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Love and Entropy in Texas

American Gothic, sort of

I came here to visit my daughter’s birth parents and ask them about their history and their adoption experience. It’s been an intense journey. They have an angrysad hangover, four years later, about how they were treated by our agency. They became homeless a year or so after Grace was born, kicked around LA for a while (and also stayed with us) …

Vanessa McGradyLove and Entropy in Texas
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Cupcakes, lemonade, paper and magic

Grace, my newly minted 4-year-old, is coming off a 36-hour high-rev cycle of excitement about her birthday, breaking into her own little “it’s my birthday, birthday, birthday” tune once every 20 minutes or so. A magician and his rabbit show up in the park for her. She is surrounded by grown ups and kids who adore her. At the end, 10 cupcakes, some smushed, some salvageable. …

Vanessa McGradyCupcakes, lemonade, paper and magic
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Thinking about the ones who aren’t

Babies are lovely and they smell divine and holding them makes us all goopy. This day is a good reminder, though, of all the shades of loss around babies. Oct. 15 is the national day for honoring miscarriages and infants who died close to birth. It’s a painful enough wound when it’s fresh — maybe you see a joyful, very pregnant woman shopping …

Vanessa McGradyThinking about the ones who aren’t
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We Find Each Other

It’s midnight and I’m working late, almost done, it’s due first thing in the morning. Exhaustion is constant, in my bones, and sometimes I have macabre thoughts that if I were in the hospital or jail for two weeks I could just sleep, undisturbed. She pads out from her bedroom, pink elephant pajamas and freshly washed curls, eyes half-mast. Without a word, she …

Vanessa McGradyWe Find Each Other

When a Hoax Goes Terribly Wrong

For as much as I promote hard — and sometimes painful — honesty in our family, I occasionally try to sweeten the truth. Like when Grace lost her teddy bear and I staged an elaborate Christmas comeback for Rainbow, something you’d see in a Bing Crosby movie. It didn’t go as I’d planned. In fact, few things do. Here’s the full …

Vanessa McGradyWhen a Hoax Goes Terribly Wrong

Some things about Christmas 2013

This is Grace's portrait of Bridgett and Bill. Which is so crazy perfect, if you know them.

1. My dad died 10 years ago today. You don’t really recover from something like that. I was really sad for the past couple weeks and felt all “dumpy mom,” and couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but duh. Of course. Then, some magic. My older brother, Ilya, in ISRAEL, made a concert of this beautiful, ethereal music with …

Vanessa McGradySome things about Christmas 2013

Want kids?

Vanessa McGradyWant kids?