Dec 18, 2008

Yonatan Tzvi

Our beautiful child. Our miracle. Our son. Yonatan means Gift of G-d. His name was chosen for both its meaning and its initial letter. The Hebrew letter Yud, pronounced like Y in English, is translated in English as the letter J.

Yonatan is named for several family members whose names begin with either a J or a Y.

Yonatan was conceived just two days before my beloved Aunt Judy passed away. Aunt Judy was my second mom – the funny mom, the spoil-me mom, the listen-to-me-and-not-judge mom. She was the one who shared the personal heartache with me over our inability to get pregnant quickly and easily like so many of our peers. Although I was unable to tell her that we were pregnant, I know that she knew and that she passed away knowing that we had finally achieved our miracle. She was able to peacefully leave our world to watch over us from another place. It is in her memory that Yonatan receives part of his name and meaning. The Y comes from her name Judy and her Hebrew name Yehudit. Yehudit means “praised” and Aunt Judy was a woman who lived that meaning by always being interested in others despite her own pain and illnesses. She was the first one to offer words of comfort, wisdom, and love. Her praise of our individuality was a source of support that is greatly missed. Our hope is that Yonatan will carry on her love through caring for others more than himself like she did.

Our miracle would never have been possible without the love and support of our friends and family. Sharing our struggles and heartache and our joy with those closest to us helped us cope. We will never be able to adequately thank our cousins Janis and Jim for their generosity, love, and support. In honoring them, we wish for Yonatan to embrace their giving spirit and fill his life with acts of lovingkindness.

Jenn's maternal grandfather – Yonatan’s great grandfather – Irving (Yitzchak in Hebrew) was 12 years old when he arrived in this country. As an immigrant he worked very hard to build a successful butcher business and provide for his 3 children. Grandpa Irving was a kind and loving man who I was fortunate to have known. In his memory, we wish for Yonatan to inherit his sense of hard work and determination no matter what obstacles he might face.

My (Yiftach's) paternal grandfather – another of Yonatan’s great grandfathers – was Yaacov Levy, a prolific writer and influential educator who left his boyhood home in rural Ukraine and ended up contributing a great deal to Jewish and secular thought in Western Europe and Israel. While I never got the chance to know him, my dad’s figurative and literal journeys through his father’s life and work over the last several years have made me ever more confident of his place of honor in Yonatan’s heritage.

Several generations back on my (Yiftach's) maternal family tree is Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor, a renowned 19th century rabbi from Lithuania whose influence on Jewish life is still felt today in Israel and around the world. Over the last decade or so, as I’ve become more knowledgeable – and, of course, more curious – about Jewish traditions, texts, customs, and history, I’ve felt an increasing spiritual kinship with Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan that has enhanced my bloodline relationship with him, and I enthusiastically pass these gifts on to Yonatan.

Your Ima and Aba’s names begin with J and Y, thus completing the circle of life from your great-grandfathers, your great aunt and your cousins with J and Y names throughout our family. You are the next link in our lives binding our families together and strengthening the millennia-long chain of Jewish generations.

Your middle name – Tzvi – is another link in connecting your life with your big sister Hadarya’s. In anticipation of having a family, we decided to give all of our children middle names that began with a T to honor Jennifer’s maiden name TABAK. It was also a way to link all of our children together no matter how they came to be part of our family. Tzvi means a deer or gazelle. These animals are very graceful and gentle. We hope that your will embody that characteristic and be a gentle person.

Welcome to our family!

Dec 13, 2008

12/10/08 - Blog Address Becomes True

2 1/2 years ago we (mostly I) began this blog to create a space to share my joys of being a mom and the life with the children my husband and I planned to have.

On 09/06/06 I wrote the following: "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."

Little did I know that 3 weeks later our beautiful daughter would come into our lives and begin the process of making the title true... OUR CHILDREN. But alas, she was just one and so the address did not match our intentions at the time with just one child.

Now it is true, thanks to the support of amazing family and medical intervention. We welcomed our son into our family on 12.10.08 at 1:05 AM. NOW our blog address is true because there are CHILDREN in our house and G-d willing there will be more to come.

What a fabulous feeling and amazing life I have with my husband, daughter, and son. Life with our yeladim is grand; even just 3 days after his birth and very little sleep. Yep, life is grand as of now and no one could tell me anything differently.

Dec 6, 2008

38 weeks!

As of yesterday, I am officially 38 weeks pregnant and staying that way for a while longer. WOO HOO! The high blood pressure scare and swollen legs certainly scared my doctor and the rest of us, but not working does wonders! This baby is not ready to meet the world yet and while bed rest seems to be getting a little tiresome (mostly from getting sore from sitting!), whatever I have to do do make sure this little one is totally ready, I'll do.

We have finally found a routine and seem to be on a good pattern of adjustment to this lack of cooking, cleaning, laundry on my part! Hadarya seems to be doing much better than the first week or so and it's great to have so much help from family and friends.

We are looking forward to meeting to our miracle and beginning life as a family of four. BUT not for a couple more weeks...