Ethel finds a home, and puppies keep pooping

When the puppies were nearly six weeks old, Ethel developed mastitis. It was a Sunday, and she refused to eat breakfast, then she moped around all day. By evening, she was shivering with fever, and could hardly walk. I know this because I’ve learned how to take a dog’s temperature in the butt. Mastitis frequently occurs in breastfeeding women – it’s an infection in the breast tissue due to bacteria transmitted by a baby’s mouth. It also occurs in breastfeedingRead more

Giving thanks for my children’s birth mothers, and wondering if the feeling is mutual

Let me say this about November: it’s not all pumpkins and relish. Even in Florida, it sneaks up cold and hard, or at least occasionally chilly and hard, and I can’t yet be lured into the joy of the season. I don’t mind the season, exactly – it makes coffee taste better and hot showers feel so good. But it reeks of a reckoning, the kind of spiritual reconciliation we face whenever another end-of-year approaches. Case in point: November isRead more

A Cast of Characters Update

It occurred to me yesterday that since I wrote a bestselling award-winning really good book about my family, I can stop using fake names when writing about them in my blog. It’s with some regret that I say this – I really do like their deserving monikers. But to be honest, I have never gotten proficient at writing the word “pterodactyl.” It’s time, anyway, to give you a brief update on everyone. The Diva: The Diva is my daughter Scout,Read more

Trump, Putin, and the fake ADOPTION news

If I had never seen a photo of Don Trump, Jr. posing with a South African buffalo he had just shot, I might feel a tiny bit sorry for him. There he was, just going about his life as the father of five and a billionaire, when he was thrown into his father’s bombastic presidential campaign. And in an effort to make his dad proud, he agreed last July to meet with a Russian government lawyer and several other pro-RussianRead more

The Diva flies off, and Wonder Woman

I owe you an Annual Vacation Odyssey post, and I will deliver on that tout suite. But in the meantime, I want to tell you about my darling Diva, whom I’ve shipped off to the Dominican Republic with a bunch of people she’s never met to run a summer camp for under-served children. This idea hatched in my brain earlier this year as I watched her struggle through her freshman year of high school. It was like she was trudgingRead more

Immigrant status, and the deportation of an American adoptee

Every year around this date, I remember that National Adoption Month has nearly passed without me recognizing it, which makes me feel hugely deficient. So Happy National Adoption Month. Adoption is a beautiful, heartbreaking, complicated way to form a family, and the circumstances surrounding it are filled with joy and sadness and perpetual grief. Yay! My three little bugs, as you know, were adopted, the oldest from Vietnam and the younger two from Guatemala. They were adopted; it’s not a chronicRead more

Bernie Sanders came to my house, and he slept under the covers.

Every weekend I visit the rescue dogs at Pet Supermarket as a test of willpower. This is a secret, except sometimes I make one of the children come in case he/she so falls in love with a pup that I HAVE to take it home. This might sound familiar because this is exactly the way we acquired Yobe the Rescue Dog, and afterwards Hot Firefighter Husband made me promise to never ever do that again. I didn’t exactly promise but I conceded thatRead more

Kaepernick Redux, and more black oppression

Well, it was nice to hear from so many of you! Apparently we are very passionate about: a. standing up for the national anthem b. sitting down for the national anthem c. whether Colin Kaepernick is a decent quarterback d. pro football season in general A recap: last month, I wrote about football player Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback for the 49ers, and his decision to quietly sit down for the national anthem when it’s played at the beginning of hisRead more

The National Anthem, Colin Kaepernick, and real respect.

Last Sunday, Hot Firefighter Husband said, “This is the last Sunday I’ll be uninterested in what’s on tv.” Because football. And because being obsessed with politics doesn’t take up nearly enough of his time. My eyes began rolling in big dizzying circles. BUT THEN here comes Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, letting his brain focus on something other than big men chasing small balls. Okay, man. Now I’m interested. Colin Kaepernick is the guy who wouldn’t stand up for theRead more

#BlackLivesMatter to me. Here’s why.

This is hard. I’ve told you before that growing up in the 1970s, I attended an all-girls private Catholic school in uptown New Orleans. There were 52 girls in our class; three of them were black. No one was outwardly mean to the black girls, but neither were they our friends outside of school. The majority of these classmates were a bastion of privilege and exclusivity; I desperately wanted to be like them. I was privileged, for sure – but I didn’tRead more