Written and images on this blog are Judie Ryan's sole property unless otherwise indicated.

Thursday, August 18, 2016


I miscarried four months later. But we soon adopted a gorgeous one-day-old baby girl. She was beautiful! Still, as the agency representative said, "She's yours." I looked at her and said, "I don't know how to pick up a baby." 

You'd think that with that bumbling, uncomfortable beginning I might have flipped out the first day I was alone with her. But an hour after coming home, I discovered that our tiny human was the most fascinating creature I'd ever experienced. Long buried in the creases of my brain, hungry, tired, cold, wet, sick drifted out when I needed it. When she screamed, I ran down the checklist. And it always worked. I was ready when she shot herself off the the changing table by kicking her feet against the wall. I was ready when she threw-up on my student's father's best suit. I can't imagine anything more wonderful than watching her or any child develop. I couldn't wait to share my family's joy of learning with her.

It never occurred to me how much things had changed and how hard that would be.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


The Baby!
"What am I going to do with a baby?" I howled when my husband and I were told I was pregnant. After months of surgeries, shots and stirrups, our in vitro fertilization had worked. So, what was my problem? I'd always wanted a family, but I'd pictured myself for so long as a professional, I couldn't see myself any other way.  And, I was oooold--thirty-eight. What if I couldn't keep up with a baby?

I'd grown up in a family of teachers, many of them Phi Beta Kappas. Growing up in that environment meant learning was always fun. From my first moments, my family encouraged learning through play, discovery and exploration. In spite of that background, I felt unprepared for the crying, helpless thing that was about to change my life forever.

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My friend Diana likes soup. Here are two of her recipes.