Sunday, December 30, 2007

Your Inner Color is Blue

Your Personality: Your natural warmth and intuition nurtures those around you. You are accepting and always follow your heart.

You in Love: Relationships are your top priority, and this includes love. You are most happy when you are serious with someone.

Your Career: You need to help others in your job to feel satistifed. You would be a great nurse, psychologist, or counselor.

I borrowed this from Di & Dave's blog for Sophie ( For some reason my link option wasn't working. Anyway, it was incredibly accurate (I am a psychotherapist and LOVE my husband!) so I had to share!

Predictions 2008

And the winner of the Presidential election will be.....

No, I'm not making THOSE kinds of predictions! Although if my friend Nancy has anything to do with it, her great friend from her days at Harvard Law and Law Review will be our next President... she was with Barack in Chicago when he announced his candidacy and has campaigned tirelessly for him all year. No matter where your loyalties lie, it's wonderful to see people who are true believers out there working hard for what they believe in and making sacrifices for something bigger than themselves, the future of our country! I'm proud of my friend Nancy!

Now, onto the predictions for referrals 2008:

The CCAA has referred an average of 100 RQ families per month so I'm basing this on the latest RQ poll.

January - December 19, 2005 (60 families)
February - December 25, 2005 (132 families)
March - December 31, 2005 (101 families)
April - January 6, 2006 (101 families)
And here's where I have a good case and a bad case scenario
May - January 12, 2006 (131 families) or January 11, 2006 (77)
June - January 19, 2006 (105) or January 15, 2006 (93)
July - January 26, 2006 (114) or January 23, 2006 (111)
August - February 6, 2006 (99) or February 5, 2006 (92)
September - February 12th + (84+) or February 11, 2006 (104)

As yucky as these predictions are, hopefully they are realistic. What happened to the CCAA promising they would start referring 15 day batches? Oh yeah, the same thing that happened when they promised a 12 month wait time and said 24 months was unacceptable...

My hopes for a May or June referral have been dashed. I now think it'll be either August or September. That means our third homestudy. Our social worker is practically a member of the family at this point!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


If things continue to go as they have been (and that's a big "if") I am anticipating a June referral. Best case scenario, there's a bit of a speed-up and we get our referral in May. Anything else... well, it's too ghastly to contemplate. Our LID is 2/06/06. When do you think we'll get our referral??


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

FCC Waiting Families Event

Sunday we attended a get-together organized by our local FCC. Ariel has absconded with the camera so I can't post photos yet, but this approximates the golden pig piggybank that everyone got as gifts :). The event was really nice and it's so meaningful to connect with other people who truly can relate to the agony of this long wait (did I say "long"? I meant, interminable). We saw some friends we met at the LA Waiting Parents dim sum brunch and met some new people, too. Jeri and Susan of the FCC did a tremendous job that was much appreciated!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

LID Anniversary (12/06)

Last Thursday was our 22 month LID anniversary. I was so underwhelmed by this event that I could not post anything. Also, I was busy being happy for the people who got their referrals.

Okay, truth. I was happy to hear about referrals, but yes, I admit it, I was also feeling jealous and envious of the parents who got their referrals. I then felt terrible for experiencing that kind of envy. Of course, I spend my professional life assuring people that feelings are not to be judged and to respect and understand their feelings, so I know my reaction was part of being human. Still, it seems wrong to be so downright jealous of other people's happiness. What kind of a monstrous bitch am I??

I guess I'm someone who's been paper pregant for 22 frickin' months.

Will we ever get our referral? We're in a perennial state of being 10 months away. ARGHHHH.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Present Time!

Ariel is very happy with her Chanukah gift, a red iPod Nano. She likes that part of the proceeds of the red Nano go to AIDS research. Look at that smile!

Seven more days of Chanukah remain... which means seven more gifts. No wonder she's smiling.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Happy Chanukah or... Hannukah... or...

Tuesday December 4th is the first night of Chanuka. We hope that by next year, we'll have Kavannah with us to celebrate this holiday. For those of you who don't know what it's all about, here's the story:
SHORT VERSION: They tried to kill us. We fought. We won. Let's eat.
(this version applies to all Jewish holidays without exception)
LONG VERSION: About 2200 years ago, Greek kings, who reigned from Damascus, ruled over the land of Judea and the Jews living there. One king forbade the Jewish people from praying to their God, practicing their customs, and studying their Torah. He forced the Jews to worship the Greek gods. It is said that he placed an idol of the Greek God Zeus on the alter in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.
In response to this persecution, Judah Maccabee and his four brothers organized a group of resistance fighters known as the Maccabees. They fought against paganism and oppression. The tenacity of the rebels, which came from their steadfast faith in one God, is one reason this military victory has been so celebrated by Jews in future generations.
In one battle, Judah's small army was intimidated by the size of the enemy army and Judah told them to have faith that God was on their side: But when they saw the army coming to meet them, they said unto Judah: 'What? shall we be able, being a small company, to fight against so great and strong a multitude? ...'
And Judah said: 'It is an easy thing for many to be shut up in the hands of a few, and there is no difference in the sight of Heaven to save by many or by few; for victory in battle standeth not in the multitude of an host, but strength is from Heaven. They come unto us in fullness of insolence and lawlessness, to destroy us and our wives and our children, for to spoil us; but we fight for our lives and our laws. And He Himself will discomfort them before our face; but as for you, be yet not afraid of them." (The First Book of Maccabees)
Against great odds, after three years of fighting, the Maccabees succeeded in driving the Greco-Syrians out of Judea. Hanukkah proclaims the message of the prophet Zachariah: "Not by might, not by power, but by My spirit." The Maccabees reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. They cleaned the Temple, removing the Greek symbols and statues. When Judah and his followers finished cleaning the temple, they rededicated it. On the 25th day of the month of Kislev in 164 BCE, the Temple was purified and rededicated. According to tradition, when the Maccabees entered the Holy Temple, they discovered that the Greco-Syrians had defiled the oil which was used to Temple's menorah. Only one vat of purified oil remained - enough for only one day. It would take the Jews a week to process more purified oil. Then a miracle occurred.
The Maccabees lit the menorah and it burned for not one, but eight days, by which time the new, purified oil was ready. This is why the Hanukkah Menorah has eight candles (not including the shamash candle used to light the others) and one reason why Jews celebrate Hanukkah for eight days.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Puttin' On The Ritz

We are so bummed that when we get to Guangzhou the famous White Swan Hotel will be closed for renovations. At this point we HOPE it will be closed, since I think it reopens in late 2008 and we want to be there by Summer 2008 or... ?
But this month the Ritz Carlton is opening up its new hotel in Guangzhou!!
We won't have a "Red Couch" photo. But maybe a taupe/yellow striped couch photo?
Doesn't have the same ring, somehow. Still, it looks like a beautiful hotel.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Lost & Found

Our 21 month LID anniversary is Tuesday. Looks as if the CCAA matched through December 8, 2005. I'm happy for those families but discouraged overall. I'm losing hope (at times) that this adoption will ever happen. I'm losing patience with how long it's taking. Kavanna is somewhere in China... when, oh when, will we find her?

Monday, October 29, 2007

New York Times Article

In yesterday's New York Times magazine there was an article about the families of children adopted internationally looking for their children's birth families. One mother told of her Chinese daughter, who sent balloons up into the air towards China each year along with a message for her birthmother, assuring her that she had a good life in America. When the mother searched for her daughter's birth family, she learned first that the birth mother was dead, and the man claiming to be the father (he said he had an affair with the birth mother) failed a DNA test. The daughter was heartbroken and the mother now longs for the days when they optimistically sent balloons to China...

I have mixed feelings about the concept of finding birthparents. On the one hand I respect the need for (some) adoptees to know where they came from, to have some connection to the people to whom they are biologically connected, and even to know pragmatic things such as medical history. On the other hand, the reality of those connections can be devastatingly disappointing. I can't imagine the disappointment of people searching for birthmothers who ultimately reject them or, in one of the situations described in the article, basically just want to get money. Or to find a birth family with whom communication is difficult, not only because of language differences, but because the cultural differences are impossible to overcome.

It's a tough question. What are your thoughts?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Waiting Parents Dim Sum Extravaganza

We had the pleasure of meeting a lot of other waiting families today... and feasting on dim sum... it was great to talk to other people who are waiting, and who "get it" (unlike so many well intentioned friends, family members, co-workers, et al). A huge THANK YOU to Di and Beth for their thoughtful gifts and for organizing this wonderful event!

David and Nina at one of the two tables of waiting families. That's Di and Dave behind us.

Not a chicken claw in sight (although we were offered them and declined graciously)

Some new friends at the table... Betsy, Laura and her daughter Laina, Kathy and Dianne.

Di and Dave and Dave, who's married to Kris, who's out of camera range. Yes, any guy who wanted to sit with us had to be named David!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

20 month LID anniversary

As of yesterday, October 6th, we have been in this long, interminable line for 20 months.


I'm just incredibly irritated right now. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that my six month old MacBook just crashed to the point that the service person I called at Mac had never encountered this kind of problem, and in addition my car has a flat tire.

But still... 20 months when we thought it would be six. People have stopped asking us about "the baby". I'm starting to believe it will never happen.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Famous or Infamous??

Ariel and I were having an afterschool snack at a little outdoor cafe in our neighborhood, noticing that there were lots of film crew types walking around. Turned out they were taping Kim Kardashian's reality TV show. Consider the weirdness of someone being famous and getting her own show simply for being best friends with Paris Hilton. Bizarre! Add to that the fact that Paris Hilton is famous for being...uh, rich? Obnoxious? Narcissistic? Perhaps Andy Warhol was right about that fifteen minutes of fame.

As we were pondering this, Sharon and Ozzie Ozbourne walked past and went into a nearby store. Ariel said, "Ozzie Ozbourne? Wow. He's like the most famous DRUG ADDICT that ever lived."

I reminded her that he's also a famous musician. She wasn't impressed.

We went into the store, too, ostensibly to browse but really because we wanted to see what the most famous drug addict looks like up close and personal (and people, it's not pretty). Sharon was talking to her dogs on her cell phone and telling Kim Kardashian that some of her crew members worked on their show as well.

Two days from now I'll be comparing psychoanalytic theories (classical v. relational), discussing Freud and the clinical implications of the analytic frame. The juxtaposition of my two worlds is really weird.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

19 Month LID Anniversary

I just realized that last Thursday (September 6, 2007) was our 19 month LID anniversary. Also the two year anniversary of our official acceptance by GWCA. It basically slipped my mind until now.

Nineteen months. Sigh.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Why Women Need Chocolate

So the CCAA has referred four months in this past year. Sigh. An already interminable wait stretches before all waiting families. For us the prospect of a referral seems almost unreal, like a desert mirage. The closer we get, the farther we are. It's enough to make a person turn to... what else... CHOCOLATE. As a psychotherapist specializing in eating disorders I normally encourage people to process difficult feelings instead of numbing them with chocolate, but sometimes a girl's just gotta have chocolate.
Recently I discovered these amazing calcium chocolates. They taste exactly like chocolate and they have 500 mg of calcium in each bite. And since women need calcium, women need these chocolates. Yes, guilt-free chocolate actually exists!
I can imagine what you might be thinking: chocolate that's actually good for you? It's amazing, it's impossible, what's next? Zero calorie ice cream? Exercising in your sleep? The proverbial pigs with wings? The CCAA referring more than seven days at once, consistently?
Hey, if guilt-free chocolate exists, then anything is possible.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Am I crazy, or what?

I've always planned to go back to school to get a doctorate in psychoanalysis. At some point during this long wait I decided not to put my life on hold and applied. Today I found out that I was accepted into the program. Classes are only once a week, and David will work from home on the day that I'm in school so that Ariel and Kavanna (when she arrives) will always have a parent. I'll have to juggle raising a teenager and (next year) a baby with being in analysis four times a week (the mainstay of psychoanalysis) and my private practice, but I can do it!!

I admit to feelings of guilt about this decision. I've waited so long for Kavanna. Shouldn't I drop everything and be her mom 24 hours a day, which I did for Ariel? Or can I be a different kind of mom? The difference between raising Ariel and raising Kavanna is David, who will be there, and wants to be there, and is is a true partner as a parent.

Do I sound as if I'm trying to talk myself into something? Maybe.

Can women have it all? Can men? I'd like to think so. You tell me: am I crazy, or what?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A new life for Ying!

Several weeks ago this baby, Ying, needed two surgeries before she had even a hope of leading a normal life. I'm thrilled to report that Ying's first surgery was successful and she does not need a second surgery!! She is going to grow up to be healthy (and she's clearly already happy).

Look at how cute she is! A huge THANKS to everyone who helped make this possible.

If you'd like to help other babies and children like Ying, please check out the Love Without Boundaries website. Even a donation of $10 a month can make a difference!

Monday, August 06, 2007

18 month LID anniversary

This is a dove of peace, which is Rosie's idea... I love the idea of spreading the spirit of peace around the world!

Yes, it's been eighteen months since we were logged in, and 24 months since the day we contacted Great Wall China Adoption agency. Time flies when you're.... um, waiting?

In Judaism, the number 18 signifies "chai" or "life", so today we're celebrating and cherishing the lives we have, and looking forward to the life that will be coming into our hearts next year.
(next year, yeah!!)

I want to thank everyone who posted their support and understanding for the loss of our dog Roy. I don't know how to express this without sounding trite, but your words and sentiments were so meaningful to me (and us) and so healing. Thank you so very much for helping our family through this difficult time!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Goodbye, old friend...

Roy came into our lives unexpectedly. Eleven years ago Ariel and I went to the mall, where there happened to be a dog adoption event hosted by the local pound. All the dogs were getting tons of attention... all but one, a skinny, trembling Shephard/Lab mix named (by the people at the shelter) Elroy. If he did not get adopted that day, he was headed for puppy heaven the next. It didn't look good. He was a street dog who'd been attacked by other dogs, and by life. His ear had been torn in half. Huge patches of fur were missing. He smelled terrible.

Ariel headed straight for him. She was two years old and she knew what she wanted. She wanted Roy. I had not expected to bring another dog into our home... but I did.

And so he came into our lives and we grew to love this shy, anxious, and incredibly sweet soul. His boundless energy gave way to a slower pace. He loved to lie on plush, soft spaces. He echewed the back yard. I think he had enough of the outdoors while he was living on the streets. He loved to lie on the couch and rest. He followed us wherever we went, a faithful furry shadow.

In the last couple of years he slowed down. He lost 20 lbs. He developed a limp. He could no longer jump onto the couch. He's been on all kinds of medications, none of which slowed his decline. He grew confused. He peed on a guest and seemed oblivious to what he was doing. There were times when I was really frustrated with him, which made me feel really guilty. On Monday he could no longer get up or walk, so we knew it was time to let him go.

I have never had to put a dog to sleep and it was a terrible experience. David, Ariel and I petted him and I kissed his head. We said goodbye as the vet injected the medication and cried as Roy took his last breaths.

I miss the clatter of his paws on our wood floors. I miss his constant presence, his soulful gaze. The silence in our house is deafening.

Au revoir, Roy.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

How Cute Are These Outfits??

My friend Di is making good use of her time during The Wait. She's designing and creating these adorable and unique baby clothes. They are so unique and adorable. I can't wait to see Kavanna wearing a Di (as opposed to Dior) original. Check out more of her creations here. You can also visit her blog and say hello!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Phone Home In Style (from China or anywhere)

So the day has finally come for me to get internet access on the go. I went to look at Blackberrys, which seem way to complicated. The screen is kind of small and hard to read. The keyboard is small and weird. So we left T-Mobile and went to the Apple store to check out the new iPhones.

(sound of heavens parting and angels singing)

This phone is so amazing it (almost) defies description. I'm not usually into gadgets or high-tech anything. In fact, I'm a little bit of an analog person in a digital world.

Until now. I love this phone. Seriously.

I covet this phone. I'm sure a new, even better model is going to come out in a few months, and then I shall have it!! If you haven't seen an actual iPhone yet, go into your local Apple store and see for yourself.

And no, I do not own Apple stock, nor do I work for Apple. I'm just a sucker for ... er, consumer of... new and amazing technology.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Seventeen Month LID Anniversary

No matter how long we wait, we seem to be stuck in this weird Groundhog Day-like existence where our referral is always about a year away. Today I'm in a slightly optimistic mood and I'm predicting a possible referral as early as March or as late as June. Perhaps we've broken the spell?
Congratulations to all the parents who are getting to see the faces of their children. I love Referral Time!!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Where Is Ariel?? She's Home!!!!!

Scooters in Italy are what bicycles are in China!

Swinging on a park in Italy. A Ferrari tire, perhaps?

"Ahhh, the gelato was so good I had to sit down!"

How cute! (And those Smart Cars are cute, too!)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Thanks to everyone for helping this baby's surgery funded. I'm thrilled to report the money was raised and she'll be getting her first surgery this week. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Where in the world is Ariel?

Ariel is in Italy with her sperm donor... er, biological father. He doesn't spend much time with her during the year. He doesn't help with homework or drive her places she needs to go. He's too busy doing important things like directing television. He does, however, sweep her off to Italy for adventure (if I sound sarcastic and resentful it's because I am). Right now Ariel is having lots of fun seeing the sights, shopping, and practicing her Italian. I'm thrilled for her but I miss her.

I really miss her.

David and I changed the SIM card in her phone and made it local to Italy, so she can make and take calls from her cell phone at local Italian rates. I don't know if that's possible for China but we plan on finding out.

Ciao for now.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

16 month LID anniversary

Sweet sixteen? Hardly! Thinking optimistically, and cautiously, we believe have more time behind us in this wait than we do ahead of us.

And congratulations to all the families who are receiving referrals this week!! I'm thrilled for you all. Envious (I admit it!!) but very happy for you.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Why Can't People Be Nice?

I posted this on RQ (yes, I am a lapsed addict but only to post on the "blowing off steam" column) and got so many positive and supportive responses that I thought I'd post it here, too. In case you've had a similar experience, you are not alone!!

I'm acquainted with a woman who adopted a precious baby from China about 2.5 years ago. She waited six months for her daughter. I run into her every few months and she always asks how things are going with the adoption. Last time I told her what the CCAA said in Australia about the wait increasing to 36 months.

She smiled (SMILED!!!) and said, "Oh, it will never go that long." (very condescending tone, too)

I said, "It took about four months just to get through October and November is bigger. The last two referrals have been for six days and two days respectively."

She said, "Where are you getting your information?" (said somewhat arrogantly)

I told her I'm on various sites on-line and very much aware of what was going on in the Chinese adoption community. The whole time I had this horrible feeling of having to DEFEND myself.

Then she said, "Well, it definitely won't go that long, but when you get your daughter you won't even remember the wait." (smugly)And then she scooped up her daughter and left.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrr. I felt so helpless and so dismissed. She completely invalidated my feelings about the wait, and even dismissed the idea that it is growing to ridiculous lengths each month.

Is it too much for someone to say, "Wow, I'm sorry you are having to wait so long. That must be really tough."

Seriously. What is up with this kind of insensitivity? I expect more from people who've been on this rollercoaster and it seems particularly egregious when they let me down and seemingly have no sympathy or even understanding.

Just my personal rant. Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

contemplating conspicious consumption

With rumors flying about referrals through mid-November, I'm allowing myself the luxury of pondering some baby-related purchases. As in, maybe... starting... to possibly... consider that these items may one day, in the future (mid-2008??) be part of our daily lives. Here's my wish list. I'm in love with Stokke products. These photos don't quite do justice to the real thing, both of which are way cool.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

This baby needs help!

Look at that face and that smile! This adorable three month baby girl needs surgery that can help her live a normal, healthy life. We just donated to her surgery fund and hope that you will also donate to Love Without Boundaries to help her or one of the many other children who are in need of medical help. You can read more about her here or at the Love Without Boundaries website. It does not take a lot of money to make a huge difference in a child's life. If everyone who visited this site last week gave $20, the surgery would be paid for.

I hesitated to use our site as a way to solicit donations, ultimately felt it was the right thing to do. Thanks for helping!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

15 Month LID Anniversary

Whoo-hooo. Or is it, boo-hoo?

We are anticipating our referral in ten months. We've basically been saying this the entire time we've been waiting. No matter how much time passes, we are still ten months away from referral, a year away from welcoming Kavanna into our family. It's like some surreal Twilight Zone episode.

I decided not to put my life on hold. I just applied to a doctoral program that starts in September. Watch, the speed-up will happen just as I'm about to start classes (presuming I get accepted, that is!).

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Change is good

When Ariel was nine years old she went through a goth stage (yes, she's always been ahead of her time) and I let her dye her hair blue. Just my personal belief, but think it's good for kids to express their individuality. As long as it's not a permanent thing like a tattoo, no harm done. She also got the goth thing out of her system early. A few weeks ago we saw a punked-out teenager at the mall and Ariel whispered to me, "Been there, done that... when I was ten!" When she's a teenager she'll probably rebel by doing something really radical, like...

Become a Republican! (a la Alex Keaton in Family Ties, if anyone remembers that old show)

She recently decided to color her hair a deep red. Here's the result. Now her hair fits her feisty personality!!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

What will she look like?

Hi, my name is Nina and I am NOT addicted to the China Adopt Talk site. Yes, I have conquered my addiction to the Rumor Queen. It is just not healthy for me to be on that site. Reading the posts causes anxiety, depression and triggers feelings of helplessness. Basically, RQ is bad for my emotional health and I've gone cold turkey. You know how addictions have a tendancy to transfer? There's a joke that AA meetings are filled with chain-smoking people drinking cup after cup of coffee or post-bariatric patients get addicted to shopping. Well, I've transfered my addiction as well: I am now addicted to family adoption websites. I can spend hours on My Adoption Website or The Story of You (see sidebar for link at your own risk!). It got me wondering what Kavanna will look like, what part of China will she be from, what will her temperment be... and of course, WHEN WILL WE MEET HER? (Ooops, I digress. Clearly I'm still suffering from post-RQ emotional trauma.) Kind of like any pregnancy... you think about your baby... this is just a different kind of pregnancy, which someday will be over. Talk about overdue!!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Fourteen Month LID Anniversary

Yesterday, April 6th, was our fourteen month LID anniversary. The CCAA will likely only refer two days of referrals this month. This is the worst referral cycle in memory. Or history? I'm giving up my hope that we'll be in China in December. At this point, I'm just hoping to get there before Ariel goes to college. And she's thirteen.


Monday, April 02, 2007

Mac Attack!

Well, after a lifetime of being loyal to PC, we have gone to the other side. Apple, that is. Mac. One of the cool things about it is the photo booth. Ariel and I made the best of that feature! We can't wait to be posting photos from China!!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

updating profile

So, I need to post this photo to the blog in order to create a link for a new profile photo. The current one we have is a year old and I hate my hair in that photo. Yes, there it is, I'm confessing total cyberspace vanity. This is a better hair photo and therefore worthy of public viewing.
Changing blogger photos is suddenly much more important than cleaning the mountains of dog hair that appeared overnight in our home. Seriously, my dog's shedding hair could fill a king-size mattress in a matter of hours. I hate cleaning up dog hair. Hence, the sudden obsession with changing the profile.
Is it wrong to hate cleaning dog hair but also long to change diapers? I mean, really LOOK FORWARD to changing diapers?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Happy, happy day

Our homestudy update is (almost complete). YAYYYYYYY!!!! We were dreading it, as we mistakenly thought we'd have to do a whole new paperchase from the beginning. Turns out that's not the case. We sent copies of all our forms to the USCIS plus a hefty check (I've gotten used to those hefty checks - between the adoption and the bat mitzvah, we're parting with some serious moolah), and our social worker came to do the homestudy update and that's it. We have our physicals next week but aside from that, we're done.

Does a little voice in my head worry about the physicals? Am I afraid to "count my chickens"? As a self-diagnosed hypochondriac I confess I'm always worried about what might happen. So far, all that worry has gotten me nothing but post-stay-up-all-night-worrying fatigue. I'm trying a new tactic: only worry when there's something to worry about.

What a concept! So for now, I'm happy.

We figure we'll see Kavanna's face in about seven months. Seems like it's eons away. And it also seems as if it's right around the corner.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The face of Judaism

All my life people have told me I don't look Jewish. I always borrow from Gloria Steinham and tell them, "This is what Jewish looks like." (When Gloria Steinham was 40 years old people were amazed at how great she looked and she famously said, "This is what 40 looks like.") Even other Jews buy into the stereotype: when I took my blonde haired and blue-eyed daughter to visit my grandmother at the Jewish Home for the Aged, lots of people asked my grandmother if I had been adopted (hmmmm, ironic in retrospect).
The reality is, I am the face of Judaism. And so is the girl pictured above, Cecelia Nealon-Shapiro, celebrating her bat mitzvah recently. She was born Fu Qian in a Chinese province and was once of the first American children adopted from China. You can read more about her story in a recent New York Times article.
We're preparing for Ariel's bat mitzvah in a couple of months. In 12-13 years we'll be preparing for another one, for our Jewish Chinese daughter, who along with her blue-eyed sister will sustain the traditions of thousands of years. Today we got an appeal from our synogogue to help sponsor Ethiopian Jews in Israel.
My grandmother passed away when Ariel was a baby, so she'll never get a chance to meet Kavanna. If I could do it over again, I'd tell her cohorts at the Home for the Aged that Judiasm has no color. Cecelia Nealon-Shapiro is proof of that. So are the Ethiopian Jews. So am I. And so is Ariel.
I loved reading Cecelia's story. It is the story of love, of identity, and in a way it is the story of all Americans.
Have great weekends, everyone.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

13 Month LID Anniversary

13 months LID... wow... It's also the 18 month anniversary since we officially started this process (GWCA formally accepted us on September 6, 2005).

I haven't been posting as much, lately. Partly because I've been very busy with my private practice and planning Ariel's bat mitzvah. Partly because I've had a crisis of....hmmm, what do you call it if you're a secular person... a crisis of faith? Belief? Trust?

I've debated whether or not to post on the site, but maybe I'm not the only one who's experienced these feelings. Either way, I'm putting it out there into cyberspace. Last week I was gripped by a sudden and overwhelming fear. Our life is basically perfect as it is... we have an amazing daughter, professions that are meaningful, time to write (our creative outlets)... what if adding another child messes everything up? What if instead of adding to our lives, she sucks the life out of us? What if we're making a terrible mistake?

I felt stuck. Scared. Horrified by these thoughts, even as I knew I had to explore them.

After talking with David and really thinking about it, I recognized these fears for what they are: normal. I remember having the same worries when I was pregnant with Ariel. Now, when I look at her, when we talk, when I consider how my universe opened up the moment she was born, how I can't actually remember what life was like before her... I can only smile at my fears.

So now I'm feeling more balanced about everything, looking forward to Kavanna's arrival (when??) but recognizing that it's okay to feel a spectrum of feelings about adding to our family.

Whew, what a rollercoaster ride.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


As a member of the "Precious Pandas" I thought I'd start sharing more panda photos... How cute is this one??!!

We saw our friends Dee and Damien today. Their daughter Amy has been home with them for two months. She's absolutely precious!! We can't wait for playdates later this year (thinking very optimistically).

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Ladybug Sighting!

As I was crossing a parking lot last Thursday, something flew into my eye and started fluttering around my eyelashes. This was quite a feat, as I was wearing sunglasses at the time. I blinked, took off my shades, and swatted the offending bug off my eye.

It fell to the ground. For some reason I glanced over and saw... it was a ladybug!! It flew off immediately.

Ladybugs are probably just a sign of Spring... but Spring is a time of renewal and of babies (at least for all the bunnies and ducks in our neighborhood), so I took it as a hopeful sign that Kavanna is on her way.

Friday, February 09, 2007

February 6 - One Year LID Anniversary

Our first year anniversary of our LID was February 6th. So why am I writing about it three days later? Well, the truth is that this momentous day came and went with barely a passing thought. At one point I said, "Hey, you know what day it is?"

David sighed. "Yeah. One year."

We nodded in unison. I said, "Can you believe it?"

We just left it at that. We weren't in a mood to... well, what does one do for this day? Celebrate? We didn't feel much like celebrating. Yeah, it's a milestone and yes, each day brings us closer to Referral Day and travel to China. That's good, I guess.

The truth is, we just weren't too excited about this anniversary. We acknowledged it and moved on with our lives.

Kind of sums up how life has been in this long wait. We probably have another eight months before referral, and that's if we're lucky. We're committed to being in the moment, and not living for the future. Right now, that feels right.

Not sure how I got to this zen place or how long I'll stay here. Next cappuccino will probably change everything!!

Saturday, February 03, 2007


Congratulations to all the families who got referrals - and to those of us who are FINALLY out of the Review Room!! What a relief!