Category Archives: Journaling

Have You Considered Adoption?

AdoptionAdoption has touched my life in so many ways.  I had the privilege of taking guardianship of a fun and silly young lady you may know as ‘Monkey’ some years back and she made our lives absolutely crazy in the best way possible (except those few days, but then she was a teenager haha).  I have also had the honor of knowing several adults who have adopted some fabulous kids.  They all have ‘gotcha’ days each year to celebrate the unification of their new families.  The one thing they all have in common is an incredible love and some amazingly fabulous families!  I love hearing their stories and even more being blessed to know them.  I can’t begin to tell you how great these kids are! I also have the blessing of a very loving and great woman in my life who was adopted.  Adoption touches so many lives!  If you have any, I would absolutely love to hear your stories of adoption!
November is National Adoption Month and I’m reaching out on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, AdoptUSKids, and the Ad Council to ask for your help in spreading the word about a new PSA campaign that encourages prospective parents to adopt older youth from foster care.

The theme for National Adoption Month is, “We Never Outgrow the Need for Family.” That’s because older children and youth still have many big milestones in their life they need a family for.

There are 415,000 children in the U.S. foster care system and 108,000 are waiting to be adopted. AdoptUSKids’ maintains a national photo listing service for children waiting to be adopted. Since the project launched in 2002, more than 25,000 children who were once photo listed on adoptuskids.org have been adopted and nearly 38,000 families have registered to adopt through the website.  Nevertheless, older youth are disproportionately represented – approximately 41 percent of children and youth photo listed on adoptuskids.org are between 15 and 18 years old, but only 17 percent of those adopted have been in this age group

Older youth and teens have lower adoption rates than younger children, and they often wait longer to be adopted. But no matter their age, all kids need a supportive, loving home and the teenage years are a critical period for growth. The new TV PSAs, which were created for the campaign pro-bono, portray a dad giving advice to his teenage daughter after her first breakup, and a mom giving her son a haircut at home. The humorous, lighthearted scenarios aim to overcome fears adoptive parents may have regarding their own imperfections. The PSAs end with the tagline, “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent,” reassuring prospective parents that even if they are not ‘perfect’, they have the ability to provide the stability and security that older youth in foster care need and deserve.

The PSAs direct audiences to visit adoptuskids.org or to call 1-888-200-4005 (English) or 1-877-236-7831 (Spanish) to receive the latest information about the foster care system and the adoption process.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Use #NAM15 and #perfectparent to share your experience or the new PSAs on social media.
  • Spread the word! Let us know if you know a blogger who might have a place in their hearts for the Adoption from Foster Care campaign.

For more information about adoption, or about becoming an adoptive parent to a child from foster care, please visit www.adoptuskids.org or visit the campaign’s communities on Facebook and Twitter.
Why Older Youth?

  • All of us – and that includes older youth in foster care who are waiting to be adopted – need and want families throughout life to support us and to share important life events. Learning to drive a car, applying for higher education, and birthday and holiday celebrations are just a few examples of the times in life we need and want to share with family.
  • Older youth are overrepresented in the foster care population, as they generally wait longer to be adopted, and have lower overall adoption rates.
  • On adoptuskids.org, roughly 41 percent of the children and youth actively photolisted are between the ages of 15 and 18 years old. About 58 percent are male. (Most recent stats as of May 31, 2015)
  • Families who adopt older youth, are providing them with the support and stability of a family during a critical period of normal adolescent concerns and additional self-identity issues.

Some of the Misperceptions about Adoption from Foster Care:

  • Adoption is expensive.  Unlike the private adoption of an infant or adopting internationally, there are virtually no costs associated with adoption from the US child welfare system. In addition, the vast majority of youth adopted from foster care are also eligible for monthly adoption assistance up to the level of the foster care rate.
  • You have to be married. You do not have to be married to adopt in most states. Many children have been very successfully adopted by single parents. Single-parent families accounted for 29 percent of all adoptions from foster care in 2014 (AFCARS).
  • You have to have a college degree. Having a high school diploma or college education is not required. What is important is that you are stable, flexible, and compassionate, and that you have a good sense of humor. Most importantly, you must have the support and commitment to raise a child and to be there for him throughout his life.
  • You have to own a home and each child has to have their own room. You can rent your home or live in an apartment or a mobile home so long as your living situation is a stable one.
  • You have to be of child-bearing age to adopt. Experienced parents and empty nesters are encouraged to adopt. In most instances, you’re eligible to adopt regardless of age, income, marital status or sexual orientation.
  • You can only adopt a child who is the same race and ethnicity as you. Federal law prohibits the delay or denial of an adoptive placement based on the race or ethnicity of a child in U.S. foster care and the prospective parent or parents who are seeking to adopt them. The only exception to this law is the adoption of Native American children where special considerations apply.
  • You can’t adopt if you’re in the military. Military families stationed overseas and within the U.S. are eligible to adopt children from the U.S. foster care system.

Originally posted 2015-11-25 21:47:09.

My Secret Is Out! #Underwareness

UntitledSitting here watching my husband with our adorable gift from God, this amazing creation He formed, I have a secret.  Something I just haven’t worked up the nerve to tell my husband.  I don’t like keeping secrets from him, but honestly I’m a little embarrassed about this one.  We’ve been married 8 years now and he has seen me at my very worst and my absolute best, he has helped me when I was ill, prayed for me, fought with and for me.  Yet, despite all of that, I just can’t bring myself to talk to him about it.

Well, I suppose if he takes the time to read my site, he’ll know now.  If not, then I’ve just told the world and still not told him.  Wanna know?  Here goes…..  Biggest thing affecting me since the birth of my beautiful baby girl: bladder leakage.  It’s insane!  No one warned me that it would stay AFTER my little bundle of joy arrived.  Guess that’s one secret kept on the low down, even in these times of fabulous search engines, immeasurable research sources and every person you run into while pregnant with their post pregnancy horror stories.  How does that even happen?  I don’t know, I don’t care to know, I just know, the secret is out at this Zoo!

I’m 31 years old, not yet middle aged or old at all so in my mind, bladder leakage should be something to look for somewhere toward middle age or even further.  But no.  It’s not. It’s here and, according to my doctor at least, it won’t be going away.  As it turns out, more women in their 20’s have bladder leakage than those in their 80’s (though I do wonder how exactly that statistic was determined and how they managed to NOT have the issue).  Here’s the deal, bladder leakage is not that abnormal at all it affects one in three women!

The Depend brand started a campaign two years ago to break the stigma with Underwareness, a social movement and charitable cause!  They are trying to get people to show their support for women with bladder leakage through the vast awesomeness that is social media.  They will donate $1 for every photo and/or video shared in 2016 to help fund charities that advance the research and education of bladder leakage. Just set it to public and tag #Underwareness.  I, for one, would love for it to not be a stigma.  Instead let’s focus on overcoming it and not making women like myself and perhaps you not feel humiliated anymore!  In addition, you can visit visit www.Underwareness.com to support the cause and request free samples of Depend Silhouette Active Fit. Maybe this will be the answer to our issue

 Check them out and get a free sample today!

 

Originally posted 2015-06-16 17:26:59.

A NICU Journey #PrayForLittleMiss

#PrayForLittleMiss
#PrayForLittleMiss

For a little over four months now, our baby has been in the NICU. It’s the hardest journey I’ve ever been on. Every day is a constant roller coaster, and frankly I am not a fan of roller coasters in the first place. Constantly my emotions go up and down. Pain is an ever present pressing feeling in my heart. People tell me I’m strong, that they admire me for the strength I have. I don’t think they fully understand and I’m thankful most can’t as I’d rather no one have to go through this journey.
What I am sustaining with is not anything near strength. It’s the strongest love I have ever felt. It’s helplessness. It’s a circle of handing it to God then taking it back, only to be reminded I can’t handle it and hand it over again. In these four months I have prayed, cried, pushed away, begged and thanked God for every up and down we’ve had. I know He has her in His ever loving hands and deep down I know He is going to take better care of her than I ever could as He heals her. My pain doesn’t subside. My heart aches for her, for me and for my family. Always.
One day, the story of our journey with Little Miss will be used as a tool to show God’s mercy and love even in times saturated with darkness and storms. He has been merciful and loving, He has strategically placed amazing people around me that lift me up and help me each day. He has strengthened our marriage and has shown us the depths of love, marriage and parenthood. I am thankful for these things. Thankful He has cleared out some of the ‘trash’ in our lives, thankful He has taken this time to help form the people we need to be in Him.
I am also tired. Not just physically but emotionally. My spirit cries out to Him daily. Each day I pray with my daughter, I want her to know how to pray and that He is always there. Especially since our natural tendency is to doubt and run from Him. I pray she will be healed, that she will be a living testimony to His glory. At the end of the day, it’s about Him. Even though the mommy in me wants it to be about my beautiful baby, wants her healed in MY time, on MY terms.
I’m learning though, to submit to God. To understand that I don’t need to understand. Yeah, wrap your mind around that. An incredibly wise woman recently told me that in the moments where I feel like He isn’t hearing my prayers or I’m too broken to pray that I need to remember that many others are praying and even if I doubt He hears me, He hears them. I hope you’ll pray for Little Miss with me.

You can find pictures and such using the hashtag #PrayForLittleMiss  I appreciate your comments and support.  May God Bless you and Keep you.

Originally posted 2015-04-27 20:22:51.

Wordless Wednesday.. Not so silent!

UntitledI hope you’ll excuse my absent as of late. We’ve been a little busy welcoming Little Miss into our lives. She was born with a congenital heart defect and has had heart surgery but is on the mend now. She will have others down the road. We are sitting at over 2 months in the hospital right now and it has been quite a stressful roller coaster! We are praying she will be home soon and things will get back to the new normal at the Zoo!

In the meantime, prayers would be fabulous! We’ll be getting some great giveaways up soon so keep an eye out for us! Will share some adorable photos to keep you smiling today!

Enjoy our Not so Wordless Wednesday!

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Originally posted 2015-03-18 00:08:38.

Infertility to Pregnancy: a journey

UntitledInfertility is the hardest thing I’ve ever faced.  It hurts day after day.  You go through phases where you try to convince yourself you don’t want children, but you know it’s not ever true.  Seven years my husband and I tried to conceive.  Finally, in March 2014 we went to a fertility doctor.  I think part of us wanted to be clinical about it, after all seven years of negative tests will make one doubtful.  We  found out the reason we had never gotten pregnant was due to my not ovulating.  I’m thankful that I wasn’t.  God kept me from having any children with the wrong man.  As I’ve always heard and knew in my heart, it’s all in God’s perfect timing.  Hard to say those words when you are on your 800th negative pregnancy test, crying or angry.  Hurt in a way words will never truly capture.

The doctor we chose was at random and he was perfect.  Meeting him even felt good.  He did a pelvic exam to make sure there were not any physical problems then scheduled a blood test to find out if I was ovulating.  As it turns out, I wasn’t.  The doc put me on a medication called clomid to help force my body to release eggs.  I was to take them for five days then on the 21st day of my cycle go in and see if it had worked.

Waiting those days were killer.  Turned out my day 21 was on a Sunday so I was certain they wouldn’t be able to tell.  They were, thank God, and the even bigger blessing was that the medication had worked!  I was ovulating.

Suddenly the ability to get pregnant was in front of us, which is oddly scary.  Having wanted it for so long, we suddenly realized that we may not be ready.  LOL.  Funny how that works.  So, we decide to wait a few months.  “Get out some of the old eggs” my husband so eloquently joked.  I cried, I didn’t want to wait but I knew that it was best.  Again, God’s perfect timing.

So, the plan was in two months to start trying.  Here’s hoping nothing else is wrong!

As it turns out, God’s perfect timing is in all things.  I was saving this post so that I could do a few and do a weekly series.  Shockingly enough, God had another plan.  We are excited to announce that we are expecting in January.  For all those years of not being blessed with a baby, we are suddenly a little nervous.  LOL.  Mostly, though, incredibly thankful and overly excited!

 

Originally posted 2014-07-25 16:03:27.

You’ll Be Paying for a Shrine to Abortion

15.059"W 9.714"HThe following is a copy of the email I received.  This topic is truly close to my heart, so much so that I decided to share it with you.  Every person can make a difference.  Take a few seconds and call if you agree. By the way, the picture is of a baby at 24 weeks, which is when one can have a late term abortion.  I made it small to shield little ones, you can click on it to enlarge.  The call is worth it.

How would you feel about your daughter or granddaughter taking a school field trip to Washington, D.C., excited to learn about American history, and only being sold “role models” like Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger…promiscuity promoter Gloria Steinem…and “free love” advocate Victoria Woodhull?

The proposed National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) will glorify abortion and fuel the radical feminist movement for decades to come. How do I know this? The NWHM board is overwhelmingly filled with people who are pro-abortion and leftist in their ideology. See a detailed report by our friends at Concerned Women for America (CWA) here.

Even more, the proposed museum’s website references Margaret Sanger nine times and Victoria Woodhull over 20, while referencing Phyllis Schlafly only once and not mentioning Beverly LaHaye at all. It also highlights Sandra Fluke, while ignoring Jeane Kirkpatrick.

Taxpayers, like you, will eventually foot the bill for this national shrine to abortion. While the NWHM claims that it will be privately funded, its true intentions are to follow in the footsteps of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of the American Indian. These museums respectively received over $50 million and $30 million from American taxpayers.

Please stand with 1MM before it’s too late. We can put a stop to this, but we need you to act now and call House Leadership. Tell them to oppose H.R. 863 until safeguards are added to ensure that this museum will not be paid for with federal funds nor be filled with Left-wing propaganda.

Please call:

• Speaker John Boehner – 202-225-6205
• Leader Eric Cantor – 202-225-2815
• Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers – 202-225-2006

We must not allow the Left’s agenda to become our legacy. 1MM and CWA is leading the charge to preserve the faith-filled legacy of America’s women in the National Women’s History Museum – but we need your help.

To honor women is a wonderful idea – but we cannot allow the radical Left to create a distorted lens through which future generations of girls will come to see the role of American women.

Please, make at least one phone call today!

Sincerely,

Monica Cole, Director
OneMillionMoms.com

Originally posted 2014-05-06 21:37:57.

Stay Safe Online 6 Tips That Will Help You

Stay safe online! It’s essential in this age of technology.  The Me Too movement began in 2008 to promote awareness regarding both sexual harassment and sexual assault.  It is known across the world in different translations and brought attention to their prevalence in the workplace.

Stay Safe Online

I feel like it is also bringing awareness in other areas and encouraging and empowering victims to speak out rather than hide in the shame they feel. This is long overdue.  As a victim myself, I didn’t speak out because of shame and that was difficult to overcome.

While it’s too late for me to do anything about, I can certainly take steps to make sure it never happens again, and so can you.  Since it’s so prevalent, I’ve done a lot about online dating lately as there are so many free dating sites and it has become so common.

What I would like to address this go round is harassment and online abuse.  I suppose I should have posted about them before I posted about dating safety, but it really didn’t occur to me.  So, here are some tips to help you deal with those unfortunate occurrences.

Stay Safe Online 6 Tips That Will Help You

 6 Tips That Will Help You Stay Safe Online

  1. Don’t be afraid to block someone! You are valuable, you do not deserve and should not tolerate person’s being mean to you.  Block them. The sooner the better!  Especially trolls! Trolls are those people who only have negative things to say and can get pretty mean on posts and such.
  2. Contact Admin. Every site has admin, If you are being harassed, threatened or abused online and blocking isn’t working, contact admin and report them.  I suggest keeping the profile links or screenshots to pass on, this will help admin be able to find them and keep them off their servers.
  3. Call the Police: If at any point the person seems to have found you or is making threats of physical harm, contact your local police. Even if there isn’t anything they can do immediately, they can put it on file and add extra patrols in your neighborhood.
  4. Never, ever put anything revealing on your profile or in photos. Remove the GEO data from photos before posting them.  Also try not to post a lot of photos from the same location (like your favorite hangout) and don’t put specifics.  Rather than saying “I love Fatty Patty’s in City X” on social media, perhaps put “I love the Fatty Patty’s Chain!”  If it’s not a chain, I’d just say a general comment about pubs or whatever.
  5. Leave out or minimize location information in posts/profiles. For example, rather than posting the city you live in, perhaps post the region instead. Predators will take the time to go through all of your posts and find other accounts in order to narrow down where you live.
  6. Speak Out! Don’t be afraid to speak out when you feel harassed, threatened or, especially, are harmed in any way.  No matter who it is.

Remember the importance of this topic.  Today it is harder than ever to stay safe online with so much technology so easily available. You are a valuable asset,  Stay Safe Online!

Other Posts that you may enjoy:

Dating Safety: 5 Tips to Protect Yourself on Every Date!

Tips to Create the Perfect Profile Picture

My Surprise!

IMG_5537I was evaluating myself as to why I love Foodie Penpals and it occurred to me that it is my love of surprises that fills me with excitement each time my box of goodies arrive!  This month, my April Foodie Penpal was a fellow blogger, Maeve from Adventure with Maeve.  Let me just tell you her website has some really great recipes and I loved reading about her adventures!  I do believe Maeve is a Foodie in the best sense of the word!

Among other things, my box this month included a fabulous selection of homemade goodies!!!  There was caramel applesauce (did NOT last long), bread and butter zuchinni and strawberry rhubarb jam!  We are saving the other two for some upcoming special occasions but they scream my name every time I open the cabinet!  She also threw in some other goodies, Mojo marinade, Jack Daniel’s marinade (I am drooling over this one!  I use to LOVE Jack Daniel’s chicken from TGIFridays, then they closed the one close to us down.  My birthdays will never be the same!), Hanky Panky popcorn (the name made me giggle, because I’m ridiculous and perhaps a bit old), and strawberry salsa!  There were also some candies and a One of a Kind bar along with a Reese’s treat!

The Lean Green BeanA great big thank you to Maeve!  I loved the box so much!  If you have a second, check out her website!  It’s fun reading and her recipes aren’t the usual run of the mill stuff!  She will inspire you to get in the kitchen and create!

 

Originally posted 2014-04-30 10:02:48.

Mom’s Night Out: Start Planning Yours Now!

unnamedHey everyone!  Tonight my girl and I are screening Mom’s Night Out!  We are super excited and will bring ya a review in May, right before it comes out!  Be prepared to go as it opens May 9th!  To get ya pepped for it, thought I would share the trailer with you!  Find your favorite girlfriend and start scheming!  You Need this night out!!!

Originally posted 2014-04-03 12:24:34.

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Originally posted 2014-04-01 14:34:22.