Circumcision debate continued

August 23rd, 2007
Posted By: on Jewish Adoption

There are definitely strong opinions on the topic of circumcision, as evidenced by the comments on my last post! Thanks for your opinions, and sorry it's taken me a while to get back online - technological difficulties. Anyway, here's the thing: Adam is already 'medically' circumcised, but from what I understand he would need, um, a little bit more work done to be considered 'Jewishly' circumcised. So it's not like he needs to have the entire procedure, and he'll be under general anesthesia so he won't remember any of it anyway. And even if he wasn't already circumcised at all, we would still go ahead with the circumcision and not a Brit shalom - which is a ceremony similar to the Brit Milah (circumcision) without any actual cutting. Did you ever… [more]

Circumcision later on

August 14th, 2007
Posted By: on Jewish Adoption
Categories: Jewish Traditions

Adam - our foster child - is fifteen months now. It is the middle of August. By Rosh HaShanah - just a month away - Adam will have been with us for a year. And while it is my gut feeling that the state will make a decision on whether he will be eligible for adoption or whether he will be reunited with his birth family, things are still up in the air. Last night, my husband was asking me what I thought about a future four year old Adam finally adopted, finally undergoing circumcision in preparation for a Jewish conversion. Wouldn't that be traumatic? he asked. I told him that no, Adam would be under anesthesia and probably wouldn't remember anything and anyway, I explained, I'm sure a decision… [more]

Competitive parenting

August 10th, 2007
Posted By: on Jewish Adoption
Categories: Random Musings

In the days before there were children in this house and Cheerios in every corner of every room, I would watch other parents. As most of my friends were parents before I was, this task was quite easy. We would hang out together after services in synagogue, we would shmooze about this and that and the conversation would invariably turn to children. And that's when things got competitive. Who's child is sitting up? Which child is talking? Already? No, wait, my kid is already reading at a third grade level at the age of five. Oh - but you didn't hear what my daughter did the other day.... Everyone seemed to want to 'one-up' the other in terms of which kid was more advanced. And on the flip side, if there… [more]

The waiting game

August 7th, 2007
Posted By: on Jewish Adoption

Part of the process of adopting a child through foster care is waiting for the outcome. I suppose that waiting for something to happen is very much part of any adoption process, but when you adopt a child through the state's foster care system, you are usually taking in a kid who is not legally available for adoption. Whether or not you'll be able to adopt the child is something that may take months or even years to sort out. It's a gamble. It's not something that I'd recommend to every parent. To us, the idea of having a child come into our house, fill our home with baby and kid stuff and then to have that child leave would be heartbreaking - that is, assuming we had our heart… [more]

Cutting Hair

August 5th, 2007
Posted By: on Jewish Adoption
Categories: Jewish Traditions

My grandmother made me get a haircut. I know to many of you, getting a haircut is not a big deal - but for me this was my first real haircut in a salon in about a decade. Why? First a little background on the topic of hair. Hair, I have noticed, is for some reason wrapped up in Jewish traditions and stories. There is the custom among many - if not most - married Orthodox women to cover their hair. Then there is a custom in many circles not to cut a boy's hair until he is three years old, and then to hold an Upsherin and cut his hair. (There is a great article from

Glossary for Jewish Adoption

August 3rd, 2007
Posted By: on Jewish Adoption

I realized that I have not yet posted some sort of 'glossary of terms' that I use often here. Please feel free to ask me in general if I don't explain something, but in the meantime, here's a start. The definitions are my own, unless otherwise noted. If there are other terms or phrases you'd like to see added, let me know. And as I go along I'll try to update this list from time to time. Conversion - A specific act or series of acts under rabbinic guidance whereby a person who was born into a different religion is officially brought into the Jewish faith. Mitzvah - A commandment. There are 613 mitzvot in the Torah (Five Books of Moses) and many more are outlined in the Talmud (Oral… [more]

How to decide when to tell

July 31st, 2007
Posted By: on Jewish Adoption

A friend of mine is in the process of buying a house in town. I think she's in the middle of attorney review or just out of that stage. The other day I was on the phone with her and she made a comment about "the house we are not supposed to talk about." Now, I'm a homeowner myself. I think we may not have spread the word around before we were well into the process simply because - well - we were selfish and didn't want our friends to become our competitors in bidding on the house. But it is unclear - at what point during the period leading up to a major life event does it become appropriate to discuss the specifics or make your news public? So… [more]

How to select an appropriate gift

July 29th, 2007
Posted By: on Jewish Adoption

So your friend or relative is celebrating the adoption of their child and you'd like to get them an appropriate gift, but you're not sure where to start. Here are a few ideas to get you going: -- Are they registered? Many (though not all) families decide to register for the arrival of a baby - it's okay to ask or ask around to see if they've registered. Quite often, people prefer to buy something that is really needed or wanted rather than guess. -- Is this a first child? Or first child of that gender? If so, go with clothes. Clothes are always good. Actually, when we first met Anna (on a Friday - she came to live with us that Monday) one of the first things I did was… [more]

What is Jewish Adoption?

July 25th, 2007
Posted By: on Jewish Adoption

What is meant by the term "Jewish Adoption?" It is, after all, the title of this blog. Jewish Adoption - in my humble opinion - refers to the adoption of a child by a Jewish couple [Edited to add: or single adult] with the intent that the child will be raised Jewish regardless of his or her religion at birth. has a nice variety of blogs on different types and aspects of Adoption - which makes sense. Especially when you are first starting out and are looking for information on the different types of adoption, what your options really are and when you are looking to hear from "been there done that" parents, it's nice to see that there are lots of people out there to share their expertise… [more]

Death and Mourning

July 24th, 2007
Posted By: on Jewish Adoption

Unfortunately, we will all be faced with dealing with death at some point in our lives, because death is part of our journey. We just had a death in our family today and although it's a hard time all around, we have a great family and that's really all that matters in the end. In Judaism, a child that is legally adopted, converted where appropriate and being raised in your household is considered your child. No ifs ands or buts. And for life-cycle events in the Jewish religion, the child you adopted will always be considered part of the family. When a boy (or girl in some circles) is called up to the Torah to read for his Bar (or Bat) Mitzvah portion - and any time thereafter - he… [more]