Loving the Mother

Our lives are experiments. If we are to be defined by what we set to paper without the opportunity for revision and new understanding or growth, then writing is like carving words into a tombstone.

Why Won't My Kid Do His Homework?

My friend thinks of ways to get the boy excited about opportunity. If the boy studies, he can get into college. If he gets into college, he can be whatever he wants to be. You know. That kind of talk. The talk we give. The talk we heard.

An Adopted Person Decides to Live to 100

I realized something about myself in this past year of coming out of the fog, or, as Lesli Johnson recently said on the podcast Adoptees On, coming into the truth. I realized that if I can choose between two places to stick my face, a warm box of empty air or a heart-pounding bath of acid, more often than not, I’d pick the acid.

Running to/from The Hug

I love hugs. I was a serial dater for a while mostly for the hugs. This isn’t always the best trade, the promise of relationship for the rush of oxytocin I got from extended hugs. Oxytocin, the chemical that tells me Everything is okay; you are merging with another human; you are not alone; you are loved.

National Adoption Awareness Month and the Room of Dreams

Having a room for dreams attached to your head is a wonderful thing unless, say, you are a high school student who is being asked to be present and to be focused. Or unless, say, someone is asking you to submit a business proposal and you aren’t even really there. Having a room for dreams means I have one foot in my life and one foot somewhere else, anywhere else.

Imma Gonna Have Fun

I read the other day scientists have recorded the sound of mice singing. It turns out that those little guys sing to each other as the scurry about the walls of our houses. What else is singing that I do not hear? I am hoping that my five-year-old ears will hear more, will hear the songs, will know that this whole time, my whole life, the world has been singing to me, my house has been singing to me, to me and to Laura Foote and to you, and I just didn’t hear it. 

Trigger Points are Tricky

I have learned something that helps me teach writing. People tend to circle around the real story, the trigger point of what makes them compelled to write. I can tell when they are circling when they talk and the stories just spill out, stories these people clearly have been telling for years, if not for most of their lives. The stories are on greased tracks and they are not the thing. The thing is something else.

When Your Birth Father Says Yes

I think my birth father is a hero for flying here to meet me. He owned his part in the dance. He hugged me. He is the one talking about future Thanksgivings, not me. That stuff will work itself out. But we did it. We connected the dots. And I am proud of both of us. It’s what should have happened. We are not born to be alone in the world. We are born to connect. It’s what keeps us alive.