• kids-easter

Four Years

March 27th, 2016|

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’s […]

  • IMAG0317

She Doesn’t Like Surprises

February 29th, 2016|

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 pick me […]

  • IMG_0390 Mr Bubbles Jr

Animal Story

October 22nd, 2015|

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 […]

  • IMAG0410

Spring, Break

April 9th, 2015|

Jaden and I were driving back from getting his kindergarten immunization records. He’s off. It’s our second Spring Break for 2015, a bit more pragmatic. We’re getting errands done.

When it’s just us in the car, he gets to roll down his window; we drive on the freeway, in mild rain, all sorts of times when […]

  • IMG_20140302_111402_656

Happy Mother’s Day

May 11th, 2014|

Did you ever set out with clear sights and end up doing exactly the wrong thing?

I’ve swerved with my 6-year-old, between working to help her face the tragedy of her mom, who not only can’t take care of her, but can’t even manage a visit or card, and letting her forget about it and just be a […]

  • the-nap

The Art of Not Doing

December 23rd, 2013|

It’s only the first day of the kids two week vacation, and maybe it’s time to admit I’m not as skilled as I’d like to be at relaxing.

In my defense, the run-up to Christmas has been quite a sprint: kids’ class parties and shows, present shopping, near-misses with Disney Boxes arriving by UPS, fistfuls of […]

  • Jaden-David kenny pool-1 10-2013

Confused and Not Sure

October 21st, 2013|

Is there anything weirder than everything going right? It’s disorienting. I’m a little bit lost.

Sure, I’ve got to wrestle health insurance for the kids. Adoption means they transfer departments, get new names, are “uninsured” as their old selves and put into a new program. It’s kind of a hassle.

Also we’ve got to sort out the […]

  • wedding-lanterns

More and More Married

September 26th, 2013|

I’ve been shocked by how changed I feel. I’m living with the same guy and kids, in the same place, same work, same dog, same cat. But a wedding, two adoptions, and a bridezilla reception has really changed how I feel in my life.

The power of ceremonies and traditions shouldn’t surprise me; there’s a reason […]

  • 2012-07-04_13-27-09_842

“I Need to Be Connected to You”

August 19th, 2013|

It’s incredible how clueless, and then how wise, our kids are.

Knowing our daughter for 16 months, some things are so transparent. After a disruptive event, like the social worker who removed her from her mom visits, or something happens very differently than expected, it’s easy to predict there will be a meltdown, and sometimes she’ll […]

  • Copy of IMG00005-20100419-1843

On the Dotted Line

August 13th, 2013|

I knew our social workers were coming this morning. We were even dressed when they arrived, which isn’t always the case. I knew they were bringing paperwork, but I hadn’t really thought about it. The 6-year-old needed her lunch for camp made. I was trying to get the 3-year-old to use his proud new kid […]

  • IMG_20130611_195305_340

Love, Marriage, Kids

June 28th, 2013|

I’ve been dumbstruck by the supreme court ruling that ended up legalizing gay marriage in California. I knew it was coming. I expected jubilation, but have had a more complicated response.

This is also the week we met with our adoption social worker. Similarly, it felt sudden, after more than a year of frustrating delays. This […]

  • blur-1

Mother’s Day Blues

May 9th, 2013|

For twenty plus years, Mother’s Day has been bittersweet for me. It’s lovely to remember Mom, but because she’s gone it’s also a lonely holiday. I help celebrate my wonderful step-mom and friends who are moms. But my mom I celebrate privately, internally.

Of course now I see this is small potatoes compared to what my […]

  • IMG_20130430_180801_766

The Great Leap Forward

April 30th, 2013|

Huge news, the hearing was today, and the judge terminated the mother’s parental rights and set adoption into our family as the “permanent plan” for the kids. Now the adoption phase begins. This means a new social worker and I’m not sure what else, but it sounds like mostly dotting the I’s and getting everything […]

  • IMG_20130317_191058_044

Some Positive Points for Us

April 15th, 2013|

We just switched our daughter from a “star/sticker” system to a “points/rewards” plan, and the difference is dramatic, in her and in me. I’ve decided it’s time to award myself some points! But first I should explain.

A sticker on the calendar for a successful day was a zero-sum game; while the intent was to reinforce […]

  • santa-cruz-1

The Deliciousness of Normal

April 5th, 2013|

I’m not surprised, but proud as can be to report that the kids’ developmental assessments, required as part of the foster care adoption process, showed them to be completely age appropriate in their motor, social, and academic skills.

Not surprised, because these kids’ resilience and ability to thrive has thrilled me since I met them. Despite a […]