November is National Adoption Awareness month. The history of National Adoption Month dates back to 1976 when Massachusetts Governor Mike Dukakis announced the first Adoption week. The first National Adoption Week was in 1994. President Regan proclaimed National Adoption week in 1994. In 1995, under President Bill Clinton, adoption week was expanded to the entire month of November to discuss awareness.

Adoption has so many twists and turns that can lead to heartbreak and of course adoption also creates families. Over the next couple weeks I will be sharing some information about adoption.

Adoptive Parents: Adoptive parents are usually in their 30’s or 40’s. Single adoptive parents are usually women who are in their 40’s. The reasons to adopt can vary based on a person situation. Some adopt due to fertility related situations. Others may see the need and decide to adopt. Same sex couples are also able to adopt. Same sex adoption laws vary by state.

Adopted Children:

Children who are adopted want to feel like they are part of the family unit. They do not want to be reminded constantly that they are adopted. These children have usually already been through a great deal of change so being able to feel part of the family is extremely important.

Adoption Age:

Adults can be adopted too. Sometimes a child will have been in foster care and not adopted before aging out and sometimes these adults will find families to adopt them. Usually these are families that they have known for sometime but were not able to get the adoption process done while they were a minor.

Adoption Cost:

The average cost of a domestic adoption is $39,966. If someone adopts a child from outside of the United States those costs can be even more depending on the country and fees involved.

There are many pieces to the adoption process. There is no one size fits all. The most important thing is that so many kids are in need of good homes and we need to be able to help the folks who would like to adopt be able to. Too many kids are in foster care for years at a time.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about what should be done to help with helping kids find permanent homes?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Forty is the number of days we have until Christmas is here. That seems like craziness. Wasn’t it just summer time? Heck did we even have fall. Holiday season is basically here. Many of us spend lots of time finding gifts for others during this time of year and yes that is what we are to do. I also think during this time of year that it is important to bring some Holiday Cheer to yourself as well.

Here are some of my favorite things that I have picked up for myself over the last few months that will bring you some holiday cheer:

Mascara. I am not into makeup at all but I saw a friend who’s lashes were looking fantastic and I asked her about it. She sent me in the direction of ILIA Beauty’s Instagram page and I gave it a try. This mascara does NOT irritate my eyes at all. My lashes are not crusty or crunchy at the end of the day. It is lightweight and the folks who are into makeup that I know love the brush.

Journal. A good journal is a MUST. The best thing about journals is that you can find nice journals at a variety of places. The Dollar Store ,Target, Walmart, Barnes & Nobles, Etsy, Amazon etc. Journals are great for keeping thoughts, writing your goals, or just doodling in.

Books. A good read is my favorite. This past year I focused on reading more books. My latest faves are Sarah Bessey’s “Miralces And Other Reasonable Things” and Latasha Morrison’s “Be The Bridge”. These books cover two things I am passionate about a relationship with Jesus and Racial Reconciliation. If you are looking for a good read check them out.

Chapstick & Moisturizers. Last and certainly not least For Beauty’s Sake natural skin care products.  A good lip moisturizer and face products are things I think we need to have. I am a chapstick/lip moisturizer addict. I can not stand ashy or dry lips. These lip moisturizers have kept me right here in this Carolina climate. These products are organic/vegan made from natural materials. FBS has candles, aroma therapy, facial products and more. Be sure to check FBS out and add some goodies to your cart.

fbs

What are some of your favorite things that you have picked up recently?

Podcasts are one of my favorite things that help me get through the week. I listen to podcasts daily, while at work, working out and in the car. I am always looking for new podcasts to check out.

The podcast I have been listening to the longest is “JOE” (Jesus Over Everything) it was previously called 5 Word Prayers Daily. This show is hosted by a woman named Lisa Whittle. There are about 300 episodes available with new shows available Tuesdays and Thursdays. I love JOE because it is a short podcast sometimes a little over 5 minutes and sometimes about 30 minutes. There is always a message of hope and encouragement. My favorite series on JOE was done last year in November 2018 and it was all about parenting.

 Lisa covered topics like “Staying Consistent” “Dealing With Teens” and that dreadful “Parenting Guilt”. If you take a listen to JOE, I promise you will walk away feeling refreshed and hope filled. One of my favorite things about Lisa is that she takes time to hear her listeners out and have real conversations with us.

My most recent favorite podcast is “Jemele Hill is Unbothered”. Jemele talks about EVERYTHING! I was a fan of hers when she was on ESPN and I always loved her sports commentary. Jemele is an award-winning journalist and culture critic and has sat across from many athletes and celebrities but she is so laid back and down to earth. Listen to this show and you will feel like you’re sitting back with friends and cutting up. Jemele comes through with substance, humor, and realness she is not afraid to ask her guest tough questions or talk about social issues. I find myself every episode saying, “This one is my favorite episode”. You can find this show exclusively on Spotify and yes take heed to the explicit content warning. https://open.spotify.com/show/1SXD1U55jqbK9HHoPvdbsw

“To Live and Die in LA” nope it’s not based off the Tupac song… It’s a crime show podcast. You listen to this podcast and you feel like a detective. Based around a real event that took place in February 2018, when an aspiring actress vanished from her Hollywood apartment. A journalist Neil Strauss was asked by the actress’s family to help them get answers about her disappearance. Listen to this podcast and be prepared to be on a roller coaster of emotions. If you like mystery and crime solving, you will love this podcast. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/to-live-and-die-in-la/id1453788965

Last and certainly not least is “Woman Evolve”. The host is Sarah Jakes Roberts. Sarah talks about entertainment news, the bible (she is not a boring church lady) she shares her struggles with her love hate relationship with working out. Sarah has gone through some heavy stuff in her life and she is always ready to help motivate other women. Sometimes Sarah records the show while is on Facebook live and the comments, she reads out loud will have you cracking up. Whew Chile! (take a listen to her show and you will know what this is about) https://www.womanevolve.com/podcast

These are only a few of the podcasts that I have on rotation. Honestly if I listed them all y’all would be reading for way too long. I would love to know what podcasts you’re listening to.

 

I have heard some folks say “True friendships are hard to find” and I understand why some may feel that way. I am thankful for my twenty plus year friendship with my BFF Jennifer. We have withstood laughter, exciting life changes, happy moments, heartache, pain, disappointments, births, deaths and the latest challenge of living thousands of miles apart.

When I told Jennifer, I was moving from California to South Carolina she and I both sobbed, laughed and hugged each other over and over. There are times when I think of the moment, I told her the move was for sure and I still get emotional, you see I am horrible with timing. So, as Jen stood in her kitchen at her fourth of July gathering showing me that you can make spaghetti in an instapot (she’s the cook in the relationship) I just blurted it out. The rest of that evening is a blur but what has always been clear is that I can rely on Jen for anything.  

What this move has taught me regarding friendships is that distance is tough but the bonds you have are stronger than that distance.  I am thankful for Jen and all of my California friends who are always checking in on me and my family, sharing special moments via facetime, keeping me in the loop on all that is going on even if that means texting me in the wee hours of the morning (this dang time difference).

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The only place I have ever considered home is Sonoma County, Santa Rosa California. I consider myself to be HELLA Californian.  I love San Francisco, Bodega Bay, Howarth Park, Mexican Food Trucks, Drives through Napa and Sonoma, The Tides Wharf…. I could go on and on about ALL the things I HELLA love about  The Wine Country and California!

I have always thought I would maybe leave California when I retired MAYBE …. But you’ve heard that saying “Life Happens” Well life has happened and by the time you read this I will be a resident of North Carolina…. Yes, you read that right. Life happened in a GOOD way. Even though leaving Santa Rosa was bitter sweet it was indeed the right choice for my family.

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  Imagine a child’s 2nd birthday and instead of a wonderful celebration you are instead faced with being placed into foster care… Hard to imagine that isn’t it?   Sadly, this is a reality that too many children and teens are dealing with. 

Right here in the Wine Country there is an urgent need to help those in Foster Care. Each day there are 50-75 Sonoma County children and teens who need foster care assistance.  Yes 50-75!  Those numbers are not typos. 

Recently I asked a young adult who spent his teen years here in the Sonoma County foster care system a few questions:

               If you could change just one thing about the current foster care system what would it be?

“It would be more support for those transitioning out of foster care. This would be from finding a job and job placement. Also, more support around housing and housing placement. This is key because without success in both areas the young person is bound to fail and become a statistic and end up in the prison statistic or in the welfare system.” (more…)

As 2017 is coming to the end and 2018 is fast approaching. I am sure many of us are thinking about those “New Year’s Resolutions”. I do not know why but just typing those words makes me tense up. 

I haven’t set any New Year’s Resolutions for the last 4 years and let me explain why. The main reason is because “Life Happens”. Real life happens life gets busy, kids are always busy, moms are always trying to balance it all and sadly sometimes we have major life changing events like losing a loved one.

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