Grief

When You’re Afraid of Dying

“If you want Elita to throw anything away, just tell her it causes cancer.” This was the advice a friend gave my husband, Mark, when we first got married. It was true. I had once thrown away a whole box of scented candles and a series of scratched Teflon frying pans because someone had told […]

5 Dos and Don’ts of Foster Parenting

This is not a heady article written by people with thirty years’ foster parenting experience. It’s a piece written by a former foster child with 14 years’ experience, from 4 years old to 18. It’s directed more at foster parents of preschoolers and older. I’m writing out of my own journey through broken family, trauma, […]

Abortion: Unwanted Reality

I had two abortions. They weren’t “crisis pregnancies.” They weren’t “unplanned pregnancies.” They were simply unwanted. I was a teenaged girl living with her boyfriend, playing house. Our “unplanned pregnancies” were nothing more than “not planning ahead and being responsible pregnancies.” I didn’t use birth control. So abortion became my birth control. 1987 was the […]

Foster Care: More Than I Can Handle

Broken bones and bruising on a child who can barely pull himself up is more than I can handle. A one-month-old baby with a history of sexual abuse is more than I can handle. Foster care is more than I can handle. A few weeks ago I was sharing about the trials of our foster […]

Bringing Down the Wonder

I’m not known for my patience, and sadly it seems this trait has been passed on to my daughter. But we wait differently. I wait for good things to happen, but don’t expect much. Phoenix waits for good things to happen with unfiltered excitement, joy, and expectation. She literally jumps up and down ecstatically. She […]

He Speaks His Goodness Over Us

All of my children were born overdue. I don’t know if my womb was especially comfortable, or they just didn’t want to be born, but all four of them didn’t come out for weeks until after their due date. I stopped answering the phone during those times. “Yes, yes, I’m still enormous. Thank you for […]

Living Monday after a Sunday Tragedy

A week ago, a terrorist let his machine gun loose on a crowd of people in our beloved city. Las Vegas was our home- the place where we started our married life, where we had our babies, where we rooted ourselves in the community we nurtured. But we weren’t there when the shooting happened. We […]

Wishing Pokemon Were Real: A Story of Autism

There’s no band aid for this, no kissing it away, no telling her it will feel better tomorrow. Because it may not. Tomorrow feels very far away when she is shrieking in frustration, when she is nearly inconsolable. I can’t comfort my baby girl. No matter how many truths I tell her, no matter the amount […]

Finding Grace in the Missing Parts of My Story

I reflect on pictures my mom kept of me posing on grandma’s front porch, my three-year-old little body donning a Fiesta dress with intermingled colors. They dance with each other far from lament. Dad’s sailor cap is tipped over my face, covering my left eye, making me giggle as I reach up to catch it […]