His Own League

2018-03-17T11:19:39+00:00 March 17th, 2018|adoption|

Recently I got a text message from another dad at school. "My son's interested in joining/playing baseball with yours, can you tell me more about your league?" he asked. "Also is there a get-together at Fenton's Ice Cream for the team tomorrow afternoon? We'll try to make it." In one way this was not a [...]

Anniversary, with Tween

2018-02-21T16:26:43+00:00 February 21st, 2018|adoption, parenting|

It was the 9th anniversary of the day we met, though not our wedding anniversary, which will be 5 years in August. My head spins at how quickly it goes. We dragged the kids to a fantastic Berkeley Cajun place we hadn't taken them before. Fingers were crossed. A few years ago we were sure [...]

An Hour of My Own

2018-02-12T09:03:01+00:00 February 11th, 2018|adoption|

It's Girl Scout cookie season, and you've got to hit it early and hit it hard. We had our booth set up on Solano Avenue. It was normally chilly for February, but somewhat of a shock after a hot, gorgeous week that was anything but normal. It's fun to see the girls sell in a [...]


2018-01-17T14:37:37+00:00 January 17th, 2018|adoption, parenting|

It comes in waves. When you watch the ripples on a lake, and two big sets of waves come together and it's all foamy and turbulent? That's the state we reached this morning. The screaming was epic. New year, post vacation, then Monday was a holiday. It sounds nice, but getting out of the routine [...]


2017-09-27T10:52:25+00:00 September 27th, 2017|adoption|

It's so hard to keep perspective.  A cold and cough swept through the family, Jaden then me then Shayla, with 2.5 sick days and a sick weekend, which feels especially cruel. Jaden's better, but woke up grumpy. "Don't talk to me," he howled when I suggested he get dressed. Then he cried and cried when [...]

Birth Mom

2017-07-13T10:21:06+00:00 July 12th, 2017|adoption|

This is the story of a confusing but important relationship. She created two of the best things that have happened to me, my kids. She gave them their lives, and perhaps some of their biggest life challenges. Her own life has been difficult as she tried to overcome addiction and other problems. Pregnant with our [...]

My Children Far, and Near

2017-07-01T08:35:18+00:00 July 1st, 2017|adoption, parenting|

We're just back from a week at family camp. It was our eighth year, and there's much to love. For one, the corny entertainments. There are singalongs and sketches and silliness that benefit from being performed in such an improbable spot, tucked into the trees in the Sierra Mountain wilderness. There's barely electricity, but these [...]

Not Just a Sick Day

2017-05-18T14:43:57+00:00 March 11th, 2017|adoption|

No matter how routine life gets, adoption has some special spikes in the road that are as predictable as they are surprising. I doubt I'll ever be fully ready, but I'm getting better at it. All was calm, almost peaceful aside from the hectic pace of school, work, life. Kindergarten and 4th Grade rumbling along in [...]

Not Ready For This

2017-05-18T14:43:59+00:00 January 14th, 2017|adoption|

The horror movies that scared me most when young (back when I watched such things) were not the "jump out" gotcha movies, but rather the ones where there's a slow-dawning realization that you've missed something important. Invasion of the Body Snatchers is the classic. By the time you realize your girlfriend was replaced by a vicious [...]

The Second-Worst Day

2017-05-18T14:44:11+00:00 October 24th, 2016|adoption|

Shayla is attuned to everything going on around her. Precisely aware, for instance, of what her brother is getting away with, and whether it's fair. But she doesn't like to dwell on the past, whether 5 minutes or 5 years ago. Her therapist has long tried to get her to talk more about "before" our family, but [...]

Puppy Medicine

2017-05-18T14:44:15+00:00 September 19th, 2016|adoption, daily life|

It wasn't long after we started trying marijuana that we realized we wanted another dog. Even though the pot was being ingested by our elderly dog Finnegan, I'm sure more than one person hearing this news will think we're high on drugs ourselves, but no. (For the record, the canine cannabis is non psycho-active. You can read more here.) We'd [...]

Summer Storms and Switching Places

2016-08-06T21:56:29+00:00 August 6th, 2016|adoption, parenting|

I should know not to tempt fate. Maybe a year ago I started feeling cocky, like we'd gotten this parenting thing down. Nobody knows what they're doing, of course, but I felt we're going to survive it—the adults, the kids, our marriage. I felt that everyone will emerge, more or less, unscathed. And of course we [...]

Four Years

2016-03-27T20:51:55+00:00 March 27th, 2016|adoption|

We just saw Laurie Anderson's lovely documentary Heart of a Dog, about losing her mother and her Rat Terrier Lola Bell, and obliquely about losing Lou Reed. It's really about memory and loss and the strange business of being alive. Anderson tells this amazing story about a long hospital stay when she was a kid, and while [...]

She Doesn’t Like Surprises

2017-05-18T14:44:25+00:00 February 29th, 2016|adoption|

You can know someone for a long time and still not get it. Last week I picked Shayla up from school, headed to an appointment. I'm sure we'd talked about it, the time, the plan, everything. But from the dark cloud on her face I could tell she was not expecting me. "Poppa is supposed to [...]

Animal Story

2017-05-18T14:44:50+00:00 October 22nd, 2015|adoption, daily life, parenting|

In my (priviledged) experience, you have to look pretty hard in Berkeley to find somebody who'll object to gays, or two guys raising children, polytheistic and vegetarian. (We're actually omnivores, that last bit just an example). I don't think my expressive dance therapy, Ojai psychic, or Reiki training could manage a rolled eye for at [...]