SWEET KISSES FROM MOMMY, The Gary Heffern story

Veli-Matti Tervaniemi from Ivalo, Finland, was adopted to San Diego, california in the 50`s. He was given a new name, Gary. Gary could not anticipate that his childhood turned into a nightmare. Document is done by Erkki Määttänen

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  • D. Moore

    Great story about surviving one’s demons and not letting drugs and alcohol get the best of you. Thanks for sharing your story Veli-Matti.

  • thea

    Very authentic short bio…It’s nice to see you survived w/ a gentle spirit Veli-Matti…nice song writing too. Peace.

  • Laura

    Beautiful film but such a sad story. I never knew that Finnish kids were adopted out to other countries; I wanted to strangle Veli-Matti’s adoptive parents. Too late now. Despite his hardships, Veli-Matti is an inspiration and I wish him well.

  • Andrew

    Having lost a grandmother to Alzheimer’s, I find the last song of this documentary extremely moving.

  • Randall

    It is a sad story and yet it is an interesting tale of life’s experience. What if…If he had stayed in Finland his life would have been different but probably not any esier, just a different set of problems. I would think that once he had grown old enough to think as a young man, that the oportunities in California would have been better than what he would have encountered in Finland, if he had stayed…maybe he may have learned to play hockey and love the game instead of playing the guitar and love music. I think that Finland is more into hockey than music, but I don’t really know. I grew up in Canada and I’ve played hockey and guitar and love’em both…they’re both very good for the heart, much like this documentary…sad but nice.

  • http://donthaveone.com Guy from Finland

    Such a sad story. In response to Randall: Lapland is somewhat like Alaska, he would have had a so called traditional lifestyle if he had remained there. However the so called big cities in the south have more cosmopolitan athmosphere and are more liberal with lots of life opportunities. Gulf stream makes the south a warm place.

  • Randall

    To the guy from Finland…I’ve worked in Alaska and it’s one of the most beautiful places that I’ve ever been to. It is also one of the toughest forms of existance that I’ve ever encountered. The summers are nice with long hour of daylight and warm temperatures but I found that most of the oportunities were somewhat limited to the few big cities in the state. The winters are so cold and dark and depressing with only those marvelous Auraura Borealis, Northern Lights to brighten your days. Most of the wildlife are big, strong predatorial types…especially the women. You make Finland sound nice and most of the Fins that I`ve encountered were friendly folks and pretty good hockey players…there`s something in common that we can talk about if I ever go for a visit.

  • DaftAida

    guess an ugly childhood experience creates ugly art and awful muzak. godawfu social services and their church and charitable equivalents have seen hundreds of millions displaced and via the wars, sanctions and strategic immigration policies shattering any continuity of tribe, race, nation or natural culture. Basically, being punished for being poor. Basically furnishing sadists with fodder who can’t fight back or tell anyone what’s happening; there’s a wall of silence.Going to a psychiatrist is a fast track to drug addiction.

    at the opening section, the part where the reason for displacement was being explained, was crudely edited out so we’re none the wiser as to cause.

    but truly, there is no excuse for country & western, under any circumstances.

    • Toby

      I know Gary personally, and have since we were teenagers. He is a good and decent person, and doesn’t deserve your empty rhetoric.

  • Marianne

    I’m glad you found your way home. You have a beautiful family. Thank you for sharing your amazing journey. And may peace follow you always:)

  • earl

    Strange how much Finish sounds like native American or how the Eskimos sound.