These are some writings of Paul Janson.

Some are serious and some are humorous and all are just what they are, and ...

All of them are a part of what he is


The Family Business

posted 03/27/2014

My family and I are in the process of setting up an ice cream shop, Jeff and Maria's Old Fashion Ice Cream and Food Shop. The Jeff part is Maria's boyfriend and Maria is my daughter. Her sister, Emma, will be the financial manager. Many people have suggested that this is not a good idea. Mary and I are approaching retirement and we will need our money, and ...

I am given cause to pause and wonder why they feel this way. There was a time not long past, when setting up a family business was a noble goal in life. That a family that grew together and worked together naturally would go into business together. It is more common now for children to leave the home and many parents encourage that. I am not sure that the freedom so gained is worth the loss it brings. I never doubted that the Ice Cream Shop was a great idea, except that the name is kind of long don't you think?



On Valentines Day

posted 02/14/2014

I have to say

On Valentines Day

That I love my wife

and I love my life

Love my famly

And they love me




On Christmas

posted 12/23/2013

This is little to do with adoption, but it is such a nice story I had to share it here. Mary and I have a rental property where my mother used to live with three tenants in it. Each Christmas we give a small gift to them and this year we were late, just yesterday in fact. When I dropped off the gift to one of them, they gave me a gift in return. Nothing too special, except that it turned out to be their supper!; aA pasta casserole still warm. Now I am certain they will not starve n this account, probably not even be hungry. but it was such a nice gesture I had to record it here. There are good people n the world.


What My Adopted Daughter Inherited From Me

posted 12/7/2013

My daughter Maria is adopted of course, and therefore she has no genetic matterial from me, and yet she has inherited from me. She was four years old when she came to live with my wife an I. SHe had a burn scar on her ight arm that was present when she went to the orpanage and we never did know how she came to have this injury. We were talking tday, she is twenty five now, and she was talking about how she had trouble with directions since she kept confusing "left" and "right". I said I had the same problem but that I had learned to reach for my heart, on my left side as I did in school when I pledged allegence to th flag. She said yes, she reached for her burn, to remember whhc side right was on. She laughed and I did too. We would probebly both be diagnsed as being dyslectic and both of us had solved this problem in similar ways. I would suggest that it is very improbale that she "inherited" dyslexia fromme, but she may well have "inherited" the solurion from me. I was sure that was true when she casually said, that having a burn on her arm was ometimes a good thing. I am not sure that is is true, but I am glad my daughter can think so. One of the gift I have given her is to see that good in everything and one of the gi=fts she has given me is to remind me tht this is always true.

Alone Again

posted 10/24/2013

I had a rare opportunity this last week to be home alone. My loving wife was on a trip to Canada with her siblings and my two loving daughter were on a cruise to Bermuda. I was somewhat disappointed I could not go on the cruise, but a father on a cruise with his daughters? Not "cool" at all. I will have to be honest, I did not miss the sibling trip as much. I was home alone for five days, alone except for two dogs, a cat, a rabbit nad several chickens, oh yes and the people working on our kitchen remodel. All of us survived the absence of a family well, but I found that for all my preparations I missed them. My brother-in-law and I went out to dinner, and talked uninhibitedly, something we could not have done with wives and children. I played all the music my famiy won't let me play when they are home, buy in-spite-of these pleasures I was glad when they were al home again. You realize how important things are when they are missing from your life.


Obigatory Entry

posted 9/12/2013

I was told that I have not made a blog in a few weeks. In fact the problem is that the person asking for a new blog had not been on the site for a month; I blogged just two weeks ago.  But this brought to my mind the question: "Who am I writing for?"

For you who are reading of course. There is no reason to write except to be read is there? There is. The writing of this makes me think of all the reasons I have to be writing. I am grateful that I can write and I am grateful that I have something to write about. I am grateful that I have a family and friends that make me want to write.  This is the most important thing there is to say.  It is really the only reason there is to write. The things we covet do not matter once they are gained. Fame, acclaim and all the rest pale when compared to this. If you read this take a moment to consider the reasons, the family and friends you have that give your life meaning.  Anything I can write here is trivial compared to this.

Adoption Anniversary

posted 8/28/203

Today is the 22nd our family anniversary.  On this day two sisters, a three and a four year old, arrived from Ecuador at Logan airport in Boston and became a part of our family.  We said we adopted them that day, but it was only the beginning of course.  I realize now they also began the process of adopting us as their parents.  I would be lying if I said there were no problems, but I soon realized the problems were more about raising children than about adoption.  They had much more experience being children than Mary and I had being parents.
To say we would do it all again would sound silly.  Of course we would without any hesitation.  After the day I convinced Mary to live with me (read marry me for live with me here), this is the most important day of my life.


Growing Old or Just Changng a Little?

posted 8/3/2013

I have been ill for a few months now and as they say: "It is an ill wind that blows no one good." Before i suggest that I have an "Ill wind", let me say that I am recovering and will be back to normal, or as close to normal as I ever was, soon. The fact that I now write about this is proof that I am recovering and that I was never very close to being normal.

I received a great deal of support during my illness from friends and co-workers and while I do not in any way wish to minimize that support, the greatest joy I experienced was the support of my family and in particular my daughters.. While I would not suggest that this is why I adopted children, (it was not), I will suggest that having children when I was ill, was a great joy and may be why I am recovering. My wife helped too I hasten to add. There are "scientific" studies that "show" that people live longer who have families to support them, but science only goes so far. I need no further proof, scientific or otherwise and I do not believe anyone with family to support them needs any either. Families are not about parents and children, but about people of different and changing ages.




A kidney Stone

posted 7/1/2013

Two days ago my daughter called me on her way to work to say she had sudden, severe right flank pain. She wasn't sure she could drive to work, but when I offered to pick her up, she said she had thought about it and had to go to work. She works in a bank and she was one of two people that was opening that morning.  If she did not go in, the bank could not open until someone else could go in.

I picked her up at the bank and took her to the hospital ER where I work and where her mother was working at that time. Her pain was treated and there was a little blood in her urine. Her mother and I discussed the risk verses the benefits of obtaining a CT scan: it would make the diagnosis sure, but it involved substantial radiation. Finally we asked our daughter, something we should have done for any twenty five year old to begin with.  She said simply that she wanted to know and would accept the risk.

The CT scan showed two stones, one that was 3 mm and causing the pain, but was small enough to pass on its own, and one of 4 mm on the other side that was not causing trouble but might in the future. My daughter had made the right choice: she, and we, knew what was causing her pain, knew that it would probably pass on its own and also knew there was another stone that might cause trouble in the future. She is an intelligent lady and her parents should have consulted her earlier.   Being a parent requires growing up too.


Growing Old

posted 6/6/2013

Children grow and grown-ups come

Adults they are called now

You must walk or be left behind

You must not run or you will be too far ahead

You must stand beside to help, and

You must know when to stand away so they can stand by themselves


Mother's Day

posted 5/12/2013

The process of writing is long and there are disappointments and rewards, and sometimes the disappointments are greater than the rewards.  Sometimes the rewards are greater and once in a great while a single event makes all the sacrifice worth the effort in a single stroke.
About a month ago a friend and coworker of mine asked to buy one of my adoption books, the version about a single mother’s adoption.  She explained that her sister had adopted and was having trouble explaining to her daughter how she came to be her daughter.  This problem had come about when one of their friends became pregnant.  My friend bought the book, on line, and gave it to her sister and a week later when we worked together again, she told me that it had been an astounding success.  Her four year old niece had the book and was showing “her” book to everyone telling them that it was about her and her mother.  It had been a “God send” her sister had told her.  I agreed, God had in fact sent the message to me, and I had written it down.  A pretty simple thing although one oft neglected.
My friend asked if I could make up a mug for mother’s day and I was able to and that cemented it all in place.  The mug had a picture from the book and their names on beneath it the mug and the family in the hearts and … sometimes a single event can make the long and arduous journey worth the while in a single stroke.


Orange Tea

posted 5/3/2013

By popular request, I’m posting the recipe for orange tea referenced below

Make tea. Any standard tea, not flavored or spiced, and about 2/3 or 3/4 of a cup.
Remove the bag and fill the remainder of the up with orange juice
Sugar to taste although I prefer to add 2 or even 3 teaspoons to the cup
Drink and enjoy


The Novel

posted 4/27/2013

One of the joys of having children is when they stop being children and become adults. That task is never complete, they are and I hope they stay forever young.  I have the same hope for myself, but I am also proud and pleased when they become mature.  As you know, since you are reading this after visiting my home page, I have just published my first novel, a mystery of medicine and murder. That was exciting for me, but it was equally exciting or maybe even more exciting when my daughters actually acknowledged that they were proud of their old father.   Usually they confine their comments to expressing embarrassment that my favorite beverage is a mixture of tea and orange juice, but with the publication of Mal Practice they both expressed pride in my accomplishment. They both asked for copies, signed copies and for their friends too and both announced the publication on their facebook pages.  For those who are as old as I, let me hasten to point out that for an old guy like me to be mentioned on his daughter's facebook is perhaps the greatest compliment ever given, and it is certainly the greatest compliment I have ever received. Parenthood is beautiful!


April and Roses

posted 4/14/2013

Give me roses, though they will not last, still give them to me.

Beauty never lasts. It fades as the light fades and is buried

Faded and buried beneath; beneath the fading memories of faded beauty.

Still give me roses while they last; while I last

While I am here; I would have beauty for my companion.

Until the last, I would have beauty; and I will mourn the past another day


What We Tell and When We Tell It

posted 3/11/2013

I was talking to some friends a few days ago, about their adoption and about my book. They were pleased with the book, by the way, but that was not what we talked about. What the discussion centered on was when to tell an adopted child about the adoption. This was not a problem for my wife and I since our daughters were adopted when they were 3 and 5 years old. They knew from the beginning that they were adopted. For parents who adopt an infant this is a question. I did not, and will not, attempt to tell someone else what they should do, it is an individual decision, but I will say that my wife and I and our daughters have felt very comfortable with our decision. We openly discussed the entire process and the adoption with them and with our extended family from the beginning. The book I have written: The Child In Our Hearts, was written during the first few months they were living with us in order to explain how they came to be a part of our family.

In a larger sense it seems to me that perhaps we should not treat adoption any differently than any other event that adds a member to a family, which makes a family. We are a part of the world and all people are our responsibility, all children are our children and the decision is really whether we choose to make a child our special responsibility; to make one child a member of our family. Why we make such a decision and how we make that happen is not important. Making it a secret, to the child or to anyone, makes it seem as if it is something that needs to be secret, instead of something that needs to be celebrated.


Some Thoughts On the Bithday of My Wife Mary

posted 1/22/2013

Love, For Mary on Her Birthday, After Many Years


Love still grows with each day

Even with each birthday.

You may call it comfortable, or

You may call it foolish

I will call it truth.

I will love you until death parts us.

“Then there is an end?” she asked.

“Yes,” I say

“To my life, there is an end.

My love is forever.”

“You are right.

“I will call it foolish …

And I will call it comfortable

Very comfortable

And sometimes I will call it an adventure, too.”


Adoption In Religion

posted 12/17/2012

I have celebrated my birthday yesterday, with my wife and with my children. Lucky I am to be still alive and lucky to have them to celebrate with. It is a good thing sometimes to realize and to express gratitude for the blessings of life.

At sixty five you cannot party all the time after all, and that is another “blessing”. It affords time to think. During one of those introspective moments in the celebration, religion and adoption and the lack of any recent entry on this site all came together. How important is adoption in religion? It is an enlightening examination that this question leads to.

Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha, as was his given name was an orphan at birth. His mother died and he was raised by her younger sister Maha Pajapati. The title Buddha means “Enlightened One” of course, and was not his given name.

Confucius was orphaned when three years old and raised in poverty by his mother.

Of the Judaic/Christian/Moslem religions the association is even stronger. Moses was flouted down the Nile to be adopted by pharaoh’s daughter. Jesus was of course, adopted by Joseph, not his biologic father after all, and Mohammad adopted a son, Zayd ibn Harithah, his freed slave who was later martyred at the battle of Battle of Mu'tah.

More can be said, but ti is sufficient to point out that the“traditional” family unit is not much of a presence in the founding of great religions, and adoption is. How we come by our life and family is not as important as the life and the family that we come by.


About Birthdays and Living

posted 8/23/2012

I am about to turn sixty five, a milestone by any reckoning. I count myself lucky to have lived as long as I have and to have been blessed as much as I have. Many of the things that I have come to realize are the greatest of those blessing are not the things I wished for, but the things that happened without my planning them at all. They are not things that I deserved or earned in any way, but they are what has made my life as good as it is. My wife, my children, even my career are more gifts than earnings. If I have done anything that made me worthy of these blessings it is that I let them happen to me. I let life give me these treasures
I knew a man one time who had only one day to live, and he lived it over and over until finally he stopped living. He died a few years later, but no one noticed, not even he I think, because he had stopped living so long ago
Do not confuse living with existing. Your life does not need to be different necessarily, but it does need to be lived; every minute of it needs to be lived.



Pearl S. Buck Center

posted 7/25/2012


About a week ago I returned from my wife Mary’s high school reunion and a book signing at the Pearl S. Buck Center. The high school reunion was interesting. The trouble with high school reunions is that the people who go to them are the same people who went to your high school. If you are the spouse – well you’re not important. Two people told me that in pretty much those exact words. I was not that disappointed.
The Pearl S. Buck Center on the other hand was both interesting and welcoming. She was a remarkable lady. She wrote great books, adopted several children and generally advanced the state of adoption, particularly international adoption. She regarded herself as a citizen of the world, in an age before such inclinations were popular, not that they are that popular today. She saw in the plight of children the suffering of all people and she strove mightily to rectify this injustice. She succeeded.
While I sat at the art show, showing my books, I mused on this thought. I would not compare myself to her, my ego is not nearly that large, but where she saw that all children should be accepted, particularly those of mixed racial background, I realized that I was involved in something of the same effort. Children of gay and lesbian families should be treated fairly as should their parents. Justice demands as much.
Thank you Ms. Buck, for guidance and inspiration



posted 6/23/2012, revised 7/10/2012


I was listening to a sermon on the radio recently whose subject was: that water is thicker than blood. In this case the water was the oceans. The phrase “Blood is thicker than water” is of German origin, Wikipedia tells me, but the sermon did not mention this. The biblical scene that was referenced, however, suggested that Jesus disagreed with the Germans. You may recall the scene: Jesus is chatting with a group of people in a home, and his mother and family beckon him outside. Jesus answers: Mathew 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother, or Mark 3:35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother. At this point the giver of the sermon made the statement that Jesus was denying his biologic family in favor of his adopted family. That phrase got my attention.


We are now living in an age where genetics dominates us. There is a gene, a strand of DNA, for everything: our height, weight, hair color, and our diseases of course, and maybe our personalities. There is the belief that we are what our DNA makes us. We are our DNA. Now this assertion bothers me, perhaps more than do the words that Jesus said. To be just DNA is upsetting and so is denying ones family, but by this time you may be asking what the two have to do with each other.


Since you have been patient enough to have read this far, I will try to answer. To be just DNA is to dismiss the possibility that we can change ourselves. If we are just DNA, we cannot change, learn, improve or in any way be what our DNA did not make us. That’s pretty scary and pretty foolish too. Obviously the events around us, and the choices we make, change us. We are more than our DNA, and so also, our family is more than our DNA. Jesus says as much. There is blood to be sure, but we are awash in the water of the world. That water, that world, changes us from DNA into people. Bring in the water of the world and let it change you into a person. Bring in the people that will enrich you, the teachers, the friends, and the children. Your family, Jesus says, need not share any DNA. Your family is those who share your goals and values and your life. You can choose your family.


But Jesus does not abandon his biologic family. When he is dying, indeed one of the last things he says is to John. John 10:27: Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. Is Jesus instructing John to adopt his mother as his own? John apparently thinks so, because that is what he does.


Single sentence summary: Jesus was in favor of adoption. He was adopted himself after all. Joseph was not his biological father. Pretty simple really. He usually is.





The trouble with birthdays

posted 6/8/2012

A lady just told me I needed to blog more. I’m not sure if she thought my web site needed more activity, or she may have liked reading my blog … or it may just have been a lull in the conversation that she felt she had to fill. Whatever, I thank her and here is the result.


My daughter recently celebrated her birthday. She is 25 more or less. She has a problem with her birthday you see. She is adopted, of course, and when my wife and I first met her in Ecuador she was five years old. We had been given the wrong name, but were assured that she was five. We were able to verify her name since she told us what it was, but her age was given in the papers that accompanied her adoption in Ecuador. There was then a two months separation, with her and her sister remaining in Ecuador while my wife and I returned home to prepare and to wait.


When she and her sister did finally arrive, we discovered that a year had been removed from her age. She was now only four. When we inquired we were told that it had been simpler to process the papers in Ecuador. I would have discounted this, assuming that the error was her first given age, except that she needed a “bone age” for another medical problem, and that appeared to confirm her older age, not her younger one. Such is the state of international adoption. Certainty is never certain.


So we were left with the problem and with three solutions: younger age, older age or both. Her older age was probably her real age, but there was no certificate to verify that age. The younger age was probably not her real age, but all the certificates “verified” that age. It would clearly be difficult to convince a government official that despite these documents my daughter was really a year older. We opted for the third option and told her the truth. She had two ages, one real and one that the government regarded as real. She handled this very well. At one point she said that when she was old, she would probably want to have a year taken off her calendar.

It was not without problems: driver’s licenses, first drink of alcohol and all that, but she has done very well, I think. It is also reassuring to me that there are still times when the truth works best. There are some persons, private and public that should take note of this lesson my daughter taught me.

All right it has been a long time between blogs. Thank you Michelle


Suffer The Little Children

posted 4/9/2012


There is a story in the Bible about little children being brought to see Jesus. It is in three gospels: Mathew 19:14, Mark 10:14, and Luke 18:16; three out of four, which is not bad. Sounds like it’s important. The story is one we are all familiar with, even those who are not too familiar with the Bible. Little children are brought in and some adults are upset. Apparently the adults thought they had been seated in the over twenty one section or something. Now Jesus gets upset because he apparently does not think there is any age requirement. As a matter of fact he seems to think that the children have it right, and the adults have it wrong. “For of such is the kingdom of heaven.” advises Jesus, indicating the children, not the adults. This must have disappointed the adult part of the audience who thought that growing up granted them some privileges.
There is the temptation to “interpret” this passage, which usually means finding some way to say that it means something different than what it says, but the Bible doesn’t work very well that way. As a matter of fact most other things don’t work well that way either. The Bible usually means just what it says, and I believe this is the case with this passage. I’m pretty safe here since the little children are not into interpreting very much. If you do not believe me, try telling a child you are not angry when you are, or not to do something that you do yourself or any number of other situations where the language we speak, hides the truth within us. The adults may be fooled, or may pretend to be fooled, but the children are not. So what does this story mean? Maybe it means just what it says: Be like the children and except the truth when you hear it, do good things when you can and treat people nicely when possible and … yes stop interpreting things you don’t like to hear, because maybe what you are hearing is the truth. My children taught me this, and maybe that’s where Jesus learned it too. The kids in the Bible usually act better than the adults.

Children are the joy in our lives, in our hearts, and in our souls. Try to learn from the children, and along the way maybe teach them a little too.





A Man I Know

posted 3/6/2012

I know a man, married with a son, now in his teenage years. This would seem to be a happy situation, but his son is autistic. He is non-verbal and only partially toilet trained and the home must be “proofed” to remove any objects, candles or soap, which he might eat. He can never be left alone.
My friend and his wife have not let this interfere unduly with their lives. He has a full time job and his wife teaches beading. They travel with their son, he is in school, and he has therefore become well mannered considering his limitations. My two daughters, twenty three and twenty four think he is adorable.
It is not uncommon for the other members of his family to express either pity or admiration for the “burden” of his care, or the “attention” they devote to him. Thus far this is not all that remarkable, but on one occasion my friend and I were talking and he said that he felt really sorry for people who did not have children. He said, and I believe him, that without his son, his life would seem meaningless. He is correct of course, as every parent would agree.

One further point to place this in its proper perspective: He is a computer engineer who writes the programs that are necessary to keep the commercial airplanes flying safely, and his wife makes some of the finest beaded jewelry I have ever seen, but what gives their lives meaning is their son. What to others may appear to be a burden is in fact the joy of their lives. When all is finally said, children are like that.



About Why I Think We Want Children

posted 2/27/2012

There is an old joke about a young boy who comes in from playing with a friend to ask: “Mommy, where did I come from?”  His mother is prepared for this expected question and recites what used to be called the story of The Birds and the Bees.  Her son listens, but when she is finished he replies, “Yes I know that.  I learned it in school, but Billy says he’s from Detroit.  Where am I from?”
Obviously the question the son asked was not the question his mother answered.  The question that I have answered in the books I have written and have offered here is perhaps a different question from either of these.  It might be as equal well said to ask Why do children come as Where do they come from.  Why do we want children?
It seems so simple a question once asked, that you may wonder why I wonder.  Of course we want children.  But I suggest that a little thought will tell a great deal more than that simple answer.  It is not obvious.
The mother in the above joke offers a biological answer, while her son is asking for a geographical, maybe even an ethnic answer: What is my heritage?  These are both reasonable questions and the answers are reasons to want a family: biology or heritage, extending either the human race or our particular heritage, but these answers is somehow incomplete.  They do not seem to answer the question and at the same time they beg a further question: Why do we wish to devote so much of our life to extend either?
When showing these books to friends I asked for comments and suggestions and one suggestion was that I should write a version for people and children resulting from artificial insemination.  That may be coming, considerable thought is needed, but one thing did come quickly following the conversation: children are the fulfillment of a fundamental need.  People will and do, go through untold difficulty for their children, however they come to be.  The difficulties are usually untold; most parents speak of the joys, not the troubles, of parenting.  This provides the answer, the only answer necessary: children come from love, from our love, from our hearts.  All other explanations seem hollow by comparison. There is no biology or heritage that would drive so many to make these sacrifices so willingly, but love will.  Do not leave this thought too quickly.  Remember that the desire to have children is not the same as loving a child.  The desire, the love, begins before the child begins.  The love extends to children who have no biology or heritage shared with their parents.  The love goes beyond these to encompass us all. 






return to home (page)