Writing

Blink, blink, blink goes the cursor…

Blink, blink, blink goes the cursor…

I sat down to write. Like an hour ago. So far, I've written a jingle about a blinking cursor. That about sums up where we are.Part of it is I haven't been on this site for a bit and am legit lost. I feel like Rip Van Winkle except instead of sleeping through a war, I...

read more
No Shame

No Shame

Well, it had to come. Some of you readers have been with me for a while now. You’ve read these random blogs and followed along on Facebook as Jax came home from China, was diagnosed with all the things, and proceeded to grow up into a teenage boy. He’s gone from...

read more
The Answer is No.

The Answer is No.

So we’re homeschooling over here. It’s going really well, I’d say. We have great people, Jax’s anxiety is at an all-time low, he’s happy, he’s inquisitive, and importantly, he’s learning things that are relevant to his 14 year-old-life and skills he’ll use for his...

read more
Better

Better

I have sucked as a parent lately. Truth. 'Tis the season for holiday lights and wrapping paper and for mom to be a stressed out asshole. That should be a Christmas carol. “Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the waaayyyyy. My mom’s annoyed at everyone, please bring...

read more
Grandma Mary

Grandma Mary

Dear Jax,It's Gotcha Day, little dude. We adopted you eleven years ago today. I love this day, but this year's celebration is bittersweet. Your grandmother died on Friday night. Your dad's mom, Grandma Mary. This year's Gotcha Day will be a little less inflatable...

read more
Relief

Relief

Johnny made it to his Army base on Monday. Other moms are messaging me tips to survive boot camp, linking me to Facebook groups, introducing me to people who can show me the ropes. It's lovely, but I’m in a different sort of situation. “Hi Martha with your...

read more
Maybe This Time

Maybe This Time

A day or two ago, Jax had an appointment with a psychiatrist. Jax has never met this man before, but I have, and I like him a lot. He regurgitates mountains of stuff from memory, has a Harvard degree, and is smart, smart, smart. All good stuff when you’re a mom...

read more
Brothers

Brothers

Johnny, I've been down at the Capitol this past week fighting for a bill that would expedite the adoption of older kids. I'm pretty invested in it because you and I went through this. We had nine months to make your adoption happen, and had I not already had a giant...

read more
Nobody Said It Was Easy.

Nobody Said It Was Easy.

And I quote: "And after fourteen years of foster care, Johnny was getting all As and Bs in school, happily helping around the house, had checking and savings accounts, and looking for his first job - all within just a few months of being adopted into a family. "...

read more
Dear Person Who Hurt My Child.

Dear Person Who Hurt My Child.

I've spent the last few days outlining an open letter to the person who hurt Jax. A real doozy of a piece, cleverly called "Dear Person Who Hurt My Child." I was going to write and publish it this morning, throw it all out there and let the internet lovelies react to...

read more
Not the Best Witness

Not the Best Witness

The adult who hurt my son will not be charged. I'm a lawyer. I get it. There are no witnesses, no physical evidence, and Jax ...well, Jax isn't the best witness.  At 13, Jax still believes that Noelle the Naughty Elf stole my car keys and tried to take my...

read more
When the Flashing Lights Fail.

When the Flashing Lights Fail.

I am a Helicopter Mom. No shame here, no self-deprecating humor, there is really no other option for this child tornado of mine. Maybe helicopter isn't the right word, I think I'm more like the car with the flashing lights that travels behind the Wide Load truck on...

read more
Some rules are meant to be broken.

Some rules are meant to be broken.

Michael was born on the floor of a bus station. He was abandoned, withdrawing from drugs and in pain. He spent three weeks in the NICU, and was discharged weighing only 5 lbs. Since the launch of Generation Justice, I have read hundreds of these stories, maybe...

read more
“They don’t need another backpack, Mom.”

“They don’t need another backpack, Mom.”

I was coming out of an Ace Hardware the other day - feeling super handy, I might add - and on the way to my car, I saw a woman standing by a table raising money. It was a legit 100-gazillion degrees in Phoenix and I was entirely prepared to do the polite smile...

read more
The Opposite of Yelling

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...

read more
To Johnny, on your 17th Birthday.

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...

read more
An Unlikely Intersection

An Unlikely Intersection

Last week, a family asked about adopting my foster son, Johnny. A family. Adoption. This was a big deal for a sixteen year old foster kid who moved in with me last month because he had nowhere else to go and had every intention of aging out of the system as an orphan....

read more
Out of the Way, Mom.

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....

read more
No License For You.

No License For You.

Johnny's doing really well. A few small hiccups, but hey, he's a teen boy. Other than my house smelling like a locker room, it's been pretty smooth sailing over here. He's here as a kinship foster placement right now. We aren't related, but because I have a...

read more
Welcome Home, Kid.

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...

read more
I’m Supposed to Be in the Creek

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,...

read more
“See you next year?”

“See you next year?”

I volunteered to go to an education meeting last week with a foster kid. This kid was in high school and not too interested in me at first. I didn't blame him, I'd never met him before and this was a child who lives in a constantly-changing world with...

read more
The Santa Exit Plan

The Santa Exit Plan

It was late-September of 2008 when we brought my son home from China, just two months before December and our sparkly, over-the-top, American-style Christmas season. My little boy had no idea what Christmas was. He had no idea who Santa was. Hell,...

read more
…Except That It’s Christmas

…Except That It’s Christmas

This time of year, man. It’s stressful and chaotic and my annual intention of providing a Pinterest-perfect Christmas lasts about a day and a half until I decide that F-bombs will definitely help me assemble the gingerbread house. Ahhh, December. This year, the...

read more
Dear Donald Trump, from an adoptive mom.

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...

read more
I Gotcha, Kiddo.

I Gotcha, Kiddo.

Jax’s eighth Gotcha Day is coming up. “Gotcha Day” is the anniversary of Jax’s adoption from China. It’s the day Jax became our son, and like good adoptive parents, we celebrate. Jax gets a few presents, we decorate, we eat pizza and cake, we participate in general...

read more
The Invisible People

The Invisible People

I was at a Ross the other day. I love Ross. There is one by my son's school, and on the days I don't feel like laptopping at Starbucks, I walk around in their exceptional summer air conditioning while having riveting conversations with myself about my need for their...

read more
“To Girls Everywhere, I Am With You.”

“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,...

read more
Flying School

Flying School

Today was Jax's first day of summer school (ESY for you special education people). He hasn't been in a school setting for about a year because some medical issues snowballed with his anxiety, which resulted in the school district sending a teacher to...

read more
Monopoly

Monopoly

My son, Jax, is obsessed with Monopoly Junior. He thinks it is the best game ever invented, which let’s be honest, is slightly unfortunate for those of us around him. We play it after dinner, before breakfast, on the iPad. It’s a lot of Monopoly Junior. I feel like I...

read more
“What if I Don’t Love Him?”

“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...

read more
Prince

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,...

read more
My Love is Louder

My Love is Louder

My son, Jax, spent last Friday night at his dad's house. On Saturday morning, I waited for my ex-husband's big, white, cowboy of a truck, and opened my front door to greet my son as the truck pulled into my driveway. It was February 13th, the day before...

read more
To the Moms I Am Not, But Was Supposed to Be

To the Moms I Am Not, But Was Supposed to Be

My son is a quirky kid. He talks about airplanes 99% of the time, he doesn't like video games, and his natural energy level makes hiding the sugar products on the top shelf of the pantry a necessity. He has cleft scars that make his lip a little puffy, his...

read more
I Didn’t Take A Picture

I Didn’t Take A Picture

This past Friday, my son, Jax, and I went to the park. It was early, around 9am, and we were the only ones there. It was quiet and calm, a complete contrast to our typical park visits. Jax was free to run up and down the play structure that, in his head, was...

read more
The Over-Sharing Soundtrack

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...

read more
Here’s to the Cheese in 2016

Here’s to the Cheese in 2016

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Not because I don’t need an infusion of life changes over here (because that list would be a novella), but because I can’t stomach the pressure of it all. All the self-improvement resolution talk makes me tense. I feel like a tween...

read more
The Halloween Monster

The Halloween Monster

It was November 1. Hal-le-lujah, sing it with me. In Phoenix, November 1 is generally met with a sigh of relief. Adios 100 degree temperatures, hello down comforters. But on this past November 1st, in addition to being excited about the cooler weather, I was up and...

read more
To Jax, the Bravest Kid I Know.

To Jax, the Bravest Kid I Know.

Jax, It’s National Adoption Month, and my newsfeed is full of adoption stories like ours. Stories about the decision to adopt, the complicated process, the financing, the trip to China or Korea or the group home in the next town over. There’s a theme in all the...

read more
Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

My son, Jax, and I were in the back of an Uber car heading to the airport. It was early, and although we were leaving for Colorado, Jax’s favorite place in the world, he was so, so nervous. His autism and anxiety were in full swing, and the What Ifs that have taken up...

read more
He’s So Lucky.

He’s So Lucky.

“He is soooooo lucky!” If I had a dollar for every time someone looked at my internationally-adopted son and said that to me, I would be living large, y’all. I’d own a fancy horse and a yacht and some serious acreage, all owned by my corporation, MyLuckyKid, LLC....

read more
I Am A Killer of Scorpions.

I Am A Killer of Scorpions.

OMG OMG OMG. I was paid to write something. Cash money! For the very first time. I will now have a celebratory parade around my house with streamers that will take up most of my earnings. But whatever!! I was paid to write.

read more
Some Days Are Dark

Some Days Are Dark

"What do you want others to know about parenting a special needs kid?" This is a common thread in special needs world. This theme gets batted around frequently on Facebook and the blogs and the newsletters.  Moms chime in, one after another, I...

read more
What a Birthday Should Look Like

What a Birthday Should Look Like

We just celebrated my son’s ninth birthday. If you had asked me ten years ago what my future son’s ninth birthday would look like, I might have described the perfect summer pool party. Something rambunctious and loud and perfectly planned. Water balloons and canon...

read more
If I Knew Then What I Know Now

If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Adoption blogs are like WebMD – if you want to sleep at night, be very careful with your search terms. If you want to read about families with perfectly-adjusted adopted children heading to MIT and Julliard, google “China doll, joy, blessed, adoption, America.” Add in...

read more
In Search of a Comfortable Barcalounger

In Search of a Comfortable Barcalounger

I have been putting this post off for weeks. I’ve told myself that I have writer’s block, that I’m too busy, that life, you guys. Really, I am just hiding out. From myself and from you and from this blinking cursor who knows that I won’t write another thing until and...

read more
The R-Dub Secret Society

The R-Dub Secret Society

I was twenty-seven years old, fresh out of law school, and a brand new associate at a decent-sized law firm. I had my own office, a secretary who I was scared to speak to, and a very, very clean desk because I knew how to do absolutely nothing except look young and...

read more
Hey Kath in Tomball, TX – Enjoy Your 15 Minutes, Girl.

Hey Kath in Tomball, TX – Enjoy Your 15 Minutes, Girl.

Dear Kathleen Smith from Tomball, Texas, I watched your video. You know, the one where you suggest a mother beat her screaming child in a grocery store? The one where you wanted to attack a stranger’s kid with a wooden spoon? The one where your parental advice...

read more
I’m Gonna Miss His Face.

I’m Gonna Miss His Face.

My son was born with a cleft lip and palate. His lip was surgically repaired while he was in China, but the palate was wide open when we adopted him. I knew, going in, that surgeries were a part of his treatment plan. To date, his surgeries have been successful and...

read more
5 Rules For Your First Boot Camp Class

5 Rules For Your First Boot Camp Class

I recently tried my first boot camp group exercise class on the advice of a friend. This friend (insert air quotes) told me where the class was and when to show up, but neglected to provide me with any truly useful information. I won't let you make the same mistakes I...

read more
Dear eHarmony, Should I Talk About Back Fat in My Profile?

Dear eHarmony, Should I Talk About Back Fat in My Profile?

Dear eHarmony, Well, hello! It’s nice to meet you. I thought I’d reach out because it’s rare for someone to go to such great lengths to meet me. Since my divorce, some are having a hard time knowing what to say, but not you, eHarmony. You’re in my newsfeed, Gmail...

read more
“Mom, Will You Always Love Me?”

“Mom, Will You Always Love Me?”

I was driving out of the parking lot of a thai restaurant in a sketchy part of town when my son asked from the backseat, "Mom, will you always love me?" This is not the first time he has asked this, and it won't be the last, but it's a tweak to the heart all the same....

read more