Deb’s writing explores the complex ways that people belong to, and separate from, their families. Her essays, op-ed and fiction pieces have appeared in The New York Times Motherlode, The Life Sentence, Foster Focus, STIR Journal, The Oregonian, Portland Tribune, Portland Upside, Manifest-Station, and Clackamas Literary Review. Her essay “Mr. Potato Head’s Secret Life” was selected for Portland’s inaugural Listen to Your Mother show in May 2014.
Deb has been a birth, foster, step, and adoptive parent, and a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for abused and neglected kids in Oregon foster care. She has extensive experience in student, staff, and community engagement; interagency collaboration; and program and conference development. She has twenty years experience providing training to child advocates, social workers, and parents. She has felt responsible for a child’s birth, and a child’s death.
The truest thing that has ever been said about her was by her fourth grade teacher, “She talks too much and wanders about, out of her seat.” Deb leveraged her habit of minding other people’s business into work that has improved countless lives of vulnerable children and families.
Deb finds family for those who’ve died and for whom medical examiners have been unable to locate next of kin. You can read more about her efforts at Finding Family. For more information, please contact Deb.