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

Happy Something: A Guest Post by Molly Brumfield

This is a guest post from my friend Molly who attended the most recent Magic in the Mess Writing Retreat. I’m super excited to introduce you to Molly today and to feature this piece, which I SO understand, titled “Happy Something!” Enjoy, friends.


(Psst… the next writing retreat is in June, and there’s only a couple spots left! And there’s also a spiritual formation retreat in June. I’d love to have you come join me!) ...  read more

The ONE Thing TO Say in Any Situation


I posted this on Facebook last week:

At the grocery store this morning, I saw an acquaintance. We did the I Haven’t Seen You FOREVER; How ARE You?… Oh, I’m Fine. Busy, But Fine… How Are YOU? dance. 

And it’s not that it’s not true. 

And it’s not like there was time between the sour cream and the cheddar cheese sections and the breaking up of kids’ fights and the Oh Geez, I Really Wish I’d Brushed My Hair, to tell a deeper truth.  ...  read more

The Very Real Dangers of a Secret Chocolate Stash: A Parenting and Imperfection Post by Sarah Kooiman


Good News: Greg, my dad and I had a fabulous time paddling the Imperial Wildlife Refuge section of the Colorado River this weekend and not even one of us was kicked to death by donkeys, which was more of a miracle than I thought it would be, considering that we camped every night in veritable heaps of wild burro dung. <– True story. 
 ...  read more

On Releasing the Way Things Should Be: A Parenting and Imperfection Post by Stephanie Gates


Greg and I are still on the river, assuming, of course, we haven’t met our untimely demise or murdered each other over our tent erection differences. You can pray for us.

In the meantime, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Stephanie Gates, blogger behind A Wide Mercy, who’s sharing this space for the first time. I love Stephanie’s perspective, the words she uses and the ways she champions other mamas. I hope you do, too.  ...  read more

On Honoring Our Inconvenient Passions: A Parenting and Imperfection Post by Mary Beth Danielson


I’m leaving this morning to go on a 3-day paddling trip with my husband, my dad, and friends, several of whom I haven’t met yet. At some point in the last 6 months, Greg and I thought this would be a GREAT way to celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary, despite the fact that we’ll have to erect a tent together THREE TIMES without harming ourselves or others. Our track record so far on that front is somewhere between Pathetic and Abysmal. ...  read more

Dadsaster’s 10 Things New Dads Need to Know

ParentingandImperfectionLogoWelcome to our guest post series on Parenting and Imperfection.

Today, I’m thrilled to welcome Mark Staufer and Bryan Erwin, the hilarious and honest dads behind the weekly tell-it-like-it-is Dadsaster podcasts, to this space.

Every week, Dadsaster brings together some pretty remarkable people like The BloggessThe Honest ToddlerJim Gaffigan, Frank Caliendo and many, many more to discuss a huge range of topics, some of which even matter. To tell you the truth, I have no idea how they justify including me in the bunch, but I’m always thrilled to hide from my kids in the bathroom and take Dadsaster’s call while sitting on the floor of my shower in my nightgown because it turns out I’m ALWAYS dressed perfectly for audio.
 ...  read more