Thoughts on Adoption

The other day I came across the cutest video where a little girl was talking to her adoptive mother about the day she was adopted and how happy it made her. Because of this, I started to think more about adoption, the number of people who are involved in that process, and how it affects them. Here’s what I found, based on an article put together by the Adoption Network:

  1. Most adoptions (non-step-parent adoptions) are from the foster care system
    1. There are almost 115,000 children in foster care who can’t be returned to their families and need to be adopted. Not all foster parents can adopt the children they care for because there are often many children in a foster parent’s house at a time. The average age of these children is 8 years old. Foster care adoptions make up 59% of all adoptions in the United States, while 26% are children from foreign countries and 15% are American children who were voluntarily given up by their parents.
  2. Most people have had some contact with adoption
    1. There are millions of adopted Americans, and hundreds of millions of people who have had adoption touch their family in some way. While many of these people may have been adopted by a step-parent, a large number were adopted out of foster care or as a baby.
  3. There are no statistics on how many people are waiting to adopt
    1. Just like there are many children waiting to be adopted, prospective parents also may have to wait for a long time to adopt a child. Some estimate that there are almost two million parents waiting to adopt, but there are no actual statistics available on this subject. 

If there are thousands of children in foster care waiting to be adopted and millions of people wanting to adopt a child, why are they not all adopted immediately? The truth is that many people who are looking to adopt can’t have children themselves, and want the experience of raising a baby. They’re not likely to be able to adopt a newborn out of foster care, so instead they have to wait for someone to voluntarily give up their child. Foster care children usually also have siblings, and some people are only looking to adopt one child at a time.

Prospective adoptive parents have a lot to consider about the route they’re going to take to adopt their child. Many lawyers who practice family law can help with adoptions, too. Karen Alexander, a lawyer based out of Denton, Texas, says hiring a lawyer to help with the adoption process makes a difference because of the qualifications a prospective adopter needs to meet. Lawyers help people stay on top of these qualifications while also offering advice about their next steps.

People who thought they’d missed their chance at a loving family can be brought together through adoption. Hopefully, we’ll continue to see more people who really need it – the older children in foster care, for example – being adopted in the future.

Tips on Enjoying a 21st Birthday Night Out

For a lot of young adults in the United States, their 21st birthday is a night to remember. It’s the first night that they can go into a bar and drink! So they’ll get dressed up, pile a bunch of their friends into a taxi, and go to their first bar and paint the town red. If your 21st birthday is coming up soon, here are some tips to make it as fun (and safe) as possible!

  • Drink water before going out

A common thing is to not drink a lot of water before heading out, as to not “break the seal” and spend half of the night in the bathroom. It’s better to use the restroom a lot than to drink too much alcohol and end up dehydrated halfway through the evening. Drinking plenty of water can also cut back on the severity of your first hangover.

  • Eat something beforehand

Now, I don’t recommend a super heavy meal, because nausea and vomiting can set in pretty quickly, but a properly balanced meal can give you the energy you need to get through the night feeling great.

  • Pace yourself

A recent trend on social media is to take 21 shots the night of your 21st birthday. Don’t. Just don’t. Your body cannot process that much alcohol that quickly, and you’ll be lucky if the worst thing that happens is a night spent getting sick in your bathroom. Alcohol poisoning can be fatal, so don’t overdo it your first night out.

Besides, everyone wants to remember their 21st birthday, don’t they? You’ll have a much better time if you go slow and steady, making sure to alternate with water.

  • Wear comfortable shoes

We all want to look our best when going out and taking photos to commemorate a special occasion! But, if it’s your first night drinking, you’re probably going to be a little bit off-balance after a little while.

In addition to blisters, you can easily hurt your ankle if you slip while walking. Ending the night carrying your heels in your hand is not only gross, but you can easily step on glass or other undesirable things. Ditch the heels and opt for flats or stylish sandals. Spending your big night in the emergency room sounds pretty miserable if you ask me.

  • Don’t get behind the wheel after drinking

Don’t drink and drive. Ever. Anyone who says “I’m a much better driver when I’m drunk because I’m being that much more careful” deserves to have their license revoked.

Chapman Injury Lawyers specialize in collisions with drunk drivers and they have experience with the matter; they say that there is never a single instance in which driving while under the influence is a good idea.

Consider taking a ride-share service or asking a friend to be your designated driver before you go out. A lot of bars will offer free soda or non-alcoholic drinks to people who say that they’re driving, so if you’re looking to save money but still go out, consider being the chauffeur for the night! A solid friend group can rotate this job from week to week so everyone has a chance to drive their friends home.

How To Deal With Sleep Problems

I was chatting with my cousins last week while they were over for dinner. The mentioned that they both were having a hard time sleeping recently. One of my cousins just recently had a child, so that’s to be expected. Kids do a number on your sleep schedule no matter how diligent you are. The other one is getting a bit older but there’s no real reason he should be having sleep problems. He mentioned that he wanted to see a professional about it but was scared to go to the doctor. He just felt like seeing a doctor would be a waste of time because he couldn’t point to anything in his life that was causing sleep issues. I empathized with him, and I wanted to help. We spent some time searching the web together and found out about Silent Night Therapy. The doctors at Silent Night Therapy actually specialize in sleep-related problems. Based out of New York, they help people diagnose and treat their sleep problems every day.

The first thing that the doctors can do for patients is try to diagnose the issue. My cousin was suspicious that a doctor would be able to pinpoint the problem, but medical professionals see the importance in things that we may not. A doctor will review your medical history as well as any conditions that run in the family. They will also send you home with a take-home sleep apnea test. Another nice thing that these doctors do is go over your insurance plan with you. Some sleep professionals aren’t covered by standard insurances. They will make sure that you’ll be able to afford treatment with them before you decide to proceed.

After you complete the take-home sleep apnea test, a doctor will review the results and give options for going forward. If you do indeed have sleep apnea, most patients choose an oral fixture to help them get healthy amounts of sleep. If you don’t, a doctor will recommend lots of best practices to help get you sleeping again.

Even if you don’t have a medical condition, there may be some nights where you’re having lots of trouble falling asleep. Things like stress, drinking, and lifestyle changes can cause us to feel restless when it’s bedtime. I want to outline some of the practices that these doctors employ in their own lives when they’re having a hard time getting to sleep. One thing that they recommend is skipping naps. Although naps may be tempting after a long night or a very busy morning, they will come back to haunt you in the evening. Naps disrupt the sleep drive and make it harder to get into a healthy sleep routine. Another tip is picturing words. Counting sheep is the old trick that our parents taught us, but picturing words can help relax us even more. Select a random word as you inhale, and picture it in your mind through an exhale. These tricks will do wonders for anymore trying to get into a healthy sleep rhythm.

Gifts That Your Girlfriend Will Actually Be Excited About

It’s the thought that counts, right? Wrong. Giving a gift that is off-kilter can be more than a little awkward, it can create doubts in an otherwise blossoming relationship. Whether it’s Christmas time, an anniversary, or her birthday, it’s often difficult to find the right gift to give, especially if you are still getting to know each other. If you are looking for gift ideas that your girlfriend will actually be excited to receive, look no further. Here are the best gift ideas for 2018:


If you have been together long enough to have some pictures, a special way to show you care is by organizing some pictures in a photo album or single frame. In order to pull this off, you are going to need to actually get the pictures off of Instagram and print them on legitimate photo paper. If you don’t have a printer, that’s okay. Lots of businesses offer picture printing services for a nominal fee. If you really want to impress her, you might write a little message about why each picture is special to you and share that with her as part of your gift.

Smart Speakers

If your girlfriend is tech savvy or loves to sing in the shower, why not get her a smart speaker that she can control with her voice? Besides playing music, she can set alarms, ask questions, and order things online all with the simple use of her voice. This gift is a great idea if you both live together and you want to make it a surprise. You should expect to spend about thirty minutes or an hour to setup the device.

Spa Day and Hair Salon

If you notice how hard your girlfriend is working lately, maybe she deserves a day at the spa. You can make it a couple’s retreat or give her some special time alone. You may also offer to take her to a fancy hair salon if she’s been talking to you about getting her hair done. It’s important that you have some confidence before you surprise her with this gift. You don’t want your gift to come across as a subtle judgement about her appearance.

Backpacks and Purses

Accessories are awesome, and everyone loves some new gear. Purses and backpacks are a great gift for girls who are always on the run, but you should do some homework before you purchase this gift. Look around online to see what is popular and trendy, and get her something that is hot right now. If you try to give her a bargain bag, she may act excited but don’t expect her to use it very often. For an added surprise, you can fill the bag with other goodies like dark chocolate, lotion, and a stuffed animal.

The best advice is to spend a little bit of time thinking about your partner and what you honestly think she would enjoy. If she totally rejects your gift after you spent some time picking it out, maybe it’s just not meant to be.

Confessions of sleep apnea

I have a confession, folks: I snore. Now, that’s no surprise to my wife or my kids, who, bless them, have had to listen to a chainsaw running all night long for who knows how many nights o their lives, but it is a sort of embarrassing confession to make to the wider world.

Snoring is always such a comical and unpleasant quality. We laugh at it in movies, and we sympathize with the fellow sleepers who eventually smack the guilty party with pillows until they wake up and leave the room.

That’s exactly what happened to me. Or, not the pillow beatings, but I was exiled from the bedroom. For years, my wife and I slept separately on most nights, and the culprit was my snoring.

That’s an even harder confession. It makes my marriage sound like it’s some platonic ‘50s sitcom relationship. It’s never been that, I assure you, but it’s hard to write such words knowing people, somewhere are scoffing and making jokes.

So, why am I writing this? Because, I finally worked up the courage to tell somebody about my problem—a doctor—and that doctor told me that I wasn’t just the dunce in a comedy film who annoyed his family, I actually had a problem, and I could get it fixed.

The long and short of it is, I have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when you stop breathing while you’re asleep. That can be as serious as it sounds. Luckily, I’m not a serious case at the moment, and doubly luckily, there are things to be done to help. My doctor sent me to some sleep apnea specialists who were able to hook me up with a device that keeps me from apnea-ing, or whatever the verb is there.

Look, amazingly, I’m feeling better and doing better almost instantaneously. I feel healthier, and I think I’m losing weight. Maybe that’s just my imagination, but I feel like I’m getting back to the man I used to be.

It’s nice to know I won’t have to get kicked out of bed anymore and my kids can sleep when we share a hotel room on vacation. It’s just, it’s miraculous.

So, again, why am I writing this? I’m revealing all of this personal information to the world just in case someone out there reading this has the same troubles.

It’s not the worst kind of suffering in the world, but it is tough on a family when someone has a severe case of sleep apnea like I did. If you’ve got problems with snoring, get up the gumption to tell your doctor. Stop putting it off. It isn’t that embarrassing.

Trust me, the results prove it was worth it. I wish I’d looked into this years ago. Life is so much better now I am getting a good night’s sleep every night. I’m sure my wife would say the same thing.

Car Accidents: Who is to Blame?

Getting involved in a car accident is one of the worst things that can happen to you. It can create personal problems, including injuries, deaths, and possibly lost companionships. It can create financial problems, such as those that involve medical costs, property repair costs, funeral costs, and lost wages because of lost time at work.
Because of the severe damages, everybody should act to prevent car accidents. But still, car accidents are common occurrences in our roads. Who is to blame?
According to the website of this Milwaukee car accident injury lawyer, those who have been hurt in car accidents may have legal options, such as taking the responsible person to court. But who is this responsible party, exactly?
Negligence and reckless are the concepts that may determine fault. These behaviors may be done by different kinds of people, such as the following.


Obviously, the most common persons to blame are drivers. They are the ones controlling the vehicles, so they should be held liable if their vehicles have caused accidents, injuries, or deaths. Drivers can be considered negligent and reckless if they do the following:

  • Distracted driving
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Reckless driving behaviors, such as tailgating, not using turn signals, and weaving through traffic
  • Speeding
  • Street racing


Auto defects are some of the most ignored causes of car accidents, even though they are equally as dangerous as the other causes. The most common defects include airbags, child safety seats, door latches, seatbelts, and tires.
Designers and manufacturers can be held liable if an accident and injury has occurred because of something that is related to the design and quality of the product.

Local Governments

Hazardous road conditions can also trigger car accidents. Usually, local governments are responsible for the creation and maintenance of the roads in their jurisdictions. So, if they have failed to commit to this responsibility, like when they have failed to fix malfunctioning traffic lights or potholes, they may be held liable for the accidents that have been caused by these roads defects.

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