Puerto Rico

September 27, 2017 · 8:00 am

Paseo Tablado La Guancha - Ponce, PR

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 →


August 14, 2017 · 8:31 pm


Yes, I hear you.
No need to shout.
I know you thought that you had lost your voice
Or that we had all gone deaf
When you stood on your soap box preaching
And no one stopped to say, “Amen,”
Like they used to.

Read More →

Coloring Skin

August 12, 2017 · 11:23 pm

Coloring Skin

We come upon this conversation often – once or twice for each of the many half-finished coloring books hiding in all corners of the house.  Once or twice for each broken or lost crayon.  Lily colors her pictures with shades of purple, green, and orange. She colors little girls and princesses and fairies with hair that is sometimes red or brown or yellow.

But then she comes to the skin, and she asks me to help her find the peach crayon.  My heart catches in my chest as I help her look through the box.  I see the peach crayon in the corner, but I pull out a brown one instead.  “How about this one?” I ask.

Read More →

An Offensive Way In Me

February 7, 2017 · 9:13 am

An Offensive Way In Me

“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.


Veterans and Refugees

February 2, 2017 · 4:38 pm

Help Veterans or Refugees? We can do both.

The Fallacy of Safety

February 1, 2017 · 7:47 am

The Fallacy of Safety

I’ve struggled with anxiety my whole life. Even as a young child, I remember hearing about the terrors of the world and shrinking into myself in fear. I fashioned in my head a hiding place–a pod made of thick steel with padded walls–and I hid myself there.  This was a place where no spears or guns or bombs could reach me.  This was a place where my anxiety could melt away.

But I wasn’t satisfied to imagine myself safe. I wanted to be safe. I wanted to find that steel pod, and climb into it. So I asked my mother, “Is there any place in the world that is completely safe?” Read More →

President Trump: My Commitment (And What I Ask in Return)

January 22, 2017 · 5:21 pm

President Trump: My  Commitment (And What I Ask In Return)

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump is the new president of the United States.  As such, I make the following commitments:

1. I will seek information about President Trump from reputable news outlets. I will try to avoid heavily biased and sensationalist media.  I will do my best to seek out news that accurately depicts the facts, and I will even try to consider sources whose bias differs from my own with an open mind. Read More →

Lily: A Birth Story

December 19, 2016 · 11:20 pm

Tiny Lily

“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: First Foster Care Placement

May 26, 2016 · 8:15 am

Dear Mama: First Foster Care Placement

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 →

Comic Relief

March 15, 2016 · 3:09 pm

Our family has suffered through two cycles of viruses in as many weeks. This week’s cold/flu seems to be tapering off, and thankfully it did not have the shock and awe force of last week’s stomach bug.  Did I mention that our clothes dryer is currently out of commission? Read More →