Wednesday, April 29, 2009

paperwork and prayers

there is a new post at the new spontaneous delight

click on the post at the right to be directed there

bookmark that page as this one will be gone in a few weeks

if you would like the password for the private posts

please e-mail me at :

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


New post on the new

click on the link to the right to be directed to it

when you are there you may want to add a new bookmark

this site will be closing down over the next few weeks.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

holding hands

There is a new post at http:/

there is also a link just to the right of this post. let me know if it still doesn't work (thanks julie!)

I'm moving spontaneousdelight to wordpress.

some of the posts will be password protected

if you would like the password please e-mail me at

if you would like to continue to read spontantous delight please book mark that page as I will be taking everythng off of this blog little by little.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

You Are Six Years Old

and it's always been for these six and a half years just you and no one else but soon your life will change - and it's for the better - and still i know it's going to rock you and your world and because we get to make a request - we can request some things - we can ask for a child this age or that - we can say boy - or girl - or of course either because we can i'm left wondering if we should just because we can what right the longer i parent the more i know it's not about control it's about giving in and up and all i wonder though about you and your dad - your amazing one of a kind relationship that developed from all those hours together - i love watching you play catch or basket ball or ride bikes together - i love the way you make each other laugh - what would it be like to have a brother competing - would it be competing? I can't say that i know - and then there is that special bond that two brothers have - somehow i've seen myself as the mother of two boys - but then i see myself as the mother of more than two also - so... the choices - perhaps we shouldn't be allowed the choices - i don't know - but i'll be happy when we write the words on a paper and then we're done - finished with the thinking about making these God like decisions instead of just letting God make the decision

Monday, April 20, 2009


I'm finally getting my act together and moving spontaneous delight over to wordpress

some of the posts will be password protected. if i know you and you want access to the private posts drop a line and i'll send the password

you can e-mail me at:

Also, as I add the resources and links to the new blog I will delete them from here.

New blog address:

Announcing the 2nd Annual Gathering of Adoptees and Foster Care Alumni of African descent:

Back in March it was announced on the Adopted and Fostered Adults of the Diaspora (AFAAD) that their second Annual Gathering has been scheduled:

Save Nov 6-8th!

Announcing the 2nd Annual Gathering of Adoptees and Foster Care Alumni of African descent:

November 6-8th, 2009, Oakland, CA

This is a unique and important group that we should all support. They are doing great work! I'm hoping they get a chance to publish more of the conversations that take place during the gathering. I have so much to learn about being a mother to an adopted child and this is the group that I feel can teach me the most.

Friday, April 17, 2009

For My Friends Who are Waiting

For Valarie and Evelyn who are so so very close to having their children with them. We are all standing with you. Thank you for opening your hearts and allowing us to be there. Our world is more full and more lovely because of you. Soon all that love will pour over your children.

On Friendship
Kahlil Gibran

Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.

When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the "nay" in your own mind, nor do you withhold the "ay."
And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;
For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.
When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.
And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.

And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What if every dollar you spend this year...meant something

What if
every dollar
that you take from your wallet
or transfer from your online account
was spent in line with what you value most
what if every dollar you spent was from your heart as well as your hand
what if you thought first
what if you realized you are wealthy
and then you spread that wealth in a way that those that are not would feel the comfort of it
what if you started today

you need shoes

buy Tom's.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Working and Playing

This morning my guys let me sleep in all the way to 9 AM (a big big thank you to my husband who played Lego's with Q for an hour and a half) and so I missed the morning news and was listening to an interview with an author while I made my coffee.  She said that she lived in Ohio in a place where the family was the center of everything and people didn't leave their children to be raised by others.  She then went on to say how difficult that is but that it was worth it.

Funny, that line "to be raised by others."  So innocently thrown out there.  The judgmental high tone of it all.  It's similar to "I'm a full-time mom."  Hmmmm.   

I'm a full time mom too.  I just happen to have a job that pays our mortgage.  Actually, wouldn't that make me a full time mom +.  At work on Tuesday, I mentioned to a male colleague that I would probably be taking Wednesday and Thursday off but if I didn't get everything at work done I would bring Q into work for a couple of hours and then he and I would putz around the city.  He asked if Q was out of school and I told him it was Spring break.  He looked off in the distance and said "Spring Break,  huh, I think my kids have spring break soon.  Actually, it might be this week too.  They might be on Spring break now also."  Now, just to be clear, this man is not divorced, he lives with his wife and his children.  And his children are young like Q also.  And there you have the huge difference between a working Dad and a working Mom.  While most dads would know when there kids were going to be home for a week and not in school, I cannot think of a single working mom that would have any choice but to know.  It's the expectations on the mom that make the big difference.  If child is off of school and hanging out all day on play dates with Mom and doesn't see dad but for dinner nothing is ever made of that.  But if the neighbor of that child is off of school and is hanging out with dad, playing lego's and basketball and going to play dates and sees mom just for dinner, well, everyone feels sorry for the kid and worse starts making the kid feel sorry for himself too.

Yes, folks it's different being a working mom from a working dad.

But as much as I would stay home if the mortgage would get paid without my salary I do not for one moment think Q's life would be better.  It would be different.  For what he would gain in my influence he would naturally lose in my husbands.  One of the nicest things about working outside of our home is seeing the relationship my son and my husband have developed.  While my husband has never been a 'stay at home' dad, his flexible schedule means that on vacations and after school we do not have to have a babysitter.  It's nice because school can be tough (much tougher than daycare) and on vacation days he really needs a rest.

The world I've been able to give Q is larger and more varied than what he would be living in if I were at home.  In the last job I had, as an executive assistant to the CIO of a Hedge Fund, my boss was woman, and the owner of the firm was African American.  At the job I have now I work for a man who is Mexican and speaks four languages and the CFO who again is a woman.  This is rarified air in the financial world, let me tell you, but Q doesn't know that.  He thinks it's normal that in Finance world (which has got to be 90 % white and the 10% non-white is asian and east asian predominately) I would have two female bosses and one of the two men one would be Hispanic and the other Black.  Hah!  Let him keep that perspective.  

Q has always loved coming to my work places.  And why wouldn't he.  Yesterday, when he walked in the receptionist gave him a pack of gum, one of the other admin's called him sir, took his coat and asked him if he wanted juice and my boss, the owner of the company went into his office and brought out a book of paper airplanes (tear out a page and follow the instructions to make a dozen different types of airplanes.)  "Here" he said with his slight spanish accent "you can make some airplanes and fly them around the office."  And that is what he did.  And while he did he soaked in the environment.  Men and women hard at work 33 floors above Manhattan.  Well spoken and engaging they looked even while they argued a bit, happy to be there.  And when for a very brief moment it started to snow and then the wind kicked up and really the snow started roaring past the windows as if it was December and not April, everyone stopped and went to the windows and looked out.  "Wow!!!"  We all said.  Q too.  And the man who didn't know whether his children were off that week said to me and Q "It's great isn't it?"  And Q and I said "Yea!"  

After the paper airplanes Q spent some time looking out the window at all that was going on in the city 33 floors down, then he made some drawings of the city on some 3 foot by 3 foot paper that had been saved for him.  In his drawings, there are tall tall buildings and lots of cars and there are people in planes, and people walking on the city streets, and below that people in the subway in tunnels and all of them, all the people are smiling.

At 1 PM we left the office and went, per his request to American Museum of Natural History.  We have now been  there so many times we could work as docents.  This time I think we both realized that our next time in the city we're going to another museum.  "Maybe the Met, Mom.  I'm missing it."  Yup, I love me my Q.  After we walked through the museum we stepped out onto Central Park West and grabbed a city bus headed downtown.  A bus ride through Manhattan can simply never get boring.  The cast of characters is just to broad.  We went through Time Square and then the garment district and ended up at Madison Square Garden where that bus line stopped.  We then took a taxi the last bit of a way to our very favorite place in all Manhattan (that doesn't serve food - I should say) Strand Bookstore.  Strand sells discount books but it's so much more than the sum of it's parts.  The old wooden floor squeaks and the aisles are packed with books and people who love them.  Every type of person.  It's beautiful.  Really.  We take the elevator up to the third floor and start our calisthenics, down on the floor with my glasses falling off my nose to look at comic books and up on a small stool reaching as far as I can to look for books on mythology.  An entire section of chapter books at pretty much his reading level.  We have a system now.  We each separate (I can always see him of course) and we each pull books we think might be of interest.  We arrive at the low tables (I think the chairs are six inches off the ground) and begin to go through our stacks.  This time we had more than twenty books.  I read the jacket of the book and we make a 'no' pile and a 'maybe' pile.  Most of the books go to the 'maybe' pile.  Then I have about 15 books that I now read the first one or two pages of.  From this he says 'no' to some (to obviously boring or 'young' which he says the way a wine connoiseur might say about a wine that has gone to vinegar) and I say 'no' to some (mostly because we should 'leave them for next time' Mommy speak for 'they are too old for you.)  Finally we have it down to about 4.  This is when it gets really hard.  The only thing that helps at all at this point is that we are both really hungry and he knows by now that we will be back some time in the future.  With his stomach growling he chooses one comic book and one chapter book.  We've spent $14.00 and an hour and a half and we couldn't be more pleased.  

I ask if he's willing to try Ethiopian and he looks unsure.  He's tired.  I say let's go look at it and if there is nothing on the menu that sounds good to you we'll go somewhere else.  We take another taxi and wind up at the little store front Ethiopian restaurant in the East Village.  There is no one in the restaurant and nothing on the menu that looks appealing to him.  No problem I say.  There are a ton of restaurants in this neighborhood.  We walk 1/2 a block down and there is a pizza place on one side (New York Style, lower east side pizza) and right in front of us a hamburger restaurant.  He hears hamburgers and we walk in.  It turns out to be a local food, grass fed beef type of hamburger joint with an acoustical guitar version of a Chopin tune coming from the speakers.  We are both happy, Q and I and we are the first people there so have the full attention of the waitress.   I decide to split a hamburger (much to his chagrin) and when we do finally take a bite of our sandwiches I regret that decision.  It was the best burger I have ever had.  Q too.  We ordered the cheddar, bacon burger with sauteed onions and mustard.  The look on Q's face was pure bliss.  The waitresss, a woman in her late fifties had been watching us and when she saw him bite into his burger she came over and started talking to us.  We talked about good food and not good food and she gave us a far too detailed story about why we should never again eat at McDonalds.  Before we left she gave us some home made chocolate chip cookies.

Outside of the restaurant the sun was going down, judging by the orange glow on the buildings and as we stood waiting for a cab to come down the street I pointed up at the 6 story tenements and told Q this was the neighborhood that a book we read recently was written about.  We talked about the jewish immigrants who came here from Europe, how they lived and how the streets had changed but the apartments maybe not so much.  We talked about all the people we saw on the streets now and how it wasn't one group but a mix of many different kinds of people.  He asked where all the jewish people went and I said I'm sure some people are still here but many families moved out once they began to succeed in America.  They moved out to the suburbs and other immigrants moved in.  As we stood there we could see Hispanic, African and Asian immigrants walking by.  And then a taxi drew up and we got in and the taxi driver was wearing a turban.  I love me some New York City.

We got out of the taxi onto the now dark street and entered the door with thousands of others.  The schedule told us we had 2 minutes 50 seconds to get from one end of Grand Central to the other.  "Can we do it?!"  I fake shouted and he shouted for real "Yes!"  And we were off holding hands, running and laughing like lunatics.  "Why did we move to B...If we lived in Connecticut THAT would be our train " I laugh yelled and pointed to the train nearest us.  Q was laughing so hard he had to stop running and literally fell to his knees laughing just near the big clock in the center of the grand hall.  "Get up, Get up, if you don't get up we'll have to take the 7:15 train.  I can't stand the 7:15 train the people are the worst!!!"  I tell him, to more peels of laughter.  "OK OK but you MUST STOP TALKING until we're on the train!  You are 'ridiklis' "  and we ran some more, hoping on the train 30 seconds before the doors shut behind us.  The train was packed and we were 5 min late for getting seats together.  We walked all the way through the cars and I finally found a single seat on the aisle and asked the woman next to it to remove her bag please from the seat.  She did so kindly and I began to take off our coats and put them and our bags over head.  "The books mom!"  Q said and I was retrieving the chapter book from the bag when I noticed an aquaintance of ours from our town.  I smiled and he said hi and then he stood up from his coveted third seat with a free seat next to him and offered it to us.  Yay!  Q wouldn't need to sit on my lap!  The woman saw us moving and I told her she had just been spared listening to the story of Lenny and Mel, investigative middle school reporters.  She laughed and when she saw how handsome our friend happened to be, she was even more happy.  Everyone won, except perhaps our friend who had given up his precious leg and elbow room.

For the hour + ride we read the book, which was a great one, very very funny and enjoyed the last bit of our delightful day.  Y picked us up at the train.  And the stories of our day would have to wait.  We both could hardly speak.  "The shoes are smokin'" said Y.  And Q and I looked at each other.   I love my Q.  I love 6.  And I love that I can give him this great big, big, wonderful, diverse, world.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Public School Teachers

Q' 100 days of school project. 100 Marshmellows made into a bridge.

And now let us take a moment to thank God for our public school teachers. This year is Q's first year in public school. Kindergarten. It's big. Especially if you are an only child and you like being the teacher's pet. This is not so hard when there are 10 kids in the class but when there are 23...

Tonight we went to the open house at the school. I cannot possibly describe the intense feeling of learning and love and dedication I feel when I am in his school. His teacher is strict and goofy. She demands great things but keeps M&M's in his classroom because as she says "some problems only chocolate solves." She keeps them laughing and striving. Their drawings are intensely wonderful. When I was in class one day she was reading a story and she asked them to pay attention to the ending. It ended ambiguously she told them and then asked them why the author might have left them hanging like that. The children were thinking, thinking, thinking. This is kindergarten? She has 23 children and I don't know about her class but I understand half the school is below poverty level. It's a tough class. Tough in the huge differences in the children's needs. And she's brilliant with them. I don't mean she's perfect but she is brilliant. I had the privilage to volunteer in her class a couple of days when I was out of work and it was amazing to see. Independence and responsibility. Those were the words that she said we should concentrate on last summer and man does she teach that.

It's not a glamorous school but there is art and the children's work up everywhere. Tonight I got to see the library which was renovated this fall and only opened a month ago. Beautiful! The librarian came up to me and said what a joy Q was and asked what his favorite subjects were. He's reading well and he is leading the other children over into areas that are above their level. She's going to pull a bunch of books for him so he can have something on his level in their section. Dedication. Caring. Respect. The parents are involved, the principle is extraordinary. Why does it work? What is the magic? Why can't we make this happen everywhere? It's not money alone because this is not a rich school by any means. I don't know but I wish I did. Every child deserves to go to school like this. To think we thought we would keep him in private school until middle school. What he would have missed.

But for now anyway, a big big thank you to all you public school teachers out there. Thank you. You truly have the most important job in this country. We are blessed to have you.

And to Mrs. Giovatto. Words are not enough. We are so lucky to have Q in your class.