My life has taken a major change and blogging is the last thing on my mind. I don’t foresee many more posts on here, but please keep me in your feeds bc you never know when I’ll feel like writing. =)

I am on a major health journey and have lost 80lbs since February and feel like a whole new person! I have more to lose, but am thoroughly enjoying how I feel these days. A huge plus to losing so much weight is the possibility of getting pregnant without drugs. So we’ll see how that works out. I bought running shoes and an awesome bike and signed up for 2 Disney 10K races in February and April plus some local 5K races. I may have an obsession with virtual races and complete all my miles on the treadmill at the gym.

My handsome nephew is now 7 months old. I don’t get to see him very much, but cherish every moment when I do and love all the photos I get of him. He is such a sweet baby!

We (yes, collectively) have given up on the foster system in Miami. I have zero faith in it and have quit the Board of the association effective September 30th. We aren’t even getting into this anymore. I’m so fed up. Just am thankful for the amazing handful of friends we met along our 3+ year journey with nothing to show for it.

We spent a week in San Diego for Comic Con and it was the single greatest week I’ve had in a long time. Our wedding week in Vegas is the only thing to compete.

I got a new job! And I freakin love it. I still work on Miami Beach, but in a position of considerable power in an organization that will help me with my future political career.

Still in MPA classes – 4th semester. Graduation is next summer. I will then be able to rule the world.

My 40th birthday is on Friday.

Forty and Fabulous 40


It’s Been A While…

Hi my lovely bloggy readers,

I know it’s been really quiet around here for the last 6 weeks 3 months. Yes, I started an update post 6 weeks ago and never finished it.

My life in a nutshell these days…

  • Celebrated my 38th birthday!
  • Our 4th wedding anniversary!
  • Paid off 3 credit cards
  • Started a Fiber and Fandoms podcast with my friend Kate – Muggle Yarns!
  • Successfully completed my Kickstarter campaign thanks to my 19 truly amazing backers
  • Dropped to half time – 20 hours – at my full time job
  • Took on 2nd part time job – 25+ hours – back in the development/ fundraising and event planning world at a non-profit
  • Half-heartedly searching for children on several nationwide sites –
  • House hunting like crazy – we lost the cutest little house in North Miami Beach bc we took too long deciding
  • Getting over laryngitis that I’ve had for 10 days

Coming up…

  • Getting my knitting out – 2 more projects to try to finish this week
  • Shipping all my Kickstarter projects out
  • Going back to the customers that wanted commissions once this knitting was finished
  • House hunting and hopefully moving north and much closer to my jobs. My current commute time is 1.5-2 hours
  • Paying down and off all my other debts – goal for total payoff is 3 years
  • Still trying to get over and past our failed placement
  • Parenting?

heart bandaidBut what about parenting? Yeah… no idea.

I still attend the meetings and events, but my whole heart isn’t in it anymore. It’s more about hanging out with my friends than hoping there will be a foster parent there to talk to if her foster kids get TPRd. Husband even commented recently about my no longer showing him kid profiles or telling him about more kids. I’m a little down on the whole subject even though I know I could never be truly happy without being a mother. We have recently spent more time looking for houses than at children.

So, yeah, I’m sorta back, just down. Trying to get my life on track and get back in the mindset of focusing on long term goals.

Sooo…. how are you? What’s been happening in your lives in the last 3 months?


Brief Non-Adoption Update

There is literally nothing at all happening at the moment with our adoption. Of all the kids I requested info on, I’ve received 4 case studies and are awaiting about half a dozen others. We’re reviewing them, but it’s difficult since the majority or them are out of Florida. The logistics of traveling several times to meet a potential child of ours is crazy expensive and we don’t have the time off from work and school to even begin to plan said trips.

We both knew foster care adoption wouldn’t be easy. But we’re dealing with a whole new set of issues that neither of us anticipated. It’s giving us time to reflect and evaluate if we want to get our foster care license as well.

But in the meantime, we are keeping busy by house hunting. Yes, something I swore I’d never do – looking to buy in South Florida. Right now it’s just dreaming as we clean up our (my) credit enough to qualify for a lower interest rate. As much as I love and adore the snow, the older I get and the more friends we make, the more I’m realizing that this little piece of hell on earth isn’t so bad.

Also, Husband is in school for his MBA so time is tight.

On the other hand, since he is now on a daylight schedule, we are getting used to each other again. For 4+ years of our life together (nearly half!), we saw each other at most 2 hours a day and partial weekends. He worked the night shift (9p-9a) and while I was at work, he was sleeping. I’d race home to make dinner, spend some time together then he’d go off to work.

The last month or so, it seems like a vacation. I’ve been slacking on the stuff I’d normally do at night after he’s leave for work – dishes, laundry, knitting – since we now spend a lot of time together… watching TV. We just finished Orange is the New Black (OMG!) and just started Weeds. Separately, he is watching House of Cards.

I hope you’re all well! If you missed any posts, just keep scrolling…

Kiwi Crate


‘Tis a Teeny Tiny World

I know, I suck as a blogger. There really hasn’t been too much going on. Except for my awesome newly discovered connection with my Mysterious Phone Caller (She told me I should refer to her this way on here.. lol)

Ready for this?

I friended her on FB and saw we had some people in common. One was my aunt. Weird, but OK as she seems to know like half of Miami. I happen to be at my aunt’s office that afternoon so I asked how she knew MPC (ha!) and she said she’s know her parents for a long time. Turns out they live down the street from each other and MPC also knows my cousins.

Weird! But that’s not all. Oh no, there’s more.

I posted something on FB and was going back and forth with one of my oldest frieds about one of our campers having something to do with it. MPC popped in to ask what camp. We went back and forth only to discover that the ONE year she was a camper there was the ONE year that I was a counselor. I attended as a camper for like 8 years prior to that.

Small world? No, tiny world!

And all bc someone told her about my blog and that she should read it.

This relates how?

We were emailing back and forth about the teeny tiny world and she said

Can you send me the specifics of what type of child you are looking for? I want to start a search to see if you can’t start some visits with potential children and try to move along the process.

*jaw drop*

*pick jaw up off keyboard* and responded then asked if she knew about the timelines. She didn’t, but said…

I really don’t know time frames but I will try to push on my end 🙂


I love this lady!


After the First Home Visit

The post leading up to our first home visit had a crazy amount of views. Y’all are awesome!

So what happened? Great things!

But first, the prep. I do wish I’d taken pictures of the house a week ago bc right now it looks about 100% different. We are… packrats. Not hoarders, packrats. We are aware of it and know it’s a problem. We just like our stuff. Having a deadline of people coming into our home that will change our life and place a child with us was the greatest motivator ever.


We rented a storage unit. We created lists of what to do. We decluttered. We cleaned. We cleaned out. We threw out 4 huge bags of garbage. We donated. We organized. Oh boy did we organize.

F and T were prompt and arrived right at 11am. After locking Lola in her crate and Phoenix in the front bathroom, we chatted at first about what we were looking for (age and gender) and we said we preferred a boy and our range remains 5-11 years old. So when I refer to “him” I am making an assumption that we will have a son as our first placement. Yep, we plan to do this a few more times. Thursday night, we finally decided that we wanted a single child instead of siblings. We would rather focus 100% on 1 child then try to scramble and have 2 kids. In the future, I hope to adopt a sibling group still.

We showed them around the house and the back yard. We did the whole “this is what we have now, and these are our plan for safety of our son. The yard is totally fenced in and we do the upkeep (the association takes care of the front yard) so no worries there. They liked the size and we talked about maybe getting a grill and a table with chairs for the yard. In the laundry room, the plan is to install shelves in the empty space over the water heater for chemicals and cleaning supplies. It is outside and has a lock on the door. In the kitchen, we pointed out that we’re replacing the blue cubes that act as a pantry with a cabinet with doors. The wine was on top of the fridge, so OK there. We pointed out the changes we’re going to make in the kid’s room by moving Steve’s desk into our bedroom and totally rearranging the layout. I still want the bunkbeds and furniture from my childhood, but another option is to pass our queen bed down and upgrade to a king bed. We’ll see. They were ok with both options, the huge closet and en suite bathroom. The linen and craft closets – not too much will change except better organization. The family/ dining room we will likely just rearrange the furniture and hang more pictures.

After the tour, we talked for a while asking a ton of questions about school districts (more on that tomorrow), our work schedules, public vs private schools, grants and scholarships for private school, the class schedule, Steve’s work schedule possibly affecting class, safety requirements, the timeline, and so much more. They said they’re going to try to get the adoption paperwork to distribute to the class so we can all be on top of it prior to being transferred to the Adoption case workers and the Home Study being completed.

We also discussed the 2 foster/adoption events we are planning on attending – Heroes for Our Kids Celebration at Miami Children’s Museum and the SFFAPA Summer Fun Picnic at John Pennekamp Park

I know I felt so good afterwards. As we were laying in the bedroom after they left and right before Steve crashed from staying awake way later than normal, we talked some more about what happened during the visit.

I literally couldn’t stop smiling after this visit. It really hit me that I could be a mommy by the end of the year. In fact, when I posted..

“I am going to be a mom. And I can’t stop grinning about it”

..on FB, I received so much love and support from my friends. However, it seemed like some thought I was pregnant, which amuses me to know end since I’m totally transparent about this adoption and my infertility.


On Sunday, we went to Kmart and looked at booster seats, little boy clothes, bedroom furniture. We also bought plug socket covers. Yeah, I know it likely won’t make a difference, but at least they can’t say we’re not prepared.

Also, I may have just started using a hashtag for all my adoption posts on FB and twitter #CallMeMommy


This is so not OK

On May 19th, after finding out that CHS was full until September/October, I emailed all the other agencies in Dade county. We obviously had great luck and responsiveness from FRC as they are the agency we’re working with. No one else was really responsive.

Until Tuesday. Yep, 51 days later.

HHCH* replied not with a “oh we’re sorry for not responding sooner but would love to work with you,” but with an invitation to their PRIDE classes.

And they used way too many ALL CAPS for my taste. Ew.

So I responded with “No, we will not be attending. We are working with another agency. I don’t know anything about your agency as no one has ever been in contact with me since I emailed you 2 months ago.”

And she promptly responded to apologize and that she’s not sure what could have happened.


Thursday morning, another person emailed me about it. I am not planning on responding to her. The only reason I responded on Tuesday was bc it was that I had to RSVP to the class. This email is a total cop out. If your class was full or I had incorrect information, then freakin email me back and let me know. Not an adoption agency? Fine! I don’t want to work with you anyhow as you recommend foster to adopt and we’ve specifically ruled that out.

Hi Becca,

I want to apologize for not emailing you earlier and if I remember correctly the reason was that we had already begun a class and our next Orientation was not until 7/18/13 and you were interested in starting a class right away. In addition, we are not an adoption agency, although you may have the opportunity to adopt a child if the child becomes available to be adopted. We usually recommend our families to foster to adopt where you will have the privilege of fostering a child and/or children and may possibly adopt that child (ren); however, it is not a guarantee.

You may have already begun the classes with CHS on 6/20/13. Please advise if you have not and if you were still interested.

Thanks so much!

Here to Love and to Serve His Kingdom,

* In all fairness, I was hesitant to even go with this agency as their website tells about their mission which is very… religious. Neither of us are religious – spiritual, yes, but not religious – and just reading through the site made me a little uncomfortable. So like KB said, everything happens for a reason.


Orientation! #LongestPostEver

Finally! (Geez Becca, why’d you leave us hanging for over a week for this post?!)

We had our Adoption Orientation on Saturday morning, June 30th and it was pretty much awesome. I may have been doing research for months (years) and knew a lot of information going into this, but I still learned more.

One thing I learned was that while we are certainly welcome to adopt from out of Florida, we won’t get the FL benefits if we do so. We will follow those state’s benefits and adoption requirements. Not all state’s offer health care, 4 years of public college/university and a subsidy like Florida does – so that needs to be taken into consideration. We definitely plan on making sure our kids take advantage of the college part!

We also need to decide about the Lola and Phoenix. He is a crochety old cat and doesn’t take BS from anyone. Yes, after 8+ years, he still claws me on occasion. I really need to have the vet do a full eval on him bc while I don’t want to accept it, I don’t think he has much longer with us. He’s got so many health issues and is so overweight even with putting him on a diet. So, there’s that to consider.

But anyhow, what we learned/ had reiterated…

  • Children available for adoption have had their parental rights terminated (TPR). They will never be taken away from us bc some random family member came back. Once there is no possible chance at reunification and rights are terminated, they’re available to be legally our children.
  • Judges in South Florida really don’t like waiting the full 6 months once we have a child in our home and tend to push the adoptions through within 30-60 days. This was a major Holy Moly! moment for us. We could be legally mommy and daddy by the New Year.
  • After we complete our classes, we’re turned over to the adoption specialists. They will then complete our Home Study, run more background checks, and ask many more questions to ensure we get the ideal placement.
  • The PRIDE classes are not “parenting” classes, but rather how we will play a role in the kids lives.
  • Most children end up in Foster Care due to abuse, abandonment and neglect
  • If we want to travel outside of FL before the adoption is finalized, we need a court order. To go to Disney, Gainesville, or anywhere else within FL, we just need to notify the team.
  • They would prefer to have one parent stay home with the kids initially, but I will likely use my vacation time for that to get them settled before sending them off to a (likely) new school.
  • If we adopt younger than 5, we do get a day care subsidy for one year for specific preschools – Gold Seal Approved.

Minimum standards for Foster Homes (which we will follow to ensure approval for adoption):

  • Minimum 40 sq.ft. per child and have adequate storage/ closet space.. In a perfect world, we’d have a 3-bedroom place with a room for each child.
  • Max 5 kids per household including biological. No problem here as Lola and Phoenix don’t count. 🙂
  • Kids of opposite sex over age 3 cannot room together. We’re leaning towards 2 boys at this point, so OK there.
  • Minimum $200 residual income after all bills are paid. We’re getting finances in order so this should be A-OK too.
  • 2 years of employment verification checks will be performed. Yep, no problems there.
  • Health history and physicals need to be performed for mental, emotional, physical and any other treatments. Ehh, we should be OK.. My therapy is pretty minimal and I have no problems with Dr. S. telling them all about my sessions.
  • Pets are also checked as I mentioned above. A-OK as I’ve already told the vet to expect the forms.
  • Many children have no prior religious beliefs and we must respect their beliefs if they do have religious beliefs. We need to decide on a religion as he’s Methodist and I’m Jewish and neither of us are particularly religious.
  • We are responsible for transporting them to every appointment, recital, etc in a safe vehicle complete with car seats, seat belts, valid insurance and driver’s license. No problems whatsoever as we never planned on making anyone else drive our kids around.
  • Foster parents need to complete a basic water safety course. We plan on doing that, being CPR certified, and more.
  • All medications, chemicals, cleaning products, alcohol, guns/ammo, and anything else that can harm a child must be locked away. We’ve already begun planning where the meds and chemicals will be housed. Most likely in the outside laundry room or a lockbox atop the closet.
  • Kids must have access to a vehicle and phone at all times. We never plan on leaving them alone, so OK. When they’re at school, they’ll have the phone there.
  • An evacuation plan must be posted in several places and perform fire drills frequently, working and tested fire extinguisher, 2 ways to escape each bedroom, smoke detectors, working battery flashlights in every room, and a first aid kit in the house. OK except for the evacuation plan and the flashlights, we have everything already.
  • There is a list of forbidden and acceptable discipline methods provided that we must obey. OK, we haven’t established discipline yet so having guidelines is great.
  • Criminal and abuse checks ((FBI, FDLE, local and abuse registry) are to be performed prior to PRIDE classes. Done and approved.

We will be an integral part of the team of nurses, social workers, case workers, and others. Even once the adoption is finalized, we can utilize the team.

We have decided that fostering will be too difficult for us to handle. And came to that conclusion separately prior to discussing it after the Orientation. Having a child or children in our home for days, weeks, months or even years then having them taken away would be too hard for us both to bear.

Our initial background screenings went off without a hitch. We had to be checked in both FL and NC since we haven’t lived here for 5 years. Once we passed these, we will have our initial Home Visit – on Friday! – and classes begin on Tuesday.

They have said this is an extremely intrusive journey and they will find everything out about us. And yet, we are still raring to go to become parents.


So where have I been? We have so much work to do on our current home to get it ready for our babies. We have been decluttering and cleaning and making our little home kid-friendly. It’s making me realize big time how not kid-friendly it is. We only have 2 bedrooms, a family room, a kitchen and a decent sized back yard. I’d much prefer to have at least a 3-bedroom with a larger family room, updated everything including a dishwasher. But for right now, we shall deal with this little place. *le sigh*

Also, I’ve been off work (though you’d never know it) since Thursday, had an interview for an amazing job, working at my part-time job, and in general trying to get the house ready for le babies.


/end #LongestPostEver


10 Steps to Adoption

I pulled this information off a local agency site in Miami-Dade county, FL. The steps may be the same in other counties and states, but definitely check with your local agency. I’m quite happy that I found this page as I did not receive any of this information when I called to schedule our Orientation classes. I was searching for information on classes when I stumbled upon this page. Interestingly enough, I found that other states post everything online from their class schedules, to what to expect with the process and Miami has nothing. Strange.

Even when I was speaking with the Adoption Advocate, I wasn’t given this type of timeline. She said the folks over at the Children’s Home Society would give me all the details. When I spoke to a friend in Orlando also going through foster-adoption, she showed me her schedule. Quite frankly, I was baffled that she had so much information. She said they even spoke to her at length about her and her husband and their adoption plans. Baffled. No one from the state has spoken to me so far about our plan.

2 days ago, I posted onto the Our Kids Facebook page and they’ve been in touch back and forth and just gave me the direct line and cell phone number of a person I can contact to get way more details. It’s a relief to finally have answers. I may not be fully organized in the rest of my life, but this is different. Bringing a new person (people) into our family is a huge deal and I’d think they’d want to give us too much info rather then not enough. After I speak to him, I’ll be sure to post everything I find out.


Below are 10 basic steps of adopting a child. Review these steps closely and see if adoption is right for you.

1. Attend the orientation meeting and bring the following documentation:
— Driver License
— Social Security Cards of all members in the family.
— Marriage Certificate if applicants are living together.
— Pictures of your family and your home.

2. Register for MAPP Training at 305-779-9609.

3. First adoption home visit. The visit will occur after you complete the 3rd session of MAPP training.

4. Second adoption home visit: This visit occurs after you complete the MAPP training.

5. Matching process: the adoption unit and your family gather to make a decision about the child that will best match your family.

6. Getting-to-know-process: several child studies with pictures are presented to the family.

7. A blind visit is arranged and parents meet the child in a non-challenged and friendly environment.

8. The family will interview with the selected child’s therapist, case manager , teachers, foster parents and other significant people in the child’s life.

9. The family and the case manager arrange a visit plan that gradually introduces the child to the family members, the home and their community.

10. The family and the agency agree on a placement plan that gradually moves the child into the family, their school and the community.

The family signs documentation agreeing to receive the child in their family for the purpose of adoption. The state agrees to subsidize the adoption, and provide Medicaid to cover the child’s health needs. CHARLEE shares custody with the parents for a minimum of 90 days and until both parties agree to finalize the adoption. CHARLEE also provides services to the family such as individual and family therapy to help in the process.

CHARLEE and the parents agree that the family is ready to accept permanent responsibility for the child, and they are ready to commit to such responsibility before a judge.


This and so much more can be found on the CHARLEE website.