From Paperwork to Person


My daughter was carried into a room at The Lottery Hotel in Nanning by the orphanage accountant.  In all honesty, I learned that later.  In that moment, I didn’t notice anyone was holding her at all–she could have floated into the room on a magic carpet for all I knew.  I couldn’t tear my eyes […]

Full Disclosure–Is it wishful thinking?

Disruptions happen.  I don’t know if they’re happening more than they used to or if I’m just hearing about them more, but it’s always heartbreaking.  And it’s always an emotional topic, often eliciting angry and judgmental comments directed at the adoptive parents—they hadn’t adequately prepared, they didn’t do their homework, they didn’t fully understand the […]

From Mother to Child


I look at our amazing little girl and try to imagine her birth mother.  I know that some, if not many, of Cholita’s traits must have come from her.  I feel certain that she’s a smart and charming woman, with a beautiful face and determined will.  She probably has great dexterity, a propensity toward impatience, […]

Names: Fitting In vs. Standing Out

Lately I’ve been obsessed with baby name books.  One book that I personally own is called, “Beyond Jennifer and Jason”.  I bought it years ago and when the book is set down, it naturally flops open to one well-consulted, dog-eared page.  At the top of the page are the words “Fitting In vs. Standing Out”, […]

Back to School–Here and in China


My littlest one, my almost five year-old Cholita, is ecstatic about a certain date circled in red on our calendar.  It’s not her birthday, it’s not Christmas, it’s the day she’ll head back to school.  She adores all things scholastic–sharpened pencils, little chairs, worksheets, story time, sharing time, recess, and don’t even get me started […]

My Baby Tells Her Story

It’s been less than six months since my daughter finished her year-long treatment with interferon.  The needles, the sharps container, the smell of the alcohol wipes, that whole experience has quickly become a distant memory.  At age four, it’s doubtful that my daughter will remember anything about it into adulthood.  That’s wonderful, but at the […]

The Best Stuff’s Never Planned


The family photo shoot was certainly planned. The outfits, the hairstyles, the location, the photographer, all planned. The head bonk, however, was not. And I love it. The day before we left for China, five year-old Rose flew by herself to Idaho to stay with her grandparents. I snapped this picture at the airport, blinking […]

Parties, Cell Phones, and Mercenaries: A Hep B Primer


Have you read many medical journals? Have you perused through any articles in the Journal of Gastroenterology? Let me tell you, I’m not completely convinced they’re written in English. So when my big kids started asking questions about their sister’s hepatitis, I had to get creative. If you happen to be a pediatric gastroenterologist/hepatologist, just […]

Celebrating Miracles


January 22nd had been circled in red on our calendar. It was a Friday, and like all Fridays before it during the past year, that meant an interferon shot for Cholita. Wednesdays meant blood work, Thursdays meant lab results, Fridays meant interferon; it was the rhythm of our weeks during 2009. But this Friday was […]

Xie Xie


Thank you. Thank you for passing the milk. Thank you for helping me with the dishes. Thank you for the Christmas present. In most situations, thank you works. It’s appropriate and conveys the intended message. But sometimes, words just aren’t adequate. On July 27, 2006, I stood in a sweltering reception room in the Guiping […]