Cyma, 56, is the writer/creator of NURTURE: Stories of New Midlife Mothers, the creator of MotheringintheMiddle.com, and the editor and a contributor to the recently published The Zen of Midlife Mothering. NURTURE, the traveling art gallery show, features a collection of stories, told through words and photos, of women from across the country who chose motherhood over 40. Both endeavors are intended to celebrate midlife mothers – women choosing motherhood over 40 through adoption, IVF, natural childbirth, surrogacy, fostering, guardianship and blending stepfamilies. Cyma has recently added men to her roster – a nod to the redefinition of the family model going into the 21st century. A former journalist, now an online contributor, blogger, speaker and businessperson, Cyma brings years of varied personal experience to all her endeavors. In addition to being a mom to 9 and 11-year-old children and 29 and 31-year-old stepchildren, this is her latest ‘baby!’
Hanni Beyer Lee
Veterinary Nurse Hanni, 50-something, has worn many career hats. She recently moved from Northern California to Northampton, MA where she created her dream business of traveling to people’s homes to help them care for their elderly pets. She is mom to a 32 year old son, and daughters ages 22, 21 and 16. Her daughters were all adopted at older ages from China. She has been to China nine times. She loves traveling, learning languages, dancing and writing, to name a few passions. http://my3flowers.wordpress.com
F. Nicolas D’Ambra
Nicholas, 47 years old, is a mostly work-from-home kind of Dad. He runs a wholesale cocoa business, manages several rental properties with his wonderful and supportive husband, and in his SPARE time he throws children’s parties for the preschool set. He wears so many entrepreneurial hats that his head is no longer visible to the naked eye. Five years ago he found his dream position…being a Dad to his son Ben born via surrogacy. Five weeks ago his duties increased with the birth of his daughter, Charlie. He couldn’t be happier with the extra “workload.” He feels it shouldn’t matter that he’s a gay Dad, just that he’s trying to be a good Dad.
Michelle, 43, became a mother at the age of 38 through the incredible, taxing, emotional crazy beautiful ride called adoption. Having worked as a restaurant hostess, fragrance demonstrator, visual merchandiser, and spa manager she was intent on going to return to work after her maternal leave was up. Today, Michelle is now a SAHM (stay-at-home- mom) who loves to cook, read and has learned a lot about food intolerances, specialty baking and label reading since her daughter arrived. In addition, she loves to do laundry half way, run the dishwasher but not empty it, and pretend she’s not home when the doorbell rings because she is horrified to be seen without make up. She hopes that her entrance into MotheringintheMiddle.com will be the start of a beautiful thing. Her essay was chosen for the anthology The Zen of Midlife Mothering.
Melanie, 49, is a mom, wife, producer, blogger, and the Executive Director of the Elliott Family Residence. In her blog, Mom To The Littlest E (http://bit.ly/wjl4gp), Melanie writes about parenting and life as a transracial, international adoptive parent. Before starting her own blog, she wrote for LIFEclectic online parenting magazine. Melanie serves on the board of directors for Connect-A-Kid www.connectakid.org. Once upon a time, she acted with California Shakespeare Festival (SF Bay Area), Eclectic Company Theatre (NoHo), and was a founding member of Woman’s Will. You can catch Melanie on Twitter tweeting @Mom2TLE. Littlest E is five years old.
Marc, 52, together with his wife of seven years, is a parent to a four-year-old daughter and a five-year-old son, born 13 months apart. A nationally certified massage therapist with 17 years of experience, Marc resides in the DC Metro Area. His previous incarnations involved work in the hotel and convention industries. Marc loves to cook, watch bad television, read Sci-Fi and murder mysteries. He collects way too many things and is not allowed to fix the plumbing in the house anymore. His essay appeared in The Zen of Midlife Mothering.
Nancy LaMar Rodgers
Nancy, 51 1/2, is an educator, writer and therapist. For the past seven years, she has worked in the public school system, teaching in an inner-city environment. She also developed and directs an after-school creative writing program for at-risk youth. Nancy also holds a M.A. in Mental Health/ Community Counseling and works as a therapist with troubled teens and their families. She is currently building her own private practice and will focus on women, especially those experiencing the many changes and upheavals of midlife. A freelance writer who has been featured on NPR’s “This I Believe,” Breakaway Books, Ink Magazine, Artistic FX Magazine, she is currently at work on her first novel which is loosely based on her experiences working in an adolescent psychiatric unit. Nancy is the mother of two children, ages 19 and 9, and lives in the wilds of Connecticut.
DeAnna, 46, is the mother of twins, Robert and Pheobe (born via a traditional surrogacy in June 2013) and wife of 18 years to husband, Rob. DeAnna works p/t in the corporate world, p/t in photography and full-time as mom! Prior to motherhood, she was active in little dog rescue. She lives in Ventura, CA, with her seven Chihuahua mixes and with three cats and four doves thrown in for good measure.
Ellie, 50, became a mother for the first time following IVF treatment in England and Spain at the age of 47 3/4. Her world is now ruled and brightened by her miraculous daughter, Hope. Californian by birth, Ellie is based in the UK where she is a passionate advocate of breastfeeding, baby-led weaning and trusting your own instincts when it comes to motherhood. Ellie’s blog, Mush Brained Ramblings, http://www.crazypregnantperson.com followed her pregnancy and the traumas leading up to Hope’s birth, and continues through her first year of motherhood. Ellie also writes for the Cambridge News, and contributes to blogs on the subject of being an older first-time mother. She is a social media marketeer, researcher, champion of local and the underdog, and has worked with the UK Government and the Prince of Wales to support local communities to thrive. Ellie has volunteered with transformative projects locally in her home town of Cambridge, and in China and Madagascar and enjoys sunshine, Bruce Springsteen and margaritas … and hanging out tiny vests and dresses on the washing line. Her essay appeared in The Zen of Midlife Mothering.
Rosemary Lichtman, Ph.D. and Phyllis Goldberg, Ph.D.
Rosemary Lichtman, Ph.D. and Phyllis Goldberg, Ph.D. are family relationship experts who deal with marital stress, acting out teens, aging parents, boomerang kids or difficult daughters-in-law. Their blog is http://www.NourishingRelationships.blogspot.com. Visit http://www.HerMentorCenter.com to learn about “Taking Control of Stress in a Financial Storm.”
Lori Pelikan Strobel
Lori, forever 49, lives with her husband of 29 years. She is also a mother to two adult daughters and a dog named Louie. She is a member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Lori’s work experience has ranged from pharmaceutical sales representative, Pilates instructor, community college teacher, to real estate agent. Lori and Louie like to devote their time as a registered therapy animal team. Her favorite job has been, and will always be, Mom. You can currently find Lori walking her dog, Louie, blogging at Book Body Soul, or working hard on her upcoming book based on Louie. Lori can be found at: www.bookbodysoul.com. Her essay, “Mom-On-Demand,” appeared in The Zen of Midlife Mothering.
John M. Simmons
John, 50, is the award-winning author of The Marvelous Journey Home and To Sing Frogs. Both books are based on adoptions from Russia. Orphans and orphanages changed Mr. Simmons’ entire view on life. He recently resigned from the position of President/CEO of White Knight Fluid Handling, Inc., a company that he started, so that he could spend more of his time focusing on orphan and adoption awareness. Simmons is Chairman of Ele Lembra (He Remembers), a 501(c)(3) public charity that assists children as they age out of orphanages. He can be found at www.johnsimmons.com. His essay appeared in The Zen of Midlife Mothering.
Maggie Lamond Simone
Maggie, 52 is a national award-winning columnist. Her latest book, Body Punishment: OCD, Alcoholism and Learning to Fight Back will be released in April 2015; her other books include From Beer to Maternity and POSTED! with essays in P.S. What I Didn’t Say and multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul editions. She is a contributor to The Zen of Midlife Mothering. She teaches journalism at SUNY Oswego, Oswego, N.Y and blogs for The Huffington Post. She has two children, a son, 14, and daughter, 12, whose puberty is directly in sync with her menopause.
Wendy Sue Noah
Wendy Sue is 47 years young, and a single mom of five children ranging in age from 7 – 15 years. She is blessed to have a home office with several clients, working in the Social Media world. Her personal slogan is “Social Media with a Conscience.” The flexibility of a home office allows her to be the supportive and loving mom she chooses to be, which includes retrieving her kids from the nurse’s office when sick, attending her children’s award ceremonies, or volunteering to speak at their school’s “Career Day.” As for cooking and cleaning, she gets by OK but prays for enough money for a nanny helper someday! Wendy can be found at: http://www.wendysuenoah.com. She can also be found in The Zen of Midlife Mothering.
Austin, 40, is the adoptive father of four children from Russia. Inspired by his adoption experiences, his first novel, Sobornost, was published in 2012 and was a quarterfinalist for the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. He lives in Alabama with his wife, four children, a chocolate lab and black cat. When he isn’t earning a living as a software engineer, parenting, or keeping peace between the dog and cat, he writes. He can be found @ http://www.austinwimberly.com. Sobernost can be found on Amazon, Kindle, etc. He is a contributor to The Zen of Midlife Mothering.
Lora Freeman Williams
Lora, 45, is a writer and life coach in Boulder, Colorado. She has recently completed the book The Wilderness of Motherhood: A Memoir of Hope and Healing, to be self-published in 2014. http://www.wildernessofmotherhood.com. She is a contributor to The Zen of Midlife Mothering.
Tracy, 40, is a writer, the wife of a Zen Buddhist priest, and the mother of two young children (Boy, 5, and Girl, 3). Originally from Alaska, she lived in Japan for ten years and recently relocated with her family to Eastern Canada. Her musings on Zen, parenting, and place can be found at One Continuous Mistake (continuousmistake.com).
Jane, 50, is married and the mother of three girls (two biological and one adoptive). A former litigator, she now works full-time as a parent, writer, and serves on the board of Attachment Trauma Network (www.attachtrauma.org), a national parent-led non-profit working in the areas of advocacy, support and education for families raising children from “hard places.” In 2011, Jane also became a reluctant member of the sandwich generation, overseeing the care of her elderly father. Her work on travel, ex pat living, adoption, parenting and eldercare has appeared in various publications including the Singapore American Newspaper, Adoption Today Magazine, the Lexington Herald Leader and the anthologies, From Home to Homeland (Yeong & Yeong Book Company, 2009), Our Very Own – Stories Celebrating Adoptive Families (Touch Adoptive Services 2010) and The Zen of Midlife Mothering .
Joely Johnson Mork
Longtime freelance writer Joely, 46, never expected to find herself married, and certainly not to a much younger man. Never say never! She became a mother at 42 and finds parenting her growing son a mindblowing blend of challenges and joys every single day. Mork lives with her family in Seattle. She is a contributor to The Zen of Midlife Mothering.
Elizabeth, 52, is mother of one stillborn and two surviving children. Her personal essays on her stillbirth have appeared in many outlets, including salon.com, Hip Mama, The Examined Life Journal and New Millennium Writings. Elizabeth is a professor in the Department of History and the Department of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Iowa. There, she teaches classes on Germany, Europe, gender and sexuality, and the history of human rights. Her surviving children are 22 and 3.
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