation of love.
In this lifetime we got to see a true modern warrior live up to the utmost standards of his calling as a parent. My prayer is for all to love to this standard and hope they at least get an opportunity to do so. Dusten has done his part and maybe someday the non-Native South Carolina couple will do theirs.
"The last few days without Veronica in our home have been more painful than words can describe. We are heartbroken at the loss of our daughter. I moved heaven and earth for two years to bring Veronica home to her family where she belongs. And when I finally picked her up for the journey back to Oklahoma two years ago, we looked into each other’s eyes and it was like we had always been together.
That bond was instantaneous, and nothing can break it. Veronica is my child, my flesh and blood, and I love her more than life itself. And to our daughter, Veronica Mommy and Daddy love you and miss you so much, and we cannot wait until we see you again. We will see you again.$
Dusten and Robin Brown
This isn't goodbye from us here at Cherokee Nation because we know none.
Veronica, Usdi donidagohvi
Linda Sacks is a tribal citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. She is a contributing writer for the Native News Network.
posted September 30, 2013 8:40 am edt