• The Opposite of Yelling

    I was sick this week. Throwing up throughout the night, curled up in fetal position at the base of the toilet, not sure how clean the bath mat is, I do not even care, I will never eat blue cheese in a salad again, SICK. Being sick as an adult is lousy. Being sick as a mom is just not fair. Usually, with a head cold or slight fever, we moms power through by tossing the child-wolves some technology, pouring some cereal in a bowl and calling it dinner, and announcing bedtime at 7pm. Not this go-round. Leaving my bed was…

  • To Johnny, on your 17th Birthday.

    Dear Johnny, I know this isn’t where you thought you would be at age 17. Still in the foster system, a day pass on your birthday, preparing to be shuffled around again, and then again and again. I know. As a child, you must have thought ahead to 17 and pictured your life very differently. Maybe you pictured a mom and a dad, a decorated bedroom, your face in pictures from family vacations hanging, collage-style, on a wall. I know that this isn’t where you thought you’d land. You were here for the day and we did presents and cake.…

  • Out of the Way, Mom.

    I had a moment recently. My son, Jax, and I had been in the car running errands for a few hours. I was singing along to the Beatles channel when Jax said, “Mom, I’m hungry.” Well, yeah, breakfast was a hurried cup of yogurt three hours ago so that’s reasonable. There is no shortage of food options in the strip-malled mecca of Scottsdale, and we chose Chipotle. We ordered, we got our food, we sat. We were finishing up and Jax got up to refill his soda. He took the lid off, said excuse me to me the man who was…

  • Welcome Home, Kid.

    A teenage boy is coming to live with me. Today. In eight hours, I will be an official foster parent. It’s been only a few months, but I have notes upon notes about my short experience so far with this child welfare system of ours. I can’t wrap my head around how we allow a child to fall through the cracks so frequently that he becomes invisible. How a child with no parents is surrounded by umpteen “service providers” paid for by the government, and yet, no one knows this kid or does anything to meaningfully help him. How we…

  • I’m Supposed to Be in the Creek

    Last week, I was in my favorite place in the world with my 15-person family. Every few years, we head to a ranch in the mountains of Colorado. We’ve been going here since I was a little girl, and there is truly no place I would rather be. I told my clients I was out, I let my phone lose its charge in my suitcase, and I swaggered around in cowboy boots all week. There is no better place for me to get my head straight. I spent a lot the week thinking about this kid I know, Johnny.* Johnny…

  • Dear Donald Trump, from an adoptive mom.

    ­­Dear Donald Trump, My son thinks ­­you want to deport him. I’m sorry, did I jump ahead of myself there? That was rude of me. Let’s start over. Hi there. I’m Rebecca. Yes, yes, nice to meet you, too. I have an adopted son. He was adopted from China in 2008, when he was three and a half years old. He’s ten now, an American citizen, and I’ll state the obvious: I love my son. A lot. So much. He’s the greatest, Donald, just the greatest. This son of mine thinks you want to deport him. Literally, Mr. Trump. My…

  • “To Girls Everywhere, I Am With You.”

    “To girls everywhere, I am with you.” This is how a woman who was assaulted and raped behind a dumpster at Stanford University ended her statement to her attacker at his sentencing hearing. My admiration for this woman is seeping out of my pores. If this were me, my statement might have been taking off a carefully-chosen-extra-pointy stiletto and throwing it at the attacker’s head. If I was brave enough to face him at all. I am linking her statement below. Read it. In it, this woman chronicles her night. She went to a party with her little sister, drank too…

  • What if I Don’t Love Him

    A few days ago, I was looking back at the photographs I have of my son before we brought him home, photos of when he was still in China. One of his therapists wants to do a photographic timeline with him, and I was click-click-clicking through the photos on my laptop pretty quickly. There aren’t that many, and I’ve seen them all a thousand times before. I was on auto-pilot, dragging the ones I wanted into a folder. There’s my little guy after his first surgery, there he is hanging out with a big green ball in the orphanage, there…

  • Prince

    It was 1984, and I was barely 11. We lived outside of Chicago and were headed to the home of family friends for dinner. Unlike my family, these friends lived large. They had lots of disposable income and were unapologetically flashy. They competed in horse jumping, traveled to exotic island vacations and wore fur. We, on the other hand, played Little League, road-tripped for two days in a minivan to see my grandparents in South Carolina, and wore fake Izod. In 80’s speak, they were Dynasty and we were The Wonder Years. Their house was one, wealthier suburb over. We…

  • The Over-Sharing Soundtrack

    There is an ongoing debate in the online special needs community about over-sharing. Are we mom and dad bloggers stepping over the line when we share stories and details about our kids and their special needs? It’s a heated debate, a thing, a downright brouhaha. I have this blog, thank you for coming, and my special needs son makes frequent appearances in my writing. I’ve been paying attention to this issue. I’ve been listening, reading up, and thinking about this whole over-sharing thing, whether or not I do it, whether or not I care, and whether or not it’s time…