A Letter to My Daughter’s Other Mom

26 March 2018

We found her. Finally. After nearly 20 years and an international investigation, we found our daughter’s birth mom. So I’m sitting here on a Tuesday, at my desk, with paper and a pen and a view of the rainy Oregon foothills trying to decide what to say to a mama across the ocean. A mama in Vietnam who shares my child. A mama who’s waited and wondered and longed for news. A mama who didn’t know if she’d ever hear. A mama, it turns out, who wanted desperately to keep her baby and who didn’t know her daughter would be swept away to America. A mama who, through no fault of her own, was caught up in a fraudulent baby adoption business.  ...  read more

Why It’s Wrong to Ask Adoptive Families for Additional Proof of Adoption

CAUTION: I’ve got my Adoptive Mama panties in a bunch today. Buckle up, folks, ‘cause off we go!

The crux of the matter is this: it’s not okay for insurance companies in the United States of America to require adoptive families to provide adoption paperwork as proof of legal dependency when the family can provide a state-issued birth certificate, instead, which already lists the child’s adoptive parents as the legal parents, is infinitely more simple and equitable, and is less, shall we say, a TOTAL CRAP MOVE. ...  read more

Foster Mother: A Family and Imperfection Writing Contest Winning Entry by Dawn Reed

A Family and Imperfection Writing Contest
Winning Entry

Foster Mother
by Dawn Reed

It has been four years since I witnessed the moment. Four years of considering its consequence. Four years of trying to describe the meeting with Trent’s foster mother, and the word that I keep returning to is “powerful”.

In the fall of 2009, my youngest son had expressed a desire to meet his “Korean mommy from the pictures” (his foster mother). After explaining to a six year old, how far away South Korea is from Oregon, imagine our joy when we were notified that she would be in Eugene on November 4th. ...  read more

Who Are You? A Family and Imperfection Writing Contest Winner by Lora Lyon


A Family and Imperfection Writing Contest
Winning Entry

Who Are You?
by Lora Lyon

Two years ago, a stranger walked in to our life.

Or, more correctly, we walked in to hers.


In a tiny office in Odessa, Ukraine I became a mother for the 5th time when a five-and-a-half year old girl with brown pigtails and big blue eyes regarded us cautiously, but with a hint of hope in her eyes. I remember seeing my newborn children and wondering as our eyes met for the first time “Who will you become?”  As I looked in to the face of my new daughter the question was brought to a whole new level. ...  read more

Why Our Response to Coke’s “America the Beautiful” Matters

My dad was 8 years old in 1956. That’s the same year he remembers watching his dad invite Mrs. Rhodes, the neighbor who’d knocked on their door in Seattle, paper and pen in hand, to get the hell off his property.

Mrs. Rhodes, it turns out, was the mastermind behind a petition to keep a Japanese American family from buying a house in the new development on the next street, a kind of discrimination still protected by law in many places in 1956 America. ...  read more

Dear DMV, Stop Treating Adopted Kids Differently (UPDATED)

I have a kid who just passed her driver’s permit test! WOOHOO!

So, before I get grumbly, I just want to say,

You did GREAT.
You studied hard.
You were motivated.
You were determined.
You were brave.
You breathed in and you breathed out.
Whether you’d passed or failed, I am, as always, proud to be your mama.
But I’m sure excited that you passed!
And I cannot wait to go driving with you. <— True story. ...  read more