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Showing posts from January, 2013

YOU CAN TAKE THE GIRL OUT OF KAOHSIUNG

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(written for Cowbird Daily) The process of adopting our daughters, two sisters from Taiwan, went smoothly.  Their situation in Taiwan was far from optimal, and they were separated frequently for long periods of time in foster care before we reunited them. Upon meeting our girls, their differences were stark: Socrates was a pocket-sized dynamo of energy, strength and opinions. Ducky was frail, listless and sullen. If displeased, the Socrates would make herself heard, while Ducky would silently tear up. They've been home with us in Los Angeles for 9 months now. And while Socrates, our 9-year-old is eating up her new country with a great appetite; 11-year-old Ducky is less hungry for America. We are a global-minded household without any ‘US vs. Them’ politics, so no “You must love America the best!” messages are being considered, let alone voiced to our daughters. In the wake of her adoption, it is natural that Ducks would feel a lot of complex emotions. And while she voi

THE BIG 11 and 10

Yesterday we celebrated Ducks' 11th birthday. Plus we celebrated her 10th. Last year in foster care they didn't celebrate birthdays so we sang to her twice and had 2 small cakes. She got 2 cards from lots of people and while not overdoing it, she got the feeling that even though we couldn't make up for her disappointment last year -- we acknowledged that last birthday now. As for me, I haven't planned many parties in my life -- what with my underdeveloped social skills and all -- so jumping right in with an 11th birthday party was daunting. Kids are tough critics. And after attending only 1 birthday party as a mother, (I did reconnoissance at one for Ducky's school chum recently), I learned that most 11-year-olds are awkward socially.  So I completely 'got them'. That school friend's party consisted of an unnecesarily  long night at Chuck E. Cheese. As far as I could tell, the plan was simple: Lone girls running from game to game, clutching sweaty f