Motherhood

Breasts: Nourishing an Adopted Son

Rabbi Susan Silverman's essay on adoption

Today, we’re publishing the second essay in our series on breasts. The following is by Rabbi Susan Silverman, a mother of two adopted sons and three biological daughters.


I didn’t breastfeed Adar when he came home from Ethiopia at nine months old, even though I had heard that, having nursed my biological daughters, Aliza and Hallel, before him, I could try to stimulate lactation. But, I wondered if it would traumatize my almost-toddler for me to stick a tit in his mouth. Would it be his earliest memory — a big white boob in his face?

Now, one Friday afternoon, very pregnant with Adar’s first younger sibling, I had a moment of regret as he watched her baby-form grow inside me and would soon see her nursing.

“Does baby girl eat?” four-year-old Adar asked, as I was setting up for Sabbath dinner, reaching carefully with my big belly across plates of salads and spreads to place the Kiddush cup on the table.

“Yes, sweetie, she eats what I eat,” I said.

“Did I eat what my tummy-mommy ate?” Adar asked.

“Yes,” I said. “You ate what your tummy-mommy ate.”

“Can I eat from your tummy?”

“No, but I can still feed you. And it’s so much better because we can look at each other while I do!”

Umbilical cord, fork, what’s the difference? They’re both ways for a mommy to feed her children. In fact, I only use the umbilical cord to feed the baby so I have my hands free to take care of you!

Squatting to face Adar, I held his hands and looked straight into his eyes, holding his gaze while my mind raced. Dinner guests would arrive in a couple hours, but this moment with my sweet four-year-old mattered more than anything. I had to convey that we were unwaveringly mother-and-son. Don’t be jealous of this baby! My relationship with her is strictly placental.

“Mommy?” He pointed to my heart.

“Yes, my love,” I said, holding his cheeks and kissing his forehead. He could sense what I felt!

“You have hummus on your booby.”

I grabbed a napkin and peered down to wipe the tan blob off my shirt, worrying anew about the impact this pregnancy and breastfeeding would have on Adar, things he and I didn’t share.

There is a rabbinic story that when our foremother, Sarah, gave birth to her son, Isaac, the townswomen laughed at her, claiming that such an old woman could not have delivered a child. So God made Sarah’s breasts into fountains of milk and dried up the breasts of the naysaying women so that they had to bring their babies to Sarah to be fed.

Her breasts were proof of motherhood and weapons against doubt. I did not have that “proof” for my son. Years later, when this yet-unborn-baby, Ashira, was in first grade, a classmate asked her how it could be that she and her brother were siblings. She responded simply and with the profoundest truth: She shrugged, as if to say, “That’s just the way it is.”

The few biblical references to God in female terms are as a nursing mother. And, yet, it was my not-nursed child who most elicited God for me, who brought God palpably into our family, a microcosm of the created world – possibility, despair, redemption, tragedy, hope, healing, brokenness.

I watched Adar evolve from a crab-crawler to a runner, tricycle rider and puddle splitter — pedaling through the water so fast it was like the opening of the Red Sea. When he was little, we lay on his bed every night and read book after book with his head on my shoulder. Plus, a million trillion kisses.

And I had loved my night bottle-feeding ritual with him. When the girls had nursed, their faces were smushed, practically lost, in my giant boobs. But with Adar, we looked at each other as I held the bottle, our eyes locked on each other’s faces until his lids fell like night over his beautiful shining eyes. Those moments are lodged in my soul. Any fears I’d had about not fully connecting with my son since I didn’t breastfeed him were unfounded; those early fears quickly washed away into​ the years of being our family.

Most of all, I realized the truth of what his sister Ashira had always known: How is Adar my son? He just is.

Rabbi Susan Silverman essay on adoption

Susan and Adar, when he was a baby.

Rabbi Susan Silverman essay on adoption

The family celebrating Ashira’s bat mitzvah this past December.


Rabbi Susan Silverman and her husband have five children: Aliza, 22, Hallel, 20, Adar, 17, Ashira, 12, and Zamir, 14. They moved to Jerusalem from the U.S. in 2006. She is the founding director of a non-profit organization called JustAdopt. Her book, Casting Lots: Creating a Family in a Beautiful, Broken World, comes out on April 1st. Here’s a video of Rabbi Silverman greeting Adar for the first time.

P.S. Breastfeeding in public, and motherhood around the world.

(Top photo by Daniele Guarneri; other photos courtesy of Susan Silverman)

  1. Lovely, lovely! :)

    I have a biological 8-year-old son, and an adopted 3 1/2 year old daughter. They are wonderful together – I can’t imagine our family without either of them. They were meant to be together. :)

  2. Elise W says...

    What a heartwarming story. Beautiful… I’m smiling so much right now, right before going to bed. Thx for sharing!

  3. VP says...

    This was just beautiful.

  4. Jen says...

    No matter how you feed your child from breast or bottle and if your had them or not ;they are yours and that bond can not be broken. I remember telling someone that I don’t want any but if I had to make a choice at gunpoint I would adopt. It sounded foreign to them. “We are all human “I said “and love is universal. If your mom came to you and told you that you were adopted or better yet you were actually her nephew would that change that parental love?” All I revived was silence and I had proved a point yet again. Great post.

  5. Elli says...

    So beautiful, brought me to tears!

  6. Kate Lines says...

    Oh this is so beautiful. My daughter is adopted and my heart ached to breastfeed her. But I had a similar experience realizing how special our night time feedings were, she would look so directly into my eyes. I felt like she was looking right into my soul and there she could see that I was her mother and she was my daughter.

  7. Nina says...

    Oh this was so touching. This reminded me of the most profound thing I had someone teach me as a new parent was the lactation specialist at the hospital. Frankly, she was no help in figuring out how to feed my preemie son BUT when she was attempting to help she said “pay attention to how your face looks, you look pretty frustrated” I was like “well I am!” and she said “but that is what he is seeing, your face – staring at him angry and frustrated, is that really the look you want to convey to him every time you breast feed?” and I thought/said “no, no I don’t.” and I still remind myself of that, 8 years later, when I’m focused on something else and he looks at me. He sometimes will say “you look angry” (damn you resting bitch face) and I tell him what I’m feeling…but it was such a good lesson to me of remembering how much is unspoken and internalized by all of us.

    • Emma says...

      What a wonderful lesson. Thank you for sharing!

  8. I loved breastfeeding my sons and was hoping to breastfeed my adoptive daughter but things have worked out that way. However I too can attest how special tose bottle moments are gazing at each other. I loved this beautifully written post. Thanks for featuring an uplifting, heartwarming adoption story COJ.

  9. Tai says...

    I love this story so much. It’s just sweet, and so simple that it must have taken a great deal of effort to put it together in this beautiful way. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Libby says...

    I love finding this upside to bottle feeding: “But with Adar, we looked at each other as I held the bottle, our eyes locked on each other’s faces until his lids fell like night over his beautiful shining eyes.”

    I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year when my second daughter was three months old and, even after all the treatment including a bilateral mastectomy, one thing that brings me the most sadness is the abrupt end to our breastfeeding relationship.

    This line, though, resonates with me. And as I constantly seek the upside to everything, I believe I’ve found another. Thanks. <3

  11. Jess M says...

    I am not a mother, nor have I breastfed, however this post how so strongly resonated with me.

    Thank you for these kinds of posts Joanna, and thank you Rabbi for your story.

  12. Shannon says...

    The video of Adar’s adoption day was lovely as well. Tears for sure!

  13. Shannon says...

    Beautiful essay on the portrayal of motherhood and all that it means.

  14. rebecca says...

    I absolutely love this post. I just became a foster mom a month ago! Thanks for sharing this and will plan on reading your book. :)

  15. Wendy says...

    Love this post! Thanks.

  16. Esther says...

    What a stunningly beautiful story. I love the heart of adoption because it is the Heart of God. Thank you so much for featuring this story.

  17. Thank you for sharing. This is so beautiful and important. <3

  18. Maelle says...

    this was a great post! Out of three children, my mum only breastfed me : my younger brother was adopted and my younger sister had trouble to latch so they were both bottle fed. I know for sure that it absolutely didn’t affect their relationship to her ; in fact my younger sister is definitely the one who is the closest to my mum.

    Also, the reaction of the sister really resonated with me : i was only two when we adopted my brother and to me at the time, it was natural and just how you would make babies : you would just go and pick them up somewhere! Still today (i am 25) when people hear that we adopted him some ask if i feel any different towards him – i don’t. One time i was told that “he wasn’t really my brother then” – but he is. i can’t explain why or how because there are no explanations. He drives me as crazy as our sister does and i love him just as fiercely. He just is.

  19. Maria says...

    Beautiful! Love as it is.

  20. Jillian says...

    Breathtaking story. Very meaningful for someone considering adoption. I can’t wait to read her book. xx

  21. maya says...

    Susan, I don’t know you but your piece made me adore you. The way you talk about your son, I can feel your tenderness and the love connection you have with each other. I feel that wordless, physical and soul bond with my own baby daughter.

  22. Susan says...

    I was so moved by this story. What a wonderful family you are! A true inspiration. I also watched the video link of Adar’s adoption day and bawled! Whether your child is adopted or birthed by you, the first time you see their face is the most incredible moment

  23. Rachel says...

    Thank you so much for giving us a peak inside your amazing family. Your story is so powerful…..and then that video of you meeting your son for the first time!!,… pushed me right over. I’m in floods of tears now. So many thoughts in my head now.

  24. MC Wilber says...

    “If our relatives are not, or do not wish to be, or for whatever reasons cannot be our friends, then by some complex alchemy we must transform our friends into our relatives. If blood and water don’t do the job, then we must look to water and branches.” -Unknown, but it sure looks like Rabbi Silverman has mastered alchemy. Thank you for the lovely post.

  25. Anjy Panjy says...

    Oh, my mommy heart! What a beautiful story.

    A heartfelt thank you from the Philippines. :-)

  26. Amy says...

    Beautiful.

  27. Katie Larissa says...

    Please please do a series on adoption soon!

  28. My daughter has a friend in her class at school who was adopted from India,who has another sister (in my son’s class) also adopted from India. These girls now have a very tiny new brother at home, who comes to their family biologically. Today on the way home we had a deep conversation about how families BECOME. Then I got to read this before bed. What a gift. Thanks for sharing.

  29. Maureen says...

    As someone who is currently struggling with very low milk supply while trying to feed my three week old daughter, this was so beautiful to read. I may or may not be crying as I write this! There can be such a feeling of failure or loss when you’re not able to breast feed or exclusively breastfeed your child and I’m really grappling with that now. Thanks for the reminder that love is more important than breast milk vs. formula and that children can bond and grow and thrive with either form of nourishment. I will try to keep that in mind and beat myself up a little less as we supplement with formula as needed (though it is, admittedly, very hard with postpartum hormones in the mix.)

    • Lou says...

      I was in your same situation with my my now one year old and know how devastating and heartbreaking it can be as a new mom to not be able to provide all the milk your child needs. I just wanted you to know that you’re not alone and try not to let the “mom guilt” take away from what you ARE able to do. All your daughter really needs is that you love her and do your best. Hang in there!

    • Rachel says...

      Maureen, I have been in that territory of loss and failure. I’m so sorry you are there. I remember it as a hard, lonely place and painfully full of my own perceptions of how I imagined the world around me (Berkeley-the-land-of-breast-feeding-orthodoxy) judging me. The first time I bought formula in bulk at Costco I girded myself for a stranger to scold me–or at least attempt to educate me. None did.

      Here’s what I want to tell you: you are feeding your baby. Your baby is getting the nutrients to live and grow and feel the satiated joy of a full belly. Some of us — for whatever reason — don’t produce enough milk and we need help. It’s only one of the million times we’ll need help raising up our children.

      I’m thinking of you and wishing for you some peace with how things are and the trust that all will be well with your babe.

    • Emm says...

      Maureen, I am in the same boat. 2.5 weeks in, low milk supply, pumping, formula, buckets and buckets of tears. I feel you! I also loved reading this for the same reasons.

    • Tamara says...

      I know how hard it can be. I wasn’t prepared for the struggles of breastfeeding with either of my children. (I know also for some women, it is easy.) Please check out this website, it is a great resource. And, if you have access to a breast feeding consultant in your area, I highly recommend getting their help. It could save you much heartache and $ in the long run.http://kellymom.com/

      Good luck and be nice to yourself.t

    • Mags says...

      Maureen, I had the same low milk supply issue; we started supplementing with formula when my son was 3 weeks. It’s very hard, especially when you’re surrounded by images and messages of breast is best. My son (now 2.5) is amazing; I love him more than words can express. My impression is that just by worrying about these things (which end up to be pretty small details over the course of parenthood) means you’re a wonderful parent. Hugs.

  30. Elga says...

    This series is genius and lovely. Breasts are such beautiful, intimate and yet natural things that represent femininity in a very unique way. I feel enlightened, and invited to a club of amazing women. Congratulations!

    • Elga says...

      My mother had breast cancer when I was nine years old, and I remember her scars and her body, and it affected me forever, especially in my relationship with my own body. So I’d love to see something from the perspective of someone that had to remove their breasts, as I never had the opportunity to talk to my mother when I gained enough conscience to have this kind of talk. I think, with your amazing collaborators and your editorial abilities, it would be beautiful.

  31. This is beautiful and made me tear up a little bit.

  32. Laura says...

    Thank you for this! It’s so refreshing to see bottle feeding cast in such a loving, maternal light. I’m a midwife so I am obviously a huge supporter of breastfeeding. I mean, it’s not uncommon for me to grab a relative stranger’s nipple and shove it into her newborn’s mouth. However, I sometimes have a hard time finding the line between supportive and bullying. It’s my job to help women make healthy choices for themselves and their babies and breast, after all, is best. The unfortunate flip side to that is that moms who choose to formula feed get demonized. It’s hard to know when to let go of “educating” them on the benefits of breastfeeding and just respect their choice. So, it’s really great to read about a mom who has done both and is proud of both choices.

    • Mags says...

      Laura, I think the time to let go of “educating” is when the person being “educated” knows the basic facts.

      I have a PhD in medical research and spent the first 11 months of my son’s life reading every study I could find related to the “benefits” of breastfeeding (I work at an ivy league university and so, fortunately, had access to all of the journals). For a number of reasons (low supply, a very hungry son, problems with latch) I also spent these months doing a combination of breastfeeding, pumping (6x a day until 11 months), and bottle feeding with both breastmilk and formula. I really wish individuals and society at large would have stopped trying to “educate” me of the supposed benefits (slightly significant for a large group of children, negligible for any individual child, and really hard to differentiate from other socioeconomic factors) of breastfeeding when my son was 1 month. Maybe then I would have more positive memories from his first year of life.

    • Leena says...

      Laura,

      I think the time to “let go of ‘educating’ them on the benefits of breastfeeding and just respect their choice” is when someone has voiced their thoughtful choice to you. The end.

      I also truly wish we could start thinking of formula and other sources of non-breast related nourishment for our babies for what it is – an amazing blessing and life-saving option for so many. If someone can’t or doesn’t want to breast-feed for entirely their own reasons and they live in a country of abundance, perhaps she should be allowed to be grateful for and celebrate the fact that she and her baby have access to both nourishing formula and the clean safe water needed for that formula. Instead of focusing on loss and trauma related to breast-feeding. Could we not, instead, be grateful for a safe, plentiful, and nourishing alternative way to feed our babies? Should we not remember that not everyone in the world has alternative options and THAT, I’m sure we can all agree, is a tragedy.

    • Laura says...

      I think it should be mentioned that I work with a very low income, poorly educated patient population so it’s sometimes hard to differentiate between a well-informed decision and misinformation. It’s often as simple as explaining that it’s normal not to have much milk in the first few days postpartum, or that newborns rarely have an A+ latch within minutes of birth. All I’m saying is that as a healthcare provider working in a system that strives to promote breastfeeding, it’s hard to find the right balance. I was happy to read this beautiful story because it makes light of something that has become so bogged down with controversy and judgement.

  33. Katherine says...

    Beautifully, eloquently written.

  34. Nina says...

    This might be my favorite post so far, and I’ve been following you for too many years!

  35. kate Paolucci says...

    Lovely family :).

  36. kate Paolucci says...

    Beautiful family. :)

  37. Rhonda says...

    Such a beautiful essay. I too would love to read more from Rabbi Silverman. I struggled with a horrible undersupply of breast milk with my little man and the sense of loss, failure and disappointment was crushing BUT those quiet times with my son, face to face, gazing into each other’s eyes, breathing each other’s breath while he drank from his bottle were oh so precious. I will never forget them.

  38. Vi says...

    Thank you so much for this post! About breastfeeding and surgery, i world like to tell you about my breast cancer 9 y. Ago! i Was 31 and had a breast surgery+ chemio+radiothérapy. 3 y later, I had my first daughter and I really wanted to BFing her. My affected breast could’nt product milk but I struggled a lot to BF with my non affected breast ( i had no colostrum)and it worked ( 3 y breastfeeding with my first child and 2 y breastfeeding with my 2nd. It si really possible to BF with one breast. The most important: to receive relevant support from lactation consultant and/or group support.

  39. Eliot says...

    I cried. This is lovely.

  40. Estelle says...

    Muslim people (like me) consider that the connections between individuals are of three kinds : blood, milk and marriage. Once you breastfeed a child (within the 2 first years of the child life), you are considered 100% is mom too and your birthed kids become siblings to this child, and your husband a father. So many Muslims people adopt this way.

    Of course, to take care of orphans is highly praised in Islam, no matter what. Meaning that you are not obliged to breastfeed to open the doors of your home to them, and your hearts.

    In any case, the child keeps their name as a respect for his identity. We believe it is better for them to know their roots.

    All of that to say that I am so happy to see a post about adoption in this blog. I hope to read many more of them ! Maybe a serie ?

  41. And I’m crying… thank you so much for this sweet lovely post. Both my son and daughter are adopted and breast feeding was such a “thing”. I felt the constant disapproval of mothers whenever I brought out their formula and I felt such guilt for not supplying them with breast milk. I even took Domperidone to try to stimulate lactation with my first babe, and we did this whole crazy feeding routine with a bottle and tubes strapped to my chest the whole thing felt incredibly overwhelming. I did produce a little amount (maybe 20 mls) each feed but in the end I decided it was crushing the experience of holding her and being with her in that quiet feeding space. I have often worried about how my kids deal with being adopted but for them it’s just the way it is. They are loved and cared for and have a wider circle of people who have loved them. Thank you for including this intoyour series. :)

  42. Esvee says...

    This is beautiful.

  43. This is so powerful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing!

  44. So beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

  45. Emily says...

    Ummm this is amazing. Love love love this writing. And makes me think that more motherhood Monday writings about adoption would be fantastic!!

  46. MOlly says...

    This is the most beautiful post I’ve ever read on your blog. Love it. This is a woman who is actively living out God’s call to us to mend this broken world one life at a time.

  47. I nursed all three of my children and we have now begun the process to adopt from China. I have thought about this… and it was just so beautiful to see that same love in action. What a beautiful story! My favorite part? He is apart of your family, just because he IS!
    Thanks for sharing!

  48. What an incredibly moving and beautiful story! After having just birthed my 2nd last month I am so overjoyed you are choosing to focus on breastfeeding and breast related stories this month. I absolutely love your blog Joanna

    xoxo http://www.touchofcurl.com

  49. beautiful and touching story. thank you for sharing

    hammyta.wordpress.com

  50. Laurel says...

    I held it together until I watched the video. So moving. You have such a lovely family Susan. Thank you for sharing your story.

    There are so many things to make mothers worry about bonding. For me, it was not getting the “golden hour” with my first born son after birth. But the thing is, we love our children no matter what. And that is what creates and holds our bonds to them, that deep rooted infallible love.

  51. Sarah says...

    Moved me to tears! What a beautiful family.

    • Count me in as another weepy mess. This was so dear and so moving. Just lovely.

  52. Kendra says...

    Oh man. cried and cried…so beautiful and moving.

  53. Bethanne says...

    Truly beautiful.

  54. Jane says...

    Love this! I’m Jewish, and I enjoyed having this perspective on breastfeeding (which I’ve done with both my kiddos so far).

  55. Judy says...

    So lovely. Cannot wait to read more from Susan! I became a grandma through marriage at 43. I had never married nor had children before this glorious man entered my life and gave me four steps and three grands. My granddaughter Addie, 7, calls me “Miss Judy” since that was appropriate when her grandad and I were dating. The name stuck (and she has other grandmothers) and one day Addie’s friends were confused as to who I was in her life: Aunt? (I think I seemed too young to be her grandmother.) Addie’s response, like your son’s, melted me: “She’s MY Miss Judy!” As if everyone should have one! Lucky me.

    • Neena says...

      That is so sweet

  56. This was so beautifully moving. I just saw the video as well and cried. You are a wonderful family and God bless you!

  57. What a beautiful moving story and what lucky boys to have been adopted by you.

  58. Such an enlightening story! My husband and I are considering adoption and it’s accounts like these that reinforce what an incredible way it is to build a family.

  59. Sarah Z. says...

    This essay was so, so lovely. This line struck me as especially powerful: “And, yet, it was my not-nursed child who most elicited God for me, who brought God palpably into our family, a microcosm of the created world – possibility, despair, redemption, tragedy, hope, healing, brokenness.”

    I would love to hear more from Rabbi Silverman!

  60. Mags says...

    Whew! I was reading this during my lunch break at work at my desk- I watched the video and now I’m crying while eating spaghetti and can’t decide whether to use my one napkin to wipe my eyes, nose, or mouth!

  61. Angie says...

    Beautifully written. Excited for your book and to hear your story of adoption as it’s something I would love to do one day.

  62. Sarah Beth says...

    I’ve been attending a breastfeeding support group with my 3 month old daughter, and it’s amazing to see all the different ways women relate to their breasts. And this post in particular was moving to me– not because I adopted (I didn’t,) but because I love seeing the glimpse into another family’s shabbat. It reminds me of my own childhood, and about the shabbat ritual we’re looking forward to creating for our daughter.

    This series is so wonderful and fascinating– please keep them coming!

  63. jeannie says...

    This has me in tears. The powerful love in this family just shone through. There’s no one way to make a family or raise a child, but this reminds me that love is always the bedrock. Thank you!

  64. Alicia Carlson says...

    Long-time reader, first-time commenter. Love this series and these stories. Thank you for evolving your blog and always keeping us engaged. Such a joy to watch your family grow. I always look forward to seeing what you’ve shared.

  65. Jessica says...

    Tears! I think my heart burst open. Such a heartwarming story and a gorgeous family! All of my blessings.

    Not sure how many stories you have planned for this series, Jo…but make it infinite! Love it so much!

  66. Joanna says...

    This is beautiful and honest. I love Cup of Jo for the way you move from the most frivolous of topics to the most deep/raw/heartfelt. And it all fits. Thank you (from a normally non commenter:)

  67. I love this. I’m very pregnant with our second child and we hope to adopt after this. I envision our family to be similar…Oh this is making me cry. Thank you for sharing!!

  68. Melissa says...

    Wow, I love this. Extremely well told.

  69. Lara says...

    This is so lovely. I’m pregnant with our first and would love to adopt for a next child – this truly touched me. Thank you.

  70. Sarah says...

    I completely agree about the magic of eye contact during those late night bottles with each of my kids (whom we adopted).
    Thanks for including this perspective in this series.

  71. How lovely – resonates with me as BFing was a struggle for me (AND we hope to adopt one day!). The video (at the end of the story) made me tear up.

  72. I LOVE this story, and love that you had a Rabbi do this weeks breast column! What a fun way to show a different lifestyle.

  73. Tricia says...

    Such a beautiful story and I can relate so well considering my youngest is adopted. Susan captured everything I’ve felt as an adoptive mother and articulated it in ways I couldn’t. Just beautiful!

  74. Emma says...

    I almost cried reading this. Thank you.

  75. Ana says...

    What an amazing story. You feel love and spirituality, letting all judgement flow away. Very inspiring.

  76. F says...

    Hi Jo,

    Loving these posts. I’d love to read a post about women who have had breast reductions. A lot of moms who have had breast surgeries, particularly mammoplasty (before having kids) are not able to nurse because they produce little or no milk. I’d be interested in learning about women who went through this procedure and how it’s affected their lives as moms.

    Thanks for your consideration!

    • Lexi Mainland says...

      Thanks, we are actually thinking about that as a potential topic for this series! xo

    • Blake says...

      I’m pregnant with my first child, and as someone who had a breast reduction, am so curious about whether or not I will be able to breast feed! I don’t know anyone else who has had a breast reduction with children to ask, so I’m glad to know other people have the same questions!

    • I would love to see this topic covered as well.

  77. Rachael H. says...

    My older daughter is adopted and was placed with us at four weeks. I thought of this exact topic often while nursing her voracious younger sibling. This is one of my favorite Cup of Jo posts ever.

  78. Kato says...

    This story is just the sweetest! Thank you for sharing it here

  79. Celeste says...

    Love this. I’ve always wanted to adopt and it’s encouraging to see families who have done both and are still related. They just are.

    <3

  80. Angela says...

    What a beautiful story of adoption and family!

    Additionally, should you find any stories of women who have stimulated nursing for an adopted baby, I would also be super interested in reading that.

  81. So heartwarming and beautiful (and just enough humor for an extra special kick). Thank you for sharing!

  82. Jen says...

    I cried. Thank you for the beautiful story. Families just…are.

  83. Ella says...

    Thank you for sharing this. I am in my mid-twenties and I recently had a mastectomy, and all I could think before (and now after) the surgery is the fact that I will never get to experience breast feeding my children when the time comes. Reading this gave me a bit of hope that I won’t miss out on a connection with my future baby, and we will still be a family all the same.

    • Rachael says...

      Ella, I don’t know if this will be helpful, but I wasn’t able to breastfeed my baby because he couldn’t figure out how to latch and draw milk, despite many lactation consultations. Because of this, my husband and I ended up bottle feeding him equally, and I credit this as one reason that my husband and my son are so intimately bonded. Missed out on one thing, gained another.

    • Ella says...

      Hi Rachael,
      Thank you so much for what you wrote, it definitely made me think that this may be a positive thing for our family unit rather than just mother and baby. I really appreciate it!

  84. cait says...

    love this! beautiful. i think this is sarah silverman’s sister, right?

    • bob says...

      totally!

  85. heather says...

    Beautiful!!

    A few months back, when my twins were about 4 months old and I was really struggling with BFing and feeling like a failure, my mom offered to babysit while I went out for a pedicure, and she packed me a snack of cut up apples and peanut butter. I took a picture of the snack, because that snack made by my 63 year old mom was just as much love as breast milk.

  86. Sarah says...

    This is so, so beautifully written. Funny and heartwarming. Loved it!

  87. Beautiful story. Families are made of love, not just blood (or milk!)

  88. So sweet. What a beautiful modern family.

  89. Sarah says...

    I could read a million more stories from this series. I hope it continues for a while!

    • I loved the first one and look forward to reading the ones to come!

  90. Ashley says...

    Love this post!