Identity

Teaching Our Children Belonging

In 2010, I went from never being a mother, to a mom of two toddlers in a span of a day. It has and remains, all these years later, one of the most horrifically beautiful adventures of my life. Journeying to motherhood was fraught from the beginning. I have known since I was 16 that […]

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, […]

Listening to my Mother is an Act of Learning to Love Myself

  Listening to My Mother is an Act of Learning to Love Myself   When I learned I was pregnant, I was scared because I was the shape of the moon and I didn’t think that my body carried enough light to make the night sky shine.   Whittling a daugther from your flesh feels […]

Honoring a Parent With Whom I’ve Drawn a Boundary

My mom prunes the Mexican Oak tree in my front yard with her bare hands. The tree stands catty-corner to the chain-link fence, standing guard against the neighbor’s driveway. It appears diseased as my mom tirelessly rips off each limb. The branches fall around her like the many stories we hold and can’t quite bring […]

Learning to Love My Body

One thing I do not look forward to about a new year is the hundreds of social media posts where people, and particularly women, commit to getting “healthy” or “fit.” I have nothing against setting goals, and I believe the people who post these are sincere in what they say, but I bet if I […]

Introducing Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros!

At the beginning of the year I send our monthly contributors an email highlighting the previous year’s stats and ask them to answer a few questions about their ongoing capacity as writers for The Mudroom. Last year was hard for our writers. A few took sabbaticals due to family crises, a couple of us experienced prolonged […]

Longing for Rest

I say a prayer over both kids instead of praying for them individually as I do when I take my time. I rush through my usual night script: “IloveyouDaddylovesyouButwholovesyouthemost?” and they yell back, “God!” My “good night” barely slips through the door I’m already closing behind me, and my whole body sighs. I’m done. I’m […]

Wij Zijn Hier/We Are Here

We are here and you’d like to forget it, have us more hidden then our black faces and tired, old eyes. Isn’t it enough to leave my own country as a teenager? Isn’t it enough to run on bare feet from my home that is at war with itself? Isn’t it enough to be homeless […]

The Paradox of Being an Asian-American Woman Leader

My laugh is a guffaw. It can pierce your ears or shock you if I’m not careful. In church, at Starbucks, anywhere in a crowd, people are unsure of what to make of such a loud laugh coming from me. I’m a 5’2” Korean-American woman in her mid-30s, but most people would probably think I’m […]