The gift of food when words are scarce.

When my dad dropped dead of an asthma attack in the middle of cousin’s daughter’s 1st birthday party, I was 3,000 miles away, lounging on my couch in my husband’s boxer shorts, eating whitefish salad and herring in cream sauce straight out…

This Is Us

Stop using adoptees as pawns in the battle over reproductive rights

Stock photo via Shutterstock

I am the innocent child some are determined to protect. I know what it is to be born into this world unwanted and unprepared for. I am the child of a woman who had no children after giving me away to strangers. …


To know where you’re going, you need to know where you’re from

Photo: Chakrit Yenti/Shutterstock

“If your own parents didn’t want you, what are you doing here?” — Olivier Rousteing, Wonder Boy

We sit at her small glass kitchen table. The Scrabble board she’s had since college takes up most of it, the ceramic napkin holder with neatly folded paper napkins takes up the rest…

So I went to find them.

My eye.

We stared into each other’s eyes. His cerulean blue with thick black lashes lined with jet black eyeliner. His already tan skin darkened by the late summer sun, his soft brown hair falling across his forehead like the guy from Flock of Seagulls. He listened to Devo and the B-52’s…

The mission was my marriage.


“Mac-don-alds! Mac-don-alds!” they chanted from the back seat of the brown Volvo wagon, their car seats secure as Fort Knox. Ugh, again? The 101 freeway was a packed field of bright red brake lights. There was no dinner at home, meltdowns were guaranteed.

“Okay!” I said with the forced enthusiasm…

So practice forgiving yourself

Mr. Exen for Shutterstock

It won’t be your kid because you read the books and took Lamaze and gave them baths, you made their dinners and rubbed their backs and came home in time and did the work. It won’t be your kid because the school was good and piano lessons and dance classes…

Where are you, John Prine?

I drove north on the 101, past the Hollywood sign and hillside houses on stilts, into the flat land of the San Fernando Valley. Entering Ventura County, I turned off the suddenly unfamiliar radio and listened to John Prine. I Remember Everything.

I’ve been down…

Answers were out there.

Suzy Hazelwood via Pexels

No posters advertising the benefits of typing skills or a prim typing teacher extolling the virtues of 65 words-per-minute. Just blank beige walls and a disheveled and disinterested old white guy waiting for his 401k standing at the front of the classroom.

June 1982. My last day of junior high…

Reunion porn and the fairy tale mythology it promotes.


The plane descended towards Logan Airport and the numbing from two Bloody Mary’s wore off. My heart pounded and pulse quickened. Regretting making this trip alone, I imagined standing up and shouting to my fellow Delta passengers, So listen, when I…


Hate is harder when we see each other’s humanity

Photo: kolderal / Getty Images

It was 1987, my freshman year at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The First Intifada had just begun. Young Arabs with keffiyehs around their necks stood at a long table near the cafeteria’s exit, a Palestinian flag hanging behind them.

“Sign the petition! Free Palestine!”

They terrified me…

Mindy Stern

I got my first TV writing job at 48, took 26 years to find my birth family. It’s never too late, you’re never too old. Keep going.

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