Monthly Archives: July 2007

NPR series on adoption

Here’s a link to the adoption series aired last week during NPR’s morning show called “Adoption in America.” Each day covered a different topic — transracial, international and birthparent-adoptee reunion. Although I didn’t catch them all, I was able to learn more there — there are articles as well as the audio program. In case you missed it (or are too busy that early in the morning getting you and your two-year-old ready for work and daycare, ahem, ahem), then ride the link and tune in on your own time.


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Filed under Adoption, Adoption Websites, Birth parents, Discussing Adoption, Open Adoption

Favorite things


I was thinking recently about how, despite a comfortable home and all its stuff, there are just a few things inside it that actually have a deep, sentimental, in-the-gut connection for me. Things not necessarily of great financial value, but of utmost import personally and emotionally. Some bring me great happiness; others are bittersweet. Thought I’d share some of them now and then. Here are two.

Topping the list is Maeve’s adoption box, which includes hospital records, her birth certificate and anything written to her by her first mother B. In that same vein, photos of Maeve with B., and all of us together; and the stuffed animal B. gave her four days after her birth, when everyone gathered the first time.

My Pandora bracelet. A gift to me from Thomas and Maeve on my first Mother’s Day. When I received it, there were three charms: one to symbolize our dating years, one our marriage (a three-tiered wedding cake), and one the arrival of Maeve into our lives (an old-fashioned baby carriage).

Since then, a few more have been added as birthdays and anniversaries are celebrated, even any old day made special. A dangling pearl marks my birthday, the garnet my all-time favorite stone. The black Murano glass bead and small daisy-like flower is especially beautiful to me. The charms move loosely along the bracelet, jingling when I move my arm.

Since a day hardly goes by that I’m not wearing my bracelet, Maeve is accustomed to seeing it on my wrist. The best part is that as she grows and learns, she discovers a new piece, running her little fingers along its path. Cake! she exclaims, delighted with herself. As she befriends a charm, I share its story, re-living its history — more for my own sake, I imagine.

I look forward to filling and crafting a most unique and personal piece over the years, until one day the completed bracelet is a representation of me, the paths I’ve traveled, the people I’ve loved, the experiences we’ve shared. Something that hopefully will be treasured in some way by those here long after me.


Filed under Adoption, Beauty, Birth parents, Birthdays, Children, Family, For fun, Gifts, Husbands, Life changes, Love, Maeve, Open Adoption, Relationships, Treasures

Gathering for adoption ethics

This fall, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and Ethica will bring together researchers, practitioners, authors and adoption and foster care activists for a conference outside Washington, D.C., on adoption ethics and accountability.

The two-day program in October, “Doing it Right Makes a Lifetime of Difference,” includes near 50 speakers and panel discussions and workshops on myriad issues, including accountability to birthfamilies,  children and adult adoptees; ethical relinquishments; ensuring ongoing relationships; transracial adoption; records searches; industry regulation; best practices; discrimination; supporting adopted children and more.

Check out the complete conference, hotel and program reservation details here.

This is the second ethics conference hosted by the Institute. Although it’s in Arlington, Va., about four hours from me, I’m very intrigued. Anyone been before? Anyone interested in or planning to attend?


Filed under Adoption, Adoption Ethics, Adoption Websites, Birth parents, Discussing Adoption, Legislation, Making a difference, Open Adoption, Parental surrenders, Parenting, Still learning

Birthday awe


Two years ago today you came into the world.

The next morning I learned of you through the most memorable phone call of my life.

Twenty-four hours later I touched you for the first time, and held you in my arms, your little newborn body, long toes and round rosy lips making an impression on my soul so large and deep I was sure I couldn’t love you any more than I did right then.

I was wrong. So, so wrong.

Now, when I can grab you long enough as you run by from one adventure to another, I rock your long body in my arms. But your legs hang over, heels hitting my thighs. Your arm reaches around my shoulders, fingers tickling my neck. Your head, full of soft brown ringlets, rests in the crook of my arm. Your toothy smile just bearing with sentimental me.

I sing “Rock a Bye Baby” but now, rather than being soothed, you giggle and shake your head, denying “baby” status. Sometimes you even request another song altogether, at which time I know my moment of cradling has passed. You jump from my arms to dance as I sing out of tune, in awe of you the entire time.

Happy birthday, Maevey Gravy.


Filed under Adoption, Birthdays, Curls, Family, Growing up, Love, Maeve, Open Adoption, Parenting

These days of adoration will end

Act I, Scene I

Characters: Mamagigi. Her daughter Maeve, who is on the cusp of turning two. Maeve recently moved up to a new classroom at her daycare, where potty-training mode is in full gear for some of the children.

Scene: Mamagigi household, second floor. Sounds heard from outside the bathroom: Flush. Faucet turns. Water runs. Faucet turns again.


Mamagigi exits bathroom, unaware her daughter has taken an interest in her whereabouts and watchyadoins.

Maeve, who had been playing in her bedroom across the hall, runs toward Mamagigi, claps furiously, face beaming and with as much excitement as her little body can muster, exclaims:

“Yaaay, mommy!! Pah-tee!! Yaaay!! Good girl!!”

(I’m thinking that as the years pass, it’s going to get a lot harder to make such a good impression.)

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Filed under Adoption, Children, Maeve, mamagigi, Parenting

Afternoon in the garden

Life just doesn’t get much better.






Filed under Adoption, Maeve

Good morning! Where are your pants?

I’ve written recently about Maeve’s newfound interest and pride in being able to take off her diaper and try to redress herself. This has led to bare cheeks and wet sheets. Our fix thus far has been putting her diaper on backwards at night. Although she’s still been able to crack the code and shed the diaper, it’s happened much less often.

Well, she recently greeted me with a new one. Diaper on, thank goodness, but pajama shorts … well, rearranged.

After retrieving my camera and re-entering her room, she declared, “Cheese!” (Is this kid used to a camera in her face or what?) I asked her where her pants were, and she looked at me thoughtfully then began looking around, and then outside, of her crib. She seriously didn’t recall what she’d done with them.

After containing my laughter, I pointed out the exact locale of her pants-on-the-lam. She looked down to her neck and chest, thought a moment, and giggled a most-contagious giggle. Ha! The girl in a diaper with pants on her neck cracks herself up. 



Filed under Adoption, Children, Diapers, Family, Growing up, Love, Maeve, Parenting