Here are some great quotes about adoption!

Diary of a Not-So-Angry Asian Adoptee

In honor of National Adoption Month, I compiled a number of adoption-related quotes to use on my Facebook page. I love quotes, so in the event that some of you appreciate them as well, I thought I would share them with you. Enjoy!

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“If there is one thing motherhood has taught me, it is the fact that part of being a parent is experiencing heartache and knowing that you would endure it a million times over because your child is worth it. That’s how I feel about adoption. The system isn’t perfect, parents aren’t perfect, and children aren’t perfect, but it doesn’t mean that we should stop finding forever families for children and teens and it doesn’t mean that we should stop believing in the good things adoption has to offer.”—Christina Romo

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“If a child is born and raised in a home that is loving and nurturing…

View original post 1,443 more words

https://dontwelookalike.com/2012/11/30/2238/

Fertile Ground for Good Theater

by Lennie Magida

“It’s a comedy about infertility.”

That’s my standard response when people ask me about the play I’m currently directing, “Expecting Isabel” by Lisa Loomer. It’s been more than 25 years since I’ve been immersed in the world of infertility and adoption: the physical travails, emotional swings, medical mumbo-jumbo, constant expense, good and bad surprises…and the ultimate joy of adopting a child. But here I am again, thanks to theater. It’s art imitating a pivotal part of my life, except that – thank goodness! – the characters in my life weren’t nearly as crazy as the characters in the play. And it really is a comedy, albeit laced with many poignant moments – as one might expect, given the subject matter.

“Expecting Isabel” (or just “Iz,” as I’ve taken to calling it) is the story of Miranda and Nick, New Yorkers nearing age 40, eager to have a baby but having trouble conceiving. Miranda comes from a financially secure but emotionally difficult background: her father committed suicide, and her mother drinks too much. (But it’s a comedy, I swear!) Her job? Writing condolence cards. Nick, on the other hand, comes from a boisterous Italian American family that has its own set of quirks. He’s the odd man out in this working-class clan because he became a sculptor. He’s generally a glass-half-full guy – a marked contrast to Miranda, who opens the play by saying, “I am not a…‘happy’ woman.”

Nick announces that he’s ready for a child. At first Miranda resists…but then, poof, she’s obsessed. They embark on an Alice-in-Wonderland-esque quest for parenthood, dealing along the way with fellow would-be parents, a fertility specialist, a therapist, a loudmouth Russian cabbie, a marriage counselor, an adoption facilitator, several pregnant young women, a nightmare vision of a girl named Isabel, and assorted others…not to mention their own families and their relationship. All told, there are more than two dozen characters (and eight actors. Except for the two portraying Miranda and Nick, everyone in the cast plays multiple roles.)

We’re doing the play at Silver Spring Stage, near where I live in the Maryland suburbs. I’ve done a lot of acting, directing and producing with community theaters in this part of the DC region, and the Stage has pretty much become my “home” theater. (I’m on the board, too.) A few years ago, it decided to focus on plays that aren’t too typical for community theaters: contemporary, “different,” sometimes challenging dramas and comedies. “Iz” fits right in. It debuted in 1998, so its reproductive-technology-speak isn’t completely up-to-date, but it’s still indisputably a contemporary piece. I mean, “Our Town” and “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” don’t have scenes in which a character does a yoga handstand “to help the sperm find their way home.”

My involvement with “Iz” feels very meant-to-be. Given my history, I was interested in directing it as soon as I found out the Stage was doing it. But it was originally slated for June 2013…and that’s when my daughter, Nina – the wonderful result of our infertility-and-adoption saga way back when – is getting married. Oh well, I thought. But the director of one of the other plays was eager to take the June slot. So we swapped, and “Expecting Isabel” will be come forth into the world on January 11. Then, on June 8, I’ll have the immeasurable pleasure of being mom of the bride for our beautiful Nina, who became part of our family as a 2 pound, 5 ounce Filipina preemie nearly 26 years ago. It all feels like part of a wonderful cycle – which, come to think of it, is an awfully appropriate context for a comedy about infertility.

The “Iz” team has a lot to do before we open. (The wedding team also has a lot to do, but that’s another post!) My terrific actors are still getting to know all their characters, not to mention their lines. We’re figuring out costumes, lights, sound – the whole usual shebang. It’s a familiar process. And, of course, it’s not unusual to find elements of a play that relate to one’s own life.

But still…“Iz” is the first show in which it’s been relevant for me to describe what it was like when my infertility surgery failed, or when a pre-Nina adoption fell through after the baby was born. Both those things happen in “Expecting Isabel.” It’s so real that it feels almost surreal.

It is, if you’ll excuse the pun, fertile ground for good theater.

A Reader Response to DWLA Post “What About the Rights of Adoptees”

In yesterday’s post by Luanne, “What About the Rights of Adoptees,” we posted a poll which is still open for voting on the issue of adoptee rights. We had more private responses than we did comments. One of the emails we received contained a lengthy response–an essay really–and we wanted to share it with you because of the effort the writer put into it. The writer asked us not to use his/her name and we are honoring that request.

Dear DWLA:

I actually wanted to vote twice — I do think all adoptees should automatically have the right to access medical information for all the reasons you mention in your article. I also believe the privacy rights of birth parents and adoptive parents should be respected — that the rights of all three sides of the “triad” need to be balanced. I realize that this is controversial, but the consequences you stated with regard to genetic testing (people not wanting to be contacted) apply equally to the unsealing of medical records. If those who are advocating for the unsealing of records put as much time and effort into establishing a nation-wide registry and medical records database, their time would (in my opinion) be better spent.

In all the talk of “rights” we can never forget that rights always have a corresponding responsibility. When the “rights” of parents (whether to give life to a child, or raise him to adulthood) supersede his or her responsibilities as parents, society must bear the burden of that abdication of responsibility. This is happening all across the country today — women who are ill-prepared to parent are pressured either to abort their children, or raise the child themselves. And it is the children who are suffering — a suffering that is far greater and with far more long-reaching effects. Until adoption is given the respect and support of society it deserves, carefully balancing the rights and responsibilities of all three parties in the adoption triad, we are setting ourselves up to fail not only our own children, but THEIR children as well.

While adults do have the right to their medical records, they do NOT have the right to disrupt the lives of those with whom they share a biological connection if those individuals have relinquished those connections legally and (in their minds) permanently. In connection with my graduate studies, I talked with a dozen adoptees who went out searching at the age of 18 for members of their birth families — and almost without exception, each of them (in retrospect) realized they were not prepared for what they found, that they wished that they had waited until they were more mature and able to handle what followed (if they had searched at all). Others may have different experiences, but the fact remains: At a time when many young adults are already straining to form a separate identity from their parents, this quest for “real” mom and dad has the potential to cause a great deal of pain and anguish on all sides. Adoptees may one day have the “right” to this information — but will they also accept the responsibility of using this information in a way that respects the wishes and intentions of their parents — ALL their parents? Will they, in the end, assume an adult role and take responsibility not only for their own emotional well-being, but tend to the needs of their family members as well?

I’m not saying that adult adoptees are wrong to be angry about losing their first families, or wanting to bond with them in adulthood. There are all kinds of childhood traumas that we must deal with as adults — abusive parents, death and loss, alcoholism, violence, a wide spectrum of hurts that must be reconciled and given appropriate context if we are to grow into strong, healthy, self-reliant adults who are capable of raising the next generation. The fact is, not every adult adoptee seeks his or her birth family. Not every adult adoptee who FINDS that family is less traumatized by the experience. Not all adoptive parents are stellar examples of parenting (I count myself among them. Every day I ask myself if my children might have been better off today if I had done x or y for them when they were younger. Every parent does this — not just the adoptive ones.) Not all single parents are unfit (I have a niece who is a good example of this — with the strong support of her family, she has raised a beautiful son, co-parenting with the child’s biological father.) But those who do the parenting, who take on that responsibility, have corresponding rights == and not just until the child is 18.

Since you did ask for opinions, I wanted to share mine. I hope you find it helpful.

Best wishes,

DWLA reader

What about the Rights of Adoptees?

by Luanne

When the kids were little, my husband and I were very engaged in adoption events and issues, but as the kids got older and we followed them in wrestling and roller hockey and dance and voice lessons, adoption lost its place in the day-to-day shuffle of work and school and after school activities.

This changed when Marisha and I began this blog.  I revisited the world of adoption via the internet, reading about the experiences of others, including blog posts and articles by adult adoptees.  One of the issues I see mentioned often is one which I believe looms large in the lives of adoptees–the lack of medical (family) history.  The majority of adoptees grow up without access to their birth records or the ability to track down birth parents or, in fact, any biological relatives.

by Adopted the Comic

While this is changing in the case of domestic open adoptions, children are still being adopted without adoptive parents having access to those records and adult adoptees are still being kept from their records.  The law is different in each state.  Many states have a mutual consent policy, which also varies state by state.  The bottom line is that it is still impossible for the majority of adoptees to get identifying information about their own births.  Many groups and individuals are fighting to get these laws changed and open up records to the adoptees.

In the case of international adoptions, changing the laws in the United States to allow adoptees access to their birthright knowledge will not help them.  In some cases, such as in the case of adoptions from China, it might not be possible to provide this information.

STILL . . .

It’s a tragedy when the information is sitting in a file and the person to whom it rightfully belongs cannot access it.

Some adoptees are resorting to DNA testing today to try to find biological connections.  This sounds like a good idea, but it can be a less than helpful and possibly upsetting tangent as sometimes the relatives contacted can be uninterested in meeting new “family” members.  They are often so loosely connected by biology that they can barely be seen as “relatives.”  As a New York Times article points out, “Elizabeth Bartholet, an expert on adoption at Harvard Law School, said the proliferation of testing highlights the need for broader access to adoption records. In the meantime, she says, adoptees would be better served by nurturing the relationships they already have.”

She makes a good point, but I understand the desperation that can lead to this search.  I’ve seen what happens when adoptees don’t know their familial medical history and how utterly inadequate the medical profession is at dealing with adoptee medical concerns.  The attitude of many doctors on this subject isn’t much better than their system.

I’d take one of my kids to a new doctor and when they asked about family medical history, I would say he/she is adopted and they would write it down.  That was the extent of their professional interest.

Both my kids had unique medical issues when they were growing up, and I can’t remember doctors thinking outside the box, looking to see if there were conditions or illnesses which are generally only diagnosed with the help of family history which Marc or Marisha might have.

The truth is that family medical history is on those medical forms we fill out for a reason.  Knowing the family history helps to make diagnoses.  Without that crucial component of a diagnosis, illnesses go undiscovered and untreated.

Since these histories might not be available, even in Korea, what could be used?  How about something that is being done all the time now?  Genetic testing!  I asked a geneticist at Mayo Clinic why they don’t give adoptees genetics tests and she had a stock answer that there are too many possible diseases.  The truth is that if a doctor is looking at a set of puzzling symptoms in an adoptee, then wouldn’t it make sense to do genetic testing for rare genetic disorders or illnesses?

IT’S ALWAYS THE MONEY . . .

The other answer is that it’s too expensive.  Why don’t adoptees have the right to the same quality of medical care as non-adoptees?

This is 2012 and not 1950 any longer.  Adoption records should be unsealed and the secrecies of adoption promulgated in the dark ages of the mid-twentieth century should be abolished.   Then, as a society, we need to go a step further for those adoptees without records and promote genetic testing for adoptees (and adoptive parents on behalf of their children) who wish to be tested.

What do you think?  Do you agree with me or disagree?  Take the poll and let DWLA know what you think about this topic.

Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to Our Wonderful DWLA Readers

by Luanne

Marc

To celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, I wrote a brief post for another blog.  I want to share here the gist of it which is that one of the greatest blessings to be thankful for this Thanksgiving and every other day of the year is the gift of laughter.

In that spirit, I am sharing a poem I wrote about the importance of laughter which was published in The Black Boot, Issue 8.

Laughing Babies

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In seventh grade I was sent

to the principal’s office six times for laughing,

my giggles chronic hiccups

that rode the curb like a skateboard

until I wanted to bail from fear of the crash.

I held on, never jumped.  My girlfriends

and I were making fun for ourselves.

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Have you heard the commercial

with the laughing baby?

Not a smiling infant, slippery pink gums

peeking from behind the O

of the open baby mouth,

not tentative giggles

searching out questions for the world.

But a big baby guffaw, a Mississippi of sound

catching me in the solar plexus

where my own laugh begins.

*

We’re hardwired for this hidden language,

more powerful than books

or paintings.

We laugh together

and at nothing at all.

###

In the spirit of laughter, here’s a website devoted to laughing babies:

http://www.break.com/topics/laughing-babies

and another:

http://www.laughingbabies.org/

And here’s one of the laughing baby videos from Youtube:

Marisha Interviews Mum

1. How old were you when you realized you would be interested in adoption?

When I was a little girl I read Louisa May Alcott’s book Jo’s Boys and fantasized about giving a home to lots of children who didn’t have families.  When I was in my early twenties and newly married, I heard that they didn’t have enough African-American families for African-American babies who needed permanent homes and your dad and I talked about one day adopting one of these children.  By then I had decided that four children were going to be enough to keep me busy and not too irritable.  Of course, later on, after we adopted Marc I figured two were going to be enough ;).

2. Did your own brother’s adoption influence your interest?

I think it probably did because I knew what it meant to love someone who is related to you by adoption.

3. How did you choose South Korea as the country to adopt us from?

Your dad and I went to an adoption information meeting.  At that time, we were still thinking African-American + baby.  They told us at the meeting that in Michigan it wasn’t allowed for white couples to adopt African-American babies (in those days).  African-American interest groups had lobbied for that law because they were afraid the children would lose their cultural heritage.  There were representatives from five agencies speaking at the meeting and the only agency that was placing babies was Bethany.  They were placing Korean babies from Holt International.  Asia seemed like a good match for us (this is a little tongue in cheek) because, as you know, your Dad has always been fascinated with everything Asian.  At one point he planned to get his master’s degree in Chinese (nope, not Korean).

4. That’s why Marc and I have always said Dad’s a wannabe Asian.  What was the first experience where you found that a lot of society wasn’t used to the idea of adoption?

You can go back and read my very first post on this blog for that.  It was when I had a friend named Jane . . . .

5. Did you understand the concept of adoption childhood trauma?

I think I have understood what an impact the adoption process (which includes the relinquishment, first and foremost) makes from the time you and Marc were babies.  Although we didn’t have the internet to get information quickly, I’ve always read a lot.  I also have a good imagination and so am empathetic.  However, what I didn’t get (and I’ve written on here about that, too) was that the rest of society doesn’t necessarily have the understanding that your dad and I have had.  Not that we’re some special people–there are lots of adoptive parents who understand the situation of adoptees–but so many people whose lives are not touched by adoption really do not “get” it.  I’ve particularly been disappointed that therapists and medical doctors have a superficial intellectual knowledge but no real understanding.

6. Did you ever regret the feeling of not being able to have your own children?

Dad and I made a conscious decision for me not to go through a pregnancy because of my health.  Neither one of us had regrets at all about adopting.

7. Did you worry or find it hard to connect with us as children because of the adoption?

No and no.  I can’t imagine that.

8. Is parenting easier or harder with adoptive children?

Well, I don’t know because both my kids are adopted.  Many kids have special issues.  One might be autistic.  Another might be blind.  Another might have an IQ of 200.  They all need individualized parenting.

9. Are you happy or indifferent about us not having your or dad’s genetics?

There’s a lot of trouble you guys might have avoided by not having them so we’re good on that count ;).

10. Do you hope that we can find our birth parents? Or do you think it would be hard for you to see?

I hope that you and your brother can do whatever is the best thing for you.  If you decide to search, I hope you will do it when you feel ready and that you have a good end result.  I can’t say what that might be because it’s all unknown.  I would leave that in God’s hands and just pray that whatever is best happens.  I want you to be happy and healthy.  I don’t want you to hold off searching because you think it would hurt my feelings or Dad’s feelings.  I don’t want you to search without first doing soul-searching either–figuring out how best you can protect yourself if the situation doesn’t go as you hope or as you fantasize.  I would want you to have a system in place–friends you can count on for the process and even a therapist in place before you do it.  Do lots of research and decide how you want to handle things.  Maybe you don’t even want to involve Dad and me.  Maybe you do.  Whatever you think is best after you have your support team in place and research done.

11. Would you want your kids to adopt or produce children of their own?

Whatever makes you guys happy :)!

13. If you could adopt a child from any other country, what country would it be?

I’m too old for little ones!

14. Who is your favorite child?? bahahahahahahaha 😉

Did you and Marc get the memo about that Lois Hill bracelet I love?

15. Do you think adoption influenced our family’s desire to adopt, not buy, animals? esp. kittens?

[Laughing so hysterically I can’t speak]

Um, no, I think your dad and I just can’t say no to cute furry animals.

What’s in a Blog Name?

by Luanne

After Marisha and I decided we wanted to write about our experiences with adoption, we brainstormed a name for the blog.  Marisha came up with the title Don’t We Look Alike? based on a joke she makes when she introduces me to people.  She might have been half joking when she suggested the title, but I loved it.  At first glance, it seemed to say it all.

But what does it say?  Since it’s Marisha’s expression/question, I can’t speak for her intention or meaning, if she has even examined it herself.  After all, the best jokes usually spring from an instinct about what’s funny or funny and insightful.  However, looking at her question from my perspective, I realized I wasn’t sure what it means.

Since it asks the question in negative form—do not we look alike–it seems to make the assumption that we do, in fact, look alike.  The meaning would change significantly if she asked, “Do we look alike?”  In that case, she would be starting from a position of uncertainty, wondering if someone who is a stranger to the family (not necessarily a stranger to her, but one who isn’t used to being around our family) thinks that she and I look like each other.  That question would be kind of ridiculous.

By phrasing the question in the negative, the case is made that we look alike.  Since we very obviously do not look alike, the person addressed has to assume that Marisha is being ironic.

According to my best friend and nemesis Wikipedia, irony “is a rhetorical device, literary technique, or situation in which there is an incongruity between the literal and the implied meaning. . . .Ironic statements (verbal irony) are statements that imply a meaning in opposition to their literal meaning.”  Steeped in irony, as it is, her question is clearly stating the obvious.

So why draw attention to the obvious?  Why use irony?  Irony tends to create humor.  In the case of a Korean-American young woman and her blue-eyed bottle-blonde mother, acting as if they look alike does create humor.  Humor puts people at ease, makes them less uncomfortable.  It even links people together by forming a bond of good cheer between them.  So when Marisha asks her question and people laugh, it’s an ice-breaker.

In this way, the question also relieves others.  If they are wondering about our difference and aren’t sure if they should say something or not, Marisha takes that concern away from them.  Now they feel free to acknowledge the difference.

Does the question then invite discussion?  Sometimes it does, but more often only after Marisha or I continue the conversation with a follow-up comment, such as “Obviously, I’m adopted” or “I wish I looked like Marisha.”

Sometimes people use irony to hold others at bay.  Like all humor, it can be used for protection.  It’s possible that “Don’t we look alike?” can function in this way.  It can be a talisman that keeps others from thinking too much about our family and why we look different.  It can be explained and we can all move on from there.  Why would this protection be necessary?  Maybe it’s because neither of us wants to be slapped in the face with our differences in every interaction we have with others when we are together.

Marisha and I don’t sit around and talk about our differences very often.  We are much more focused on our commonalities, the interests we share, such as our family, the theatre, music, dance, writing, and cats.  So when she asks this question when she introduces people to me, does she then see our difference anew through the eyes of others?  Are others a mirror to our family?

The Healing Power of Looking Back

by Elaine Pinkerton

Writing The Goodbye Baby: A Diary about Adoption gave me a chance to put my adoption in perspective.

I was five years old when my birthmother had to give me up for adoption, and at the time I did not understand what was happening. In the era following WWII, people didn’t talk about family secrets. I mistakenly assumed that I’d done something wrong for my original mom to have given me up. Even though they were based on illogical thinking, feelings of shame and guilt grew. For years, I nursed anger, resentment and sadness about being adopted.

Elaine’s diaries

Then I decided to read all my old diaries. What I found within them was life-changing. As I read my first-hand accounts of the 1950s through the 1980s, I began to release the old misconceptions. The older Elaine forgave the young girl, the rebellious teenager, the unhappy wife. I saw, in hindsight, that I had done the best I could. I recognized many terrific accomplishments. Acknowledging myself, I became the heroine rather than the victim of my past life.

My adoption was no longer a burden. It had taken me from being an orphan to a secure home environment. Because of wonderful adoptive parents, it was a rescue boat. Since my early situation was never explained, I sometimes fell victim to  depression. Through re-reading my diaries, however, I was finally able to understand and forgive the past. Looking back on all that happened and putting my adoption in perspective was the final, unexpected gift of adoption.

Perhaps my “epiphany” is best explained in an excerpt from the Epilogue of The Goodbye Baby: A Diary about Adoption:

If it is possible that one can send a brain to boot camp, then that is just what reading my diaries accomplished. Every loss or failed relationship, or so my diaries revealed, echoed that first loss. The loss of my birthmother was one I knew so well and referred to for so long that it was all too easy to toss every loss, failure, slight, emotional hurt into the comfy basket woven from my original privation. I have retired the basket in favor of a daily labyrinth walk to shake out the negative thoughts. Most days it works.

What were the benefits of my diary-reading marathon?  No less than a remodel! Looking at vicious emotional cycles in my past, I stared them down. I grew in the courage needed to resist the voice that liked to say, “Oh, poor me. My mother left when I was just five.”

Turning off the “Oh, poor me” lament is not always easy. As life’s challenges continue, I know I’ll be tested repeatedly. To be alive, after all, is to face crises. The only people who do not grapple daily with frustration, complications, loss and the occasional disaster reside in the cemetery.

Elaine reading one of her diaries

For years, I’d been reading every book and article I could find about the adopted self, especially adult adoptees. They included Betty Jean Lifton’s novels and dozens of self-help books dealing with adoption and loss issues. Until I read the handwritten chronicles of my own life, however, the other adoption books meant little. After harvesting the diaries, I found those works miraculously lucid. The books hadn’t changed, but I had gotten inside my own skin, my own mind. I had a more truthful picture of who I actually was. The diaries provided data, the books gave me strength, and I came to see that my life was just part of a human river. Along with that realization came gratitude.

To put it another way, I got to know the real me, not some abstract construction based on self-concocted mythology.  The diaries provided missing data. Through weeping, crying, occasionally laughing, often being amazed at my stubborn inability to accept the obvious, I worked through the childhood paradigm. At the same time, I gained a new self-respect. So my original mother couldn’t take care of me and I’d been adopted. It was no worse than early challenges faced by hundreds of others.

Everything, it has been said, that happens to one before age six is cast in bronze and that what follows that is not important. I set about to disprove this. As I read about my life first hand, I learned that my initial beliefs about “not being one of the real children” had burdened me with what I think of as an “overcompensation obsession.” I married twice, carrying mistakes of the first union into the second. I hadn’t been an ideal parent. So?

That was then. This is now. I yearn for courage and wisdom. I have tried, through this book, to gain the strength to develop both. There’s something far less lofty that happened. Harvesting the journals yielded a rich treasure: I’m now more comfortable with my memories. We are old pals now.

Several points are salient: I made many hurtful decisions, but I had my reasons.  Though my choices may not have been very wise, I did my best. I wept for that earlier adopted self and put it to rest.

Best of all, my journey to the past strengthened a strong resolve to spend all remaining years on the planet more positively. After researching my life and studying its structure, I’m better at making decisions that serve me well. This is my intention.

***

Elaine Pinkerton is a long-time resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico. In addition to writing for magazines and newspapers, she is the author of several popular non-fiction and fiction books. She is a world traveler, educator focused on working with young children, labyrinth facilitator, and athlete-skier, hiker, former marathon runner. In The Goodbye Baby: A Diary about Adoption, Elaine reveals the bruises of adoption that impacted her from the tender age of five. Through excerpts from personal journals she kept for 40 years, we experience her frustrations and successes as she strives to be good enough for her beloved adoptive parents and in all areas of her later life.

Elaine can be “followed” through her blog, Twitter, and Facebook page:

Blog: http://elainepinkerton.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheGoodbyeBaby

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Elaine-Pinkerton/363479233726632?ref=hl

What Do People Say to the Parents of Adoptees (in Transracial Families)? This stuff . . .

This video captures some very realistic moments!  These comments get very annoying to parents (although they can be very funny, too).  If you have made any of these comments yourself, try to think through how it might make the parent feel.  What could you say instead?

A Lighthearted Blog Post with a Smidgeon of Seriousness

by Luanne

Years ago, when I waited for Marc to arrive, I bought him a fluffy Teddy bear and a stuffed seal toy from an animal welfare organization.  Three years later, when I awaited Marisha, I thought about dolls with human features.  It was important to me that she have dolls which looked like her, not the majority of dolls which were available in stores at that time.

I found one beautiful Asian doll with long silky hair, but she was very expensive–close to $100, which was an incredible price at that time–and I put her on layaway.  Seeing Marisha  hugging that baby doll when she was little more than a baby herself was priceless.

When Marisha started school, she received Barbie dolls for her birthdays.  They were usually blonde, but every time she got a blonde one, I bought her a black-haired Barbie.  In this way she accumulated a lot of Barbies.

Then Marisha moved on to her true love:  Power Rangers!!!

 “It’s Morphin’ Time!” (aka Happy Weekend!)

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