Monday, October 18, 2010


So we are getting very close to lift off. We've been shopping, we have our tickets, our passports, our lodging (almost). Our friend Tamar took us shopping at Target last week and we bought the necessaries--onesies, swaddlers, socks, hats, bottles, pacifiers, diapers. During the Target spree, we ran into the entire spectrum of the Cincinnati orthodox community, a few of whom were confused. And this was at 10pm on a school night. I haven't really told you about us and the orthodox community here. I let an article that Steve wrote and that came out in the Jewish Week, give you a peak. It's not really about the community per se, but that's its jumping point. It's a good read:

One thing about Cincinnati that's been great, besides the Poupko/Fisher/Smith clan, is that everyone (outside of the few in the ortho community) has been offering to give us stuff that they aren't using--cribs, changing tables, clothes. By far the largest contributor has been Tamar Smith, but there are big kudos due many people. So thank you.

Today I decided to wash all the baby stuff so it's ready, and I had a mini freakout holding the little clothes up and thinking, "soon they'll be an actual creature to fit these." It's all surreal. I'm also not sleeping well at night. I keep waiting for the phone to ring, and waking up every couple of hours. High anxiety.

The kitchen renovation is almost done. Yippee! And it looks great. Very excited about that. It should be complete by next week.

One thing for anyone else doing this, make sure that when you apply for your visas, you just say your applying for a tourist visa, and don't say anything about the baby process. I made the mistake of putting on our applications that we were going to complete a surrogate birth and pick up a baby, and the outsourcing company that handles the visas, said in that case I would have to apply for a medical visa, and go through a much lengthier process. I eventually just got them to send back our passports and I reapplied, not mentioning the baby.


  1. Deep breadths Steve...You will be fine. Just remember to "go with the flow" once you get there as it will keep you sane. And most importantly, once your baby is born and you get there...WE WANT PHOTOS!

  2. I loved reading the article. Very well written and informative. Good luck to both of you on your trip to India. If you haven't had a chance, Edward posted some tips on our blogof what to bring. Even with a singleton bring enough bottles that you can last a couple of feedings without having to clean the same bottle. It will save you time in the long wrong and on your flight back. Just a note, cleanliness in India is much different than cleanliness in the US. We clean our own bottles so make sure you have what you need to clean (e.g. one of those brushes to clean bottles) - Edward posted the other suggestions on his blog. Anyway, take a deep breath and get enough sleep. It goes by very quickly and before you know it, you'll be in India holding your baby. Good luck and hope you have a safe trip.

  3. Steve Gr,
    Congrats on the birth! Good luck as you learn your way through fatherhood.

    I just read your Oct Jewish Week article (which I stumbled upon from this blog, which, in turn, I learned about on your FB page). Wow, that yeshiva rabbi dished it out to you. It's somewhat equivalent emotionally to "drop dead and stay out of my closed-minded world." I don't know how you continue to deal with the Ortho community knowing there are people, including "learned" leaders, with attitudes like that.

    At the risk of imputing too much weight to that man's hateful remark, I'll follow my lawyerly instinct and analyze it. I will grant him arguendo that from his Ortho perspective he is correct that the prohibition in Leviticus is relevant today and that it is a capital offense.

    First, suicide is prohibited. So any sinner who commits suicide would just be compounding his/her sins, not moving toward divine forgiveness. You can't tell me he doesn't know that.

    Second, would the learned rabbi counsel suicide for other capital offenders, such as, say, married couples who have sex during menstruation or Jews who water their plants/tend to their gardens on Shabbat? I don't think I will live to see the day any Ortho rabbi advocates that people in the latter category commit suicide, or even that they be stoned.

    Since he is a yeshiva man, he obviously knows all this and obviously his comment is absurd on its face. Therefore, it seems inescapable that he could have only said what he said because his emotional reaction to the issue of homosexuality in Jewish life gets in the way of cold halachik analysis. So, basically, he has got a problem, not you, and his problem is not the verse in Leviticus but his inability to think about halacha rationally due to an emotional predisposition. That, it would seem, renders him unfit to be a posek.