Sunday, September 02, 2007

Making Natalie Grateful

Holy smokes - who remembers this??? Baby Scoop Era fictional adoptee Natalie wants to find her mom. How does 1980's TV handle this... let's watch!

Part 1 - closed records ate my homework

Direct link:

Part 2 -Molly Ringwald gives a shoutout to ALMA

Direct link:

Part 3 - Chosen babies and heartworms

Direct link:

Spoiler here for those not lucky or special enough to be a teenager in the '80's and see Facts of Life --- was anyone else really pissed at Natalie for not picking up the phone? I couldn't believe that this was on TV. I actually didn't like this show but was home the night it aired. Right away the family tree thing got me watching..... intently. I flipped out watching it. I think I was either 16 or 17 when it was on. I remember screaming PICK UP THE PHONE at the TV set. But that made my adoptive mom mad and I got the stiffened back / pursed lips /big eyes trifecta of despair for the rest of the night and a while afterwards as a result.

It's funny they have that horrific heart poem in this episode but I didn't remember it. Probably PTSD blocked it from my memory. That is one god-awful poem. But this is what's weird too... I've heard other people talking about the 'adoption episode' on Facts of Life but never remembered watching it, until I saw it on YouTube. Then I remembered !!crap!! I did see this! That's odd. I must be getting old.

I read that in 1982 there was a followup episode where Natalie actually did meet her mom. Did anyone see that? I couldn't find a video on YouTube for that one.

I wonder if my other mom saw this too. And my half-siblings. My brother would have been 12 and my sister 11. I wonder if they watched it with our mom. I wonder how she reacted to it. I wonder if I'll ever find out.

Update - Dan is the Man! The follow up is called "Dearest Mommie"

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

13 complaints from ingrates:

Anonymous,  September 2, 2007 at 7:43 AM  

Amazing you found this! I don't think there is an adoptee alive who wouldn't have answered that ringing phone.

I am now on a mission to find the reunion episode!

Anonymous,  September 2, 2007 at 7:50 AM  

Found it! It is called "Dearest Mommie" and aired in 1982 and it is on Youtube.

Ungrateful Little Bastard September 2, 2007 at 8:35 AM  

O-M-G you're the best! I was looking for it but couldn't find it! Thanks!!

Anonymous,  September 2, 2007 at 10:42 AM  

OMG I am afraid to watch them. I really am. I really don't think I can handle hearing it. I was a major MAJOR facts of life fan as a kid, if it has anything to say about shutting up and being grateful I will be highly disturbed...but i will come back later tonight and watch xoxo

Ungrateful Little Bastard September 2, 2007 at 11:11 AM  

It's not so much 'shut up' as it is that invalidation-with-love that nonadopted people do so well

I'd be really interested in knowing who wrote the script for these two episodes though.

Anonymous,  September 2, 2007 at 7:33 PM  

I ended up watching both episodes and now I am walking around humming the theme song...

Unknown September 3, 2007 at 1:01 AM  

funny, must have blocked these out.

Now the facts of life are making me cry, I am such a spaz.

suz September 3, 2007 at 10:17 AM  

wow. but i must say i liked the fact that I did not here the barfmother term. it was real mother or just mother..and the mom was apparently the adoptive mom.

Anonymous,  September 3, 2007 at 2:20 PM  

Yes, I remember seeing this episode and I think about it every now and then. I was upset that she just let that phone ring. I'm still upset actually. It doesn't make sense.

I never caught the episode where she meets her mom. I wonder if that would be equally disappointing.

Anonymous,  September 3, 2007 at 2:42 PM  

Ok, I did see the episode where she "meets" her mom. I didn't realize until I watched the tape. I had no idea You Tube had old sit-com reruns. I'm glad the amom wasn't depicted as evil.

Anonymous,  September 4, 2007 at 12:54 AM  

I'm old... didn't watch this show. I gave up my son in 1970, and got older after that. Thanks for letting us know what was going on in 80's TV. I'm amazed at the number of story lines in recent TV that feature adoption and reunion: ER, Friends, NYPD Blue, Gray's Anatomy. And OMG, Desperate Housewives, where Bree is about to pretend that her daughter's child is her own. I was ouraged. Anyway, has anyone noticed how the topic is everywhere these days. Could be a good thing, if handled correctly.


Anonymous,  September 4, 2007 at 3:03 AM  

I have reunited with my son.

My son did not tell his adoptive parents about our reunion for fear of their reaction. He said he wanted the reunion on his terms, his timing and without judgement or pressure from anyone. I can see why after seeing the reunion episode.

I don't know if his adoptive parents saw that.

What I do know is that they left some horrible remarks at the government registry file - it still hurts.

My son's adoptive mother said (and I quote) - My son is "very lazy, very irresponsible, doesn't want to be a doctor like them - it must be my *bad* genes and it is my fault that he has not turned out the way they wanted him to"

That was the statement left for me.

What horrible people he was put with to say those things.

When I told him what his adoptive mother had left as a message for me, he was not at all surprised.

He could see I was upset about it - her comments have probably done a lot to help us bond (unintentionally on her part).

Anonymous,  September 4, 2007 at 3:40 AM  

I don't know what happened with my last comment - it has somehow set up a link to another blog unintentionally - sorry about that.

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