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The Wisdom of Pandas

Florida is hot.  Just. So. Hot.

To beat the heat several of the theaters offer free summer kids movies.  They are usually a few years old.  But they provide a huge screen experience and all the air-conditioned fun you can handle for 2 ½ hours.

Last week my kiddo and I went to one of our favorite movie, Kung Fu Panda 3.  It’s a favorite for a lot of reasons.  The animation is beautiful.  It’s funny and full of really cute pandas.  But it’s one of my favorites because it such a great adoption movie.

Gone Fishing: A Father's Day Story

My dad taught me an insatiable love of the outdoors, including fishing and boating.  I'm proud that as a grandmother of four at the ripe old age of 60+ I still have my boating license. I tease my husband, who I met at the age of 17, that he hit the jackpot by marrying a girl who already owned a boat! There are few things better than being out on the water.

Nearly every Saturday morning at the first hint of dawn, and for the better part of five years, my dad and I would load a johnboat into the Everglades in proverbial hunt of largemouth bass.

A Piece of Perfection

Children drop into your life.  Not on top but in.

There was a game I used to play as a kid.  It was called Perfection.  There were pieces in different shapes and a board with the corresponding shapes.  You would push the board down, then you had to get all the pieces in before time ran out. When time ran out the board popped and all the pieces would scatter.

I kind of hated this game.  It ticked like a bomb, and then it would pop with an unnecessarily loud noise. Anything short of perfection was failure, and I think this game gave me a complex.

A Picnic To Remember

As I reflect on our recent annual adoption picnic and all that it means to me, I am flooded with an immense sense of gratitude to be able to practice adoption law.

When people realize that I solely handle adoptions, I am often met with responses like, “You get to practice the happy law.” And while a law practice centered around building families is the most rewarding career I can think of, it does not come without the sacrifice made by these courageous birth mothers.

Motherhood, Laying Down on the Job

Mother’s Day weekend is kind of our Super Bowl weekend. (National Adoption Month is our Christmas.) Motherhood is woven into the fiber of what we do.

For Mother’s Day, I asked our social media followers and staff to send us the pictures the most typified motherhood to them.

We received the most fantastic pictures. There were pictures of tearful first hellos, candid moments of laughter and snuggles, generational pictures, with moms, grandmas, kids and grandkids, and there were also honest pictures of messes and boo boos.

My Stephanie

 May 7, 2018

9 Years ago, yesterday was the happiest day of my life. Why? In addition to having a wonderful stepdaughter and a happy and healthy three-year-old, my baby girl, Stephanie, joined our family...making it complete.  But it was a long road to get there.

The Beautiful Tapestry of a Foster Family

Next week, the month of May comes to a rapid start and, with it, the advent of summer.  However, before pining a tidy bow on the month of May, I want to remind you that May is National Foster Care Month.

As adoption professionals, we tip our hat to Florida’s foster parents, who day-in and day-out are the lifelines for many of our state’s precious children. Many of these foster moms and dads nurture these kids for a time but ultimately, bid them adieu when the child is reunified with their biological parents or placed elsewhere.

The Privilege of Watching Them Grow Up

One of the highlights of my job is keeping in touch with the adoptive families after placement and receiving updated photos and videos of the children. 

We get to see quite a bit of our kiddos when they are babies in the hospital, little bundles all snuggly in thier stocking caps. 

 

Adoption Tax Credit

It’s coming.  We all feel it.  Once the year changes, you feel like you have a world of time, and then before you know it, it’s April 17th, Tax Day.

One important thing to remember this ominous weekend is to apply for your adoption tax credit if you finalized your adoption in 2017.

Hope Blooms in Purple

In college, I volunteered with a group that held kid’s clubs in the inner city.  We focused on one neighborhood in Clearwater. We would go into the neighborhood, pick up the kids, (with the permission of their parents) and walk them across the street to a field to play games, sing songs, and such.

The neighborhood was old.  The buildings were fairly run down and the whole of it was tan and dingy. The street of the neighborhood made sort of a “U” shape arrangement. And at the bottom of that “U” was a tree.

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