Thursday’s TPS Report: Silk Cotton Interlock Shaped Jacket

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Eileen Fisher Silk Cotton Interlock Shaped Jacket I think this could be a great basic cardigan/jacket for the office. It’s silk jersey, so you know it’s soft, the color will wear well, and it’ll hold it’s shape — and I really like the long slope of the collar, as well as the two buttons. I’d buy a size down and wear it with another color beneath it — something contrasting (like a purple tee beneath the green) could be fun, but something complementary (such as a navy sheath dress) could also be nice. Either way, it’s a great deal: the sweater was $258, and is now marked to $90 at Neiman Marcus (available in leaf, bark, or hibiscus in regular and petites). Eileen Fisher Silk Cotton Interlock Shaped Jacket

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]


  1. Great color, looks like a comfortable cardigan. (Weird to call something so soft and unstructured a jacket, but that’s just me.)

    I do think that the model is horribly styled, though– the matchy-matchy shell + cardigan + beads look frumpy, so I guess they asked her to try to look seductive. Terrible and yet impressive– it’s not everyday that a photo conveys: “frumpskank.”

    • “Frumpskank!” I love it. Also agree that the styling is really odd.

      • The model is cute! Looks alot like my baby sister, but I could NEVER wear this to the OFFICE. I do like it, tho….

        The manageing partner would FIRST insist that I take off my jacket, and then he would be busy STAREING at me all day. Fooey!

      • I just can’t figure out what she’s doing on the floor.

        • Her pose says to me: yes sugar daddy I will be a good soccer mom to your brats.

          • love you
            so so much

          • With a side of “But if they sass me I’ll manipulate you into sending them to boarding school. And/or beat them with my unnecessarily long necklace.”

    • “I will use this necklace to smite you…”

      • After the Junior League meeting ended, the girls gathered informally at Madison’s house for chardonnay and hexing.

        • + 50 LL points.

          • cbackson! I am so stealing that comment. “Madison’s house,” “chardonnay and hexing…” so perfect!

          • Haha. I have to entertain myself somehow as I’m housebound due to Seattle Snowpocalypse 2012: Return of the Legend of the Son of Snowpocalypse.

            (I know y’all in cold places laugh at us, but there is a FOOT of snow at my house now. Basically, I’m not getting out of here until spring. And spring, in the PNW, is known elsewhere as “June.”)

          • So glad you did not go to Olympia. Not snowing here anymore but we are supposed to get more tomorrow (after which it is immediately supposed to go up to +6 degrees C so it will all melt). However, I’m supposed to travel to Big City tomorrow and apparently they are expecting more snow there this weekend.

            I am using this week as an excellent opportunity to wear my new Sorels. In fact, I haven’t taken them off all day.

          • I was really relieved that the hearing was postponed, although I wish the judge had made the call last night, and not this morning after I got up at 5 AM.

            Planning to go out for a little ski around the neighborhood once I finish marking up this purchase agreement.

        • This is my favorite conversation that has ever happened on the internet. Chardonnay. And hexing. I am almost in tears.

          • girl in the stix :

            Amen. Working at home due to I-90 being a snowy deathtrap. Hexing and chardonnay sounds sublime.

          • me too still at home in seattle. love it. cap hill has not stopped dumping ice and snow yet today. so snug working here so long as power stays on. supposed to go to mountain cabin tomorrow, we shall see. there are footlong icicles on the power line outside…

    • MissJackson :

      If you think that’s bad, click through to the NM website and check out the photos of the woman modeling the shell. She’s… shocked and horrified as to why she’s wearing something so ill-fitting and frumpy? Unable to bend her knees?

      In comparison, blondy here looks pretty good.

      • Fleeing from an asteroid that’s going to destroy the earth and horrified to know that she’s going to die in something that ill-fitting?

      • I can’t resist a good horror/mystery story unfolding– what is causing so much horror in the model wearing the shell? I believe these others were cropped from the NM shot:

        This was a Resident Evil: Silent Hill photo shoot outtake, that’s why! Zombies vs. Frumpskanks!

        (Team Frumpskank, btw.)

    • Work it girl! You’re beautiful give me business woman. yes! youre a business woman give me a little sexier yes! that’s it sexy buisnesswoman ok now to the floor yes! yes! sexy business woman whose fallen but stay composed! work it…work it show the beads! You are a tiger you dont care you fell you are a sexy floor witch buisness woman. Thats a wrap everybody!

  2. Ahhhh! Fumpskank! My new favorite word. Although I think this also describes my high school fashion sense…

    Thank-You Letters:

    I need to contact an employer I’ve interviewed with. About three weeks ago, I was asked back asking for some additional materials and also for a second interview, to include dinner the night before (they are not putting me up, I have a place there and would be meeting them). Now, the dinner is this Sunday and the interview Monday morning – and while I have been asked to set aside Sunday evening for dinner with the managing partner, nobody has contacted me about the time/palce for Sunday dinner. I haven’t heard from them at all since the request to set aside Sunday evening.

    I did the initial interview, did a thank-you note, then also responded a second time with additional information they had requested and a second thank-you. I don’t want to come across as overly obsequious or as if I’m reading from a script – how can I send an email to the partner that asks (1) the time/place of the dinner, and (2) expresses my interest in the position, without sounding like a broken record?

    This is my dream job – if they offered it to me, I’d accept in a heartbeat, so I’m very nervous about screwing it up.

    • “Although I think this also describes my high school fashion sense…”

    • I think it’s fine to send an email later today saying something like “I’m very much looking forward to our dinner Sunday night. What time and where should I meet you / everyone?” I think that conveys sincere interest but keeps it short.

  3. And I misspelled “frumpstank.” Sigh. If I can’t spell frumpstank, how will anyone hire me?

    • Well, as long as it’s not on your resume/cover letter, I think you’ll be okay. :)

      (Granted, why you *wouldn’t* include “frumpskank” somewhere in your application materials is beyond me).

    • karenpadi :

      eh, if it’s misspelled in your writing sample, I won’t care. But litigators might. Just be sure it’s in the public record. :-)

      (It’s joke based in the discussion in the “Suit of the week thread”)

  4. MissJackson :

    Why on earth did I have to google to figure out that the other color available (“bark”) is probably grey (assuming that Eileen Fisher doesn’t call two different colors bark just to confuse me). Epic fail on this listing, NM.

    • Thank you! I, too, have been trying to figure out the colors. Leaf, bark, hibiscus … I hate it when companies do this! How about green, grey, lavender?

      • Leaf, bark, and hibiscus are the names of more expensive garments when compared to green, grey, and lavender clothing. If all else is the same, I’d rather keep the extra money in my pocket and buy a green sweater rather than a leaf-colored sweater.

        • I would have though “bark” meant brown and would have been confused if a gray sweater arrived.

  5. Another Thank You :

    Hi all- I had an interview earlier this week for a position that didn’t specify the salary. I got in the interview and quickly found that the salary was too low and non-negotiable, and the responsibilities were much less than what I have now. I want to politely thank all the parties for giving me the opportunity to interview, but also want to let them know that the position really isn’t the right fit for me right now. Any suggestions on how to word this appropriately?

    • It was a pleasure meeting you yesterday to discuss position X. Although it does not appear that this particular position is a good fit at this time, I enjoyed learning about Company/Organization Y and would be interested in other positions should they become available (if this is true). I sincerely appreciate the time you spent speaking with me about the opportunity.

    • Lawyer Bird :

      I think you worded it right in your comment. “Thank you for the opportunity to interview with your organization. It was a pleasure to meet you, but after our meeting I determined that the position is not a good fit for me at the moment. Therefore, I must respectfully withdraw my candidacy. Again, thank you for your time and consideration.”

  6. I have a Navy Thomas Pink button up shirt with white trim down the front (along either side of the piece of fabric the buttons are on when it is buttoned up), along the collar, and allong the cuffs. I love it but I have no idea how to wear it – especially to work. Hoping someone has an idea! Navy pants would look silly to me, like I am wearing a uniform. And a black skirt doesn’t seem right either….

    • *navy blue

      • I’d go with something mid-grey, either trousers or a skirt. (I generally wear my Thomas Pink shirts with trousers, as I feel they’re too dressy too wear with anything but a pencil skirt, and they don’t really fit my lifestyle – or my figure!)

        Incidentally, you’ve reminded me it’s been a while since I’ve looked at the Thomas Pink website. Off I go…

    • I have a pink and white striped brooks brothers shirt with white cuffs and collar. I usually wear it with dark brown, deep taupe or khaki bottoms. Sometimes with grey too, but I don’t think I ever wear it with black or navy.

    • Taupe or khaki. If it is the type of thing you can wear in the summer, this sounds like it would be very cute with white pants or a white skirt. But (and not to be snarky), white pants and skirts can be very hard to pull off. You have to be somewhat slender, they have to fit well, and you have to be really careful and not spill anything on them or wear them when you are in danger of spotting. So . . . I have never worn white bottoms, although in theory they are the key to certain looks.

      • Also, if you have the personality for it, red. But keep in mind that it would be a very bold look. It would only go over well if you are in certain parts of the country (certain southwest states seem less afraid of color) and if you have the cojones for it.

        • I wear white pants/skirt, never with that top though. I’m not super thin, but proportionally my upper body is bigger than the lower half, so that’s why I like light bottoms! I do have a tendency to spill though…that’s my only issue with white bottoms!

      • Last suggestion . . . a purple skirt or pants (like in a plum color) could work . . .

    • This sounds like a gorgeous shirt. I’d wear it with my fawn-colored/light camel wool flannel trousers.

    • Lawyer Bird :

      White pants or skirt. Yellow skirt. Red skirt. Green skirt. Or if you don’t like brights, beige/khaki or gray skirt or pants.

  7. Maybe fortunately, my style was just “frump” in high school :-)

    … and probably hasn’t progressed much since then. BUT! After reading many, many threads here, I got inspired over the last several months and started 1) taking care of my skin, 2) whitening my teeth, and 3) occasionally shaping my eyebrows. I also had my hair stylist put in a few, subtle, half-shade-lighter highlights in my previously un-dyed hair.

    Now even though I still can’t be bothered to wear makeup or pay much attention to my outfits, I’ll catch myself in the mirror and be shocked by how much *better* I look. So, thanks, folks, for all kinds of helpful advice.

    • Yay! After our last post about morning routines and the like I’ve been making an effort to blow dry my hair and put in my contacts more frequently!

      • You know what I’ve recently discovered? Hairspray. Yes, it was a “Welcome to the 90s, Mr. Banks” moment, but it has completely revolutionized my hair routine. All I do is straighten it, so I thought hairspray wasn’t necessary, but it usually got poofy by the end of the day. Problem solved.

  8. i just need to vent. my secretary sucks. i had the best secretary ever until about 9 months ago (she left to stay home with her beautiful kids) and my new sec. is aweful. although shes been with the firm for a long time (well over 10 years), she apparently doesnt know to print multiple tabs of an excel spread sheet, she got annoyed with me for asking her to submit a $6 cab receipt (because it was only 6 bucks), she holds on to my other receipts for weeks and months before submitting them (I had like $200 in outstanding, months old receipts that finally got submitted a week or two ago), despite not being busy, it takes her 2 days to submit my time (which usually takes a floater like an hour, at most), and i hardly give her anything else to do, except maybe an occassional letter, becuase she usually has to re-do things repeatedly. Oh yea, and she is out “sick” or with a “death in the family” at least once a week.

    • I also am having secretary problems. A couple of weeks ago I was switched to a new secretary because of firm politics that were out of my control. Every time I ask her to do something, even if it’s relatively small and not time sensitive, she sighs loudly and slumps her shoulders and drops her head a little bit, as if my request was a huge deal. In addition, she’s pretty careless but gets very frustrated when I ask her to fix errors. Finally, although I try to be clear in giving assignments (I was a legal assistant before law school), she doesn’t ask questions when she doesn’t understand something and ends up spending a long time doing unnecessary work. The last attorney she worked for was known for being horrible to staff – screaming, belittling, etc. – so I’m wondering if my secretary is just burned out and frustrated.

      Any suggestions on how to handle this?

      • Do you find that men in this type of office put up with behavior like this for very long? Most of the places I’ve worked haven’t been as reliant on “secretaries,” but I think part of the problem is that some women let their staff treat them like crap. Which isn’t to say that there aren’t other contributing factors, but I’m just surprised how often I read about this hear. Expectations (and potential consequences) need to be clearly communicated before they can be adhered to.

    • I am convinced that until there is more gender balance in the staff pool (i.e., more male assistants) that there will continue to be problems between female attorneys and their assistants. Not in all cases (I happen to work with a great assistant right now, after years with a bad one), but enough so that it is an ongoing problem that happens in many firms.

      In my dreams, senior leadership asks “Hmm . . . I wonder why we don’t have more female partners . . . one reason couldn’t be because we demand that half of our female associates do both her own work and the work her assistant should be doing? Could it? MAYBE.” Obviously the few-female-partners things is a multifaceted issue, but my money says this is one of the facets.

      • So I guess I have no suggestions to add, but just *hugs* and realize that this is a pretty common problem.

      • I agree. I find it really weird that so many women have problems taking instruction from other women – not just in the lawyer/assistant relationship, but also in the senior associate/junior realm. I’ve run into this a lot and can’t figure it out. Is it innate competitiveness? Is it that they feel threatened? It is pure stubbornness? I’m really curious as to what others think. (No, it’s not me – just a general observation.)

        • As a person with junior status, I admit to problems with female supervisors who are more like me regarding age, zero kids, and unmarried. I prefer to have more distance and keep it professional, but I worry that conversations not directly related to work are harder to avoid, especially when we have overlapping interests. With older or male supervisors, it is easier to keep a distance. However, the 2 most recent supervisors are awkward in their own way, as am I, so awkward x 2 is doubly awkward.

          Also, although this only happened one time, I was in shock for a week after hearing that my supervisor went out with someone else at work (not someone she directly supervised) that I was interested in but did not pursue because of the high risks of office romance during times of job scarcity. I would rather know less about my supervisors’ personal lives because it is easier to respect them that way.

          Any advice on how to deal with non-work conversations with supervisors would be appreciated.

          • I’ve sort of been in both positions and don’t think I handled either very well. First, I had a supervisor who would always get completely inappropriately personal. I thought I always handled the work she gave me well and professionally, but while she would be giving me the assignment she would talk about any number of things that were either a) personal between herself and her husband or b) not things I wanted to know about the firm as a whole (way over my paygrade!).

            I refused to give her personal information about myself (since I was seeing someone in the firm, not against rules and not in any type of supervisory position either way, it was very important to me to keep my personal life out of the building.) which ultimately backfired, since she just started making things up and telling people I had shared this information with her and WITH CLIENTS!! When confronted, she tried to lie and say she had not spread the information, but I had three witnesses. Our relationship was a bit strained after that, and I got very little further work from her (which I didn’t mind for many reasons).

            Then, as I got a little more senior and had a junior attorney I was supposed to be able to give work to, I tried to give her work twice. Both times I gave her written instructions (email), sat down with her and went over what I needed, made sure she had my cell number as I would be out of the office but driving and able to answer any questions. Both times, within an hour I had a senior partner calling me reaming me out for giving a junior attorney a major law suit to file. Each time I was completely confused since once I simply asked her to find me a clear definition of some job classifications under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the other time all I needed her to do was pull a couple penal code sections so I would be able to ascertain if we were even going to FILE!!

            I don’t know where I went wrong, but I eventually just came to the conclusion that this junior attorney was a backstabbing bitch and avoided her, I never gave her another assignment either.

    • Hear you, sister. I’ve been in secretary hell for the past three years. The one I had for several years added me to the long list of people she decided that she didn’t like and didn’t need to be polite to. Her list got too long and she was let go. I wasn’t consulted, but I was ok with it.
      Hired her replacement this time last year and that one was absolutely unable to do the job and so so whiney. She blew up and now she’s gone too. Now I’ve been marked by our staff as “difficult” to work for, even though I know that I’m probably much nicer to my assistant than most of the attorneys here.
      Wish me luck for another one.

      • Lawyer Bird :

        You know, being nice may be part of your problem. You should be polite, of course, but being “nice” often translates into being perceived as someone who can be taken advantage of.

    • I sympathize. My assistant is really nice, but just unable to multitask and finds the job overwhelming. I would like, however, to sing the praises of GREAT assistants – I have learned so much about client-service from one of the secretaries on my floor. Just watching her and how she deals with the various attorneys she supports and their widely varying needs has taught me a lot. And my substitute-secretary (who covers me when mine is gone) is absolutely the glue that holds our floor together – remembers everybody’s birthday, knows when attorneys are traveling, quietly passes the word when something bad, like a death, happens and organizes an appropriate response.

      Whenever I am bummed about my secretary’s crappiness, I like to reflect on how great those two are. It helps alleviate some of the frustration.

    • DC Association : has great advice on all of these subjects! I love that blog. Especially b/c that’s how i found corprette :)

  9. Can anyone recommend a good diaper bag? I’d prefer something stylish and that can be easily used post-baby.

    • Lawyer Bird :

      Kate Spade has some gorgeous ones. I think I’ve seen a nice-looking Marc by Marc Jacobs one too.

      • a passion for fashion :

        My husband just got me the marc jacobs one for christmas and i love it. Its a really durable material and has pockets for everything. In fact, i was not even sure it was a diaper bag at first, but the changing pad gave it away. I have two kate spade ones too — one is an actual diaper bag and one is just a big fun print durable bag that i use as a diaper bag. They are both great, but the kate spade diaper bag was messenger style (it was a gift) and im not really a messenger style girl. my oldest is almost 5 and all of my bags are still in great condition. ill see if i can find the marc jacobs and post a link

        • a passion for fashion :

          They have it at neiman:

          • Lawyer Bird :

            Oooh, I love it in purple.


          • On piperlime they have it in black and gray and its 20% off.

          • Anonamouse :

            Thanks for posting about Piperlime! I have had my eye on this bag for a while and managed to get a great deal using the 20% off and some Banana Republic card rewards I had forgotten about (I get online statements and pay my bill automatically, so I never see the rewards certificates unless I log on). I paid $160 plus tax and will get 2% back on Ebates. Major score, and I owe it to you!

        • I literally just got this diaper bag as a shower present on Saturday. I’m still pregnant, so can’t comment on it’s usefulness or durability, but I love how light it is while empty and the three million (approximate) pockets on the outside and inside. And that it comes with a cross-body strap, if necessary.

      • Second this. I got mine before my oldest was born. Five and a half years later, my youngest just got out of diapers. The bag looks almost new. It’s cute and not overly diapery. I plan to keep it and use it as a tote.

    • lol no such thing, IMHO. You’ll be toting all sorts of dirty, wet, sticky things — messy diapers, wet clothes, sippy cups, leaky sport bottles, snacks — and eventually your kid will find a way to get into your bag. You want something wipe-clean or that can be thrown in the laundry, so sporty styles with lots of pockets (SkipHop, DadGear, LeSportSac) are the best. Try one that looks like a laptop bag, that has always worked for me. Stroller straps/rings are also good for city moms.

      I’ve had pretty diaper bags like Fleurville and another designer one (forget the name), and they get grungy fairly quickly. Those embroidered silk Petunia Picklebottom ones are the worst — so pretty, but become dirty and worn out fast.

      • I second the recommendation for Skip Hop. Once baby is toddler age, you can get away with carrying something cuter/less utilitarian.

      • I had a Fleurville Mothership with my third kiddo, when for a brief period I had 3 in diapers. Loved, loved, loved that bag. OK, not so easy to transition to non-baby life, but if you plan on more than one kid, you will have many years of carrying that bag. And I had no problems with it getting dirty.

    • Kat had suggested Rebecca Minoff diaper bags, and I believe some of them are in the wipes-off easy fabric variety.

      • Just my two cents, Rebecca Minkoff’s bags have gone waay down in terms of quality lately. I think Kate Spade has some pretty neutral, nice options IMHO – plus they go up on Gilt fairly regularly.

        • Maddie Ross :

          This. No experience with diaper bags, but my newer Rebecca Minkoff bag (an MAB) has not stood up the way my older MAB did. The leather seems flimsier and the corners tore pretty quickly. Though the bags are gorgeous, it may not be the best choice for a work-horse diaper bag in my opinion.

      • Minor review re the “knocked up” minkoff bag I got – beautiful bag for work, horrible diaper bag. Way too heavy on my shoulder and hard to balance the baby… If I’m wearing him in my Boba or sling forget about it. I’m using the Lo & Sons O.G for my “going out” diaper bag (esp great for travel) and an old lesportsac “everyday” bag for quick jaunts with him. Neither are perfect solutions, though.

    • Lululemon has some nice bags, you can use them for whatever you want.

      • harvey’s seat belt bags…

        when was the last time your seat belt expired or got permanently stained or remained wet?

    • A friend of mine recomended timi and leslie bags. Definitely don’t look like a diaper bag. She just throws here wallet in there and uses it as an all-in-one instead of having a diaper bag and a purse.

    • If there is a father in the picture, I vote for something gender-neutral. My husband was adamantly opposed to carrying anything that looked like a girly diaper bag, so I made him choose our diaper bag. He came home with a black Eddie Bauer diaper bag that has been fantastic. It has all the pockets and insulation you want, but it’s totally neutral, very light-weight, and easy to clean. And I think it was about $20 at Target. What we lost in style, we made up for in distribution of labor :)

    • DC Association :

      First…I recommend staying away from messenger-style bags. When you have to grab something in a hurry, they’re a pain in the neck! Another thing to keep in mind is how you can attach it to a stroller…either you need a long strap that can fit over the stroller handles, a clip on the stroller that you can attach the bag to (if the bag strap is not long enough), or a bag with adaptable straps for a stroller.

      I had a Kate Spade tote-style that had an open top with a zip compartment in the center. It was great. I use it now as a work tote.

      Also had a skip-hop as the adaptable straps – each side had a short strap to attach to a stroller handle and then a longer strap that could be clipped to each side to make it a shoulder strap.

      Both of these were plain black so dad didn’t feel like a dork when carrying.

  10. Amelia Bedelia :

    I would purchase this immediately if I could in any way pull off that colour green . . . but it just turns me green!

    I have an odd question. Well, it is just a request for personal stories/advice. My sister is pregnant. She is a single mum already and really unable to take care of another child by another man who does not want to be involved at all (the father of her other two children see them once or twice a week). She is considering giving the child up for adoption. I think this is extremely selfless of her and respect her decision so much. My question is more personal: my husband and I cannot conceive. In the past few months we have begun to consider adopting. My sister knows this and offhandedly remarked that we could just adopt this child. I think it is something she would seriously consider if I showed interest. Does anyone have any advice or personal experience to share? If we did it, we would go through the legal channels like we would for any private adoption. She would relinquish and we would adopt. Is this a bad idea because it is family and we see each other several times a year? or is it a good idea because we are family and see each other several times a year?

    • I have no experience in this area and an extremely good relationship with my sisters, so take this for what it’s worth. It sounds like a beautiful thing and an excellent solution to a difficult situation for everyone concerned.

      • I agree with all of this.

      • I think this could be a beautiful way of letting your sister remain a part of her child’s life while giving him/her a more stable home than your sister can presently provide. That being said, I have seen situations where this can become messy and contested very easily. If you think your sister would be able to (not just willing, but wholeheartedly committed) relinquish her rights to the child, and cede any authority and input to how her child is being brought up by you or your husband, it could work. I just honestly don’t know that I would be able to maintain an aunt-like relationship to a child that I would know as my own daughter/son. Would you be comfortable setting boundaries and letting your sister know that she will not be allowed to have a say in how you and your husband raise the child? Would the child know of the true background of his/her relationship with your sister? Are there any medical problems that you or your sister have that could necessitate the disclosure of his blood relative? What about his father? It seems really complicated to me, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea for you all to sit down with both an adoption counselor and a family lawyer. Also, check on the state laws for your area. In some states (I know in Michigan in particular) open adoptions are not permitted, so you may want to figure out how that could affect your decision. Best of luck!

        • Amelia Bedelia :

          this is very difficult. you have hit on so many of my own questions!
          it would be our son/daughter just like any other child we adopted. it would not be our neice/nephew. we would always tell the child of an adoption, but might wait to discuss the biological connection until he is older? Not sure on that, we would depend on a professional to advise when is the right time to share that.
          the biological father is all for relinquishing the rights. he does not care where the child ends up.
          I would feel VERY comfortable setting boundaries, but I am not sure whether my sister would respect them? I do not want to end up ruining my relationship with my sister because I have to protect my child. ugh.

        • Amelia Bedelia :

          and open adoptions are permitted in our state (have already researched it for general adoption), but we definitely will go thorugh an experienced lawyer. we already have one. This will not be some sort of in-family-informal-deal.

          • Have you considered how your sister’s other children will feel and how those feelings might affect family dynamics? Particularly if you and your husband can give this child so much more (as its parents) than you give to your niece / nephew, who don’t get as much from their mother?

          • Anonymous :

            On the flip side to ADB’s point, there will may be issues with how your child feels about the family dynamics. I used to babysit for a boy whose mother allowed her parents to adopt him because she couldn’t care for him. She then got pregnant at an older age when she was more stable, and decided to raise the second boy herself. The first child always felt rejected that his mother “didn’t want him” but liked the second one enough to keep him. It was so sad because his grandparents were wonderful to him and gave him a great life, but he always felt like he was the damaged goods his mother tossed aside so she could get a better model.

    • I can tell you I come from another culture where this type of scenario is quite common. It usually works out but everyone has to be very clear about the boundaries and very emotionally mature. She should understand completely that she will have no “say” in how the child is raised, etc. I assume it would be open since the older children would certainly know about it, so I guess I would want to think more about the impact on the child in a culture where it’s not relatively commonplace. What would you tell him or her about the circumstances? I just wanted to say that it’s not unheard of and worth thinking about.

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        thank you!
        my husband is from a different culture and said something similar. This was actually a drawback for him, though. In his culture, others step in to raise a child, but the idea of “father and mother” does not change. He would only adopt the child if he could consider himself the father, not the uncle.

      • Agree with this. You know your sister. If there is a chance she will bring out the cray-cray after the adoption then you should reconsider.

    • No experience in this either, but I would imagine if interested both parties should get thee to a counselor with adoption experience ASAP. I think it could be wonderful, but I can also see how it would be uncomfortable for your sister. Also, would you tell the child of adoption and biological parents? What if she changed her mind after birth and wanted to keep the child? A qualified adoption center and/or counselor may be able to help you all navigate the unique challenges this situation presents.

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        we would be risking the birth mother changing her mind no matter what. it happens quite a bit. the downside would definitely be that if she changed her mind, it woudl forever alter our relationship.

        • Of course, but given she’s your sister I would imagine it would be extremely difficult to handle seeing her and the child.

          • Amelia Bedelia :

            you are so right. I could handle her deciding against adoption before the birth. But I will be brutally honest and say that if she changed her mind after the birth, I could not get past that.

    • wow. no personal experience with this. but i say it’s a good idea assuming that you & your husband, your sister, and the relationships among you are strong and stable and mature enough to handle it.

      the most obvious downsides are that your sister feels entitled to dictate how her biological child is raised. and perhaps when the child grows up, it’s tricky to navigate the concept that aunt mary is actually her mother. i think these are all things that can be managed, though. the upside is that your niece stays in your family, and you and your husband have a child that has a biological connection to you (if that’s important to you).

      good luck to you.

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        so true.
        the biological connection is not important. my family has a long history with adoption and I have always believed that there is a family bond much stronger than blood.
        but it does seem like a great solution for the entire family . . . but maybe my vision is clouded?

        • It sounds like a beautiful idea to me! With the caveat that you get some excellent professionals – lawyers and therapists – to help you work out the tricky legal and familial dynamics.

          I had a fantasy about a similar scenario once: my best friend, who is like a sister to me, became unexpectedly pregnant (after having 2 kids, and while being on BC), and didn’t think her family could handle another child. Meanwhile, my partner and I were having trouble conceiving. My friend ultimately chose to terminate the pregnancy, and I eventually got pregnant, but for a moment, I thought how lovely it would be to adopt her baby.

    • Lawyer Bird :

      I have several adopted family members, and a close friend of mine just adopted. Whether or not an open adoption where you regularly see the biological parents is a good idea or not is highly dependent on the individuals involved. (My friend has an open adoption with regular contact with the biological parents, although not nearly the level of contact you’d have with your sister. My family members all have closed adoptions.) I think that it is worth exploring the idea with your sister by meeting with a counselor or social worker who specializes in adoption issues. If you decide to adopt her baby, you should do so only after receiving professional advice and counseling tailored to your specific situation. Once you make the decision, you need to develop a plan and agree on boundaries, visits, etc. Will you be an aunt who has legal custody of her niece? Or will you be the baby’s mom? In the latter case, what’s the role for your sister? Etc.

    • No advice or personal experience either but this does sound like it would be a wonderful solution for the child. And perhaps it is not so very strange when you think about older times or other cultures where it was/ is the norm for extended families to reach out and care for each other. Good luck and hope it all works out.

    • I think the thing that makes this most tricky is that you are not adopting her only child, you are adopting her second child. So her cousin will be her half sister. There is just going to be a lot of feelings involved there. For instance if you are more well off and can give your child more, the feelings that will create in your sisters child will be difficult and confusing. I think it could be such a beautiful thing, I think that therapists and adoption counselors need to be involved throughout the process tho, for sure.

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        hmmm. that is tricky.
        we are adopting her third child. the older two are 7 and 9. so there will be a big difference no matter what. But it is true that my husband and I are quite well off and she is not. We do a lot for her kids anyway, and that would never change, but this child would be more “privileged” (for lack of a better word) with us because we would pick private schools/different house/clothes, etc.

    • My grandmother adopted a child from her sister for similar reasons (at least on the sister’s part). It was the 1950’s, so the experience may not be entirely relevant, but it seems to have worked out beautifully. I agree with the advice above that your family and your sister’s family would have to agree on boundaries, and for the long haul. For example, when my uncle was a teenager, he was going through a difficult time and not getting along with his adopted parents, so he wanted to live with his biological mother. She told him that he could visit for a week but then would have to go home to his parents. I’ve always thought that that was a selfless but probably very painful thing for her to do. In the long run, the situation seems to have worked out well in my dad’s family, but again, I think it would be very specific to the individuals involved.

    • I have two cousins (sisters) who did this. Sister X was unable to concieve and adopted Sister Y’s daughter through all legal chanells at birth (that daughter is now in her 20s and married). Sister X lives abroad (the country both sisters were raised in) and Sister Y lives here in the US.
      As far as I can tell, the arrangement worked very well. The daughter has a very loving extended family (her “aunt” and siblings/”cousins” adore her and have always showered her with affection) and they go to visit her as frequently as they can.

      I do think that it helps that Sister Y has been able to distance herself from the parenting of this daughter. The physical distance helps. Sister Y also has two additional children from a previous marriage whose lives she has not been involved in at all since the divorce (long story short, her very religiously conservative ex-husband would not divorce her unless she agreed to give him full custody of those children and that ex-husband and those children live in a different country from her)

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        we do live on opposite ends of the country, so that would help. I see my sister and her kids 3-4 times a year. I am involved with her kids and talk on the phone with them and send them a lot of things, but we don’t visit often. I agree that this would probably help – especially in the early years.

      • ugh. Half of my post is missing.

        I was headed to the point that Sister Y was good about distancing herself from that daughter’s raising and it didn’t hurt that she had some experience in doing this in another context for other reasons beyond her control. Daughter always knew the circumstances and was very open and mature about it when she was a young girl (My brother just sent me this Lion King VHS it’s my favorite movie; my sister and other mom are coming to visit me next summer I’m so excited)–she always considered the parents who raised her the real parents. I think the adults all handled it well and they all raised a well adjusted mature girl, so I consider this a success.

    • Amelia Bedelia :

      thank you SO much for all of the responses! All insight is much appreciated. I am relieved to find that others have brought up the same questions I have . . . we are on the right track maybe?
      any other experiences would be much appreciated.

      • Anne Shirley :

        I wonder about the other siblings reaction. I think it could be very hard for them to see mom give their brother/sister away. I really can’t imagine dealing with losing a sibling because of choices my mother made. My opinion is harsh, I know, but I think she should either get an abortion or keep the kid. And get an IUD stat. There’s also something off when she can’t afford a child, and you can give it private school, so you take it, which really is my concern with many adoptions. Being poor shouldn’t result in losing your child, even to a loving aunt.

        • Amelia Bedelia :

          we do not believe in abortion. I can’t see punishing an innocent child just because the birth mom does not want it. especially when I am sure there are tons of people who would want it (whether it is me or another adoptive parent).

          I do think there is one misconception, though. My sister is not “losing” the child because she is poor. She isn’t poor, she just is not affluent. And my husband and I actually paid for the other two kids to attend private school for a while, but their mother took them out because she preferred the public school in her neighbourhood (for a variety of reasons). We aren’t taking the child so it can go to private school! We are considering taking it because she is considering giving it up regardless (for so many more reasons than money, though I am sure that is a concern since she is a single mum) and we are considering adopting regardless. this way we both attain our goals and in a possibly great way!

          one thing you and other commentators are very correct about, though, is that we have not considered the siblings’ reactions. I have no problem telling the new child that I am the mommy and Aunt Bedelia is the belly mommy. I do not know how that can translate to the existing children, though. The kids don’t know she is pregnant yet. definitely something important to consider.

        • My impression on reading Amelia Bedelia’s original post was that she and her husband were already going through the process to adopt a child, and that the sister is considering giving up the child for adoption regardless. So I think (provided that all of the issues people have been bringing up about boundaries, etc., are resolved) that this adoption sounds like an incredibly humane solution to an incredibly difficult situation.

          You and I also do not know any of the specific circumstances around the pregnancy, and I don’t feel that it’s our place to make judgment calls about what the birth mother should or shouldn’t do. I agree that it’s tragic that a woman should ever have to consider giving her child up for adoption due to economic circumstances, but it’s also reality.

          • Amelia Bedelia :

            Thank you, a. That was exactly the case. We aren’t trying to “rescue” this child from my sister. We are just wondering whether a very difficult situation might have a very positive outcome for all involved.

          • Anne Shirley :

            Well sure, it isn’t our place, except she asked for thoughts. And obviously I don’t presume to think mine are right for her, or anyone else, but I do think getting a wide variety of views can be helpful in making tough decisions, if only to point out roads you would never take.

            And Amelia, for what its worth you sound like you’ll be a great mom, however your children arrive.

        • PirateLawyer :

          “Losing” your child and placing your child for adoption are two very different things. Recognizing that you cannot give your child the life you would otherwise want to provide for him or her and placing that child with a family that can provide those things — whether those things are stability, opportunity, or something else, is completely selfless and courageous. Adoption is a beautiful and selfless way to put together a family. As an adopted kid, I find your suggestion that adoption is somehow selfish or elitist to be pretty offensive.

          • This, 100%. I can’t give advice, but I do hope that this all works out for you all.

        • Anonymous :

          Yes, better the child is dead than raised by a loving family. Perfect pro-choice logic.

          • All I will say in response to this troll is: wow.

          • Lawyer Bird :

            @ a. – I was more “wow”ed by the comment that abortion is a better option than letting your baby be adopted by a loving family member. To each her own, I guess.

          • I’m sure you won’t see this at this point, Lawyer Bird, but I responded to Ann Shirley above, completely disagreeing with her. However much you and I might disagree with her, she wrote it under her own handle, and in the interest of giving the OP another perspective. This Anonymous was, well, anonymous, and dragged an over-simplified, inflammatory pro-choice vs. pro-life argument in where it didn’t belong.

            FWIW, I believe that abortion is a terrible thing, and I wish no woman was ever forced into a situation where she felt that she had no choice but to get one. However, I am not God and this is a reality that includes rape, poverty, and abuse, and thus I do not believe that I (or anyone else) has the right to make that kind of decision for another woman. Ergo I am pro-choice.

        • I mean this in the nicest way possible… you might consider keeping such views to yourself in the future. You must know that is a highly charged thing to say as many, many people consider it killing the baby and horribly wrong and evil. She asked about the adoption situation; whether to abort the child was never on the table. Please know how offensive/inflammatory this is to many, even if feels right/moral/acceptable to you. I understand there are varied views on this topic- but that doesn’t always mean getting into it especially when it isn’t being discussed during an otherwise emotional topic.

          • comment on refraining from suggesting abortion was response to anne shirley.. showed up farther down chain sorry

          • Different Anon :

            when someone has that many issues and has screwed up that much in life, and all of this is on the table for discussion, the adoption decision is going to be viewed by some as yet another questionable decision, and it’s not that off the mark to ask whether this person has considered an abortion.

            nobody said amelia’s sister should be forced to have an abortion, but raising the question that it IS an option should not be in itself offensive. iirc, amelia herself reacted very civilly to the question by saying that the folks in her family would not be ok with aborting. and anne shirley responded pretty much in kind, and didn’t press the issue.

            if others want to take umbrage, hey, it’s their cortisol levels and stomach linings, not anne shirley’s. also, the subtle attempt to silence someone merely because “mentioning abortion might cause offense” is yet eerily similar to some of the gag-rule type tactics of the pro-life movement.

          • Was not trying to silence anyone- though yes, prefer if the woman asking for advice about adoption isn’t badgered with a long thread of abortion debate- and yes my response might sound inflammatory, but frankly I was disturbed anyone would suggest this when it’s a discussion about how best to care for a baby on the way. It just seems shocking to me how sometimes the for-abortion crowd doesn’t understand the other side’s view and how deeply hurtful it is to suggest this, my hope is that explaining it would make them more aware/sensitive and not feel ‘silenced’ but choose to refrain out of respect at times like this (this isn’t a competitive debate, or activist rally…)- though unfortunately that sounds unlikely from reactions. Yes, different if rape/incest etc involved or mother’s health- this isn’t that.

    • What do you know about the father? Does he have healthy genes in his family? Disease? Addiction? Is he smart? What is his personality like? This kid will reflect his DNA, so that might be worth some research.

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        we know about the same about him as we would any man giving up his child fro adoption. These things do not matter to me. We are adopting. we will expand our family to consider a child regardless of his/her DNA proclivities.

      • O.M.G.

        This is utter garbage.

        I am adopted; my biological father is unknown. My biological mother would likely not count as having “good genes.” My oldest son is adopted. He most definitely does not come from “good genes” given what we know of his family of origin (addition, mental illness, etc). So then what? Do we not deserve loving families? Are we somehow lesser people? Is this child that Amelia Bedelia is considering, somehow not worthy of being adopted if one or both of the biological parents lacks “good genes”?

        • I agree, on the surface most my family is MENSA, reasonably attractive, fairly athletic etc. But there’s lots of alcoholism, impatience, selfishness and generally undesirable traits!

        • As an adopted child myself, I had to chime in to say HEAR, HEAR! The idea that adopted children — or those who can’t guarantee “good genes” — are somehow second-class citizens is uninformed, small-minded, and offensive. So I can’t certify my pedigree like a show dog. I think I — and GovtMom and her son and many, many other adoptees — have turned out pretty well regardless.

          Amelia Bedelia, I think everyone here has offered good food for thought, so I’ll just say that you seem to be asking all the right questions. If you do go through with it, please always be honest with your child about his/her adoption. I don’t even remember the first time my parents told me that I was adopted, and consequently it has never been an issue for me or for them. It sounds like you and your sister are both generous, kind women, and will handle the situation with the care and thoughtfulness it deserves.

          • My brother is adopted. He would sometimes turn to me (when we were kids), poke my arm, and mutter “They HAD to take YOU!” I.e. he was specially chosen by our parents but I (the bio kid) was “luck of the draw”!

        • I took this comment more as advice to get all the information now and be prepared, rather than find something out years from now and try to track this guy down after he’s long gone. Could maybe have been better worded, thoiugh.

        • Beautifully put, GovtMom. Cripes, Genetics – your suggestion is cruel as f*ck.

    • I think it’s a great idea, and I agree with all of the advice others have already given. I just wanted to share two additional points. First, even if the father doesn’t want to be involved now, be prepared for the possibility that he might want visitation or other contact in the future (or the child may). Plan for this possibility when you are negotiating the terms of the adoption and post-adoption contact.

      Secondly, a family that lived next door to mine did this when we were kids. The couple had adopted the husband’s sister’s child (her first child, I believe). They had an older daughter as well. They never told the adopted child. I don’t know how much the older sister knew (can’t remember how old she was at the time of the adoption), but obviously the relatives and neighbors (including my parents) all knew about it. Anyways, the adoptive mother died in a car accident when the child was in elementary school. The truth comes out years later, when the kid is 19, through a drunk relative at a family party. Obviously, she was floored (so were we when we realized my parents and everyone else had kept this secret for years). She was incredibly pissed at her adoptive dad and flew out to spend a summer with the aunt, who she now knew was her mother. She eventually got over it and it all worked out fine and they are one big happy family again, but it was a really tough experience for her to feel like she had been lied to by everyone her entire life, and also to go through losing a mother and then finding another one years later.

      I guess two lessons come from that little soap opera: (1) keep it in the open, and I would tell the kid the whole truth when they’re a teenager and can understand, and (2) As long as the child is raised well, with stable, loving parental figures, they will probably get over whatever drama is created later on by it.

      • I’d say tell the kid way sooner than the teen years. There are lots of books on how to communicate this in an age-appropriate way.

        • Lawyer Bird :

          Yeah. I don’t think it should ever be a secret. The kid will know that Amelia Bedelia is her mommy, and Aunty Bedelia is her belly mommy. There’s no need to go into details when the kid is young, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise when she’s older, either.

          • Amelia Bedelia :

            I definitely agree adoption should not be kept secret. as to when we tell child the identification of the belly mummy (love that phrase) would really depend on the advice of a professional who has counseled others through this.

          • Lawyer Bird :

            @ Amelia Bedelia -I also love “belly mommy.” Breaks things down in a logical way for a toddler.

            I agree that you should get the advice of a professional on how to handle telling him or her. I read above that you only see your sister a few times a year. I’d caution you to be prepared that one of her older kids will remember and may spill the beans – I have a lot of experience with adoption, and this has happened in my family (actually in one case I was the older kid who spilled the beans to a younger cousin… I was around 10, and I didn’t realize it was a secret).

        • Anonymous :

          The timing of when to tell the child could be complicated by the probability that the “birth siblings” will know. You may not have complete control over how and when the adopted child gets the news. Just one more thing to consider, and consult with professionals about, as discussed throughout this thread.
          I don’t think that the fact this could be difficult and complicated is a reason not to do it, though. I just think all the issues here require contemplation and planning. You and your sister clearly have good intentions and that will make a big difference for all of the children and families involved.

    • My friend adopted her cousin’s baby for some of the same reasons you described above. They (friend, friend’s DH and cousin) went to counseling just to make sure they were discussing everything they needed to discuss in a “safe” environment. The parents of the bio and adoptive parents went to a few sessions in the beginning as well but I don’t think this would be a problem for you since your parents will be his/her grandparents regardless if you or your sister raised the child. Counseling seemed like a great idea because each person was able to talk about what their expectations and fears were and now that everything’s out on the table it’s been relatively easy. The counselor still checks in with everyone every once in a while to make sure everyone is still doing well. The baby is still too young to know about adoption but they plan on being very clear with him. “You came from cousin x’s tummy but you are mommy and daddy’s”. Through the help of the counselor they’ve determined exactly what/how much they will tell him and different maturity stages.

      Good thoughts to you and your sister as you decide what’s best for you all!

    • So Very Anon for This :

      I have a complicated family tree, in that one of my parents married his/her sibling’s ex-spouse. So my cousins are also my step-siblings. Yeah, sounds crazy, but people get used to all sorts of unusual family situations. I was in college when it all went down and I think I have a harder time with it than my cousin/step-brother, who was in elementary school at the time. He lived with the new blended family and the new family was a bump up, class-wise, from where he had come from.

      When all of this happened, there was a lot of bad blood. But 15 years on (and even before then), things are more of less ok. But I came from an extended family where my grandparents weren’t married, some people had struggles with drugs, etc. So they were a lot more forgiving than a more put-together family might have been.

      Basically, I’m saying know your family. And that if you all can live with a situation where lines are sometimes blurry (one day, your adopted kid will want to know about her parents, and may well feel a special bond to your aunt if she knows the bio relationship), it’d probably be a great deal for the kid.

    • paul is a better musician, but :

      This totally happened to John Lennon. I just watched a really good documentary about it. His birth-mom and adoptive mom both had major parenting issues, which was really hard on him. And his birth mom had zero boundaries. But obviously he turned out awesome despite (or maybe in part because?) of his difficult childhood. I think it could definitely work in a family that agreed to a set of boundaries. You and your sister will have different parenting styles– you don’t want her to undermine you, but you also don’t want her to feel like you are overstepping. It’s worth several discussions.

  11. Depo Attire :

    A co-worker and I have a disagreement. What is the appropriate attire to wear to a deposition (when you are a lawyer who is either taking or defending)? Is the answer different for men and women?

    • Lawyer Bird :

      What you wear is usually part of your strategy. Wearing casual clothing may show disrespect for the opposing side, or it may put a nervous deponent at ease. Wearing a suit may intimidate a nervous deponent, which could be to your advantage. Etc.

    • Govt Attorney :

      Business casual seems to be the norm at my workplace. There is a deposition going on down the hall right now and no one is in a suit.

      • Totally the opposite at my workplace, Govt Attorney. We know when someone has a deposition on because that is the only time anyone is in a suit.

    • MissJackson :

      Totally depends on the case.

      I look young and most of my depos have been videotaped for possible use at trial, so I always suit up. A suit is always safe, but I’ve been to plenty of depos where attorneys were wearing shirtsleeves, some where attorneys wore khakis, and I’ve seen jeans and a dress shirt on a couple of occaions.

      Even when everyone’s wearing a suit it’s pretty common for the jackets to come off.

    • a passion for fashion :

      interesting. i never thought to wear anything other than a suit or at least a suiting dress to a dep and have never been at a dep where the attorneys wear anything other than that. The jackets usually do come off right away unless the room is cold though.

      • Anonymous :

        I second this. I always wear a suit, and almost always take off the jacket. It’s a safe choice, and you can always adjust for what the other parties are wearing. If you live in a climate that allows it, just wear your suit jacket instead of a regular jacket. If you are in a colder climate, then, if anyone mentions the jacket, say you have a long walk to work and always wear suits in the winter.

    • I’d also add that it depends on whether your client will be present at the deposition and what he/she is like. I took a depo on Friday and knew that my client is extremely casual and he would have been put off by his attorney wearing a suit. So business casual attire it was (and none of the other attorneys at the depo were in suits…although I notice that most plaintiffs’ attorneys in my practice area don’t wear suits to depositions).

    • Depo Attire :

      Thanks! I thought I’d get about 20 responses saying “a suit–men and women.” But apparently I was wrong–and will admit it.

  12. Amelia,

    Wow. I wish your sister lots of strength, as she’ll need it to get through the coming months (and years). It’s a very generous thing (several generous things, actually) she’s contemplating…

    My question for you would be:
    1)Do you think she’d be likely to interfere with you and your husband’s childrearing decisions? I don’t mean “interfere” in terms of trying to fight you legally for custody, but more in terms of putting her oar in, like any well-meaning relative, except, it’d be more loaded, because she’d also be the biological mother with a very understandable interest in seeing biological do well. People can get all kinds of territorial, and that means both you and her. Understandable, and yet incredibly thorny. I can only imagine how hard it would be for her, even if she initially intends to stay out of your hair, to see her biological child, “so near and yet so far.”

    2) Have the two of you had any major, persistent conflicts? These could be exacerbated by such an adoption.

    3)Additionally, have the two of you had any money conflicts? Is there any pattern of codependency/enabling between the two of you?

    4)What is your relationship with your parents? What is your sister’s relationship with your parents? Has there ever been a serious issue about real or perceived favoritism? Could this adoption exacerbate (or ameliorate) such issues?

    Good luck and keep us posted as to how this develops. *hugs*

    • PirateLawyer :

      I am adopted. Please be open with your child from the beginning about the adoption as well as the child’s origins. If you are open with your child in an age-appropriate way, it becomes a non-issue. I never had any issues with my adoption — it was simply the way my family was put together, and I was grateful for all of the opportunities I had, as I was acutely aware that my life could have turned out much differently. I have a wonderful relationship with my parents, and I met my biological mother when I was in my mid-20s (5 years ago) and we have a wonderful relationship as well — I would describe it as sisterly, not maternal (although I do not have any siblings, so it’s hard to compare). I don’t know what my relationship with my biological mother would be like had I grown up with her in my life or if she had been a relative. I don’t think it would be confusing, but it would be different. When my biological mother and I met, we came togther as two whole people looking to add value to our lives by reconnecting as adults– growing up with her in my life and living through the ups and downs that come along with that would have changed our dynamic. I don’t know that it would change it for the better or for the worse, but it certainly would be different.

      If you would like to talk to me about my experience, please let me know and I’ll shoot you my email and we can chat (it might be linked to my name here).

      Also, just a note from an adotped kid to the masses — it is offensive to hear your parents described as your “adoptive parents” as opposed to just your “parents.” Much like it’s offensive when people ask you if you know your “real” parents, referring to your biological parents. No matter the intent, it always feels like a qualifier, as though your relationship with your parents isn’t…as legitimate as those with biological conenctions.

      • PirateLawyer :

        Oops. This was meant for Amelia Bedelia above.

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        as I said above, my family is intimately involved with adoption. my mum is adopted as are two of my siblings. I have battled so hard with people about the “qualifier” issue. We always called our parents our parents. and we were each others’ siblings. The birth parents were exactly that, birth parents. We always believed that God put our family together in His own unique way, using many different mechanisms. My future children (no matter where I adopt from) will be taught the same.
        thank you for the insight!

        • PirateLawyer :

          I think your family sounds wonderful, and I’m glad to hear you fight the good fight about the qualifier issue — I don’t think those less involved with the adoption process understand how problematic those qualifiers can be. Parents are parents, kids are kids, and siblings are siblings. No more, no less. My parents and I are like three peas in a pod, and I couldn’t imagine growing up any differently! The fact that I could have easily had a different set of parents, however, defintely shaped my outlook on life–I appreciated every opportunity that came my way because I recongized how different my life could have been.

          It seems to me that while adopting under these circumstances might pose some unique challenges, your family seems more than equiped to appreciate and tackle any difficulties that might arise.

      • Wonderful reply, PirateLawyer.

        I am also adopted, as is my oldest son. I also met my biological mother in my mid-20’s, the relationship is definitely not materal and honestly, has been hard to manage at times. There are so few examples out there on how to do this; it often feels like stumbling around in the dark.

        I knew from an incredibly young age that I was adopted, though my situation was clean and simple (pregnant teenager places first baby for adoption). My son also has known all along, though his situation is far more complex (ugly abandonment followed by traumatic orphanage placement, adoption later). We share details that are age-appropriate that he can handle, and slowly let pieces dribble out as he is able to handle them. E.g., we just introduced the concept of substance abuse to him, as the reason she couldn’t take care of him. Have not yet gotten to neglect, that will come later.

        I don’t mind the terms “adoptive parents” vs. “biological parents,” if they have relevance in the context. There are times when the qualifier is needed, when distinctions need to be drawn for whatever specific reason (and I generally do not mean in casual conversations). On the other hand, the concept of “real mother/real parents” is definitely insulting, to all parties.

    • Amelia Bedelia :

      you have asked so many important questions. My sister and I have had a lot of conflict in the past ten years or so. We chose different paths and I have been more traditionally “successful” than she has. as a result, she thinks my life is nothing but sunshine and rainbows. I think if she would just make better choices moving forward, she could pull herself out of a lot of her troubles.

      I am too hard on her because of the choices she has made and she is too hard on me because of the choices I have made. that much is very true.

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        that was to Susan!

        • Threading seemed to have broken when I replied to your OP, Amelia.

          I think you’ve done a lot of good thinking about this already, and I think that you know what the risks are already. I’m sorry to hear that you and your sister have had a lot of conflict, and that the differences in life paths has contributed to that.

          I don’t know how things will turn out between you and your sister, or between other members of the family, but I am glad that your family is no stranger to adoption, and very positive towards it. That type of support is great. The one thing in this situation that I feel confident about (even though I am probably hundreds of miles away, communicating through a computer screen via pixels) is that the child you welcome into your life and your husband’s life, will be very lucky indeed!

  13. It sounds like an elegant solution for both if you, if emotionally laden at times throughout life. Sounds worth that risk to me. The baby will have lots of family in her life, will be in your good home, your sister will know she’s well cared for etc. LEgally the division is smart, but realistically, she’ll probably be part of the child’s life too… which is the best of all worlds for the child I would think. Love in all directions from those who care and have the means to caretake. You are a wonderful person for considering this!

  14. I love the green jacket sweater. Comfy yet looks professional. I’m a sucker for sage. (somehow i ended up with 3 sage colored couches…). Were I not pregnant, I’d consider getting it although her clothes are usually too boxy on me.

  15. 2L Seeking Advice :

    I am a 2L hoping to seek a judicial clerkship after graduation. Right now I haven’t decided at what level, or State vs. Federal, etc. I’m trying to get my ducks in a row to make my applications more competitive, and am wondering about references. My grades are good, I’m on law review, and have legal experience, but haven’t had any really meaningful interaction with any of my professors outside of class.

    I’ve heard that a faculty/professor reference is vital. Is that accurate, or can good references from law-related work substitute? If a faculty/professor reference is needed, does anyone have advice for developing a relationship that could lead to a reference?


    • Take a seminar type class that requires a paper, preferably two. Try to talk enough (but not too much) in class and seem engaged. Talk to the professor about your paper as the course progresses, so she/he knows who you are. Oh and make this class or two your number one priority in terms of being super prepared and writing a great paper. Good luck!

      • Excellent points, I concur.

        • Federal Clerk :

          You should have at least one (preferably two) professor letter and this is great advice about how to get one. But I think other professional references are fine, if they are detailed and informative.

    • From what I recall, federal judge apps required (or at least strongly preferred) at least 2 of the 3 recs to come from faculty. This was strongly reaffirmed by our career services as well. The more personal the prof knows you the better, so start going to speak with them during office hours, at their speakership panels, after class, etc. if it’s not too late. Also a sneaky way to get the ball rolling is to schedule an appt with them to discuss old exams.

      • Agreed. And professors want their students to get clerkships, so it’s not like you’re trying to trick them into writing a letter for you. You just want to get to know them better.

        Also, are you writing a note for law review? What about your faculty supervisor? That’s who wrote one of mine.

    • North Shore :

      I got my clerkship b/c the prof who recommended me knew my judge (he used to clerk for the judge next door). I’m not even sure if my judge looked at my application — at the interview all she mentioned was that Professor X recommended me, and how much she liked him. I think he made a personal call for me, and that was it. So, I think you’re on the right track in recognizing that this is really important. You need to take the lead in cultivating this relationship and in finding someone. I have heard from professors that law schools are strongly encouraging professors to help place students in clerkships, and they are trying to work all their networks. So, you need to put yourself out there, ask a nice professor to coffee for advice on your career, and start getting advice about what your school can do to help you. And I strongly agree with the advice about taking a small seminar, or even just an advanced class with a prof you had before, to cultivate that relationship further.

      • Federal Clerk :

        This brings up another great point – phone calls are huge, especially from professors. Seriously. My judge really notices applicants who are recommended by phone calls. As are actual connections to the judge. Nice if you can get them, but obviously these are not always available.

    • I think you need some faculty letters–preferably at least one full time professor (as opposed to adjunct or even clinical). Are you writing a note? Your note advisor should be an option. Otherwise, go to office hours, take seminars, look into being a research assistant or teaching assistant. If you particularly liked any of your 1L professors, try to take a smaller class with them.

      One state clerkship asked for a letter from an employer in addition to my other letters, so that is the only place I submitted an employer letter.

    • Hmm. I am a law clerk in a state trial court. I believe that I got the job initially in part because a professor made himself available by phone to talk to my judge when I was interviewing for the position. I know that my judge has hired subsequent clerks on the basis of good recommendations as well. I don’t know how recommendations from an employer would go over, but clerking — even at the trial court level — is somewhat academic, and I think it’s best to have someone who can speak to your analytical, research, and writing abilities.

      I would second the recommendations to take seminar classes and/or do an independent study project, because I think those are the easiest/most natural ways to develop a relationship with a professor. Extracurricular activities can be helpful, too, though. I had three large lecture classes with the professor who helped me land my clerkship, and he also moderated a panel discussion that I helped organize. Good luck!!

    • I clerked for a state appellate judge. Got it based on recommendation of an adjunct prof who the judge new from practice. My judge gave very heavy preference to recommendations from professionals he respected. He didn’t give a crap about random profs who had never practiced. So look for a connection, if you can find one. If you connect with any practicing lawyers in your externships/summer jobs, find out if they clerked for anyone or have connections with any judges. Also keep an eye on adjunct profs, because they often still practice and have good professional relationships/reputations. The same goes for regular profs, though sometimes they are further removed (their judges have retired) and they get bombarded by requests, or they did at my school because the Career Development people sent around a list of who profs had clerked for.

    • I can’t speak for state clerkships, but you definitely need at least 2 faculty recommenders for federal clerkships.

      I agree with the other advice about building a relationship, but will also add that in a pinch, some professors will be willing to write for you just on the basis of a good grade in their class, even if they don’t really know you. Obviously that is not ideal; it’s always better to have a more personal letter. But if you really do not have anyone who can write something more personal, I would try asking some profs where you did well in the class. I received my clerkship with 3 faculty recommenders, 2 of which knew me well and wrote very personal letters, and 1 of which was pretty much just able to say that I did very well in 2 of his courses.

      • Anonymous :

        This. Personal relationships are best. However, keep in mind that professors are interested in having students from their law schools get clerk positions. They will help you accomplish this.
        Frankly, most of my professors were clerks themselves at some point. If you are looking for a way to build relationships with former professors who gave you good grades but with whom you have no current relationship, you might want to go see them during office hours, tell them you are thinking about clerking, and ask for their advice/thoughts on that subject. It sounds like you have some legitimate questions about it anyway (e.g., state/federal and trial/appellate).

    • another state appellate clerk :

      In my limited experience, a state court judge may have his/her own preference as to the nature and number of recommenders. Make sure you check the employment listing or call the judge’s chambers to find out this information (you can probably get this info w/o giving your name). Nothing annoyed my judge more than an applicant who could not follow directions. In that vein, my judge did not want letters. Instead, he asked for my recommenders’ telephone numbers without specifying whether any had to be professors. I selected my supervisor from my second-year summer associate position, an adjunct prof, and my supervisor from my first-year summer fellowship.

      I was incredibly shy in law school. The only reason I had the relationship w/ the adjunct because he was the prof in charge of Moot Court. In that context, he saw me practice for multiple competitions and got to know me in the process. Is there an activity like Moot Court that is sponsored by a faculty member that you can get involved in? Mock trial? Law review (as others have suggested)? Clubs?

      Good luck!!

    • currentclerk :

      One should be your journal comment/note/article advisor and the other should be a seminar/directed study professor who also advised a significant writing assignment. In both situations, you have plenty of excuses to drop by the professor’s office for one-on-one time to discuss the writing project and at the same time get to know each other.

  16. Thanks to everyone who chimed in on my question yesterday about getting Lasik. A lot to think about. I’m generally very risk adverse so I probably won’t do it unless I absolutely have to, but it’s great to know that so many folks are happy.

    Also, a friendly reminder to everyone who wears eye makeup – use an eye makeup remover. I never do and my optometrist told me that I had a ton of nasty gunk on my contacts, to the point where it was causing a minor infection.

    • i second the eye makeup remover point and recommend the clean & clear soothing EMR in the purple bottle for anyone who wants an effective and affordable option!

  17. Anonymous :

    I’m reading the bonus numbers on Dealbreaker and quietly wishing I’d taken another path in school.
    That is all.

    • Hah! If I had to do it all again, I’d become an electrician. Seriously. Low overhead, good pay, own boss.

      • MissJackson :

        So funny — I would also be an electrician and general contractor if I could do it all over again!

        • Mason! Seriously there is such a shortage where I live, they are busy all the time, and can name their price.

          • And the grave-digger puts on the forceps;
            The stone mason does all the work;
            The barber can give you a haircut;
            The carpenter can take you out to lunch.

            Apologies to anyone who isn’t a Cake fan and doesn’t get what the heck I’m talking about. :)

        • Carpenter who works on historical buildings, here.

        • I’d learn to be a plumber if I wanted job security from outsourcing.

          When people have an overflowing toilet, the [Insert Whatever Country With Very Low Labor Costs Right Now] call-centers won’t cut it. They want someone to come over and deal with it, stat!

    • I am reviewing documents from my client. He is a truck driver. His gross income was $129,000 last year.

  18. All – would love some advice. I was up for a job and I think I was the runner up – they told me that they had decided to go with another candidate last Monday. They have just re-posted the job online. Can I contact them somehow and let them know I’m still interested?

    • This was after a month-long process of 5 interviews, if that makes any difference. It was after the fifth that they told me I hadn’t gotten the job.

    • I meant to reply to you but it came as a new comment, below. Just FYI.

    • karenpadi :

      I say go for it. You are obviously qualified and it is actually weird that they didn’t contact you before re-posting.

      What’s the worst they can say? No? Well, then you are no worse off than you are now.

    • I would contact them, but often companies repost jobs according to HR policy, meaning there might be a chance they interviewed you and whomever they ultimately went with, but did not have the posting up for enough days. As karenpadi said, can’t hurt and good luck to you!

    • It’s only been 10 days, so my guess is that they just reposted the position because no one in the first pool was a great fit for the position. The other option is that one person was a great fit but the others were not. I don’t think there’s any reason to reapply, as they’re probably well aware that you’re still interested. My answer would be different if it were a few months down the road.

    • hmmmm… sounds like they decided not to go with you. i’d approach gingerly with respect- and if you get a brush off, ask for some feedback. you could ask what concerns they have about your candidacy that you could address. (and think this through in advance, if by phone). good luck. but worth trying!!

      i have done this in hiring, where we just decided to put the fishing line out again because we needed a higher skill level or something than those we interviewed. seen it happen a few times. but you never know- especially if they don’t get better bites this round.

  19. I have a feeling the hive might tell you ‘no’ – but I say yes.

    This economy is horrid. They very well might have decided they didn’t want you at all, and are re-advertising. So, what do you have to lose by simply asking “I see the position has been re-posted, and I am still very interested in it?” What you have to lose by not asking is so much more than what you have to lose by askin.

    I received my clerkship in 2010 because I came out of an exam to a voicemail offer from my almost last choice judge, and in a moment of absurdity I called my 1st choice judge and said, “I really enjoyed interviewing with you and feel like clerking for you would be the perfect fit because of X, Y, Z . I have to make a decision regarding clerking later today, but if you offered me the position I want you to know I’d accept it right now, because you are my 1st choice.”

    It went against every piece of advice in the book, and you know what? I’m sitting in the judge’s chambers now typing this, in year two of my clerkship with 1st choice judge.

    Contact them.

    • That is a great story and I don’t believe it is against any advice. In fact, my husband did exactly this when he was looking for a new job. I think this is a common interviewing/job search tactic based on the fact that once something is “taken’ it is perceived as more desirable.

      Bravo to you!

  20. I posted a question yesterday about my husband taking a job that requires nearly 100% travel when we have a baby on the way in a few months. By the time I had a chance to respond, I figured that people would have moved on from that thread. In any case, I just wanted to say a huge thank you to those of you who replied. You really made me feel like it’s something that can be done with help and without killing our emotional/physical health. I felt like I had gotten a big virtual hug, which was much-needed after the pessimism of others that we had talked to. So THANK YOU!

  21. I am re-posting this reply to “Lasik for the near blind” because I posted my reply today and wasn’t sure if you would see it.

    Before surgery my right eye was -15 and my left was -11. I had eye surgery 6 years ago, not lasik or PRK, but something called Phakic Interocular Lens Surgery (my opthamalogist called it Verisys – I think that might be the brand name of the lens). It is a fairly new procedure – approved in 2004, but my opthamalogist had participated in the FDA trials, so had done hundreds of them before 2004. The surgery is recommended for people with high prescriptions, because unlike Lasik or PRK, there is no scraping away part of the eye. Instead, they make a small incision in your eye and attach a permanent lens inside your eye to correct your vision. I love it. At first, I did notice some halos (in dim light the edge of the lens will catch the light, but I’ve gotten so used to it that I don’t notice it anymore) and I have slight astimatism because the stitches to close the incision slightly distorted my eye. However, I have 20/20 vision now and it is so worth it to have that. I struggled for years with glasses – my prescription was so high that correction was becoming a problem and glasses gave me headaches. I was unable to wear contacts because I had developed dry eyes from so many years of contact use. I’d suggest you look into it at least.

    • locomotive :

      Thank you for posting this! I am also near -11 in both eyes and am considering lasik or something similar. I have a question though – I developed giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC, basically an allergy to contact lenses) from contact lens wear. I can’t wear soft or hard lenses for more than 2 hours without having the insides of my eyelids swell up into bumps and itch like crazy for weeks. Do you know if the lens is truly “inside” your eye as in inside the cornea, or if it’s still outside the cornea? Obviously, I need to speak to a real doctor to ask about this but I was just curious if you knew.

      • I’m not sure if it is actually inside the cornea (I don’t know enough about eyes to say!), but it is definitely inside my eye, not on the outside. They cut a small incision in your eye, insert the lens and attach it to the inside of the eye, then stitch the eye closed.

  22. Oh, the things I miss when I can’t check Corporette during the day! Frumpskanks, hexing and chardonnay at Madison’s house…