My name’s Kara and I’m a NPE. When people ask me what NPE stands for, I tell them “Not Parent Expected” and then add, “it’s complicated,” because it is. I was born in Seattle to a single mom. My dad, who’d cleaned himself up briefly had relapsed into heroin use and left my mom just two months after they were married. They divorced before I was one. My mom’s parents were murdered when I was four—but that’s another story. So, it was pretty much just mom and me while I was growing up.