Barukh haba, Gilad Martin Scherlinder!


We’re new at this whole blog thing, but there’s nothing like a baby to bring us into the information age.  Here goes:

With hearts full of joy, Minna and Fred announce the arrival of their son (and Sara’s little brother), Gilad Martin Scherlinder (Hebrew: גלעד מירון), born March 1st!   He will be known in the world as Gilad, Gil (for short, or per the Hebrew for the ‘joy’ he brings!), Gili, or Sara’s favorite, “Baby Gili” (more on his name later, when we have details on a brit and baby naming).

Adoption is an amazing thing, and sometimes happens very quickly. This is one of those times! As a result, some of you know pieces of this story, and for some of you, this is all a huge revelation. So here’s the story:

Last Tuesday (on Purim), we learned of a then-10-day-old baby boy (born 5 pounds 4 ounces, 18 inches) for whom an adoption plan was being put in place.  On Wednesday last, we made everything kosher. and prepared to have our lives turned upside down.  Per a modified version of Jewish tradition, we haven’t announced his name until today, the 8th day of his being in our lives.

Of course the Scherlinders don’t do anything the easy way, and Gil is no exception.  He was born with gastroschisis, a correctible defect (with no association to any other health issues) in which his abdominal wall didn’t complete its development.  It means that since early in his fetal development, his intestines and stomach were growing normally, but outside his abdomen — so he was born with his kishkes sticking out.  Those kishkes had a sac or ‘silo’ placed over them with gentle pressure applied over the course of a week, and last Wednesday he had surgery to close up the abdomen, which went swimmingly. Still, it will take many weeks for his GI system to heal itself, and for the baby to learn to take food orally and to process it normally.  The early signs are good, but it’ll be quite a ways before we can bring him home.

He’s about two hours away in central Virgina, and we initially thought we’d camp out down there for the duration — but the medical staff and social worker all suggested that we keep working for now, since parental leave is all the more important in the healing and bonding phase yet to come, when he’s home.  So for now we’re plugging away at AS & AU, visiting Gili a few times a week, checking on his webcam (which is for immediate family only, we’re afraid!), calling the NICU nurses, and looking ahead to an ever-shifting ‘best guess’ on when he could at least be transferred to a nearer hospital, or (finally!) released to our care.

We appreciate the many warm messages we’ve received in this last whirlwind week; please know there’s no need for you to acknowledge each little step along the way, which looks to be a long one.  The most helpful things you can do now are send prayers (or other less-theistic wishings-well); go easy on the questions so that we can get work done, while still spending as much time with and on Gilad as possible; help us create what passes for normalcy for Sara in the midst of all this dislocation; and stay posted!

With so many friends passing down their infant gear and boys’ clothes, and with what we have in our own attic, we need nothing material. If you’re itching to send something, we encourage a donation in Gilad’s honor to, a non-profit adoption agency that makes miracles like this happen, or to the youth scholarship fund at Adat Shalom (, our wonderful congregation, or to the cause of your choice.

Blessings to all, and thank you for being part of our growing family’s life!

—  Minna, Fred, and Sara — The Scherlinders
4404 Yuma St. NW, Washington DC 20016
202/966-3674; rabbifred[]; scherlinder[]


* More on Gilad Meron (Gil Martin)’s name when we have a clearer sense of when to schedule a brit and baby naming. But for now, know that among the people and values we had in mind for his name were: first and foremost, Minna’s late beloved mom Gilda; joy; captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit (may both Gilads come home safely and soon!); Fred’s great-grandfather Max, and his father Henry Morton; Rev. Dr. MLK Jr.; exultation; nature; and mysticism…



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