A few weeks ago I was up late taking a practice test for Step 2, my last major exam of medical school. I didn’t feel prepared and was dreading the exam, but when I finished the practice test, I was pleasantly surprised to score higher than I had expected. I ran up the stairs to wake up Yohannes (yes, it was the middle of the night) and share my good news, but stopped by Lily’s room to drop off a stray pair of socks. When I went in, I found Lily awake, with tears in her eyes. Read More →
I have an OBGYN exam coming up, and a deck of 836 flashcards to study for it. I review a few cards at a time during small breaks during rotations, and try to spend a couple hours every day reviewing them when I get home.
In between the cards about pregnancy and childbirth, I come across the cards for ovarian carcinoma. I read about ascites, hypercoagulability, exploratory laparotomy, and CA-125. I can’t help thinking these are very inelegant bookmarks for the story of ovarian cancer. They don’t capture the anticipation leading up to diagnostic testing, or the frustration and disappointment when results are inconclusive. They don’t explain how to make decisions about rehab and hospice care.
These flashcards are important. One day, I’ll use this knowledge to help other families understand diagnoses and treatment options. But for all their value, they never told me much about my grandmother. After all, storytelling is not their job. It’s mine. Read More →
I’m so excited to share that the book my father and I have been working on for the last 8+ years has been published! This is a book about growing in faith and humility and learning to see others the way God sees them. It begins with my father’s struggle in school as a small boy in northern Pennsylvania, through his call to missions and the ups and downs of trying to follow that call, and ends as our family prepares to leave Kenya in 2001, after living in Maasailand for 10 years.
What I find most moving about this story, is how each experience my father shares opens his eyes to a new worldview that leaves him a different and better man. Thank you, Daddy, for your openness and vulnerability in sharing your story.
“Today in school we learned about Martin Luther King Jr., and how he came up with the idea that white people and black people could be together.”
This is Nati’s takeaway from a week or so of activities centered around MLK. I am happy that he’s learning about Martin Luther King Jr., but he seems to have come away with the idea that MLK single-handedly abolished discrimination based on race. Read More →
I’m thankful to Shutterfly for sending me an email last week with pictures from 7 years ago. I’ve had a computer or two crash since then and thought I had lost most of the pictures of that fall. Read More →
In December of 2015, Yohannes and I went to Puerto Rico so I could interview for medical school. I had already been accepted to the school I attend now, in Pennsylvania, but I really wanted to study in Puerto Rico for the following reasons:
1. I would get to improve my Spanish
2. The kids (and Yohannes) would get to learn Spanish
3. It’s warm Read More →
“I am still surprised when people talk about my children’s brown skin in a way that is categorical instead of descriptive. It seems unimaginable that this flesh of my flesh could be in some category that separates them from me, or in any category other than that of ‘Beautiful Human Life.'”
I adapted this article from a piece I wrote after the death of Michael Brown. Read the rest at The Mennonite.
“135 over 85,” said the nurse, as she removed the blood pressure cuff from my arm. I looked at her in surprise. I was 32 weeks into a perfectly planned, perfectly healthy pregnancy. I was 32 weeks into a pregnancy with perfect blood pressures of 115/70. That’s higher than normal, I thought to myself. Read More →
Dear Mama of the sweet little girls in my care,
I love your children. I didn’t know I would so soon. I worried about your kids and my kids, tangled together in daily activities. Could I treat them fairly? How would I react when your youngest pushed my youngest? Or when my son wouldn’t share with your daughter?
I didn’t know how long I would have these children when I picked them up in the middle of the night, my hair and clothes in disarray. They reached for me so eagerly, and I was afraid. I’m not your mother, I thought to myself, and in the back of my mind lingered the word, yet. How long does it take to feel like a mother? How long will they be mine? Read More →