Table of Contents
THE DADDY QUESTION
Excerpted from Single Mothers by Choice: A Guidebook for Single Women Who Are Considering or Have Chosen Motherhood
by Jane Mattes, L.C.S.W.
Mary, an SMC with a 2 1/2-year-old little boy, told me one day that she found herself checking every storybook before reading it to her son to see whether it had the word “daddy” in it. If it did, she would put it aside and not read it to him. When I asked her why she was doing this, she said she thought that if she didn’t mention the word “daddy” she could delay as long as possible the inevitable questions she feared the story might raise. She just didn’t feel prepared to answer them.
One thing I should say up front is that we are learning new things about this matter every day as the children born to single mothers by choice are maturing. Whatever I say about this is not meant to be gospel, nor is it written in stone. To the contrary, it is always subject to modification and change as we learn more from our experiences. With my own child, I made many mistakes and learned a great deal from them. I like to believe that none of them did any irreparable damage.
Let me tell you about one important finding that may help you feel more comfortable as you struggle with helping your child sort out the facts of her family structure; some research is already in and it indicates that children from never married-mother homes (or SMC families, as we call them) seem to have fewer difficulties in academic and social adjustment than children who live either with divorced mothers or in step families (Demo and Acock “Family Structure and Adolescent Behavior”). This is good news for us because it suggests, as I have suspected all along, that the stability of our homes is more of a factor in helping our children to grow up well than the number of parents in the home.
RESOLVE YOUR OWN FEELINGS
It is important to try to resolve whatever anger or disappointment you may have about the circumstances of your child’s conception or adoption before she is old enough to start asking questions. That way, when the questions start, you can respond to and hear the child’s needs rather than respond out of your own conflicted feelings, and you can be relatively neutral in tone and positive in interpretation of the facts. Talk about it with friends and anyone else who will listen, and if you are not able to get beyond your upset feelings, go for counseling. You owe it to your child.
How do you know whether you have worked out your feelings? Typical indications that you have not are a tendency to avoid using the words “daddy” or “father” in front of your child or, alternatively, either over talking about daddies or responding dismissively when your child questions you about them. Other more obvious indications are fainting, palpitations, or sweating at the mention of the “D-word” (just kidding!). But some SMCs do find it difficult to come to terms with this issue and cannot settle it for a long time. Fortunately, you have at least a couple of years after your child is born to try to work on how you feel before having to explain the situation.
IS THE QUESTION ABOUT A FATHER OR A DADDY?
It is essential in any discussion that you be able to differentiate in your own mind between the concept of a “daddy,” which is a social role, and a “father,” which is a biological one. Everyone has a father but not everyone has a dad. A dad is someone who loves, disciplines, and plays with his child, and usually lives with him. A father is a man whose sperm helped create a child. To lay the groundwork for future discussion, keep in mind that at the beginning stage (around age two or three) your child is probably not asking about her biological father but more likely about one of those people she’s seen at a friend’s house. An SMC once told me that she was feeling terrible because when she and her two-year-old daughter had recently visited married friends who had a child around the same age, her daughter ran after the father calling, “Daddy, daddy, daddy!” She felt sure that already her child was missing a daddy. I asked what else she would have expected her daughter to call him. She most likely heard her little friend calling him “Daddy” and assumed that was his name. We have to be so careful not to read things into our children’s behavior and comments that may not necessarily be there.
PRACTICE ANSWERING THE DADDY QUESTIONS
Although the specific question may change at different stages and developmental levels, the one most important thing at all stages is how you answer the questions. In addition to practicing some dialogues in your own mind and aloud, another technique many SMCs have found helpful is to discuss the matter in front of your child but without the child having to actively participate in the conversation. When you are visiting with a friend or relative, there are many opportunities for your child to overhear you talking about and giving answers to some of the daddy questions even before she has ever asked them. It also gives your child a chance to sense your attitude about the subject and to see what you are comfortable with and willing to talk about.
One thing that is definitely not helpful is to talk about the daddy subject in front of your child in a secretive way. When mothers whisper, children often manage to somehow develop superior hearing while pretending not to hear a word. When a child is adopted, parents are advised to use the term “adopted” in front of the child at the earliest stages so that the language becomes part of the child’s world even before he can speak or understand words. Similarly, if you have conceived via donor insemination you may want to use the terms “insemination” and “donor” and “sperm bank” at home and around friends and relatives as early as possible so your child (and the adults) can get used to hearing the words.
A TODDLER’S FIRST QUESTIONS
When a young toddler (around two or three) is seeking a simple answer to a factual question, the simpler the answer, the better. Unless you sense there is more to the question than a request for information for clarification, try not to complicate the matter. As an SMC, the real answer to the question, “Do I have a daddy?” at the earliest stages is “No, our family doesn’t have a dad.” By phrasing the answer in the context of “our family” you are doing several helpful things at once. First, you are sharing the situation with the child rather than focusing it on her. Second, when you say something about “our family” you are suggesting that other families may be different and, implicitly, that there are many different kinds of families. And last, you are saying that you and your child are a family. Some people may say that a family by definition has to have two parents, but you have to be clear that a single parent family is a family.
When your child asks at this early stage about his dad, you might feel that you should try to soften or cushion the impact of the answer, as in “No, but you have a grandpa and a grandma, and four cousins and six uncles and seven aunts.” “No, but” may soften the blow but it also may cause some confusion. After all, when your child asks if you have a sleeping bag or a piano or whatever, you usually would answer with a simple “No, why do you ask?” You wouldn’t answer with “No, but we have a radio and a typewriter and a refrigerator.”
THREE- AND FOUR-YEAR-OLDS’ QUESTIONS
Although the three/four-year-old is still pretty concrete in his thinking, he is capable of a little more depth and also capable of expressing himself a bit more than the very young toddler. You may be surprised at the real kinds of conversation you can have at this age, though on a very simple level.
There is some controversy among experts in the child development field as to whether there is an innate longing for a dad in all children, regardless of whether they have ever known their dad. I have observed many SMC children all across the country over the past years and found that such a longing is not necessarily innate. I have heard some SMC children express a wish that they had a dad, but when it has been expressed in a particularly strong way, I have found that there were certain specific life circumstances in those cases—for example, the child might have suffered significant early loss (as in the death of a beloved grandparent) or the child might have had particularly difficult early years, perhaps spending time in different foster homes prior to an adoption being made. Another circumstance that seems to create strong desires for a dad is when a child doesn’t feel he’s getting enough contact or time with his one parent. And lastly, if you are yearning for your family to have a dad, your child will surely sense that and yearn for one too.
Whenever I do workshops about the daddy issues, I am often asked for the “right answers” to children’s questions about their dads. I have come to the conclusion that there are no right answers. The best way you can help your child come to terms with this subject is o be open to hearing what your child is really asking and be able to listen and respond to his concerns in an empathic and interested way. I often hear anecdotes about how a mother has prepared for the day that her child asks about his dad and has finally settled on an answer that she feels will be most helpful, only to find that the question her child asks is not the one that even comes close to fitting the answer she prepared.
Empathic responses are ones that communicate that you understand what the other person is feeling. It is nice to let your child know that you too sometimes wish there were a dad around. In saying that, you are helping your child feel supported and understood and not so alone. Don’t underestimate the value of saying things like “I understand how you feel” or “I can imagine that it might be confusing for you.” In difficult times, these words are sometimes the greatest comfort that we can offer.
FIVE- AND SIX-YEAR-OLDS’ QUESTIONS
A child of five or six will have seen enough families with dads to have a working idea of what a dad is, and if the ones she has seen are nice, she may well wish that your family had one. She may have asked you to get one or in some other way let you know that she would like to have one around. Unless you hear some real indication that there is intense emotion behind this, you can respond to it as you would any other wish. You might ask the child to tell you a little about what kind of dad she would like and why she would like that one. You might even say “Yes, it would be nice” or “I would like that too.”
I cannot conclude this topic without making one important point. A child can grow up and do fine without having a dad. It may at times be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be devastating, particularly if you can be helpful to your child in dealing with the issue. Empathetic listening and acceptance of your child’s feelings is invaluable. And expect the feelings to change at different stages and even from week to week.
VOICES OF A GENERATION
A review of Choosing Motherhood: Single Mothers by Choice Share Their Stories
Edited by Karyn Slutsky
By Nancy Nisselbaum
I remember sitting down and telling my mother that I planned to be a single mother by choice. Her first reaction was incomprehension. I’m not sure she even knew what I was talking about. But I was 35 years old, had no marriage prospects, and my heart’s desire was to be a mother, and not necessarily a wife. Had I been able to give my mother this book, the stories of women who’ve also decided to take this road and experience this profound journey, her ability to comprehend my actions might have come sooner.
Here are more than 25 stories from women in various stages of the motherhood game, from thinking to trying to full-time parenting. These are the voices of our generation, the voices of women who have realized that our heart’s desire does not have to be achieved only after marriage, the voices of women who have listened to their heartstrings and answered the call.
This is not a book that describes the nitty-gritty of the thinking process or the ins and outs of dealing with adoption agencies and infertility treatments. It is a book in which women talk to other women. They tell stories, stories of how they never wanted children until one day they did, stories of the joy of being single and being a mom, stories of the endless weekend and making it through just one more hour before you can put the baby down for a nap.
Listen to Melissa as she talks of enjoying her single life, of how she realized that the Cinderella fantasy of her childhood would always remain a fantasy and how that was what she wanted. Listen to Linda as she tells of being convinced that it takes three adults to parent a newborn and how was she supposed to do it by herself, let alone go away for weekend with him— after all, how do you stop to pee? Are you allowed to leave the baby in the car while you rush in to the ladies’ room?
The women telling these stories are as diverse as the world itself and their reactions and desires and hardships transverse the spectrum. From the East Coast hipster to the Midwestern conservative, you hear the same desire in each story: “I want to be a mom.” And these women have dealt with many of the same issues people accusing them of being selfish (after all, bringing a child into the world without a father just isn’t right), worrying about how to survive on just one salary, dealing with childhood illnesses, dating, being too young, being too old.
These are the stories of women who have empowered themselves, who have taken the bull by the horns and said I’m doing it my way. These are the stories that women of a different generation wish they could tell. I have friends who have wistfully said to me, “It just wasn’t done when I was your age.” These are the voices of a new generation, a generation that says I can stand on my own two feet and sometimes I may fall, sometimes I may need support, sometimes I may cry, but most of the time, I revel in the sheer joy motherhood has brought.
To order, go to www.choosingmotherhood.com. Price: $15 plus $3.50 shipping and handling via PayPal.
Fellow SMC Maia Michaelson has opened a new online store (www.henrysamuel.com). Shop now and use coupon code “chai” to save 18% on orders over $100.
Welcome to Words by Henry Samuel Inc., a collection of elegant Jewish gifts featuring transliterated Hebrew words and their meanings. Some words are part of American culture; others are less well known. Each word features a meaning, written by Rabbi Jan R. Uhrbach, that captures the spirit of Judaism. They reach beyond expected definitions, changing our understanding and shifting our perspective, just a little bit. We’ve developed a line of elegant products designed to make words accessible to everyone. You can select from greeting cards, placemats, and beautiful Judaica. We also carry a line of chocolates with words you can eat! Our products are perfect for the home, and they’re great to give as gifts. We hope you enjoy them!
DEAR MS. ESSIE
What’s in a Name?
Dear Ms. Essie: I just saw that Julia Roberts named her babies Hazel
and Phinnaeus. Got me wondering why people choose the names they do. So I’m curious: Do any of you have a great story as to how you came to the decision of the name children?
I think one of the biggest “perks” in being an SMC was naming my child EXACTLY the name I wanted and not having to negotiate or take anyone else’s opinions/ feelings/desires into account. I have a couple of friends who felt they had to do a lot of compromising when naming their child and one friend who literally abhors her son’s name.
There are some who believe the Jewish tradition is to name a child after a deceased relative. There are others who think this casts the evil eye of death upon the child. There are some who think the Hebrew name is the only name that really counts; you can name the child anything in English and then pick a Hebrew name to honor a relative. I felt I wanted to name my daughter after my mother, who passed away when I was 20. My mother was Judith Deborah, as is my daughter. I felt strongly that I wanted my daughter to have both a “diploma name” (Judith) and a “soccer uniform name” (Judy). I wanted a name that was “normal,” preferably old-fashioned but not too out of favor (like Hazel and Phinnaeus).
I had a girl’s name picked out before I was pregnant, but I had no idea about a boy’s name. I did know that I wanted to have my mother’s maiden name Buckley as the middle name if I had a boy. I considered a few different names, but they all felt too trendy. Then I came to Brendan. It went nicely with Buckley and was traditional without being trendy. Of course, now I feel like getting him a T-shirt that says “My name is Brendan, not Brandon,” but otherwise the name is good for him.
Charlie was named after my Uncle Charlie. I decided when I was two months pregnant and although I changed my mind a few times, I had already developed a relationship with baby Charlie in my belly and the name felt right. And once I saw his face, it just fit perfectly.
Knowing that I was having a girl, I thought not only about names I liked but also their potential abbreviations/nicknames. One name that I’ve always liked was Julia and when I thought about potential nicknames, I came up with Jewel. I thought, “Yeah, that’s it. She’s my jewel.”
My maternal great-grandmother was Katharina, my maternal grandmother was Catherine, and I’m Kathleen. I’m currently thinking of naming my daughter Katharine Amelia. My paternal grandmother’s name was Amelia Ellen. My middle name is Ellen, so I’m leaning toward Amelia.
My daughter Cecilia Sybilla is named after my two grandmothers, her great-grandmothers (their middle names). Each of them was also named for their great-grandmother, so the names go back a long way on both sides. I originally planned to use the names as middle names and give her a non-familial name of my choosing, but I couldn’t find anything I liked better than Cecilia.
It used to be that many names ran in cycles and came from characters from a play or TV show. My son was named Nicholas from the show Eight Is Enough in the 1970s with Dick Van Patton as the dad and the hunky Vincent Van Patton as his son. The youngest was Nicholas Bradford and I had never heard it used before and LOVED it (and stuck with it all these years).
I had a boy’s name picked out, but when I found out I was having a girl, I scrambled a bit. My mom told me that my “best friend” when was I was a baby was named Zoe and I was hooked. Rose is her middle name because I liked how it sounded with Zoe. Her second middle name (Mahon) is my mom’s maiden name.
My little one is Jack. It was supposed to be John, but there are so many Johns in my family—great grandparents, grandparents, uncles, my brother. Then my stepsister married a John, who is the son of John and they are having a John. My son is named after his great grandfather—Jack Wilkey.
My story is a bit different since Kiera is adopted. I wanted an Irish name and probably would have named her after my grandmother Mariah, but my brother and sister-in-law already used it. So I thought about Siobhan and Naimh (pronounced Neve), but nothing sat right. Then the birthmother surprised me by suggested Kerry Ann. Having grown up in the Boston area, I felt like I knew too many Kerrys, but I thought it would be nice if the birthmom and I could agree on a name, so I searched the Irish name book and settled on Kiera. Fortunately, the birthmom like the name too and Kiera Joanne Elizabeth was named.
I got tired of the idea that only boys could carry on the family name and that my own last name wasn’t really mine and would change when I got married. Things have changed and I was glad to have the opportunity to give my child not only a family name but “my” family name as well. I also chose a family name as a middle name to provide Katie with a positive sense of a connection to the past.
My son was named Emmanuel by a dear friend who is French. When she was pregnant with her second child, she and her then-husband (who’s English) couldn’t think of a name. I told them the baby’s name was Olivier—it’s a perfect name for a French/English boy. When I called my friend to tell her I got a referral, she was sitting outside their house in Majorca and she saw a shooting star. A few weeks later, I was visiting her before I went to Vietnam to pick up my son and she picked up a French reference book that had hundreds of names and their meanings. That’s it, she said, when she saw Emmanuel. It means “Gift of God.”
I wanted to pick something a little different and a Celtic name to reflect my roots, so I chose Shane William. William is after my father, who died 15 years ago. The name Shane means “God Is Gracious; God’s Gift.”
I had always liked the name Meghan ever since I read The Thorn Birds when I was in high school. When I found out I was having a girl, I tried thinking of other girl names but I couldn’t find anything that struck me as much. I liked the name Riley but my brother’s dog is named that and my niece and nephew would think I named the baby after the dog.
I spent my pregnancy scribbling names, names with middle names. I looked up family names. But since my triplets are DE/DS I didn’t feel the need to connect them with my past family history. What I discovered when I examined my choices was that I chose names that to my ear sounded good together in a musical sense. Rhythmically. I sing and used to play the piano, so approaching things musically felt right to me.
I had three and a half short weeks to come up with a name for my child who was adopted domestically at birth. I had no problem with a boy’s name. But when it came to a girl’s, I had a list of 10 names that I just couldn’t shorten. I was still struggling when I got the call that the birthmother was in labor. On the plane I shortened the list to five names. I arrived at the hospital not knowing whether my two-hour old child was male or female. The nurse put a baby in my arms, said, “Say hello to your daughter,” and asked what her name was. Alexandra came out of my mouth. I have no idea where it came from; it wasn’t even on the list. I feel she truly named herself.
My mother died two years before I gave birth and I knew that I wanted to name my child after her. Her name was Eunice and I had promised her before she died that not only would I never use her name for a child, I also wouldn’t allow anybody else to straddle their child with that name. I chose girl’s names but boy’s names were harder. I didn’t like anything that began with E. When my son was born, I decided on Ean, not so much because he looked like an Ean, but because he didn’t look like an Elijah (my other choice).
Editor’s Note: In this feature, the wit and wisdom of our very smart and together SMC—Ms. Essie Emcee—is tapped to answer some of the question that SMCs may face. Other sources of extraordinary wisdom can be found on the SMC listserve groups. It was from the Mothering list, in fact, that this question and the answers were shamelessly stolen. If you have a question you’d like Ms. Essie to answer, email email@example.com or mail it to Box 1642, Gracie Square Station, NYC 10028.
HOW DO SMCS CHOOSE ANONYMOUS SPERM DONORS?
Mate choice is a subject that spans ecology, behavior, and sociology, particularly when it comes to humans. As an SMC and an ecologist (with some background in evolution and behavior), I became interested in how SMCs choose their sperm donor “mates.” My interest was based on both personal and academic reasons. Here, I will focus on the academics.
For the first time in human history, social advancement toward women’s empowerment plus technological advances in reproduction have allowed for a completely female-driven, one-way mate choice: single mothers by choice using anonymous sperm donation to conceive children and raise them using their own resources. The SMC strategy may avoid costly errors in mate choic —namely, divorce, death, and changes in socioeconomic conditions. Three hypotheses regarding human mate choice have been widely tested and discussed: the parental investment hypothesis; the social role hypothesis; and the assortative mating hypothesis. The first two predict that women will choose mates based on either characteristics indicating “good genes” or characteristics indicating a “good provider.” Under conditions where women have all the resources they need to raise children on their own, they should choose mates with adaptive traits (such as height or intelligence) that may be passed on to their offspring: in other words, “good genes.” When women require resources from a mate to successfully raise children, then their mate choice would lean more toward characteristics (such as income and social status) that indicate the mate’s control of these resources. The assortative mating hypothesis, however, predicts that women (and men) choose mates that are most like themselves in both physical and socioeconomic characteristics, in order to form a more solid partnership for child rearing. SMCs using anonymous sperm donors expect no resources from their “mate”, and by evidence of their decision to be a single mother, they hold fairly egalitarian beliefs. Therefore, accordance with both the parental investment hypothesis and the social role hypothesis, I would expect SMCs to place less importance on donor characteristics that indicate potential good providers or good partners, and more importance on characteristics which indicate advantageous genes.
Of the 123 volunteers who responded to the recruitment notices, 70 submitted completed questionnaires. The questionnaire asked respondents first for information on themselves, including current age, their age when the last vial of sperm was purchased, their sexual orientation, and their relationship status at the time of vial purchase(s). The respondents were then asked to place an X next to each donor characteristic for which information was available, with characteristics listed in three broad groups. Respondents were also asked to indicate with an “N” those characteristics for which information was not available but would have been taken into consideration. The three groups included:
• Physical characteristics, such as height, eye and hair color, facial features, race, ethnicity (Jewish ancestry was included here), blood type, information from baby and/or adult photos, and audio interviews.
• Medical history characteristics of the donor and donor’s family.
• Personal characteristics such as the donor’s religious affiliation, intelligence and educational achievement, selfreported skills and abilities such as athleticism and artistic ability, and profession.
For ease of questionnaire completion, women were asked to give the most important characteristic(s) a rank of 1 and to continue ranking less important characteristics with subsequent numbers. Due to the different approaches women used to choose donors, women either used a few bundles of characteristics that were equally important within the bundle (and then ranked the bundles), or they used a checklist approach, using each successive, or less important, characteristic as a reason to include or exclude potential donors. I have summarized the results in Table 1. I separated those SMCs using anonymous donors from those using “open” donors (those willing to be contacted when the child turns 18), since based on the responses this was the first decision for most of the participants. Overall, the most important donor characteristics were inheritable traits (race, medical history, intelligence), indicators of “good genes”. Traits indicative of the donor’s resources and socioeconomic status (profession and income) did not rank highly (even though most participants had information on the donor’s profession). However, of the 11 participants who would have wanted income information, 9 used open donors and 2 stated they would have used open donors if they had been available. It is possible that those using open donors are more likely to consider potential resources for their (adult) children as a criterion, consciously or not. Additionally, if the information had been available, many participants would have used characteristics such as the donor’s personality and facial features, which may lend support to the “good partner” hypothesis. Indeed, a number of participants stated that one of their criteria was a donor whom they might have considered for either a relationship or friendship.
Reading the brief descriptions of why these characteristics were important to the participants, I was struck by the incredibly diverse donor selection processes among SMCs. Two women ranking the same characteristics in the same order can have entirely different reasons for doing so. It was quite clear to me that these three mate choice hypotheses do not capture the full range of information that SMCs use to choose mates, and that certainly much more research is necessary. I would like to thank all of the volunteers for their time. I hope that these results are of interest to them, and useful to future SMCs.
Table 1: Ranked importance of donor characteristics to mate choice, and information available to participants for each characteristic. Numbers in parentheses indicate the number of respondents who would have used information for that characteristic if it had been available
WHAT'S THE BUZZ
As many of us know, Choice Moms tend to be combined with divorced parents when critics talk about the traumas and difficulties for children in single-parent households. That’s partly because our particular community of single women who proactively choose motherhood has rarely been part of a focused research group. And the studies that have been done involve only a few dozen women or less. Choice Moms LLC made contact with one of the prominent social scientists interested in nontraditional families, Susan Golombok of U.K’s Cambridge University, who is interested in working with the more than 1,000 women who regularly visit the Choice Mom and Single Mothers by Choice websites. She and her team have developed a series of (anonymous) surveys for the Choice Mom community: Thinkers, Tryers, Moms. Whether you’ve adopted, used an anonymous or known donor, or are in the pondering or trying stages, there is a survey customized for you. The goal of the first stage of research is simply to find out in aggregate who tends to be on this journey, wherever in the world you might live. (Eventually, if we get a good base to work from, we’ll also start to find out in a longitudinal survey how our kids are turning out.) Log on to www.choicemoms.org/index.cfm/new_choice_moms_survey/124/n w_choice_moms_survey.htm.
The new CP for Boston is Kit Jenkin (contact her at KitJenkin@aol.com), now that Betsey Halbert has stepped down. Many thanks to Betsey for her many years of leadership with the Boston chapter.
Aurrit Levin is the new contact person for Johannesburg, South Africa. She can be reached at (011) 485-1001, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mary Lozano is a new CP for Oroville, California. She can be reached at (530) 533-2882, email@example.com.
Kelly Margolis is a new CP for Voorhees, New Jersey. She can be reached at (609) 980-9746, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lori Mayfield is a new CP for Texas. Her email is email@example.com
We’ve recently reorganized our online listserves. Here, a list of the new groups and what each relates to. Log on to see what the buzz is all about. We encourage everyone to join these lists to keep abreast of the SMC community and news-worthy happenings.
SMC-News for SMC-related media and other news and adoption and/or birth announcements.
SMC-Community is a central gathering place for all of our members, where we discuss general SMC issues not covered by the “ages and stages” groups.
We also have special-purpose lists that cover specific topics within the SMC environment.
SMC-Adopt for discussion of the adoption process and parenting an adopted child.
SMC-Thinking for discussion of deciding whether or not to become an SMC.
SMC-TTC for discussion of the process of trying to conceive and pregnancy.
SMC-IF for discussion of long-term infertility issues.
SMC-Preg for discussion of pregnancy.
SMC-Intl for discussion of issues of interest to our members outside of N. America.
And we’ve redefined our age/grade-related lists for discussion of practical parenting issues.
SMC-Little Ones for discussion of parenting children from birth to preschool.
SMC-Schoo lAge for discussion of parenting children in grades K-5.
SMC-Middle School for discussion of parenting middle school children, grades 6-8.
SMC-Senior for discussion of parenting children in grades 9 and up.
ATTENTION SMC FAMILIES
Join in the fun of our annual SMC camping trip for the weekend of September 19-21, 2008, at Frost Valley YMCA in the Catskills. Please send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Laurie E. Kaiser, 41 Winthrop St, Lynbrook, NY 11563, for a full detailed information packet to be sent to you. There are a limited number of rooms available. They will be booked on a first-come-first serve basis. For more information contact Laurie E. Kaiser at 516/825-6199 or Sara Workman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send all birth and adoption announcements to email@example.com. Include all relevant information—birth date, weight, your name, arrival home date, siblings—and I’ll put it in the next issue of the newsletter. Congratulations to all our new moms.
With gratitude, Mandy Barton announces the birth of her daughter, Claire Elise, on May 9, 2008, conceived via AD in vitro. She was 6lbs, 12oz, and the most amazing gift of my life! I am completely in love with her.
Anne Marie Finley announces with joy the adoption of Anastasia Helen (“Anna”) in Rostov-on-Don , Russia, on Valentine’s Day, 2008. Anna arrived home on March 1, 2008.
Karen Kobelski is thrilled to announce the birth of her twin daughters, Catherine Rebecca (“Cate”) and Charlotte Maria (“Carly”) on October 17, 2007, in Madison, Wisconsin . Cate was 5lbs, 11oz and Carly was 4lbs, 6oz. The girls have been happy and healthy since birth—and they have tripled in weight! They are the joy of my life. This first seven months have been an amazing odyssey. I am so glad I did this!
Andrea Hopkins is thrilled to announce the birth of Claire Linda, on January 22, 2008, at 3:47 p.m. She was 7lbs, 10oz with dark brown hair and blue eyes. Grandma Linda was there to witness the best day of my life. Claire is three months old as I write this and everything I’d dreamed of.
Audrey Mayer is happy to announce the birth of her son by ADI, Luukas Nicolaus, on March 29, 2008, in Helsinki, Finland. Luukas weighed 10lbs, 6oz and was 21.3in. Three weeks later, he weighed more than 11 pounds. His Wisconsin cousins have notified the Green Bay Packers that they have a star linebacker coming to them in 20 years!
It is with so much joy and excitement that Stacie MacDonald announces the birth of her daughter, Gina Anastasia. Gina was born November 25, 2007, at 12:45a.m. She was 7lbs, 19in. Being a new mom has been tough, but seeing that perfect little angel face every day makes it all worth it. I love her so much.
Bethany Schussler is thrilled to announce that Hannah Michelle was born on March 12, 2008.She was 8.2 lbs and was 20in long.
Mary Veneziani and big brother Anthony are thrilled to announce the arrival of Olivia Marie, born on June 4, 2008. She was 5lbs, 6oz, and 18.5in. They both bring so much joy to this mom’s life.
Born six weeks early on April 24, 2008, Wyatt Edward (5lbs, 5oz, 18in) and Henry Joseph (6lbs, 19in) are joyfully welcomed by Laura and big sister Ella Vilardo.
Aaron Thomas Volkwein celebrated his 1st birthday on March 27, 2008. He arrived a year earlier at 4:10 a.m. He was 8lbs, 4oz, and 21in. He was welcomed by big sister Janey who was 2 years old at the time. Time certainly does fly. I’m so grateful to just be along for the ride.
ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER
This newsletter is published quarterly by Single Mothers by Choice Inc., a nonprofit founded in 1981. Annual subscriptions to this newsletter are included free with a membership ($55 for first year, $35 for renewal) or by subscription at $25 per year. Give a friend a gift. We are a nonprofit 501C corporation, and donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
We welcome submissions of original material. All material is published at the discretion of SMC and may be edited. SMC claims sole editorial authority and responsibility for the contents. Articles published in this newsletter represent the views of the author and not necessarily that of SMC. Send submissions to Nancy Nisselbaum at the SMC office or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SMC accepts advertising at the rate of $1,000 per page (adjusted proportionately for fractions of a page). Classified ads or announcements from our members for noncommercial ventures are accepted without charge. Jane Mattes, CSW, the publisher of the newsletter, is the founder of SMC and author of Single Mothers by Choice: A Guidebook for Single Women Who Are Considering or Have Chosen Motherhood. Jane is also a psychotherapist and can be reached at (212) 988-0993, at email@example.com, or at the SMC office at Box 1642, Gracie Square Station, New York, NY 10028.
Newsletter editor: Nancy Nisselbaum, firstname.lastname@example.org or (718) 897-3413.
Mico Promotions, Inc.
Entire contents copyright © 2008, Single Mothers by Choice Inc. All rights reserved