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Done with U-Turns

If you look in the rear view mirror too long while you’re driving down the highway, you’ll end up in the ditch. I know that but it doesn’t change anything. I won’t be five minutes out of a meeting before I’m putting into rank order my list of regrets about my presentation. Sometimes, I get…

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Hello Mine

Lying on a plastic sheet, the hair on the back of his head worn away from never sitting or standing up, the blanket of Nicaraguan heat making him small, weak, fatigued, he looked in every direction but at me, his new mother.

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Blue Shoe

You could lose your shirt, your heart, your mind, sacrifice your time and your plan, forget your goals and the order of your day, erase what you thought mattered, end the life you have if you decide to adopt someone else’s baby.

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Babies with Scabies and Other Complaints

Originally posted on Red's Wrap:Adopting children from a foreign country is so glamorous, so heroic, attention-getting, show-stopping. If you adopt a child from another country, your friends will admire you and strangers will call you a saint. You, on the other hand, know the truth. You’re going to another country to adopt a child because you will go to any lengths required to have a child. Let’s be frank. Still, of the adjectives above, one rings true. Heroic. The scene is a packed to the gills airplane flying from Managua, Nicaragua, to New Orleans, USA. It’s 1988. The seventeen-month old boy my husband and I have just adopted…

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Go Out and Come Back In Again

Originally posted on Red's Wrap:This month has been marked by a lot of coming and going.  Various family members going off to collect themselves and returning with a clean shirt and a calmer frame of mind. This is both actual and metaphorical.  By the end of November, we had gone through a lot of laundry. I understand nothing in life if not fresh starts.  As a parent, I’ve learned that leaving the door unlocked is often all I have to do. The trick about this is having no expectations (other than the clean shirt).  Kids show up — maybe after weeks or even months — and they sit down…

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Thank you Mamalode!

Lately I’ve been encouraging people to do NaBloPoMo, participate in writing contests, and just plain look for ways to bust out of the tiny. One way to do that is to respond to Mamalode‘s monthly themes. Last month, Mamalode’s theme was “It’s Complicated.” Since my entire blogging repertoire could fall under that heading, I had to find something to submit. And I did. I sent them this essay about the process of raising children who are adopted and who have special needs when they are little. This is one of those essays that came straight from the heart and could only have been written now, at my age, seeing my…

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I Tried Being Jewish But It Didn’t Work

Originally posted on Red's Wrap:If I was Jewish, we would be having Shabbat dinner right now. We would be lighting candles and blessing the children. We might sing songs and certainly bless and drink the wine. Gentiles who think Jews have no fun because they don’t celebrate Christmas don’t know about Shabbat and the hundred other rituals of Judaism, most of which involve gathering a lot of people around a table, blessing, remembering, eating, and being very joyful. I tried being Jewish but it didn’t work. I married a Jewish man and when we adopted three children from Nicaragua, we made the unusual and inscrutable decision to raise…

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Angels on the Head of a Pin

Sometimes my work involves counting people in misery. Not helping them. Figuring out how to count them. It’s disconcerting sometimes to think a lifetime of education and work has come down to discussions about how to find every single last homeless person so that person can be counted in our city’s annual census of homelessness.…

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Ode to Jeans

Who wears jeans and why? If I was a boy, I’d wear jeans with a tie. Buff my shoes to a shine, look so fly. Trade suits for jeans, start a fad. Men to boys, go back to the bad. Girls are the same, trapped in age. Leave their jeans on the last page. It’s true an old…

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How Competition Makes Me a Better Writer

Some of my favorite bloggers right now are the ones competing with me in the weekly writing contests organized by Yeah Write. Yeah Write is a marvelously attractive site, very visual with great weekly challenge questions like ‘how come no one warned me?’ and and this week’s ‘what do we have to lose?’ to which bloggers can…

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