Monday, June 22, 2009

Bernard's Adoption Q&A

I thought about scanning this, but I am typing it out, editing some of the boring and embarrassing parts about baby food and stools formed...

In 1961, I was born and subsequently, immediately put up for adoption by Catholic Charities in western Massachusetts. Although those elements may have been distracting to my young life (no olfactory sense of a mom, adults in my life being there in "shifts"), this, I presume, woman kept notes on my behavior for potential adoptive parents. I have a record of my infancy.

It follows, with the name I was given, as an orphan, pre-Baptism, of Bernard. I was adopted at 4-1/2 months (born in late May, adopted in early October), so these descriptions refer truly to those of an infant.

It is definitely formative in the Rock 'n' Roll Element. See:

Time baby wakens:
Bernard sometimes awakens early in the morning and plays and talks to himself, but will invariably fall back to sleep. He wakes for the day about 7:00am.

Time baby naps:
Bernard is not fond of napping, and when he falls asleep during the day, it is usually for a short while.

In what position does baby sleep?
He chooses his own. Sometimes on his side, sometimes on his back. He moves freely.

Does baby sleep with toy or any other article in crib?
We leave his soft dog at the top of his crib so he can talk to him when he awakens.

Is baby a light or heavy sleeper?
I think Bernard is rather a light sleeper and is apt to be startled by noise other than the noise of other babies. This he can sleep thru (sic), once asleep, but crying will keep him awake and irritated when he is tired.

Time baby plays:
Continually. With his toys, with his hands, with his feet. Anything he can reach.

Where does baby play?
In his crib, on your lap, in his Teeter Chair. The last took some getting used to; he didn't like it and gets tired of it quickly.

(Here, I skip much about a baby's diet in 1961.)

Bed time:
Bernard likes to "stay up." Some evenings it is 7:00 - 7:30 before he falls off to sleep. We settle the nursery about 6:30 by lowering the venetians, lighting a dim night light, but Bernard travels all over his crib, and when he drops off, we cover him.

Foods baby dislikes:
Bernard hasn't formed any dislikes.

Does baby take water or orange juice?
We do not give orange juice. Bernard is not particularly fond of water, but he takes it occasionally.


Does baby suck thumb or use pacifier?
Bernard had the use of a pacifier when he was a little boy, but he won't have anything to do with it now. He likes his fingers, all four at once. And he is even enjoying his toes!

Does baby like to be rocked?
He loves it, as he loves whatever keeps his adults in view.

Is baby fussy, good-natured, etc.?
He is the best-natured boy in the world. On the rare occasions when he "cries," he can change a sob half way through into a laugh.

Any other habits that should be noted?
NOTE: Please try to be as careful as possible in making out the schedule or noting any other information that would be of help to the adoptive parents.

All Bernard's movements are quick. We have had to keep two eyes and hands on him during bath period especially. During feeding, he tries to help with the spoon. It takes stiff resistance sometimes to win. He does not like his food “soupy.”
He loves his bath, but he always acts startled when he gets into the tub unless you distract him with soft talk and slow motions.

He does not like a free-flowing nipple. We use Evenflo (silicone – twin air valve nipples). He is apt to play with the nipple at the beginning and end of his feeding. Just put a little pressure under his chin... this will stimulate him to suck.

If you are wearing glasses during playtime, watch him when you get close. He removes them with ease.

Don’t become alarmed if you hear him scream... he is enjoying himself. He makes a variety of sounds. He is trying to raise himself up, and given two fingers and a lot of encouragement, he feels like a hero when he reaches the upright sitting position, which he can maintain, with a lot of wriggling, for a period.

He likes having his hair brushed.

I think more than a thousand thoughts when I read this. I was told by a physician that the likelihood of my birth mother having been a teenager was great.
She also told me that my chances of not being born an alcoholic were a sucker bet (my term); she said a thousand to one.

On one side, I will never know my birth parents. On the other side, I have a dad and two moms, my adoptive mother, deceased when I was three years old, and my mother who put up with my emotionally erratic behavior for all the rest of my youth and adulthood, all of whom I love and who love me as there is to be familial love. It is not that of blood, but then I wonder about the (young?) woman who gave me such a glowing report when I was an infant. I have sold used cars, and it is clear that she was not just trying to get me off the lot.

I think she loved me too.

The son of many, yet none,

The rock ‘n’ roll element


  1. I am rather saddened by this post.

  2. A contemporary record of your habits would no doubt be very similar.

  3. Do you still dislike a free-flowing nipple? Love this stuff. We never change. do we?

  4. Sorry if I brought you down Brendan, I think it's kind of happy, in a way; although, it may be sentimental. Of all the posters so far, I think I may have been partly the "son" of all three at one time or another. Still looking, I guess...

  5. I'm glad you didn't scan the woman's notes, I really find her voice heartbreaking enough in cold typed words. Your fine writing is behind this, no doubt. Smarty-pants.

  6. -- you even hypnotized me away from my planned crack about kids being given a little Jamie in the early 60's.
    Well, not permanently hypnotized; it was some good and memorable cough medicine.

  7. okay, do you notice some squeezing-together of words here?
    I can't really trust my own typing, but look at yours --
    "...time or another. Still looking, I guess..."
    see how close-up the "still" is to the period?

  8. hi chandler I really dig your writing and wanna know what it would take to get you with either the lost crusaders or the raunch hands to australia??? I dunno how to contact you about this...anyways keep it up cheers

    1. Peter, YIKES! I can't believe I haven't seen your request in TWO AND A-HALF YEARS! If you are still up for your request, you can find me on Facebook, or just click on my profile picture here on Blogger, and you'll get my Google email account. BTW, it won't take much!