WHEN MAMA CAN'T KISS IT BETTER is the raw account of a true story that shocked the nation in 2010. Gertz was America's most hated mother when news of a decision to place her adopted child in another family broke in the media. Called out by many as an unfit mother and an evil woman who threw away her child, she was catapulted into the national and international media.
WHEN MAMA CAN'T KISS IT BETTER covers:
* The adoption of their daughter Emily, early signs of trouble, their birthmother's suicide, the truth about her pregnancy and warnings about how to avoid what happened to the author and her family
* Raw and honest details about her daughter's rages, suicide attempts, and hospitalizations
* The turmoil that living with mental illness causes for everyone in the home and how it affects siblings and marriages
* The difficulty in receiving support from physicians, educators, & clinicians
* The author's increasing desperation to find answers and help as rages and impulsivity became safety issues
* Being judged by doctors, schools, and outsiders as "the problem" while her daughter collected diagnosis after diagnosis
* The painful decision to place her daughter in another family and how she came to accept that she had to do the unthinkable
* Parents worldwide waging verbal attacks on her since if the fault belonged to Gertz alone, it couldn't happen to anyone else
Note from the Author: I spent the better part of six years writing this book, which began as the only way I could cope with what was happening in our lives. I just couldn't believe the lack of resources there were when I reached out for them so vociferously and started documenting what was happening inside our family if not only to maintain my sanity. I am passionate about telling my story to help increase understanding of the enormous challenges parents of special needs children face in a culture that believes that motherly love and perseverance can cure all ills. For those on similar paths, the story of my journey to a sense of peace within the context of facing unrealized dreams, human limitations, broken hearts, and the unfair circumstances of life may help them find that same place of peace in the tough decisions within their own lives. I pray this book will bring attention to the need to better support parents and kids with mental illness and other invisible disabilities and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to call attention to such pressing societal issues.
Keywords: Parenting, Disabilities, FASD, Mothering, Mental Illness, RAD, Bipolar, Memoir, Special Needs, Fetal Alcohol, Syndrome
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
When Mama Can’t Kiss it Better powerfully transcends past media misinterpretations of the Gertz family’s case as a “failed adoption” tale. Taking charge of her story, Lori Gertz balances moving storytelling with enlightened analysis to reveal a far bigger picture. She presents chilling proof that our medical, educational, and legal systems are quick to place blame for a child’s invisible disabilities (and thus responsibility for “fixing them”), squarely on the mother. Indeed, at least half of the 38 doctors who evaluate Emily conclude the problem stemmed from Lori’s interactions with her (e.g., lack of discipline or too much of it) or in Lori herself (e.g., over-worrying, depression, drugs, unsuitability as an adoptive parent). One doctor goes so far as to suggest Lori suffers from Munchausen by Proxy. Not much has changed--in the 1950s we blamed overbearing mothers for causing schizophrenia and in the 1970s we blamed cold mothers (“refrigerator mothers”) for autism. Even after the fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and mental illness diagnoses are obtained, Lori must (and does) move mountains to secure adequate services and accommodations for her daughter. However, as the story unfolds it becomes increasingly clear that our current systems set up children with invisible disabilities and their families for failure. Ultimately, this book is poignant evidence that children with neurological disorders or mental illnesses need more and better support and resources--regardless of the time, money, and kisses provided by their mothers.
This book isn't a must read at all. IT'S A HAVE TO READ! This book is one that everyone who have children or work with children should read. My hope is that books like this one will spread awareness of mental illness in children and what it truly does to the families it affects."