Monthly Archives: November 2012

thanksgiving. And adoption means, big, and bigger family

My daughter turned 11 1/2 Tuesday.  She decided that this half birthday was something and we had a cake and some small presents.  This, I love about her– her ability to celebrate.  All kinds of things.  The joy she brings to any celebration.  As we got ready to travel which we did on Thursday, I realized that the main thing, above all things, that Thanksgiving is/ does for me is that I give thanks, big thanks, for the family– by blood, by law, and by choice, that I have.  And this year, I look ahead because this family is about to get bigger.

When my daughter came into our lives our family got bigger.  By one very small person (at the time) and by many.  There was and still is her birth family, most of them unknown to us.  My girl is Chicana, Mexican heritage by birth, and so all Chicanos and Mexicans became family too– some of whom are up-close-and-in- person-at-our-dinner-table people and also a much larger group in our minds and hearts.

Just before my daughter’s 8th birthday, we learned that my daughter has two younger siblings both of whom were placed for adoption with two different families.  We have had contact and the vast pleasure and the interesting challenges (mostly logistical) of my daughter’s younger brother (a totally wonderful, beautiful boy) and his two moms–  for 3 1/2 years now.

There is also a younger sister whose family did not want contact with us at the time we all learned about one another.  But in the past two weeks her mother, the mother of my daughter’s youngest sister– emailed me and we have been having a good, good email exchange.  So I believe that sometime this coming month, my family, my daughter’s family–  is about to grow again, with the addition of one more Jewish mom (like me) and one more Jewish/Latina girl– my daughter’s youngest sibling.

I often greet change with sadness and trepidation, but I am open this time and I am so, so grateful for my daughter and her open hearted enthusiasm about many things in life, and particularly, right now, her sister and brother.

Breaking my silence, Audre Lorde

For the first time I can remember, or the first time in a long time– I have had time to write and have opened the page to write on this blog many times, but I have been overwhelmed with too much to say.    The elections.  The 19 women in the US Senate for the first time ever.  11 years old continues with great, soaring victories and difficult things.  The mama has had some adjusting to 11 years old– I am happy and also at loose ends and there are many important stories to tell, but not yet told.  Some very important things have been happening in our family and I am thinking a lot about my gray and graying hair.  (Those things are unrelated in content and actually in magnitude but are very much on my mind.)  An inordinate number of people I love have been battling cancer in the past months and one, a wonderful best friend from law school died recently, before a letter I wrote could reach him.  My heart was broken for myself and him and his family.  There has been too much to say and what I have to write has been murky and not revealed itself.  Or is it too little to say?  In any case, until just now, silence.

I have been asked to read some poems to our Girl Scout troop that will be visiting a gallery to see photos of the poets Adrienne Rich and Audre Lorde– tomorrow.  I have, in the wake of these elections, been thinking a lot about girls and feminism, about a revolutionary, feminist spirit that I was once a part of and want to see rejuvenated.  Tonight, I found the perfect words for tomorrow’s reading  and for my tired brain and for a woman (me) thinking so much about the vast racism that was part of this election and about the importance of feminism, and the importance of an end to male domination of our world.  These are the perfect words for a woman thinking about the strides in the direction of women taking our rightful place– everywhere.  These are the perfect words for a woman thinking about racism.  I found a poem for tomorrow by Audre Lorde.   I dare to say that whoever you are, these are the perfect words, for you.

Now–by Audre Lorde

Woman power


Black power


Human power


always feeling

my heart beats

as my eyes open

as my hands move

as my mouth speaks

I am

are you


Right now. Three words, for three.

We did it.  Obama.  Tammy Baldwin.  Elizabeth Warren.

Took me two tries to vote today.  Many calls to my Wisconsin loves.  Chicago, my hometown on the tv.  Texting with a colleague, another beloved best friend, and another usually asleep by late– just recuperating from surgery, and my dedicated sister– all from midnight til 1:00 a.m.  We did it.  Yeah.