Category: Adoption

My Relationship to Motherhood

I told this story of my relationship to motherhood at last weekend’s Mother’s Day edition of Story Sessions at City Winery, Chicago.   You know those little girls who play with baby dolls and start prepping for motherhood from the time they are still in diapers themselves?  Yeah, that was not me.  At 34, married... Read more »

The "Letting Go" of Parenthood Starts Early

My youngest started at a new preschool last week.  I have all the feelings about this — a sense of triumph and seeing that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel coupled with that awareness of how quickly our kiddos grow up and out.  He is our last, so we just had our last... Read more »

Being a Real Mom

Earlier today a stranger on Facebook accused me of not being my youngest son’s “real” mom, my youngest son being adopted.  I deleted the post immediately.  I didn’t engage the stranger, didn’t argue the point, and won’t tolerate that nonsense. I’ve been exposed to Internet hate before.  It’s anonymous and angry and the rule is... Read more »

When Family Trees Get Complicated

Out of the blue this morning, on the way to day camp, Mary Tyler Son said, “It’s great that Mary Tyler Toddler (I assure you he does not call his brother this in real life) is the fifth member of our modern family tree.” “How sweet,” I thought, “This guy is thinking of both his... Read more »

Room to Mother: Some Thoughts on Adoption

I’ve been writing this post for about 15 months now.  It’s about adoption and adoption is complicated.  I mean, I always knew that, but I didn’t always know that.  And as time passes and I acknowledge my own naivete on the subject and how that naivete has shaped our own adoption, well, it’s been challenging.... Read more »

Looking at Donna

At the top of our stairs is a digital frame that we got just a few days after Donna died.  We wanted something for the memorial service to show our favorite photos of Donna.  Her little four year old life, from birth to death, captured on an electronic screen. The photos have never changed.  Several... Read more »

First Kisses

There are only so many first kisses that a long term married person enjoys in their life. I got one a few weeks ago.  I had been waiting for it, anticipating what it might be like. Often, the anticipation of a thing can make the actual thing feel less than your hopes had built it... Read more »

Adoption and Surrogacy and IVF, Oh My!

Seven months into Donna’s cancer treatment, we learned that the docs were recommending a stem cell transplant for her.  The toxicity of the chemo required to kill off her immune system was so potent that the transplant team informed us that Donna, just three years old at the time, would never be able to bear... Read more »

Honoring Birth Mothers on Mother's Day

A few months ago, in a glorious daze of caring for our littlest child — a newly adopted baby boy — an article I wrote was published in Chicago Parent magazine.  You can read it here.  I called it “Invisible Pregnancy,” but that title was changed by the magazine.  The article focused on the few... Read more »

Change Your Diaper, Change Your Life

The last words I heard my daughter utter, slur, really, before she was diagnosed with the brain tumor that would eventually take her life were, “Change your diaper, change your life.”  I remember it like it was yesterday, but it was almost seven years ago now. Donna had been not herself for a couple of... Read more »