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Diane Clehane on the Lunch That Changed Her Life

DrOzDianeClehaneEvery Wednesday, as many of you already know, our “Lunch” columnist Diane Clehane catches up at Michael’s with all sorts of interesting media folks. Most recently and exclusively, Dr. Oz.

But this is about a different kind of lunch. A lunch that completely changed the make-up of Clehane’s domestic dining arrangements. Per Clehane’s essay in the February issue of Reader’s Digest for the magazine’s “True Stories” section, she and her husband were dealing a decade ago with the trauma of three recent miscarriages. Shopping one day at Sak’s, Clehane took a break at the cafe for lunch and met Jill Totenberg, a public relations consultant who proudly showed a picture of an adopted Chinese daughter. Not long thereafter, thanks to the Saks encounter, Clehane began her own, similar odyssey:

In early 2003, we registered with an adoption agency and began an 18-month “paper pregnancy.” During that time, I kept in touch with Jill, e-mailing her occasionally. I promised to visit so I could meet her daughter, but as often happens, life got in the way. Still, the little girl in the Snow White costume and her mother were never far away in my thoughts.

When my husband and I returned from China with our nine-month-old daughter, Madeline Jing-Mei, in November 2005, Jill was one of the first people I e-mailed. “I did it!” I wrote. “I’m a mother, and she’s beautiful!”

Clehane is currently working on a memoir about her adoption experiences and hopes to complete it within the next few months. Previously, our colleague has written bestselling books about Nancy Grace, Kelly Ripa and Princess Diana.

Madeline turns nine next month. No doubt mom, also the president and creative director of Madeline Communications, has a great event planned. Read the rest of Clehane’s piece here.

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