Archive for January, 2007

Born Again

I’m kind of jealous of the cancer patients who go through hell and back and do not dwell on those huge life questions that I obsess about. One in particular: death. Or more so, life after death. Or should I clarify, life after life. To be fair to those of you who do not know me, this was a topic that sparked great interest for me way before I even considered death as a possibility for myself (who is not familiar with the immortal youth mind-set?).   

I believe in reincarnation. Some of you are probably thinking, “wait! I thought she is Jewish?!” Reincarnation is a very Jewish belief though.   If you are Jewish and this shocks you – I highly recommend you get in touch with the thoughts and teachings of The Ari (Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, ב”ה) – who was the one to make reincarnation a popular Jewish belief. I remember learning about this in 4th Grade Judaic class and it making so much sense to me – all my friends thought I was insane to be buying it.  

There is something, though, that really hurts me about the teachings of Jewish reincarnation. It’s the theodicy of why bad things happen to good people. When I was about 10 years old I cringed at a picture in a magazine of a woman who was born with severe physical disabilities.  “Ewww,” I said. My Rav responded with, “if you are not careful, you maybe blessed by a child like that. In this life or your next. None of us know how the Holy One works.” I sighed it off then, but now I want to know – what did I do in my previous life to have ALL in this life. To be “blessed” (as the Rav never says “cursed”) with leukemia.

If I can’t learn this lesson in this life, what surprises my next one will have? There is no guarantee that the next life will be better.  More recently, I am finding that the teachings in Jewish reincarnation do not suggest tit for tat – but rather that opportunities (aka disabilities) are not the punishment, but rather, the lesson. Learn from them and be rewarded or fail to learn from them and be taught it all over again. A scary feeling – as my nature of avoidance is tempting me to take every opportunity to fight this lesson rather than deal with it head-on.

In that same Judaic class, 4th grade, we had a “Questions about G-d” box. We could ask any Judaic or life related question in that box and never had to sign our name so no one would know the questioner. That was a promise. The questions were asked to the class (read by the Rav to keep confidentiality) and as a class we tried to figure out the Jewish answer. There was always an answer to the questions in that box, so I asked, “If someone is separated from their birth mother as a baby in this life, could they be born again her daughter in their next life?” Week after week I waited silently for the question to be picked from the box. Months passed and I forgot I had even asked. A few months after I submitted it – it was pulled and the Rav read it out loud. Much to my devastation the class realized I was the questioner and all turned around and looked at me after it was read. (How did I not know that would happen?! I was the only adoptee in the class!) The class concluded that I probably would never meet her again in my next life – but no one knows how the Holy One works.

No one knows. Not even if the question is put into the “Question about G-d” box.

January 11, 2007 at 1:21 pm 3 comments

Families that match…

There is something cute about the family that looks alike. When I see a family in an advertisement and everyone looks the same … I need no explanation .. I immediately think “they are related.” The ad doesn’t need to explain who is who or identify them all as related – we just know. Even though we also know they are just models and probably not biologically related at all. But we’ve been trained to identify what “family” looks like. A mother and a father and a little kid who looks half of each parent. These are the “nice families.”

Feeding on this same issue is families who dress alike for family portraits. Or the kids are dressed in the same outfit. As if to emphasize the “matching” part which makes them cute – makes them obviously related. In browsing through forums for adoptive parents – I found it strange that somany of the photos showed this matching garb phenomenon. White sister and Asian brother dressed to match. Black sister and white brothers matching. It stops me – I think it would stop most people – and we take a second look. Would a regular on-looker, someone not connected to adoption, see these kids and their matching garb and think “oh they are related!” Probably not.

I hate to admit it, but when I see transracial families dressed alike in a family picture I don’t have the same reaction as I do when I see the “cute family” in those ads – even though I DO think my own (transracial) family matches and is “cute” together. I do wonder – if adoptive parents of “mixed” kids (meaning some of one race, others of another race) do the matching dress more often as a compensation.

Before I left the states I saw a Hospice commercial on TV that I often think about. It’s a grandfather blowing out his birthday candles. Birthday cone hat on his head and his asian granddaughter on his lap. How did I know that was the scenario? Nothing on the commercial said that he is her grandfather and they are related. So why did I make that conclusion? Is it just me… product of a transracial family … who made that assumption? It was a cute commercial and I often think about it – wishing more companies would be that bold.

January 4, 2007 at 8:43 pm 6 comments

Happy Birthday, Emah.

I’ve been trying to reach you, Emah. 

Since June, actually. 

So, when you answered the phone on your birthday the other day, forgive me if I stuttered a bit at first.

I’ve been wondering. When you asked how I was doing. Did you really want to know?

I thought you didn’t. Thought you can’t handle it. So I lied. I hope that was ok.

Call me Mamala again.

Tell me once more you miss me.

Sigh like that again, so I can hear your breathe into the phone.

And I will forget about the past 6 months. Let us forget.

Adopt me again.

January 3, 2007 at 1:56 am 2 comments

Julia’s Jam

It’s just not that black & white. Not because I am taking a stand against. Just because, the issues I face are somewhere in the grey area and to weed through them, I blog. I blog. ~

Glimpse of Julia

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