Meet Our New Contributor: Chara Donahue


Introducing Chara 

Confession: I wasn’t born and raised in Oregon.

Before we moved to the Beaver State I was told repeatedly it would behoove me to tell people we were from Ohio, rather than California. Apparently there is some kind of prejudicial undercurrent against Californian transfers. But I won’t try to hide it, my husband and I grew up in California, moved to Ohio after getting married, and three years later found sanctuary from the horrible Midwest weather in Oregon. We have fallen in love with the PNW and happily settled down in the Salem area about eight years ago. Please accept this disclosure of humble ex-Californian vulnerability, and believe that I am now one of your own.

We are a family of six. We have three girls (9,7,& 5) and one boy (3). We dream of adopting, but have yet to be able to pursue it. My children’s grandparents live in three different states. One Grandma is merrily single, and one is remarried. One Grandpa, who we see only on Facebook, lives with his girlfriend, and one, who we often see, lives with his boyfriend. I love my little, big family and am grateful for the paths we have traveled so far.

The Minions (1)

My husband works for the State of Oregon and is also the counseling pastor at our church. I am enjoying the emergence from diaper days, and currently stay at home with my littles while also watching my six-month-old nephew. I may return to teaching Language Arts when they are all in school, but for now, I stay busy by keeping the kids alive, attempting to raise them with grace and love, and doing the freelance writing /speaking gig when the kids are out playing with dad.  I received my MSEd from Corban University and am passionate about supporting women.

Probably like you, I am desperate for encouragement, even when I don’t realize it. I think we all need a you’re doing a good job, I’ve been there and survived, or a I promise you aren’t crazy, every once in a while. I enjoy giving my words away, with the wish that they would reach the hearts of others, and offer hope for the diaper-changing, the fight-moderating, and the day-to-day motherhood marathon.

I feel like as mothers, we are all in this boat together, and uniqueness enters our mothering experiences because of the stories that have made up our lives and the lives of those closest to us. My stories are different than other mothers, and yet, in some ways they are the same. My first job was at 13 as an extra in an M.C. Hammer video. I quit the fashion industry at 18, because I developed some hips and enjoy rich food, especially desserts. I was married for the first time at 19, and due to the toxic and physically dangerous nature of the relationship, divorced by 20. I tasted the sweet promise of redemption through faith, and new adventure awaited as I went back to school where I studied creative writing, communication, and met a braveheart of a man who became my husband and the father of my children. He may not have been my first love, but he is the love of my life.

The Man

I have miscarried and carried to term. I raised girls only, for six years, and then I had a boy. These stories play into who I am, and there are many more that make up the little moments that are gifts I treasure. I try to avoid the mommy wars by seeking to make peace, yet fight against the pressure of being sucked in. I am okay with the fact that we are going to do things differently, each discovering ways of preparing our children to be unleashed into the world. I am determined to enjoy this motherhood thing, even while in the trenches of it. I will not settle for just surviving. I yearn to thrive and see others do the same. I am honored to join all of you, and I desire to be a voice that says, “We are in this together, and there is room for us all.”



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