Monday, May 25, 2009

Topanga Days

We had such a fun Sunday... dim sum with our friends Di & Dave  (who bought Kavanna a toy panda bear that she absolutely loves) and then we went to the Topanga Days Festival, which meant stepping back into time back to the 60s or 70s... Ariel took off her shoes, bought a pair of fairy wings, put a flower in her heair and we all danced to a Grateful Dead cover band.     Kavanna pet a three month old pet piglet and had a grand time.  Life is good!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


8 Things Never to Say to an Adopted Child

Most likely, no one who has approached my family and asked us personal questions has meant any harm, but they do assume that an adopted child's background is available for public discussion, and not subject to the same sensitivity or restraint due any child. My girls are not immune to the self-consciousness all children feel being scrutinized. The best expression of support for my family is to respect our differences by not calling attention to them. There are many adoption agencies and adoption Web sites with tons of information. Unless you are a friend or relative of an adoptive family, it's best to look there for answers. 

Someday, I hope, we'll live in a world where racial or sexual or familial differences don't matter because we'll have achieved the understanding that one kind, or one way, is not necessarily better than another. As for now, I fear we routinely call unneeded attention to these differences. For example, why are Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise's kids described as their "adopted kids"? Why aren't they just identified as "their kids"? Or why did the press write that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were expecting their first child when they already have a son and a daughter? What's next? "Angelina and Brad's biologically born child joins their adopted son and adopted daughter." Or "So-and-so's donor-egg-born son joins their gestationally carried, IVF-born daughter." We don't refer to how biological children become a part of their families, so why do we point out adoption? 

There are exceptions. A few weeks ago, Willa was a flower girl in my sister's wedding. At the beauty parlor where the bridal party was having their hair done, I introduced Willa to the hairdresser. She looked at my daughter and said, "Hey, Willa, are you adopted?" 

Willa answered, "Yes, from China." 

I touched Willa's shoulder protectively to remind her that, if needed, I was there to help navigate the encounter. 

"So am I," beamed the hairdresser. "Isn't adoption the coolest?" 

Willa looked at me and smiled. "Yep. It's totally cool." 

Elizabeth Cuthrell is a screenwriter and producer living in New York City.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bikini weather!!

Always apply sunscreen before the pool!

And drink plenty of fluids if it's hot outside!

Ooooooh, the water feels fine!

Kavanna didn't want to get out!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!

Nina and her girls!

David wearing Nina's glasses and doing his interpretation of The Thinker.

Nina, Kavanna and Ariel, doing her interpretation of the teenager from hell.

Ariel doing her interpretation of Munch's "The Scream"  (it's what happens when you're fifteen years old and have a very active baby sister)

Kavanna (who is feeling just fine these days) already has a thing for jewelry

She is just sooooo cute!

Sisters at home.

To everyone who is waiting to become a mom for the first time, I hope your wait ends soon.  To everyone who became a mom for the first time this year, congratulations on your first Mother's Day.  And to all who added to their families this year, enjoy your many blessings.  For me, every day feels like Mother's Day with my two beautiful and spunky girls.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Kavanna is recovering from pneumonia (she'll be fine and has made an extraordinary recovery).   She had a cold on Wednesday and was so backed up she literally had snot coming out of her eyes.  There's no way to say that other than that.  Truly gross.  We went to the doctor fearing conjunctivitis but were assured that she was fine, just so congested that stuff was coming out of other orifices.  
Friday she woke up from a nap with a fever that kept climbing despite tylenol.  We ended up at pediatric urgent care.  She has a fever of 105 and her oxygen was low.  They did a chest x-ray and found pneumonia.  It was a very scary few hours.
Thanks to the miracle of antibiotics she is on the mend and was 100 percent better by the next day.  We just came back from the doctor, who said she's making a great recovery.
It's almost impossible to believe that it was just over six months ago that we became a forever family... she's such a joy in all our lives.  Holding her while she was burning up with fever was one of the scariest moments in my life.  I'm so grateful that she's going to be okay.  Kids are so resilient!