Daily Archives: June 17, 2010


I stole this from Treppenwitz. Awesomeness.

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Adoption advice needed

My friend Shorty and her husband are looking to adopt a child. They have started exploring all of their options and researching and attending information sessions. Shorty sent me this email earlier today, asking for advice.

Hey H

so here’s the deal…we’re looking into adoption – likely from China. I’ve had two issues when it comes to adoption

The first, a non issue with the Chinese child adoption is the open adoption thing. Domestic adoptions are all open (or most of them, in Ontario, Canada). I just have a hard time wrapping my head around an open adoption, where the adopted child will be raised Jewish, and well, Frum (religious) Jewish. While as you know DH is amazing, his family is patient but well, not necessarily totally understanding. So imagine a whole OTHER extended non Jewish family in the picture…

The second issue is the whole “teach the child their culture” thing. While i have no problem telling my (G-d willing!) adopted child where they are from, I’m not exactly keen on telling them the whole story about Chinese culture, as much of it revolves around a religion. I figure there must be some kind of balance, teach them about the language, and some non religious culture things. It’s just the first I hear of this. I know a few other people who had adopted from China, and their children, happen to be Chinese, but they never made any extra effort to teach the kids Mandarin or take them to Chinese dance lessons. I’ve just been reading about Chinese culture lessons for these kids…which somehow has to fit in around friends, and sports and school and well, regular life things.

So…what do you think? do you know anyone in this kind of situation (religious and have adopted from another country or are in an open adoption)

The scary thing is, because of the homestudy, you really have to have all these answers laid out before hand…like they ask you things like “how do you plan on raising the child – specifically”. Umm…does anyone know in such a detailed way how they are going to raise their child? They might know, religion, or a no-spanking policy (i actually do know a couple who spank, unfortunately) but other than that…does anyone really know what they do day by day, before the child arrives (adoption or by birth)?

Ok lots of random questions, but i know people like to comment on your blog more than mine, and I really need some words of wisdom!!

Lots of hugs


If anyone out there has any advice for Shorty and her husband, please share it.

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WWYD – Shidduchim / Marriage

Shamelessly taken off a messageboard:

A kallah [bride] asked me to post this and solicit your opinions.

The kallah is in her late 20s, and smoked 1/2 a pack a day from age 13 until just a few weeks ago. Does she have to tell the chosson [groom]? She thinks he might have noticed, but they have never discussed it.

(p.s. There is no “warning signs” to be seen here. She just wants to do the right thing. )

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Am I really that gullible?!

Oh boy, the KoD, he gets me every single time. Why do I not see these things coming a mile away? I should know by now.

Mise en scene: Over the last couple of days I have been reading this awesome book – Jane Austen Ruined My Life, by Beth Patillo. If you are like me and you love literature and England, then you will love this book. The protagonist, Emma, travels from the States to London to see if she can unearth some unpublished letters, purported to have been written by Jane Austen. It is a personal journey of self discovery at the same time for Emma. I really enjoyed this book.

Last night the KoD had work to do, and once I was done with the dishes and watching some mind numbing television, I crawled into bed, cracked open the book hoping to finish it before I fell asleep. While I was reading the KoD came in, got ready for bed, chatting away. Uh dude, I am reading….. 11th commandment is “thou shalt not disturbeth thine wife when she readeth”. Didst thou not knoweth this? He sees the look on my face, bless him (I had 3 pages left, I was deeply invested) and he says “am I bothering you?” and continues to talk, and asks his question again. I love his giggle, I do, but 3 pages….. I was totally giving him the Ima Stare Of Death. KoD knows me by now, and took it in his stride. Then I was reading the Epilogue and he started reading over my shoulder and deliberately mispronounced Epilogue – out loud. Sigh.

I finally finished the book, closed it with a huge sigh. I might have said something along the lines of “that was a great book” and sighed again. So the KoD asked me what it was about. So I told him the premise, and he asks “who is Jane Austen?” I looked at him like he just asked me who Jane Austen was, I mean, how could he not know that!! He is a well educated individual!! I told him “you are yanking my chain, right, coz you do know who she is, right? I mean, come on Dude!!!” and he told me that no he didn’t know who she was, he had never heard of her. There might have been some mention of her being a British writer and him being brought up in America. After 5 minutes he had me convinced that he had never heard of her, and I must confess, I told him I couldn’t believe someone of his educational background could be so ignorant. He said he had heard of Pride and Prejudice at some point, but didn’t know who the writer was. I had my head in my hands bemoaning the state of American education when he threw out a name to me “Do you know who Arthur Wentworth was? Hmm hmm hmmm???” – so there I am thinking that I just accused him of being ignorant of an iconic British author, I had better pretend that I know that this Arthur dude is an American author in good standing.

At that point the KoD starts to lose his composure, and his giggle starts to come through. Of course he made up the Arthur Wentworth name and of course he darn well knew who Jane Austen is. He had me going for a while. I cannot believe that he has me so hanging on his every word that I don’t doubt anything he says for one second. This is in no way the first time he has pulled my leg, and I am sure it won’t be the last, not by a long shot (even though he says he will never yank my chain again. This I do not believe!). This time I got quite upset – with myself. I was upset that I believed him that ignorant. That I believed it was possible for a man of his age and background to not have heard of one of the literary greats. Plus I am passionate about my literature – it seems almost sacrilegious for him to make fun of it. Plus I was upset that yet again, he had managed to pull my leg and do it spectacularly.

So then he thinks, oh ho, let me test her, and show her she doesn’t know American stuff. Mm hmm. He asks me who wrote the famous quote on the Statue of Liberty. Then he realized he couldn’t remember her name off the top of his head. I was the one who reminded him it was Emma Lazarus (and my computer wasn’t even on!!). So put that in yer pipe and smoke it, KoD!! So there!!

I have to get him back. I need some awesome clever help in getting him to believe something huge, and that when he finds out he’s been had, he will get the joke and not be upset.

I also told him that I am going to disbelieve everything he says from now on, just in case unbeknownst to me he has got himself in the mood for chain yankage.

It’s a good job I love and adore him. Apparently I am supposed to be thankful to him for more material for the blog. Yeah, thanks dude…..Much obliged. **Heavy Duty Eye Roll Inserted Here**

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WWYD – unwarranted ogling

Letter received from a reader (Edited):

I am a married religious woman who works in a predominantly male environment. The other day a guy came into my office to ask a co-worker a question, and while the co-worker was looking up some info in the computer, the guy looked around, and very blatantly looked me up and down like I was something on display. I was dressed very modestly and did absolutely nothing to attract his attention. When his eyes finally finished their indolent stroll he looked at my face and even though he knew he was caught, he tried to hold my stare. Looked totally non-apologetic. I wanted to stare him down, or obviously ogle various parts of his anatomy, but I didn’t have the guts. Thankfully he got the answers he needed from my co-worker (also female (the only other one in the office), but not stare-worthy apparently) and left.

I was too intimidated to speak out or to get up and leave. What should I have done? What would you have done? How can I make sure it doesn’t happen again? Mama H, please help!!

HSM says: This has definitely happened to me. It never sits right with me, and I never yet have come up with a way to make a surreptitious ogler feel bad for it. I always feel like I need a shower after. Totally skeeved out sometimes. If you have to work more with this guy and this is a repeated pattern of his behaviour, I would bring it up with a supervisor. Good luck!!

Perhaps some of my other readers have other suggestions?

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