Push aside your keyboard for a moment and find a pencil and paper (!)

Down the left side - spaced evenly write:

  • My favourite sound

  • My favourite taste

  • My favourite smell

  • My favourite place

  • My favourite person

Now, fill it in before you read the article below!


Although difficult, choose among your favorites, discarding the one you will miss the least...Continue discarding until all of your favorites are gone.

Take careful note of how it feels to imagine losing all of your most favorites, including your favorite person.

A child's favorites are perhaps easier to recognize, but please consider the favorites of babies and the very real losses they experience during the hand-off of adoption.

Baby's favorite sound: The regular in and out of my mother's breathing and the dependable rhythm of her heart beat. But mostly the sound of her voice.

Baby's favorite taste: My mother's milk, created exclusively for me. And the taste of her skin, her breast. It is all one.

Baby's favorite smell: The scent of my mother's skin as I bury my face in her neck. It is basic and right. It is where I belong.

Baby's favorite place: Cradled in my mother's arms, next to the sounds and smells that I have experienced since my conception. This is home.

Baby's favorite person: My mother is my universe. She is a part of me just as I am a part of her. No one can replace her. If I am separated from her, I will long for her my entire life.

Adoptees, regardless of their age, whether they are newborn or older, domestically adopted or foreign, give up all their favorite things when they are adopted.

The loss begins with their name. They lose all information about themselves and their origins. They lose their identity.

They lose it all. They lose the smells and tastes and sounds and places and people with whom they are familiar...all of their favorites. Everything they have ever known is gone and changed forever.

Their greatest loss, which you surely understand, is the loss of their favorite person. They lose their most favorite person, irrevocably.

By recognizing an adoptee's loss, we can endeavor to ease the pain by maintaining as much of her or her previous life as possible. With empathy we can make their transition more humane.

...from "Loss in the Adoption Hand-Off" by Darlene Gerow
This is my effort to help make adoption, when it is necessary, more humane.
I dedicate it to all the adoptees in my life".



© The Canadian Council of Natural Mothers