Wealthy Florida businessman “adopts” his long time girl friend….
Have you seen this news headline? I did, and I was horrified and disgusted and outraged (and many other adjectives!)! So I read further…it gets worse. Apparently this extremely wealthy forty-eight year old Florida man (John Goodman) who was (allegedly) drunk, ran a stop sign, and plowed his car into a car driven by Scott Wilson, 23. Scott’s car was then pushed into a ravine and Mr. John Goodman drove away leaving this injured young man to slowly die; drowning, alone, hurt, and trapped, for over an hour. Now, in order to save his many, many assets, John Goodman has “adopted” his forty two year old girlfriend (Heather Laruso). This adoption makes her one of his legal “children” and because she is over thirty-five, gives her the right to immediately access his money, for his use of course.
I am not a lawyer. I have no legal training what so ever, but I am a parent, a psychologist and most importantly a person with a heart (and I’d like to think a bit of a brain), and I find this whole legal maneuver pathetic and outrageous. What type of law (state, country) allows a forty eight year old man to “adopt” a forty two year old woman for his own personal gain? What type of message does this “adoption” of John Goodman’s girlfriend send to our children and to the larger world of people out there that are not personally involved in adoption?
Adoption is not a joke or a game. It’s not some convenient legal maneuver to be thrown around. It certainly isn’t intended to be a way to salvage the material goods of people such as John Goodman and Heather Laruso.
So, what does the word adoption mean?
Adoption is about children and families, period.
You know that deep, bottomless, mysterious love you have for your child? The one that no words can touch, that you really can’t explain but you feel tingling through your core as you watch them try for a big swing in the baseball game, or sing loudly and very out of tune in the choir, or when you kiss the tippy top of their forehead and breathe in that sweet baby scent that never leaves? Well it’s the same love for those parents whose children happen to be adopted.
Words matter, they count. The words we choose and how we use them define us as a people. They shape our beliefs, our culture and our country. We can’t deny that what we say influences how we think and what we believe in.
Just ask people with disabilities, the gay community, minorities’ or kids on a playground…words matter.
And the word adoption matters. Adoption is love, it’s important. (Please don’t tell me this man might love his girlfriend, I don’t belive it. He loves himself, and his money). Adoption matters too much to let some idiot like this guy abuse it for his own personal gain, and when I see this word, this word with such a significant, out-of-this-world, magical, mystical meaning, being thrown around, mistreated and ridiculed by someone like John Goodman I am sickened.
Oh and Heather Laruso, woman up! You’re his “child” now; you have a right to his money? Take all that man’s money, donate it to the adoption organization of your choice and then get out.
- Wealthy Florida man adopts adult girlfriend as his daughter (weinterrupt.com)