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Every morning I wake up and think: Today might be the day.

Today marks one week. One week since we signed the papers, one week since I told the world, one week since I started watching my phone like a love stricken teenager.

We've met so many parents on this journey and they tell you their story.
"They called while we were in CPR."
"They called thirty minutes after we signed."
And others who said no to five or so calls before they said yes, waiting for what felt right.

I have every one of their stories in my head and my heart. Every single one I’ve been lucky enough to receive, to hear.  

We received a text from J, the head of adoptions yesterday. 
"You're next," said said. "Top of the list."

I wonder what our story will be. Together, on our own, with the birth parent. In so many endless ways I wonder what our story will be. I'm cultivating curiosity over fear, that little girl in me that always wanted to adopt now growing her family in ways she never would've imagined. 

Volumes and volumes of blank pages lie before us.

I know better than to think I have any control over what's happening. As though my clenched fists and jaws could hurry "fate." And though the moment this baby enters our home will be a beautiful moment for us it's a moment steeped in loss. There will be losses that have already occurred for birth mom and babe. There will be losses for us. We will do our best. 

Like that book my mom read to me as a child:
Are you my mother?

I don't know about forever but today or tomorrow or the next day I will wrap you up and keep you safe and wish all the blessings on you in the world.
A new chapter.
A part of one another's story.
A new story together.

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Let Myself Be Led

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A year and a half ago we left our life in Venice and moved across LA. We'd spent several years burrowing deep into California cottage and making our neighborhood our own. Rosy and I could walk to our local coffee shop with our eyes closed and the baristas knew us by name. I remember just a couple months prior to our move thinking, I could never leave here.

Never say never.

Our friends, a married couple with a new babe, had moved to Silver Lake a couple years prior. I hadn't spent much time there and when we did make the jaunt across the city we went straight to their house and hunkered down there. On a Sunday afternoon we decided to brave the traffic and spend the afternoon there. Once we arrived Patrick pointed out the house across the street saying it was for rent.

Wanna go see it?
Why not, we said.

We walked through the rooms, all full of boxes and furniture and a good amount of dirt, as the couple who lived there was moving to Texas. It was nestled in the trees and had a special room made of windows that was hit by light at every angle.

Matt and I looked at one another. The strangest thing happened. They asked if we wanted to move in, we looked at one another and we said yes. Just like that.

I could’ve never imagined leaving our home and our neighborhood but all of the sudden the choice was easy and not even much a choice. We just knew. We moved in and the "treehouse", as we've come to affectionally call it, was an absolute mess. I spent many an afternoon in rubber gloves wielding a bottle of bleach... and crying. But you bite off more than you can chew then you chew it.

We settled into our life in East Los Angeles. It turned out that the treehouse just needed some love, like all of us, in order to be shinier, more full of light. I turned the room of windows into my yoga sanctuary and we cooked big meals and fed our friends to make it feel like home.

Almost a year later we drove to our original “get to know you” appointment at our foster adoption agency. As I input the address into our GPS I laughed aloud. It was right down the street. In all of Los Angeles, this sprawling, messy city, and it was right under our noses. In all of LA the place where we would grow our family was right here.

2017, you’ve been hard. You’ve taken everything I saw as “safe” or “guaranteed” and turned it on its head. But you’ve also taught me how to trust. I feel like I’m in an absolute freefall but also right where I’m supposed to be. I just gotta let myself be led.

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On Becoming Real: My Not-So-Conventional Journey to Mamahood

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I was never sure if I was meant to be a mama. 
Actually that's an understatement. I felt immense doubt around motherhood.
I cried in a lot of hotel rooms when my best friend and I would travel for work. 
"I don't know if I'm ready," I'd say, tears running down my face. "I don't know if I want to."
She'd hug me and say, "Then don't."

Don't get me wrong. I love my friends' babies to the moon. I love my friends’ round bellies and ability to eat all the nachos. I even thought decorating a nursery would be fun. But the rest of it? I was unsure.

I'd close my eyes during vision meditations where I was supposed to see my life and I just couldn't see "it." Whatever it was. That was challenging when at least half the room experienced major waterworks talking about their perfect baby and my best friend pictured her three flannel clad children summiting a mountain. 

That being said, after a few years of marriage my big bearded honey of a husband (who was so meant to be a dad and had talked about it on our second date) and I started to "try." We are in love but we are kind of lazy together too, so I was not exactly a "peeing on sticks" and "sex around the clock" kinda gal. I figure if it was supposed to happen, it would and I'd trust that the universe had my back on this one.

We tried. We kept trying. I bought some of those sticks. I peed on them. I took vitamins. Still nothing.

Okay universe, I know I said I was unsure but now I'm kind of pissed.

Fast forward to this past spring. I'm in some stupid outfit that I think is "mom-like." I'm in a stuffy doctor's office with my husband and clutching his hand for dear life. It's a fertility center and I don't like anything about it. After many tests, the doctor told us that there was a chance we could get pregnant but it was pretty small. He immediately ushered us into an even smaller, even stuffier, room to show us pamphlets about IVF and other means of becoming pregnant.

He told us that we could begin these fertility treatments as soon as the next week. Not even five minutes later, a woman shows up with another folder of paperwork about how to pay for said IVF. I was overwhelmed and in tears. We hadn't been trying that long. We hadn't seen a naturopath. We left. Matt drove us to our favorite ice cream shop and we sat outside eating massive cones at 2 pm. 

I looked at him and said, "Should we just say fuck it and move to Bali? Just the two of us?"

He looked at me and shrugged. Maybe, he said.

The further and further we got away from that office the more I realized that this was not how I wanted to grow my family. But something else had started to bloom in me. That I was actually meant to be a mother.

Matt and I were on a walk on a Saturday afternoon when I asked him, "What do you think about adoption?"
He looked at me with big eyes and said, "I think it's beautiful."
I smiled. "Yeah, me too. Really beautiful."

I noticed the way adoption made me feel in my body. Vulnerable but open. Soft but sweet. Strong yet tender. It made me feel the way I do when I see my dad's eyes crinkle up with laughter. The way I feel when I'm really connected to others - sometimes in yoga classes, sometimes at church when visiting my parents, sometimes in nature. I felt it in my bones and knew it to be true. For me. For us. For this little human out there. I could close my eyes and picture every curve of their sweet, little face. Picture the moment the car drove up and a social worker placed this baby in my arms.

I didn't feel this way when I thought about the other ways of becoming a mom. To be completely and utterly honest, I didn't even feel that way when I thought about myself as pregnant. It felt right, like soulmate-right, and it made sense to me why I couldn't picture it before. I was trying to picture what someone else's version of motherhood and family looked like, and Photoshop my face on a dream.

Life happens like that. It’s so easy to feel when something is wrong, when something is not for us, not ours. And it’s also so easy to stay in that place of lack, of not ours, of feeling empty. That day in the doctor's office was a gift as it opened up another path full of possibility and heart opening and transformation. Thank God we kept asking the questions, thank God I kept feeling the word “mama” in my body, thank God for a partner who was willing to ask the questions too. There was no trying anymore, no struggle or effort, everything that happened before brought us to the clearest moment. This, this, is how we were meant to be parents.

Fast forward to a few weeks later. We've met with a student of mine who is foster adoption lawyer. She had been coming to my classes for years, front row, front and center. Because life is like that and will not let you miss the important people that will change everything for you. We’ve talked to parents who have adopted privately. We've talked with parents who have foster adopted. We've met with a foster adoption agency. We've made a big, scary, beautiful decision: we are going to become parents through the foster system of Los Angeles.

They tell you that in the foster-to-adopt world, there are no guarantees. They tell you this, and they tell you again, and then they have you talk to other foster parents who tell you: There are no guarantees. You open up your home and a little heartbeat comes inside, and there is no knowing if it will be forever. That being said, I'd be hard pressed to find anything that is absolutely, 100 percent guaranteed in life. I have found peace in this. Matt and I are strong, that our home can hold this level of uncertainty in the floors and in our hands, the whole point is to love and provide safety and what an honor to do so.

I handed a nurse my foster parent paperwork at a physical I needed to get certified. She looked at my paperwork, looked up and said, "I'm sorry."
"Excuse me?" I said.
"Can you not get pregnant?" she asked.

This was the first of many insensitive comments I've heard and will continue to hear, I'm sure, but they pale in comparison to the amount of support we've received. And I looked that nurse square in the eyes and said, "I think you meant congratulations, not sorry. This is exactly what we want to do and exactly how we want to become parents." I meant every single world.

That brings us to today. We've filled out mountains of paperwork. We've delved into our past and talked about our future. We've completed weeks of classes and met the most amazing future parents and social workers. We've learned about burn marks and trauma and what will be asked of us. We've baby-proofed our home. And in a few days or weeks we will receive a phone call and we will say "yes."

We will be parents. To our forever baby? Maybe. But no matter what we will love up this little angel with all we have.

In our training with Extraordinary Families a social worker explains that as an adult the loss should fall on us. These babies, these children have experienced enough trauma and pain in their short lives. We are adults and we have cobbled together tools and coping mechanisms. We have family. We have friends. We have a yoga practice.

Are we scared? Of course.
Is it risky? For our hearts, for sure.
But damn, if that isn't the point then what is?

I was born for this. We were. And I can't wait to walk alongside you on this journey, my love.


'Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'

'Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit. 

'Sometimes,' said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 'When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.' 

'Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,' he asked, 'or bit by bit?' 

'It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.'

Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit


More to read + watch :

Extraordinary Families
This is the nonprofit foster and adoption agency we are working with. We have met the most unbelievable, selfless social workers and parents and feel beyond blessed to be on this journey with them. We live in Los Angeles, which has the largest child welfare system in the world, with more than 34,000 children receiving services.

 The F Word: A Foster-to-Adopt Story
A YouTube series by a couple that keep it very real on their journey in foster care and adoption.

Four Castaways Make a Family
I read this NY Times Modern Love piece weekly. Read it and you'll understand why.

Instant Mom
This book is by Nia Vardalos, who wrote and starred in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." She adopted her daughter through foster care after 13 failed rounds of IVF. It's an amazing book and has many FAQs at the end.

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