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March | 2014 | Stop Eating Money | Page 2

Archive for March 2014

Four Ways to Have Better Synergy


As we celebrate International Women’s Day, I honor and celebrate all women who are doing amazing things! Despite our successes, many of us need more synergy. Synergy was hot term in the early 1980’s, but some people still don’t understand it. Oxford Dictionary defines synergy as “the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.”

Synergy comes from an ancient Greek word, synergia, which means working together. Dr. Edward Hoffman noted, “… Maslow popularized the term synergy to describe work teams in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” The one thing that I’ve had to learn is to have more balance in my life. And I am not alone in my need to change my approach! Women are known to have difficulty separating our professional and personal lives.

In an article, “Martha Beck discusses the importance of building a barrier between the way you make your living and the way you live.” She offers helpful tips that can help any woman be more successful. I am working every day to be more successful. Having better synergy is key! I have accomplished many of my goals, including the following: becoming an educator, purchasing several properties, and starting a non-profit organization.

Despite healthy relationships with my loved ones, I also accomplished my goal by being more involved the last two years. Although many of my dreams have come true, I still have dreams that I want to become realities. I want to complete my doctoral degree, and I want my non-profit organization to change the world. I realize that I must make sure all four aspects of life (be, know, feel, and do) interact to have better synergy in my life. You can do it too!

The four ways to have better synergy are as follows:

1. Despite your career, be present in the lives of your loved ones. Appreciate your time.

2. Know what works for you (and doesn’t work) and make changes. Evaluate and reevaluate.

3. Maintain a spiritual relationship; so, you can go boldly to your Source when you feel weak.

4. Do what it takes to have more energy, including exercise.

Have you had trouble balancing your life? Please share how you gained better synergy (or how you plan to do it).

More Truth & Lies About Adoption


After hearing so many sad stories, I did my research last year! Afterwards, I wrote the following post: “Truth and Lies about Adoption.” An attorney’s recent post offers more insight into the difficulties with adoption:

“Over the years, I have thrown out the words “adoptions are not for the faint of heart” as sort of a warning that adoption journey is not always a smooth ride. However, it seems that the warning may need some bolstering or bulking up. Conferring with other adoption professionals, it seems that we are facing a greater litany of issues with each placement.

For the last ten years or so, I was immensely proud of the fact that the vast majority of my placements went smoothly and without incident. Certainly there were turns and twists and bumps in the road (hence the “faint heart” warning) but in recent months, it seems that the majority of matches/placements have been experiencing catastrophic issues that require major triage to repair.

Just in the first seven weeks of this year (in no particular order), two of my expectant mothers seem to have fallen off the wagon and are unable to address their addiction issues, another was evicted and needed new housing, another experienced a bed bug infestation and needed to be relocated and another was kicked out her home by the birth father. In two cases, unexpectedly men have shown up and claimed to be the father of the child to be born (mind you, men that were not divulged previously).

In one case, the race of the child at birth did not match the race of the parents…meaning putative father was not the putative father. In another case, some basic miscommunication regarding some expenses led to the mistaken belief that the birth mother was “misappropriating” funds. Another birth mother told her doctor’s office that she was not going through with the adoption in a moment of doubt and the ensuing consequences of that comment set everyone on edge for a week.

In one horrific sets of circumstances, it appears that one expectant mother withheld the fact that she had had a miscarriage at some point of the pregnancy and proceeded to mislead EVERYBODY in her life until her due date came and went. While it is likely a criminal case and civil suit will be forthcoming, that doesn’t repair the broken hearts.

In another tragic situation, a previously successfully placement has been disrupted due to the erratic behavior of the birth mother (post-placement) causing the adoptive family to make the impossible choice of stopping the adoption due to the fear of lifetime of intimidation and threats from the birth mother. Nothing will ever heal that wound entirely.

In another case, the adopting mother received a call from the the birth mother telling her that she had just been advised that the birth father’s mother was committed to undoing the placement from late last year. Legally, the placement is sound but that doesn’t help the family sleep well until the final adoption.

These are the ones that just come to mind this morning. It would appear that I am not alone in the turmoil. As part of the close knit adoption professionals community, we all keep each other advised of the current state of affairs. Most of the folks who place on a regular basis are finding turbulent travels, as well.

Mind you, I am not birth mother bashing in any way. The placement yesterday of Baby Z and the finalization of the Adoption of Baby W yesterday are two great examples of smooth placements with no issues. But it seems they are the exception this year and not the rule. And the most of the circumstances of the nightmares listed above are explainable and understandable.

I still hold fast in my belief that the vast majority of expectant mothers are very well-intentioned and committed to do the best for their child. Of course, there are some very bad apples that sour the whole bushel. The same could be said for adoption professionals and certainly for adoptive parents, as well.

I write this more to explain to those new to the world of adoption that all is not rosy. I stress the need for everyone to be mindful of the warning signs. In recent years, the process of adoptions has become more transparent and that sometimes leads to the abuse of the process. I am still the greatest advocate of transparency in the adoption process but we need to on our toes all the time.

Often I will see complaints about how expensive adoptions can be. I do agree that many private adoptions are out of most people’s financial means. But if it was more widely known what the day to day issues are that confront adoption professionals, perhaps there would be some greater understanding on what drives the costs up.

To all you wonderful folks out there who are placing your child or have placed your child, I am so sorry if I have give the impression that birth parents are a sorry lot. Nothing could be further from the truth. You provide the greatest gift to so many. Yesterday, I was walking out of the hospital with the mother of Baby Z. I pulled her aside and whispered in her ear as I gave her a hug that “no matter what anyone says about you, you are a great mother. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.”-Mark R. Miller, Esquire-Adoption Attorney

For more about Mark R. Miller, visit this website. Feel free to contact him via email (miller@fordmiller.com). You can also “Like” his Facebook Fan Page.

Photo of the Week: Women’s History Month


How will you celebrate Women’s History Month? It is a time set aside each March to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments that women have made throughout history. I will also devote time to honor the women in my life. I am grateful for an awesome mother who demonstrated character, courage, and commitment. Because of her, I can…!

My great-grandmother taught me to be fearless, and my grandmother taught me to be patient. My godmother encouraged me to push beyond any barriers to achieve my goals. Limitations are just God’s opportunities; so, excuses are unacceptable! My sister and my nieces continue to demonstrate that it is okay to reflect my outer beauty.

My sorority sisters as well as my friends encourage me to relax and celebrate life. I have been truly blessed with amazing women in my life! Although I celebrate them on a regular basis, I honor them during the month of March. This year’s theme ensures that we will take time to remember more women who have not received recognition for their efforts.

What will you do in recognition of Women’s History Month? Please comment.