Mother’s Day and the Timeline to Adoption

I posted this on Facebook yesterday:

Next year I will be celebrating Mother’s Day with my own child. *shivers*

To which, amongst others, received this comment:

How quickly will you guys have your little one?

To which I responded and also thought.. what a great blog post!

This is the timeline that we’re working with at the moment:

  • Our orientation class is June 20th.
  • From there, we will sign up for our 10 weeks of PRIDE classes (PDF link) which should end right around my birthday in August/September.
  • After that, we will have our home study done – I was told it had to be completed within 90 days of completion of our classes – so by the end of November.
  • While that home study is being completed, we will be looking at all the photolistings of children.
  • Once our home study is approved for adoption, we will select children we want more information about based on their limited online profiles and our social worker will reach out to their social worker and see if we’re a match. If we are, we will get their file and arrange to meet him/her/them.
  • The timeframe from here on is a little shaky as we really don’t know how long this can take.
  • After we spend time with him/her/them, we will have a few sleepovers, then they will move in.
  • If all goes well, 6 months later, we will finalize the adoption in court and apply for new birth certificates.

There are hundred of thousands of children in US foster care. Roughly 40% of them are legally free and available for adoption. The term “special needs” refers to children due to specific factors or conditions such as being over 8, having a particular racial or ethnic background, being part of a sibling group needing to be placed together, medical conditions, and physical, mental, or emotional handicaps.

Now, why do I keep saying “him/her/them” – we have not fully decided boy or girl or one of each. If we can move into a 3-4 bedroom home, we can open our home and lives up to more children. 2 is our max sibling group size at the moment. I do still want a boy and a girl, but we’ve been told that they need their own rooms. So, master, boy room, girl room, office = 4 bedrooms. Unless we can find a super huge master bedroom or a closet-less den to use for an office, we can go to a 3 bedroom.

Anyone know of 3-4 bedroom 2-3 bathroom homes in the Palmetto Bay/ Cutler Bay, West Kendall area for under $1,400 a month? Our current lease is up in August so we’re on the hunt for new digs!


One Year Later

Here’s a disclaimer for you… I wrote this long, beautiful, tear-worthy post 2 nights ago. Then I updated my blog without backing it up and lost the post. I also lost the last 18 months of posts, changes, etc, but thanks to GoDaddy, that stuff is all back. The amazing post, lost. Forever.

I will eventually attempt to re-create it.

But for now, I will write about a beautiful woman that my children will never meet. My grandmother.




She was an awesome lady and I miss her terribly.

She was my last living grandparent – Steve’s too – so our children will never have great grandparents. I still have 3 great aunts on my mom’s side and who know what family I have on my father’s side – he has no known blood family. And unless my brothers have kids, they won’t have any cousins they’ll see on a regular basis either. We have 4 nephews on Steve’s side. I’ve met 2 of them once, and the other 2 I will likely never meet.

But alas, family. I feel for my kids for never having known this cool lady. She was a world traveler, professional ballroom dancer, Realtor, hotel owner (on South Beach no less!). She vacationed in Cuba, rode camels in Egypt, and lived in the same house my mom grew up in to the very end.

The list of her accomplishments is long and distinguished…
– Civic leader and community activist.
– Pioneering member of Temple Beth Am in Kendall
– Past president of Coral Division of NCJW
– Active member of GMJF
– Founder at Miami Jewish Home
– Concert Association and Cancer Link
– Loyal member of the board and dinner committee of the Theodore R.Gibson Memorial Fund
– Business woman
– Hotel owner
– Partner with Fashion designer the late Raoul Arango
– Assistant district Sales Manager for Keyes Company
– Mentor to many young realtors
– Competitive ball room dancer in her spare time

Mimi Abel | October 5, 1920 – May 9, 2012


Let’s Start at the Very Beginning

Well hello there!

This has been a big couple of weeks in the Fletcher home. Two weekends ago, we decided that, yes, it’s time to expand our family. With a human child. Or 2. (as opposed to another furbaby…)

As the first post in my newly revised blog into an Adoption Blog, I’m just going to post all the updates I made on my Facebook the past few weeks.














So there you have it. The facebook updates. Coming up will be my [extremely long] elevator speech about the children, the process, and everything else.


The Long Drive from Homestead to Miami Beach

I voice recorded this 1/5/12 driving to work at 6am. It’s now 1/7/12 at 5:30pm. Yeah, my life is very different these days. No time!

My life has been completely insane lately! I am currently in voice recording this as I drive the 45 miles to work from Homestead to Miami Beach. The same as I’ve done everyday this week and for several days in the preceding weeks. It’s a long drive, but if I leave early enough, around 5:45am, I get there with so little [sara lee – what?!] traffic and get there around 6:30am and I relax in the car – and sometimes fall asleep – until 7am when I walk inside.

So this is now my life. Or at least for as long as we live in Homestead. Getting up at 4am – okay, let’s be honest, I don’t get outta bed until about 4:35am – then  shower, make my lunch (as long as I forgot to make it the night before), and get out of the house and on the road by about 5:45am. My very first official week has been ridiculous because I’ve been working from 7am to about 3:30-4pm most days. We have our huge annual event, which I walked right into the tail end of the final planning stages, this coming Sunday the 8th. So, needless to say, the days are very long  with wrapping up everything, thank you’s and tax letters signed and mailed, confirming all the reservations etc. My life has been full immersion in this job with extremely long hours. By the time I typically get home, I’d have been out of the house for 12+ hours.

After the event on Sunday I believe we’re all taking off Monday and then it should be back to a normal schedule of leaving around 2 or 2:30, but I need to check on that. But in the meantime I don’t leave until almost 4 o’clock get home around 5:30-6:00 and stay up for a couple of hours and then try to get to bed by 10. I say try because nothing ever works in my life I turn the television off around 10, get the dishes done and I’m usually in bed by about 10:30. Getting up at 4am, or rather the alarm clock going off at 4am, is just not enough sleep for me. I think once Steve leaves at 9pm to go to work, I should just get my stuff done and go to sleep and not even try waiting until 10. My body does not know what to do with itself as I’m constantly exhausted because these are the longest days I’ve worked in a very long time.

I have no time to get on the internet at work and don’t usually feel like getting online when I get home. I only have a little bit of time to get some stuff done at night, so if I wanted to put a blog post out, I guess this is the only way to do it. Hey I might as well kill the 45 minutes in the car, right? I realize last night that I haven’t posted since last year. Holy smokes it’s 2012… where did 2011 go? I swear it was just January 1st, 2011. This year completely flew by and now we’re on to the next. Who knows, maybe this’ll be the year we start our family! However, at the rate I’m going I’ll be burned out and have absolutely no time to do anything with adoption or even start a plan on having a family. But on the upside we have a look at a couple of houses and hopefully we will be able to rent something within the next month. Hooray!

But back to the job for a second, every day multiple times a day my new boss tells me how happy she is and how much my being there is helping her. That makes me feel really great. The last girl didn’t even bother to work her full 2 weeks notice.. she just decided to leave one day. And right before the huge event. Bad timing!! I am really happy that I took this job and so far I really like my coworkers. I keep meeting new people every single day and it’s a completely different world than I’ve ever known. Everybody is Jewish, obviously, and so nice. The dress code is a little sticky but I’m dealing with it. Take for instance yesterday it was 38 degrees when I left my house which means I had to wear my skirt with leggings, knee socks, and boots underneath and was actually pretty warm.

However I had to go and buy a ball gown for the event. I found one and it is gorgeous! The only problem is I need to find something to wrap around the top of it because well my girls are really big. And in this crowd I might get some really funny looks, but that’s okay. I respect that I have to wear certain things in order to work in this environment. I might have mocked it in the past, but it doesn’t mean I can’t and don’t respect it. At least now I’m learning about a culture that is part of who I am just to much more extreme degree.

I have no plans on going Kosher and respect that the school is kept Kosher. No ham and cheese sandwiches in my lunch! OK, be prepared for another post tomorrow with more exciting news!


Catch Up Post & a Pumpkin Cranberry Biscuit Recipe

So, um, hi there. I can’t believe it’s been nearly 3 weeks since I’ve been here. Lots been happening in my time away. Such as, in chronological order…

  • I ditched my iPhone for a Samsung Infuse 4G. Yep, I went Android. And I freakin L-O-V-E it! 
  • I designed a knitting pattern for a Checkered Ribs Cowl. And had it tested by a great group of ladies on Ravelry that loved it so much, they each knit 2 versions of it.
  • Discovered Texts From Bennett which turned out to be a fake blog, but that doesn’t stop me from laughing until there are tears streaming down my face.
  • Hubby got back into twitter bc he finally upgraded to a smart phone. His. Mine.
  • And then he joined FourSquare. His. Mine.
  • I cooked a lot. Potato soup.
  • And baked.
  • Re-read the whole Hunger Games trilogy. Mmm love.
  • Found some old friends of Facebook.
  • I interviewed for a job – which required lots of shopping for “modest” clothing due to the religious nature of the position.
  • And then I got that job. What what..! (I will actually do a full post on this once I begin on January 2nd.)
  • Thanks to Facebook, I saw a friend get engaged. Another give birth. And another get married.
  • Looked for a new place to live. After all, driving from Homestead to Miami Beach and sitting in traffic for 2 hours each way every day does not sound like a fun plan to me.
  • Lola got worms. Eww, I know, but they’re being handled.
  • We toured Babies R Us one evening and picked out the nursery furniture and crib bedding for out future kids. No, I’m not pregnant. They had the nearest bathroom and then we didn’t leave for another 45 minutes. If you’re wondering, dark wood and monkeys.
  • Hubby found out he has a nasty respiratory problem – inherited from his father and could pass it to our kids. Well, if we have biological ones, that is.

And all this is courtesy of the new timeline on Facebook. Damn, that thing is helpful!

And now a recipe… Cranberry Pumpkin Breakfast Biscuits
(Snagged from Dig This Chick. She adapted it from this recipe.)

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dried cranberries (I used fresh cranberries, chopped into pieces.)

Preheat oven to 375*.

  1. In a large mixing bowl, or your stand mixer bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
  2. Beat in vanilla, egg and pumpkin.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Or, you know, don’t sift it. I sure didn’t.
  4. Stir cranberries into mixture until well blended.
  5. Spoon heaping spoonfuls of batter on a prepared cookie sheet. (This means parchment paper… until I ran out of trays and used muffin tins.)
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

They will be soft and moist and divine! I made these for my aunts 60th birthday party and had to walk out of the kitchen to avoid eating more than one of them. Oh yes, I probably could’ve eaten the whole batch. So good!


Lightning over Miami

Lightning over Miami |

I took this photo on July 17, 2011 around 6:45pm heading south on SW 137th Avenue and about 184th Street in Miami, FL. It was one of many from my iPhone and the only one that actually got some lightning flashed in it.

Steve already said I need to blow this up and print it out. Wonder if I can Etsy it too… 😉


Finally… Party Time!

Tomorrow is the day. Finally. We’ve been planning this party/ wedding reception for a little under 3 months. Ya know, had to bask in the glow of our wedding/ Vegas trip for a few weeks. 😉

Tomorrow I get to see all the family I haven’t seen in ages, even the estranged half that, quite frankly, shocked me by saying they were coming. I get to see friends flying and driving in from all over the country to celebrate with us.

Tonight we are celebrating my amazing husband’s [huge milestone] birthday with my Twitter/ FB friends Sarah and Simon. Incidentally, it’s also Simon’s birthday! Had our friends Leung and Nancy been able to make it, we’d have a triple birthday for the 3 guys. Weird, huh?

Yesterday and today were spent shopping for, buying and prepping all the food, cleaning up the yard, rolling the flatware, cleaning up our house, making all the signs, buying the centerpieces, and doing everything else required to have a rather large party at the house. Mom, dad and I hit up BJ’s Warehouse Club yesterday and spent a small fortune on the non-perishable stuff like the plates, flatware, soda, [11 bottles of] wine, chafing dishes, and so much more. Today mom and I went back for the food. Sure, we could’ve done it all in one trip, but it seems slightly less painful to the wallet this way. Hey, I did say slightly!

During all this, I recalculated our budget. I was really surprised to find that in the grand scheme of things, we spent a LOT less money than I thought we’d have spent. And, of course, we spent thousands of dollars less catering everything ourselves than had we used a professional catering company.

We have been extremely fortunate with our super talented friends and family. The main side dishes are being made by my [for all intent’s and purposes] sister-in-law’s grandmother. Desserts are being made by myself, my mom, my brother and my SIL’s sister. All the decorations, signage, favors, I am making, except for the centerpieces themselves. We’re getting plants and I really do have too black a thumb to have grown them. 😉 The tents and chairs were loaned to us by my SIL’s family and my brother’s union hall. And there’s more… That I’ll need to figure out when I write that recap post for submissions.

After everything is said and done, I plan on submitting the party to a few different wedding websites. Not just for the budget, but for the pictures and everything else.

Oh! That’s another thing. We had a photography budget of $1200 initially, but quickly dropped it to $600. We kinda figured we could find a student or something on Craigslist for $5-600. I know I know, that’s risky. As it turns out, my friend Moe has a friend that lives in Key West who just so happens to be an Emmy award winning photographer/ videographer. And they’re giving us the pictures/ video as our gift. Yeah… I’ll let that sink in for a bit. <3


Party Set-Up… 5 More Days

On an entirely different note, our wedding reception is in 5 days. And I gotta tell you, I cannot wait for it to be here… then be over! I am not putting nearly as much thought and time into the reception as I did with our wedding/ vacation to Las Vegas. It’s going to be truly amazing to see family and friends we haven’t seen in years and to introduce Steve to all of them. Hey, the gifts aren’t that bad either… 😉

I mentioned a few weeks ago about the new location for the reception. It’s in the much larger part of the yard and already beautifully decorated with orchids, bromeliads, bonsai and palm trees. My father is a truly amazing, even if amateur, landscape artist. On Saturday, we (mom, dad, Steve and myself) set up 3 tent frames, trimmed tree branches, moved the tables and benches my father built, and raked up the loose rocks and branches. Dad put down an entire palette of mulch (75 bags!) and then we went back to Home Depot to buy another palette and check our options for the centerpieces. It turned out he needed another half palette, but everything is finally complete. Wow, that’s almost 200 bags!

I’ll leave you with a few pictures of the setup. Kayla and Jake were instrumental in helping by standing on and in front of the golf cart, lying in the grass and licking everyone. The next pictures will likely be after the party. 😀