Nursery Tales

I have no memory of having A Mommy loving and protecting me, without it costing me in some way or another.  Is there anyone Out There who can tell me what it was like to HAVE a Mommy, growing-up? I have often wondered in pained despair, just how different I would have become had I been taught HOW to love my own self, and not allow others to hurt me.


A Real Mother

I'm sorry, I don't know either. I was adopted when I was less than 1 month old. My adoptive parents were married only to each other until their dying days. I was never mistreated, and I had everything a child could want.....except
my Real Mommy! I don't know what that feels like.....and unfortunately, either do my two children. I'm their biological mother, but because I didn't bond with my "Mommy", either could they, with me. That's the way the cycle goes.

My adoptive mother just passed in April of 2006. I don't know how it feels to grieve the loss of my Mother, either. I was too young to remember losing my biological mother, but it
definately left a deep, empty hole.

I would also like to know what I'm missing.

Anyone care to try to share that?

What's in a Word?

I find it interestingly odd how the word "Mother" is a word used in so many different ways and expressions... all of them reflecting the same concept: the level of emotional importance that woman's word has to an individual. I think so much of our final placement, and the reasons for such placement define what that mother-of-a-word means to each of us. Below is a copy of a post I had written for the adoption forum I've been banned 2 times already. Ironically, in order to have access to my own writing, I must recreate my identity and become a person far less offensive & undesirable than Myself. This post was the 1st of the 2-part Message I was sending those idiots over there who believe we pound-pups have positive insight to impart those who want to know more about Adoption......................................................................... I cannot relate to the sentiment: being a mother is the best thing in the world. Forgive my acerbic tone, but it has developed from decades of gagging on the bile that filled my mouth, infecting my bitten tongue. Sometimes, if I swallow enough pride, and chase it down with a little temperance, I can speak using the voice God gave me. I will try... Humor me... 1968 baby girl adopted by couple who already birthed the Messiah's twin brother. Woman of said couple (aka, The Shrew), should have never been given ovaries, let alone a passport and check book. Enough said. Having 4 heathens, I mean, children, of my own, I have made the following observation: There are 3 types of women who raise a child. 1. "Mother". If the word was a means of currency, The Shrew's image would be on the face, and the value would be worthless. When touched, a foul residue would remain on the skin of the unfortunate holder, reminding future innocents, avoid contact. 2. "Mommy". If the word was a color, it would be bubble gum pink, and would smell of Hope, Life, and Love -- just as God had intended Her to be. 3. "Mom". If the word was a person, she would be the little girl who had a Mother, but wants to be a Mommy, but will have to accept she can only be a Mom. There are two every-day commonly used words that make me shudder in disgust: Selfish and Mother. They are two in the same. They are the living, breathing embodied definition of The Shrew. If a person wants to instill hatred in me - a sense I do not allow myself to feel, because I know just how dark & evil it can become - tell me I'm Selfish; or worse, tell me I'm a Selfish Mother. I truly can not think of a worse insult... or better reason to rid myself of that cannibal whose fetid bloodthirsty breath dared to whisper such insult to me. I loathe Mothers. They use and abuse, and give false impression to those who watch in awe & amazement the kind gestures and sweet givings the shrews purposely orchestrate for her supporters to witness. Heaven knows these liars, thieves and frauds must lay the road to human destruction with stumbling blocks of false impressions. They are the reason why I do not trust women, and revile their company. [Gee, not TOO many Anger Issues, eh?] I suppose my Adoption history IS atypical in many aspects - as I have yet to encounter someone else who has as many uncommon variables brought to the lawyer's negotiation table as the Shrew & spouse's tank plowed through that wreckage of a meeting. But that makes my story no more "special" or tragic than anyone else's.[Believe it or not, I'm not angry or bitter as I may read... because I know it can seem that's the tone I use... my voice is as neutral, matter-of-factly as any reporter's voice would be when reporting a story]. Because that's all I am: A Story. One of billions of Stories Out There, waiting to be told, listened to, believed or dismissed. I simply choose not to believe the lie that Adoptive Mothers are altruistic people. I have no reason to believe such a choice even exists. That was not my experience, therefore that's not my reality. [Wow... this stuff really bleeds through each layer of ours, doesn't it?] However, I am just A Girl. A girl with a used uterus, so what do I know? Male-Adoptees tell me a much different Imagined experience They had with Their adoptive Moms... which should ease my mind. But it doesn't. It proves one simple truth: once Nature's plan gets altered, adaptation must begin it's newfound tour-de-force against Natural Design. Adoption is NOT the human animal's means of adaptation... it's simply A Word created by Lawyers deeming the selling of a woman's uterine contents to another woman is a noble deed. IN DEED! Well... where does Foster Care Services and reforms enter the court rooms, counselors? Go Ask a politician! The lawyers and therapists in our nation are making too much money of the profitable appeals and squeals of children and Adult Children with "New" disorders called RAD. Reactive Attachment Disorder. Now THERE's a Beautiful gift that keeps on giving after the Adoption papers are signed and dried in locked tombs. [oh... wait... that's right, I'm a by-product of The Closed Error of Adoption. Things have changed a whole lot since the mid 1970's, right?] "Reactive Attachment Disorder". How many Adoptive parents today know about THIS little Legacy their newly embraced foundlings bring into new loving homes each year?

Grieveing is crucial

Robert Allan Hafetz
Not Remembered Never Forgotten
You raise so many crucial issues in adoption that have been ignored for so long. Let me just try and add some things and see if you can resonate with them. We know today that babies are far more aware than we ever thought. Back in 1960 John Bowlby(the father of attachment research) stated that babies can mourn and feel grief. Hold that thought while we discuss infant memories. An infant has the capacity to create an affective(emotioanal)implicit memory. After you read my words you will have a cognitive explicit memory of them because as an adult your brain is developed so that you can do this. But as an infant your emotional brain is working because emotion is tha language your birth mother uses to communicate with you. By using her unique touch she is able to teach you to trust, hope, love, and feel safe and secure. You learn by affect(emotion) and your personality is developed by affective experiences. Now it then becomes reasonable to see that in adoption/separation the mother suddenly vanishes. Naturally as an infant you feel shock, grief, anger, and insecurity all of these re affects and the intensity of this experience becomes a permanent memory in you. Are you with me? Today as an adult you examine your emotions with your mind and you feel all of these experiences as,shame, sadness, grief, emptyness, isolation, disconnectedness etc. and the love from others doesnt fill the hole in your heart. We adoptees have what is called a narcissistic wound caused by the trauma of losing your first mother and then trying to adapt to a new mother. There are issues of identity as well but we can go into that later if you like. What I want you to see is how this happened. You are reacting normally to an abnormal experience, and that is makng you feel emotions even today because they dont become weaker with time. What I want you to believe is that you can overcome them if you understand what they are. You must explore them as painful as that may be but there are ways to do that. You were born bonded to your first mother and you are still bonded to her. If you werent you would feel nothing. The bond cant be broken by distance time of even death. Its part of us and it makes us human. It can be a source of strength.One more thing, a recent death of a loved one can trigger that first grief you remember. It can be so painful that one must hide from it until one is ready to experience it. You must grieve. Talk to me. There is too much here for one or 2 postes.


I'm very familiar with the process of Grieving, I've been a Nurse for 30 years.
I was adopted at less than one month of age, and had a very comfortable childhood. I also had a "brother" (not my biological bother) two years younger than me, who was adopted at under 2 months of age. We were both told from the time we could talk that we were adopted.

I was closer to our "Father" than to our "Mom", my bother was closer to my "Mom" than to our "Father".

I was a "Tom-boy" growing up. Helped my Dad work on the cars, take care of the yard, did household repairs, played back-yard football and baseball with my brother and his friends.

I've been married, and divorced, twice. My brother has never been married.

My "Father" died when he was only 58 years old.
It was a difficult loss for me, but not like it was for his sisters and my "Mom". I thought it was just because I was the "Nurse" in the family, and I had to be strong. Then when my "Mom" died this year, I don't even think I cried. Of course, she had dementia, and had been in a Nursing Home for nearly 2 years prior to that, so in a way, it was a blessing.

How do you feel what you don't or can't feel?

More on Grief

Robert Allan Hafetz
Not Remembered Never Forgotten
How do we feel what we dont /wont/cant feel/ Hard question and its different for everyone. We start by exploring those feelings. Talking about them, writing about them, using art in some form that allows safe exploration. For me it was writing, flower arranging (OK I like flowers got a problem with that?) theres no limit as to how you can do it. Theres always expensive therapy too. Support groups help. Theres nothing like being in a room with adoptees who understand what youre feeling. Validation for ones grief is good trigger to get it moving. If its there it will come to the surface. Our separation experience is Not Remembered Never Forgotten because it happened when we were pre verbal. I run a support group that meets the third Thursday of every month. All are welcome to come and share.


I am currently in private couseling, that is how I heard of Attachment Disorder. We haven't
addressed any grief issues, yet. I would be very interested in a Support Group, but I live near Toledo, Ohio and there aren't any in the area for Attachment Disorder. I may be able to find one related to Grief, however.

I am an R.N. and currently working in Psychiatry . That is how I identified that I had some issues I needed help working on for myself. I have actually thought about getting a support group started for Attachment Disorder, if I can learn enough about it.

Any help, or suggestions would be appreciated.


Robert Allan Hafetz
Not Remembered Never Forgotten
Keep in mind when considering any diagnosis related to adoption that there is no such thing as Adopted child syndrome. Therefore Drs. are compelled to find something that matches the symptoms in order to get paid. That can produce an incorrect diagnosis in the case of any adoptee. What we all seem to be experienceing is closely related to PTSD but even that is too general.

"I would also like to know

"I would also like to know what I'm missing."

That's simple: you're missing a Mommy you can/could have trusted. For myself, the full-effect of Mommy Loss wasn't felt until I myself became pregnant. No one, and NOTHING can prepare a female adoptee for that moment of realization that comes when we ourselves are faced with a similar fate as our own moms. For instance, how can two symbiotic lives belong together suddenly, without warning, become estranged and separate? In fact, one of the oddest most paradoxical moments of conflict I had with my first-born was having to accept the idea that I was leaving the hospital WITH The Baby, whereas no such Mommy-Child moment was experienced by me and MY Mom.

How does an adult-child grieve such basic cellular loss? Damn if I know!

What really hurts

I had two children,both daughters. The oldest is 28 years old, the youngest 16 years old. What really hurts is knowing because of my not bonding with my "Mommy", I didn't bond with them, I guess because I didn't know how. So, the "legacy" is passed on, from generation to generation. I can see the difference in our relationship when I see the bond my current partner has with his daughters.

So, I guess my daughters will have an Attachment Disorder, also. Hopefully, if they are aware at their current ages, they can get the help they need, to avoid so many of the failures and disappointments I've had to experience.

Grieving adoptees

Robert Allan Hafetz
Not Remembered Never Forgotten
The grief process is the same for anyone. The hard part for adoptees is moving along the stages. We can get stuck in the begining and never advance. Then the grief grows as we do. There are no funerals to help us, no validation for what we feel.In fact we experience the opposite so we bury our grief and try and live but it wont ket us forget no matter how hard we try. We have to move through the grief process or suffer forever.

Pound Pup Legacy