Dec 28, 2006


THE END of my cousins' week long visit to San Diego was today. We've been planning this trip since their last visit in June and never imagined it would be to meet a new cousin. There are 9 months between my cousin and I and we grew up 8 houses apart from each other. Her daughters are Cassidy 7 1/2 and Callie 2 1/2. They were enamored with their cousin beyond any words I could write. They loved reading to her, helping with her diapers, taking care of her, singing to her, talking to her, and just being with her. We tromped to the Zoo, the Wild Animal Park, the Natural History Museum, the mall, watched movies, baked cookies, and filled our week. We had a fantastic visit and we're sad to see them go. We can't wait to have them visit in June! It also meant that I didn't dwell on the end of my maternity leave.

THE END of my maternity leave comes with the beginning of the new year. I return to work on Tuesday, January 2nd. I have been off for 11 weeks with my daughter. 11 weeks of adjustment, 11 weeks of diapers and bottles, 11 weeks of watching a teeny bundle grow like a weed into an adorable child who smiles at my voice, laughs at the butterflies in her room, and loves to play with her rainforest gym where she has begun to grab the hanging toys.

I am ready to go back to work and have some structure to my days. I love being home with my daughter but long for some more adult interaction and time pressure to complete things. I know I will miss being with her. I know that she'll be well cared for; Daddy is going to be home M & F and Grandma gets to play on T & Th and Savta gets Weds. They are going to have so much fun! My hope is that I will miss her so much that coming home will be incredibly delightful and our lifestyle will slow down as I will want to just be at home with her after working.

THE END of the 2006 year. It is so hard to believe that an entire calendar year has passed. A year ago we were beginning the adoption process with the County of San Diego, settling into our first home we'd owned for just over 2 months, celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary, and contemplating what path our lives might take during the year.

We never would have imagined the journey we traveled in 2006.

Being connected to the bone marrow receipient who survived the required year before making contact has been amazing. It has been a delight to be in contact with Phyllis and Joel and create a wonderful relationship that extends to their children. We look forward to meeting with them in person soon.

Our daughter's arrival on 10-08-06 has certainly been a much anticipated event but one we were not prepared for at that moment. It has been made the end of 2006 quite the year as we have celebrated at many occassions the miracle of our daughter and welcomed her into our community of family and friends.

Wishing you all a wonderful, exciting, and delightful year for 2007.

Dec 15, 2006

Paying It Forward

There has been a deep desire within me to thank the amazing Doctor who helped her patient find a family to adopt her baby because we were that family and our lives have changed forever. But saying thank you is not enough and money is not appropriate and what do you get as a gift for a doctor without being too personal? So we've hemmed and hawed and done a whole lot of nothing but think about what we want to say and do.

We got the opportunity to Pay it Forward on Tuesday, 12-12-06.

Back in August I got back in touch with a friend who lives in Mississippi with her 5 children. She and the 3 oldest were in our wedding almost 4 years ago. Then the distance and time and life got in our way of being as close as we once were. When we spoke on the phone, she learned of our inability to get pregnant and interest in adopting. The following week she called and told us that her sister's friend was about 5 months pregnant and wanted help finding the baby a home and were we interested.

That baby was not meant to be in our home and our daughter arrived 10-08-06 through the a series of destined events, a super doctor and a very brave woman. After she came home and we had time with her, we realized that we could not take another baby so close in age into our home. There was just no way that we were going to be able to give of ourselves to 2 babies 2 months apart and we felt it would not be fair to anyone; especially the babies.

We let our friend know that we weren't going to be able to take this baby but that we did have at least one if not two other families interested in adopting the baby. This, of course, did not go over well with the birth mom and she was not interested in hearing about the other families. Two weeks later, on 12-12-06 at 4:42 AM, my friend called to tell me that a beautiful, baby girl was born and were my friends still interested.

These friends were people through another close friend who got in touch with me after hearing our story. I had never spoken to them until that morning when I called to tell them that a baby girl had been born and they were parents if they were still interested. After a few shocked comments from them and advice from me, they were well on their way down the parent path.

Today I got an email with beautiful photos of their daughter, Emily Lynne and it made me cry. Today they supposed to leave on a 7 day trip to Hawaii that had been a surprise gift from her husband... instead they cancelled their trip and went to Mississippi to get their daughter.

I now know how to thank the Doctor. I paid it forward and changed the lives of these people and their families; just like she did for me and mine. Emily Lynne is one lucky girl. Her birth mom is one brave woman. This man and woman are now parents and will be home by Christmas with their baby girl.

wow. what an amazing feeling. I can't wait to meet them.

Dec 9, 2006

Simchat Bat ~ Naming our Daughter

In Judaism the Torah states that a baby boy will be circumcised on the 8th day of life. There is no specific timeline or requirement for a baby girl.

Yiftach and I had previously discussed how we wanted to handle this ritual for our children and had decided that we wanted our childrent to enter this covenant on equal ground no matter what their gender; so we had always planned to hold a Brit Milah for a boy and a Simchat Bat for a girl on the 8th day of his/her life. But as we have discovered, life does not always cooperate!

Our beautiful daughter was born on a Sunday and her Simcaht Bat would have taken place the following Sunday in ordinary circumstances. But her arrival and subsequent need to be in the hospital for 10 days of antibiotics was anything but ordinary. So plan B for her naming went into effect.

Using a Sephardic tradition we were honored with an aliyah the Shabbat morning following Hadarya's birth. Usualy this is just the father, as the mother is with the baby often still in the hospital. We were called to the torah, prayers were said, and our daughter was given her name to the community present. Very dear, wonderful friends sponsored a lunch at the shul following the service. This allowed us to share her name, add her to the community healing list, and ineveitably gave the Grandparents more time to plan a bigger party with her in attendance.

Hadarya Tali's Simchat Bat was held November 24, 2006, the Friday after Thanksgiving. It was held at the synagogue downtown that is now a historical building and where I sit on the Board of Directors. It also is the same building in which her namesake, Grandma Helen, worked for many years as the religious school secretary. A special place with special memories for a special event in our lives.

The ceremony was held in the sanctuary where we incorporated many aspects from our wedding ceremony and a host of new things found from lots of different sources. Our daughter was carried into the sanctuary by her Auntie Kimber (my ) and then handed through a group of friends and family who represented a strong line of leadership, caring, kindness, love, compassion, and friendship. She went from Marcia to Kara to Elissa to Kim to Jennifer to Tamar to Jeanne to Karen to Auntie Shlomit to Nana to Savta to Grandma to me.

We used a chuppah that was held by Grandpa, Saba, Uncle Dave, and friend Igor. The "roof" was a tallit that Yiftach and I made before our wedding from a favorite blanket. At our wedding this chuppah represented the home we would make together and now represented our home that we would bring our daughter into. We lit 2 candles that had been part of our adoption preparation classes through the county and added a 3rd candle for our daughter that was lit from those two lights.

We wrapped our daughter in my tallit that has the 4 matriarchs names in the corners--Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah and then we shared our hopes, dreams, and explained her name to the almost 100 people sharing our ceremony. Hadarya Tali was named for my maternal Grandma Helen. We hope she will exhibit Grandma's sense of compassion and humanity as well as her involvement in the Jewish Community. We also blessed her with Sheva Brachot (7 Blessings) as was done for us at our wedding. We were honored that our families all shared a blessing of love, hope, traditions, and thoughts for her.

We blessed our daughter with the priestly blessing:
"May the Lord bless and keep you. "
"May the Lord cause her spirit to shine upon you and be gracious unto you."
"May the Lord turn her spirit unto you and grant you peace."

The Grandparents provided a delicious lunch with adorable decorations and centerpieces. Our daughter slept through the whole affair and we got to spend time with amazing friends and family.

It was a day that is burned into our memories as we welcomed our daugter publicly into our community and shared our love for her with our friends and family. It was a day that separated our lives from before we were paernts into now we are parents as we took our place among the crowd as a couple with a child. A place we've longed to be for quite some time.

Dec 5, 2006

The Best Gift Ever

We have been blessed with amazing friends and family who have been an endless support of help over the last 8 weeks. Yep... our daughter is 8 weeks old and we are actually beginning to breathe a little better. Life has changed dramatically, the shock is wearing off, and we are begining to adjust our lives and learning to enjoy every moment.

On the Friday after Thanksgiving we named our daughter in a Simcha Bat ceremony at our synagogue (separate post to follow about this). We were overjoyed to share it with almost 100 people especially since it was on a holiday weekend. But, we knew that many of our friends and relatives would not be able to make it.

My dear sweet cousin Janis from Phoenix was one of those relatives who did not make and who I actually encouraged not to come so that she could come another weekend and we'd have lots of quality time together. Well that weekend just passed and it was the best gift ever!

Janis spoiled my daughter with presents and toys (the most amazing bouncy seat ever... Baby Einstein that lasts through toddlerhood!) and just her mere presence in her life. But the BEST GIFT EVER she gave was to her daddy and me! Janis offered to take over the feeding, diapering, and cuddling of our daughter while she was here. She wanted as much time with her as possible. We had no problem with that (one of the benefits of bottle feeding!) and we were happy to share our beauty.

I never realized that her offer extended into the entire night. She asked if Hadarya could sleep in her room and if she could get up in the middle of the night to feed her! We actually have two places for her to sleep and one was in Janis' room, so it was so easy. Although the late night cuddling because it was cold in our house meant that the bassinet wasn't really necessary. We got two nights of uninterrupted sleep and a couple of days of fantastic company. It was the best gift ever... the gift of time of someone and the catch up on sleep. I am not sure who is more excited about the next visit she makes... us for the extra sleep or our daughter for the extra pair of hands to hold and cuddle her all the time.

Nov 29, 2006

Somedays It's Just EASIER

What makes one day easier than the one before?

So last night my daughter fussed and fidgeted and fought off an evening nap from 6:30 - 9:30 PM. The hours her Daddy was teaching his Hebrew High class and she was stuck with Mommy after being with her ALL DAY long.

We had a busy day of Target, Costco, the bank, and the post office before a baby shower at SDSU (Daddy's work). Then we went with Grandma and Grandpa to the Dinner Studio to make some yummy food for the freezer when it's too hard to cook. When we got home we had dinner and then Daddy left. Maybe that's what made her mad? Maybe being in the car seat for a bit too long? Maybe because Daddy left? Whatever it was... it was a long evening.

We tried the sling...worked for 15 mins until the sleeping beauty was put down in the sling to let mommy do some things. We tried the swing...both ways. 15 minutes tops. Back to the sling until mommy's back was aching. We tried the bouncey... 5 minutes. We tried the beloved Rainforest gym.... 2 minutes. We tried bouncing in Mommy's arms... we tried laying down on the bed. We even tried a bottle. NOTHING WORKED people!

Daddy came home and all was better because HE got to figure out how to soothe the baby while Mommy picked up the house, did the laundry, cleaned the kitchen. It's not like I had a show to watch on TV or a book to curl up with! She slept fairly well; waking up at 2 AM and 4:45 AM. The 4:45 AM was a cry for hugs not food and she got her wish by snuggling with Mommy until she woke up at 7:10 AM. Now, if we could get her to do that in her own bed!

Then there was this AM. . . my happy, smiling, delightful daughter awoke well rested at 7:10 AM and played until 8 AM. She had breakfast and got dressed and played some more until we left for our first play group at 10 AM. We were out all day long today too and Savta babysat at 3:45 PM so we could go to acupuncuture. She was the same sort of fussy for Savta but no where near what she was like last night. We just fed her a late night snack and she went to bed, awake and with no crying.

I just wish I could figure out how what makes today easier and duplicate it every day!

Nov 14, 2006

Turning the Corner

Hadarya is now 5 1/2 weeks old and I feel like a mom for real. Sometime in the last week, I've turned that corner and no longer feel like I am just babysitting.
It might be that I walked in the 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk over the weekend and Daddy took care of her during the day while I was moving through the streets of the city. I actually began to feel sad for her by the end of day 2 and wanted nothing more than to hold her and sit with her snug to me.
It might be that she has begun to focus and track and therefore is more interactive.
It might be that she has begun eating a ton more and my family noticed that she needed to be fed more before I did and I felt like a terrible mom that I wasn't feeding her enough! Those guilt feelings that her crying in the evening is linked to hunger (even though she does 4 oz every 4 hours) made me feel so much more responsible for her well being.
It might be that I've been getting out more with friends with kids and that makes me feel more like a mom.
It might be that she has calmed down when in my arms after not seeing much of me for a few days.
It might be that she is so frickin adorable I can't begin to describe it to anyone and that photos do not do her justice.

Whatever it is that makes me feel gooey inside when I look at her, smiley when I see her face, giddy when she stretches, and sad when she is gone from me for too long.... I like it.

It means that I am now M O M .

Nov 8, 2006

Day 31

Today this baby in my house is 32 days old and it's the 31st day since her birth mom signed the papers. That means that the baby in my house is for reals my daughter now and not going anywhere. That means that I just have to wait for the courts to catch up to their paperwork to make it official and give us the final legal documents to make it a done deal. That means that since it's Day 31 the birth mom can't change her mind without a major battle. That means that I am breathing a little easier today.

So I don't feel totally different from yesterday although there is a lightness in my heart that wasn't there before today. I am getting to know my beautiful daughter and her many wants and needs. There are many so far... and the list will continue to grow!

Hadarya is an amazingly happy, calm baby girl. She eats about every 4 hours and is rarely fussy. Her best awake time is right now in the AM after a 7 AM bottle. She is hanging out in her swing borrowed from her playmate Maital. : ) THANK YOU MAITAL!

She has begun to focus on things and track movement with her eyes. It's so fun to watch her move her head around and look at the fish above. She is not so keen on having her diaper changed if she is very very hungry or still sleepy. Other times she just doesn't seem to let it bother her.

She loves being held and cuddled by all the wonderful friends, Aunts, Grandmas, and Grandpas who like to come visit. She also didn't mind being passed around from teacher to teacher at my work shower!

She has begun to find her voice and we love laying in our bed and listen to her stretch and groan and grunt and make all kinds of noises. This is usually around 6 AM and then she cries. She cries because she has learned (already!) that her Mommy and Daddy are not morning people and they like to get in as much sleep time as possible. So if she cries at 6 and her bottle isn't until at least 6:30 or 7 AM, she gets to get in bed with us and snuggle under our warm blankets, between our warm bodies, free of the cushion props holding her on her back in her own crib!

Yep... you can see that I am enamored with this adorable cutie pie who resides in my house. We go for her 1 month check up tomorrow and we'll see how much she's grown. For now, it's time to go grab her and hug her close because it's Day 31 and she's mine.

Nov 2, 2006

Waiting for it to feel different

Today is my birthday. I almost forgot. In the whirlwind of our lives in the last 3 1/2 weeks, my birthday (which I usually LOVE to celebrate) got lost in the back of my mind with more pressing issues at the front.

Like... how do I know how much to put in my daughter's bottle? do I let her cry a little or rock her until she is sound asleep and then put her in the bassinet? what if she doesn't burp her loud burps every time she eats? should she wear a cap every night to bed or will she be warm enough without it? should I worry that she slept 5 1/2 hours at a stretch and didn't eat inbetween? when will I feel different then I did a month ago?

See that's the thing I am waiting for the most. Will it happen when her room is all ready and I have no more running around errands to do? Will it happen if I just say no to everything and hang out for a few days in the house with her? ( I think I'd go a little stir crazy at that). Will it happen when the 30 days are over? How do I combat almost 3 years of struggles, pain, frustration, setbacks, and loss of time in less than a month? How do I make up for 9 months of gestation to plan, anticipate, complain, and get excited?

I sit here on my birthday that I almost forgot having had a deliciously wonderful day filled with lots of phone calls, cards, lunch with my mom and daughter, a dinner date with my husband, warm wishes from all my in-laws, a delightful conversation with my sister, and being sung to by my 2 1/2 year old nephew.

My gorgeous daughter is asleep in our room. I am experiencing a good tired from a busy day and although I was full of instructions for the babysitters (aka Grandma and Grandpa) I still am waiting for the moment in which I no longer feel like I am borrowing someone else's child and I begin to internalize the beauty of this miraculous event and all that happened in this time, then realize that my life as I knew it is gone. "Today is where my book begins and the rest is unwritten." (Unwritten. Natasha Bedingfield).

Oct 27, 2006

My First Outing as a MOM

So yesterday, Thursday, October 26th, was my first day not going into work. While I am not totally feeling like a M-O-M yet, we did plan a day with Grandma, stroller, diaper bag, and baby. We went to Nordies shopping! Hadarya slept the entire time and was not so impressed with anything but their cafe at lunch time, where she happily chowed 3 oz and basked in the constant attention of people passing our table... or wait was that Mommy who basked in the comments??

It was a very interesting day for me as people constantly commented on my daughter and stopped to peek in the stroller (that took a little while to figure out how to work!). I know she's beautiful, that is now a more biased opinion than last week, and I dressed her in a cute pink outfit, but it just boggled my mind at the amount of people who stopped, stared, commented, engaged me in conversation about her, AND marveled at how amazing it was that I was out and about after 2 1/2 weeks of her birth. NO, I did not bother to correct their mindset and tell them that while she was 18 days old, I had NOT given birth to her, hence the ability to be in a store so soon after her arrival. I just smiled a big smile and said Thank You.

The doors were often held open for us going into stores (amazing, isn't it Sam?) and I know that I will get used to the questions, the comments, and probably advice along the way from strangers. Right now, it's still all new to me and I often forget that I know the answers to their questions about her weight, birth, how much she eats, etc. I am not just holding my friends child and therefore have to turn to her to find out the answers. I am Mommy and I know all about my daughter, Hadarya.

Oct 25, 2006

Surviving My First Week as a MOM

One week ago today about this time my beautiful daughter left the hospital and arrived into our home. For all the experience I have with children and my high comfort level of being with infants, nothing prepared me for the feelings that transpired the first night with my own baby in my own house.

The first night was scary, sleepless, frightening, nerve wracking, and full of new sounds and noises. We got very little sleep as we realized that there was a real live baby sleeping in a bassinet at the end of our bed. We wondered what all the sounds were and would we hear her cry? We didn't know exactly what her cries would sound like nor what they might mean since we'd fed her on a schedule at the hospital and didn't really hear the crying needs of our daughter.

We SURVIVED the first night and each day/night has gotten easier. We have begun to create a pattern for our nights and take turns getting up when our daughter needs us; which is only twice if we go to bed around 10:30. But I still find it hard to get things is changing rapidly and I have to figure out how to let certain things go and work to accomplish other things. Tomorrow is my first day not working since our daughter came home and I am looking forward to figuring out our day and seeing what happens.

Oct 18, 2006

Getting Ready for our Daughter to Come Home

At 11 PM last night we spent some time trying to figure out the car seat. Not how to put it in the car (that comes this morning) but how to put the canopy together. It was a funny scene in our household since I locked the two pieces together BEFORE putting them throught the little space because I wanted to see how they worked. Well they work well, becuase we spent several minutes prodding, pushing, pulling, and many other things to get them apart to put them in the right place to work. All this so she can have a shade canopy! The laughter over the silly mechanism and our inability to figure it out relieved the tension over our life changing.

Today is the day I really become a parent. Today is the day I take full responsibility , 24 hours a day, for another human being. That is humbling and scary. I've wanted this day to come for so long yet these last 10 days have been very surreal that I am not so sure that they are happening for real.

I have spent the last 10 days in a blur and a state of extreme emotions. I think I had my last full night of sleep and I am sitting her quietly contemplating the turn of events. It is so hard to anticipate what is going to happen and how things will be.

Today is the 18th of October, a Wednesday. Eighteen is the number represented by the letters in Hebrew for the word that means life. It is an appropriate day to bring our daughter home.

10 days ago her birth mom did a courageous thing hat we were able to participate in... she gave this baby life. She physically gave birth and emotionally was able to give her a chance at life.

A life that we now get to mold, shape, be responsible for, hold, protect, and most of all, LOVE.

Oct 8, 2006

The Day Our LIfe Changed

Today was going to be an ordinary Sunday in our household. We slept late and had grand plans for things I can't really remember now. AND then the phone rang while I was in the shower totally soaked. Yiftach came rushing in and told me that Elise was on the phone and she had a baby for us. WHAT???? Pause.. rewind. Can you please repeat that?

We are blessed with a ton of friends who want us to be parents almost as badly as we want to be parents. They constantly share our story with people they know in hopes that they may know someone who wants to give a baby up for adoption. This has led us down several paths of anticiaption and excitement to have several things happening to for us. The latest is the call that came at 8:45 AM on 10/08/06. A doctor we know had a patient who came in to the hospital to give birth and wanted to give the baby up for adoption.

That baby was born at 11:17 AM weighing 6 lbs 10 oz and measuring 19 inches long. She came out looking beautiful with a head of dark hair and spent the next 1o days in the NICU. On Monday, 10.09 that baby's birth mom signed an independent adoption agreement to place her in our home and become our daughter. Our life has not been the same since.

Sep 27, 2006

Will it be Written this Year?

Every year we chant a prayer regarding how life will be lived this year... On Rosh Hashana we ask G-d to inscribe us in the Book of Life for the coming year. Who will live and who will die... who will be born and who will be stoned to death.. you get the point. Every year it's the same prayer and every year we ask for forgiveness for things we may have done to hurt others so that on Yom Kippur (10 days later) we will be sealed in the book of life as the sun sets.

So every year I have prayed and gone to services and even asked people to their face for forgivenss. I have done all the things I think G-d wants me to do and asks of me. My Rabbi said that all G-d wants is prayers from the heart. This I have accomplished because all I pray for is for life to be born within me so that I can have the chance to be a parent with those children. That is a prayer from my heart. When that prayer wasn't answered... I prayed for another path and another sign and was led down the adoption path. But I have to wonder... will it be written this year for us? Will it be written that a baby will be born or a child will be chosen to be in our lives?

At the time in the service when the prayer was chanted, Yiftach and I were sitting on the bimah and stood within 10 feet of the open ark with all the torahs dressed in white. I literally got goose bumps all over my arms when i chanted these lines. I don't know how much more my heart can take without breaking. I dont' know how much more time I want to wait to fill our house with many children.

Sep 18, 2006

Choosing a NAME or NAMES

It's a very weird place to be... thinking of a name for a child who you have no idea when he/she will enter your life. At least with pregnancy, things progress in ways that you can begin to imagine this little thing and what you might want to call him/her. With adoption, we have no idea when that time will be or how many we will get or what gender. So we took my mother-in-law's advice in June and began the discussion about names. Just to have some ideas so when our child/children arrive we don't have to be battling that one out! Thus began an almost 4 month old discussion and long lists and tiny tantrums and a lot of talking around making any type of decision.

The problems we are facing are that my dear wonderful husband has one name (well two including his last name). That's it. His first name is the same in English and Hebrew (because he's Israeli and it's a Hebrew name) and Israelis do not give their children middle names. I, on the other hand, have 6 names. An English first and middle name; two last names since I hyphenated when I got married, and Hebrew first and middle names.

We are working on the compromise of how to blend the simpicity of one name and the tradition of multiple names in order to remember those gone and honor my family name while still creating a unique but not extraordinary name/hardship for our child.

We have learned a lot on this journey. Living with the names is a good thing. Some that we loved are not so great anymore. Others that were so-so, have really grown on us. As we figure out who we want to remember, we also realize that we could end up with more than one child so we need boy and girl names for more than one person who has passed on. We have discovered that there are a lot of extremely unusual names and some very interesting ways to write "basic" names.

We always said that we probably won't get the phone call until we decide on names. That we have to have our thoughts together in order to take on this next challenge.

We had a wonderful weekend celebrating Shabbat in Orange County with friends for their auf ruf. Our entire car ride up, throughout the day, and on the way home was focused on names and I think we've actually agreed on some wonderful choices. Dare I say that? Dare I believe that we actually have a list with names we both really really like? For both genders? Remembering those gone and honoring my family name?

I do say that we have meaningful names that meet all our criteria and make us both smile. Now if the phone would just ring....

Sep 15, 2006

Just waiting for the phone to ring

The adoption process through the county is often a long, involved time period in which you and your spouse have to prove that your home is safe and so are you to have children. While we intellectually understand the need for a unified level for all people applying to foster/adopt children, it didn't change the emotional feelings we felt during this time. It didn't matter that we had a home (one we actually own) , were educated, each had longevity in our jobs and support from our families. In this part of the journey to become parents we had to be willing to open ourselves up to reveal medical, financial, and other needed information.

Not wanting to drag out the process over 8-10 months, which is the average time is takes to complete everything, we became our own advocates and pushed through. We attended the orientation meeting on December 7, 2005, almost 1 year to the date of our initial diagnosis. We filled out the application and left it with the social worker at the meeting. We knew we wanted to go forward and we didn't want to slow down the process any more than it already was going to be! We received a phone call while we were on vacation in Maui at the end of December that we had been assigned a social worker.

We met with Charlene the first week in January and she provided us with a thick packet of things to do. We got started right away and made this adoption process our number one priority. That meant that we spent the rest of January getting our medical forms completed (thanks Tamar!) and writing our autiobiographies. They ended up to be about 14 typed pages each in response to questions we were asked to think about. Things like what our childhood was like, a crisis we remember in our childhood, our relationship then and now with our parents and our siblings, our parenting philiosphy, who will care for the child etc. We had to be fingerprinted but it had to be done at their offices during specific times. We had to do two sets... one for foster care and one for adoption. We had to become CPR certified. There are no costs involved with the county but a lot of time and a lot of paperwork!

We also had to attend almost 39 hours of parenting classes. These are the basis for foster care with some of it being applicable to to adoption. Classes met twice a week for 3 hours over a 6 week period. We learned to take the things that applied to us and our situation and leave the rest at the door. The classes helped us realize that we really want to adopt children and not foster them at this time. It also helped us consider issues such as bonding and attachment and how it might be more difficult with a toddler than an infant.

The other part of this process was going to a foster care orientation, having a home visit by a foster care license worker, individual interviews with our social worker, and a home visit with our social worker. We have decided to pursue concurrent adoption which means that children whoose parents do meet the reunification plans will be moved into the adoption path. Concurrent planning is when the children are still in foster care and waiting for the hearing to terminate parental rights to make them adoptable. The goal is to have the children placed once instead of waiting 6 months in one foster care home and then moved into an adoptive home. Thus, the reason we needed a foster care license.

Our social worker visited our home on March 30, 2006. We discussed the type of child/children we would be willing to adopt. What ethnicity would we consider? What types of issues would we consider? Neglect? Failure to Thrive? Mental Illness in parents? Unknown parents? What drug effects would we be willing to deal with? Alcohol? No. Crystal Meth? Drug of choice in San Diego. Marijuana? Yes. Age of children? Under 2... the younger the better. Gender preference? No. Siblings? Yes. The list goes on and on and on. and then it was over and we began our wait.

We are in our sixth month of waiting since that interview. Probably the 5th month since we were actually put into the system with a written home study. Our social worker felt it would be around 6 months before we were "pulled from the drawer" as potential matches for children. So we are approaching that general time frame and literally just waiting for the phone to ring. It could come tomorrow. It could come next week. It could come next month. It could come next year. The only thing we do know is that that phone call will change our lives forever.

Sep 6, 2006

The Beginning

Welcome to our blog for our journey to becoming parents. was created to share our expereinces, our highs and lows, and finally the celebration of our yeladim (children) coming home.

Our journey to becoming parents began on our one year anniversary in January of 2004. Little did we know that there was no worry over not having enough married time before children arrived. Within 7 months of unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant... the one time in your life that caution goes out the window and you realize it was never really needed...we knew that something was not right. One month shy of our 2nd anniversary we were diagnosed with severe male infertility. Low sperm count, low motility, and low morphology.

After the shock wore off we got into action and began researching on the internet, scouring bookstores, and finding RESOLVE. We decided to try acupuncture, vitamins, and change in our eating habits (as much organic as possible) in order to see what we could do to alter those numbers. Within 3 months we saw dramatic changes and our hopes rose as the numbers did!

Yiftach (my heroic husband) was found to be a bone marrow match for an unrelated woman. He gave of himself unselfishly knowing that it could impact our ability to have our own biological child. Sure enough, his numbers dipped and dropped and we had to wait four seasons (an entire year) before he was totally healed and his numbers came back stronger and better than before. It was also at the one year anniversary of his donation that we found out that the recipient had survived and wanted to be in touch with us. Saving her life was worth every moment we had dealt with in our struggle to get his numbers better.

This took us 6 months past our 3 year anniversary and 5 months into the adoption process. We had decided that we would pursue adoption because we had always wanted to expand our family in that way. We just hadn't thought that this would be the process we would follow first.

Adopting through the county allowed us a way to move forward with creating our family and finding our yeladim without the financial strains attached to adoption. We finished all the classes and paperwork and homestudy March 30, 2006 and now are just waiting for a phone call.

It has taken us months to get to this point of blogging our story and feeling that it was worthy of being read. We appreciate the encouragement of friends, the support of Cookies and Fortune Cookies, and the love of our family as we have walked this scary, long, often tough, sometimes funny, path to becoming parents. We look forward to sharing the rest of the journey with you.