Not Remembered Never
by Robert Allan Hafetz
Gateway Press, 2005
Reviewed by Barbara
subtitle of this new book is An Adoptees Search for His Birth
family, a True Story. It is not a long book, consisting of only 118
pages of widely spaced lines, and can be read in a short time. Yet it is
not just another search and reunion story. Mr. Hafetz, born Marvin Lee Klein,
starts his search only after his adoptive parents are deceased, a common
happening. With only his amended birth certificate, his adoptive mothers
information that his original first name was Marvin, and the assumption that
his birth date was correct, he starts to search for his birth mother on his
own, only to find that he needs a lot of help from others, including agency
caseworkers, a support group, and even a psychic and a cantor. He was already
52 when he began to search, so he knew that he might not find his birth mother
alive. He also had some unusual health concerns that prompted his search.
As with many adoptees contemplating search,
he had always felt something missing deep within himself, and had the feelings
of loss even though he had no conscious memory of his birth family, and no
real information to go on. He also had hesitated to search because he knew
his adoptive mother would be hurt, because whenever he asked about his adoption
and birth family, she grew silent and/or changed the subject, transmitting
a message of shame and guilt. When he finally did begin the search, he
encountered the stone wall of closed records in New Jersey, and later discovered
that the agency his adoptive mother had always told him was the one that
handled his adoption had no connection to him at all.
The story of how the author was able to find
his birth family, and the many surprises involved, both happy and sad, are
told in a very straightforward manner. He does not wallow in emotions, but
describes them eloquently. One hopes that he continues his search for his
paternal birth family.
One reviewer said, This would be a great
book to put in the hands of a legislator who wants to understand more about
what it is like to be cut off from ones family of origin. This
would be a good book for anyone to read, but might particularly appeal to
male adoptees who are searching or who are newly contemplating search.
The only drawback is trying to obtain the book.
Because it is self-published, it is not in bookstores. This writer, after
seeing the book reviewed in other newsletters, obtained it through the Internet.
Inside the book, it says Please direct all correspondence and book
orders to Robert Allan Hafetz, 1014 Surrey Lane, Warrington, PA 18976.
It is worth the effort. It is also now available through O.I.s lending
library, we recommend reading it and possibly obtaining your own copy to
lend in turn, or to keep.
Editor's Note: Since this review
first appeared, the author has reissued the book through Booksurge, a division
Excerpted from the October 2006
edition of the Operation Identitiy Newsletter
© 2006 Operation Identity