Thursday, October 16, 2014


I never quite understand “walk to the beat of a different drummer” until my second child arrived. She walked at 7 ½ months, talked 2 word sentences by 12 months and astounded us with her physical abilities. She was funny and entertaining. She created games and dramatic play scenarios for friends, caretakers and family.

While having what seemed like everlasting separation anxiety, once she was involved with classmates and teachers, she was a leader among her peers.

She had her own sense of style – wearing 2 differently colored socks many years before it was in vogue. She chose clothing to match her mood or to emulate the color of her latest movie or TV show character. She redesigned costume jewelry into new brooches, necklaces and art pieces. Would she work in fashion?

She never had a pattern for eating or meals, except to eat “white foods”. Mothers  of picky eaters know the drill - white bread, rice, plain pasta, plain chicken, milk and any other “white” foods. My daughter added the pizza crust – no cheese or sauce. We later learned she was self regulating her intake because of food allergies. Meal time became more like a mini-buffet. I made plain foods with sauces and choices of added condiments and fresh ingredients for the rest of the family. She made “Svegania Soup” – her creation – everything edible or not – in to the pot. Simmer. Serve to dolls and stuffed animals. Would she be a chef?

She made up games in the park and playground. Learned rules for board and card games and then tweaked them to make them more interesting. She could convince others to try the new rules. She would dissect toys, dolls, arts and crafts and turn them into something creative and new. Would she find her future in marketing or as a toy designer?

Her sense of justice and right vs. wrong was fierce. She was empathetic beyond her years and defended the underdog. She asked thoughtful questions and easily shared her opinions.  Did we have an attorney in the family?

She never ceased to amaze me. I had high hopes for her and realized whatever she decided, I would be proud of her and her accomplishments.

Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is a social worker, adoptive mom and advocate for ethical adoption practice. She has prepared thousands of adoption homestudies, counseled adoptive parents and parents-to-be, and has trained professionals to work with adoptive families. She was named an “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2001 and has a private practice in New York City. She is also Director of the Ametz Adoption Program of JCCA. She can be reached at