The Gift of My Adoptive Mama’s Perfume

I'd Pour Out Mom's Perfume If At All Possible

If you pick up an empty bottle that once contained expensive perfume, its possible to still distinguish the fine fragrance, even though the bottle is empty.

Adoptive mamas, you are the perfume and you want your life and love to be a timeless fragrance of fine perfume for your adopted and foster child.

That’s what my mom longed for, but like many adopted and foster kids, I couldn’t smell the perfume.

But, if handed the full bottle, I’d either grab it and throw it to the ground, stomp on it while screaming, plug my nose and run in the opposite direction, or bite the glass container.

Why such a powerful reaction?

Was I just a character-flawed kid who had no choice? Were the genes stacked against me? Was there no hope for me to someday be able to cherish the fragrance of the perfume?

In a surprising turn of events, I can now smell the fine perfume fragrance of my my late adoptive mom.

I can smell her best-in-town apple pie, see her taking care of my kitty, and feel her gentle hands rubbing warm oil on my childhood asthmatic chest at bedtime.

It was her legacy to me.

Legacy is a gift from one generation to the next.

Could it be that what I was experiencing was that my late mom’s legacy was surfacing in me?

One Adoptee Discovers Late Mom’s Legacy of Love

When Rocky Memories Turn Warm

I never dreamed I’d be writing a book about her…my late adoptive mom, that is.

It felt like I never loved her…in fact, I hated her.

Now, something quite unexpected is happening.

Warm memories are surfacing. I can smell her apple pie, see her take care of my kitty, and feel her gentle hands rubbing warm oil on my childhood asthmatic chest.

Had something changed in my brain?

Why the warm memories?

After all, mom died 37 years ago and my lifelong memories of her were far from warm. Instead, I remembered  daily fighting matches.

Where did the memories come from?

Were they stored somewhere deep inside?

At the same time, I was learning about legacy and how it is a gift from one generation to the next.

Could I be discovering mom’s legacy to me at this late date–the seventh chapter of life?

A few months later, I was asked to speak to a group of adoptive and foster mamas in Pennsylvania.

The meeting planner asked about the topic and it was then that I took a leap and asked if I could share these memories along with truths about how mamas can create a legacy, even if their kiddos aren’t ready to receive it.

Before delivering my message, I felt like a scared cat delivering a dead mouse at the door.

How could these weary mamas who were parenting kids with severe behaviors possibly be edified? 

Much to my surprise, their faces were welcoming.

How amazing these turn of events are!

I thought I was done writing books and speaking, but now I’m writing a book about mamas leaving a legacy.


Irish Adoptive Mom Writes Groundbreaking Book!

What To Do When There's No Adoption Literature

Dear friends…I am pleased to introduce you to Mari Galligher, an Irish adoptive mom. She is soooo brave. When you read about the current adoption atmosphere in Ireland, you will be amazed that she has broken silence in a country that doesn’t talk about adoption. Please welcome her, and give her a big hug. Love, Sherrie

After twenty years of adoptive parenthood, I give much thanks for lifesaving reading material that came my way over the years.

In Ireland,  parenting books on adoption do not exist, much silence and secrecy still shrouds the topic and even today as I write, adopted people campaign to get rightful access to their identifying information – information that under Irish law they are not allowed to see. 

So as an Irish adoptive parent, I relied on the generosity and talent of adoption writers such as Sherrie Eldridge, to guide me along the way.

Sherrie’s Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew was my handbook, particularly when it came to talking about adoption, a conversation I found the most challenging over the years.

Being adopted into a country thousands of miles from your birth home  – my son and daughter were born in Russia and Kazakhstan respectively –  adds another layer of sadness to the grief of separation. 

Having the conversation with my children over the years, taking it all one day at a time, grieving with them for the loss of their birth families, acknowledging how hard it must be and undertaking a search via an international searcher for vital birth information – all these have helped and both children, now young adults, have enough birth family details to undertake a reunion whenever they are ready.

 I’ve recorded it all – my longing for parenthood, the milestones, the ups and downs, the tears of joy and sorrow and now there is an adoption book on Irish bookshelves. 

My adoptive parenting book called Becoming a Mother: Reflections on Adoptive Parenting was published in 2018 by Orpen Press – the first book on adoptive parenthood on Irish bookshelves and is my story of being an adoptive parent – all that I have learned along the way.

Thank you Sherrie for the opportunity to write on your valuable, wonderful blog or as we say in Gaelic  “Go raibh mile maith agat”.

The link to Amazon Kindle US bookstore.

Mari’s site is: