Monday, May 08, 2006


While visiting a "large city with a large concentration of Orthodox Jews" recently (I'll let you guess where), I stopped into the only store I like in the area.

A Jewish book store.

Can't stand the city otherwise. Too crowded, too many people, too much triple parking. I need wide open spaces with flowers and trees.

So, I'm cruisin' around the store, seeing if there are any books that catch my eye, and I see this.

(Can you tell that I figured out how to add images to Blogger?)

I think I gasped and grabbed it off the shelf like it was a diamond.

From Lokshein to Lo Mein, written by Donald Seigel, is a very simple cookbook that has all kosher Chinese recipes. The recipes appear to be very simple, and provide workarounds for how to make Chinese food that isn't treif (non-kosher). For example, I've bought some Chinese vegetable buns from the freezer section in my local market. They tasted horrible when I "steamed" them in the microwave, and knew that they need some sort of sauce, but I wasn't sure what. Of course, I could have Googled it, but I don't have a computer in the kitchen (yet). This cookbook recommends a specific sauce to go with it, and explains how I can steam things in my wok. It has great stir fry recipes that I can't wait to try, and all kinds of chicken, beef and tofu dishes that I've always wanted to try myself.

It's also very funny, and provides a little background about the relationships between the Chinese and the Jews. The section about "the Jewish Experience in China" is very enlightening. Apparently Jews had been in China hundreds and hundreds of years ago, and were so numerous at one point that an emperor celebrated Jewish holidays. That really blew my mind. Even our esteemed President, George W. Bush, barely knows about Chanukah.

Buy the book, people. It's really not that expensive - it's $19.95 on Amazon (and that's what I paid in the store).

Meet Reyna!

I've seen the Gali Girls website in the past, a website that sells Jewish oriented dolls and books, and thought it was a nice idea.

But now they've done something that American Girl hasn't been able to do. They've come out with a Chinese doll and accompanying book.

Reyna is a little girl who is growing up in Kaifeng in 1175 and undergoing all kinds of exciting adventures as detailed in her book, Reyna and the Jade Star. She comes in traditional Chinese dress, with a magen david necklace, a Shabbat kit, and has other available outfits.

Unfortunately, it's not coming out until July. Not soon enough for me!


(Courtesy of Ellen from my jfwcc group)

Yes, I admit it. We've been procrastinating.

I actually put in a huge amount of effort into getting the loads and loads of documents neccessary for our dossier, right before Passover, but nothing since. There's just been a lot going on, plus we're waiting for a new copy of my husband's birth certificate.

But, I got a good kick in the rear yesterday. We finally attended our first FCC event. We joined sometime in March or April, and immediately started getting A LOT of emails. The local FCCs are very, very busy, and NYC has a lot of China oriented events that FCC advertises. However, being that we're Orthodox Jews, we cannot attend the Saturday events or events held in churches. And we're not too comfortable attending events in treif (non-kosher) restaurants. But, finally, a local chapter was having a get-together for parents who were waiting or recently returned. It wasn't on Saturday, in a church or in a restaurant. Just someone's back yard. Again, we couldn't eat their food, but that's not such a big deal.

We showed up a little late so that most of the attendees would have pretty much eaten already (and wouldn't focus on us sitting there, sipping our Cokes while they has sushi and salads and other yummy looking food), and brought a kosher dessert to share. I was actually hoping to go a little incognito. I didn't want to make a big deal about our religion. My wig doesn't look that, um, wiggy, and my husband was dressed in his casual clothes with a baseball cap. Of course, the hostess, who isn't even Jewish, works at a Jewish Day School and recognized our status as an Orthodox couple immediately! Oh well.

Not that I minded being recognized as an Orthodox Jew, it's just that I didn't want it to put up too many barriers, or make the hostess uncomfortable about us not eating, etc. She apologized about 10 times. And we probably gave the other non-religous Jews there guilt complexes. But, everyone welcomed us very nicely and we met about 6 other couples. We got to drool over see some other Chinese adoptees of various ages (the oldest was 9), and even got to meet a mother and daughter who just came back from China three weeks ago. Her daughter seemed to be very well adjusted, and, while staying in her mother's arms, interacted with everyone else in a positive manner.


It may not have been my baby, but I finally MET ONE IN THE FLESH.

I feel better now.

The other good part, other than the obvious positives of being able to network with other adoptive parents and sit around and complain about paperchasing and deadlines and referral times, is that I met another future adoptive mom (and dad, but I bonded with the mom) who is also using my agency and who sent out her I-600-A last week. We both realized that if I get my act together and send out my I-600-A this week, we can probably DTC together.

Oh my. I may have actually met a travel companion. And we really, really hit it off.

I am SO EXCITED NOW. And it will help to have a friend going thru the same process, getting on my case about paperwork. It's wonderful. Sometimes you just need that push!

So, hi, L! I hope we travel together! I'll email you tomorrow after we send out our document so that you don't yell at me on the phone!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Scott outdoes himself again (another great adoption video!)

Please visit The Cady Chase again. Scott has posted the most wonderful video of an SWI visit that I've EVER seen. Absolutely beautiful. They were so privileged to be able to meet their daughter's caretaker and thank her in person. Karen did a great job at showing her appreciation.

Oh phooey. I can't figure out how to link directly to that post (darn Macs!). Please go to their website and look for the posting titled "Hello Again" on 04/21/06.

And check out the rest of the videos. Cady is quite the little dancer! And giggler! just overall cute.