author, mom, analyst, public speaker, over thinker, family lover, kindness doer, beach goer, faith believer, Disney fan, music lover, adventure enthusiast, foster & adoption promoter, diversity supporter, equality advocate,
& most of the time... optimist!
Graduated from the University of Arkansas where I obtained my bachelor's degree with emphasis in Human Resources. Have been writing in journals for therapy and fun for nearly 35 years. Started my professional career 25 years ago in an extremely empowering industry for women... TRUCKING! Okay maybe not so much. Spent the first couple of years facing down stereotypes and discrimination. I've worked my way through individual contributor and manager positions across Sales, Communications, Education, Analytics and Solutions Development & Design.
In 2009, after several failed pregnancies and experiencing multiple adoption frauds, I successfully adopted my daughter in a dramatic, yet amazing forty-eight hours after her birth. This chaotic experience and the story of my own life launched my dream of writing children's books. In early 2014, I started a small business and launched my first children's book series under the same name; My Kind of Family. In 2015 I became a foster parent and have added two boys (and many stories) to our family through this process.
Interesting Fact: many years before the movie release, I once auditioned for the roll of Wonder Woman at a local WB store. I was told they had interest in using me for store visits once the movie rolled out. Sadly it was delayed for 10 years!
I was inspired to begin writing by the many facets of my personal life. As a survivor of an unfortunate childhood trauma, I understand the value and need for open communication with your child.
When it comes to life experience... let's just say my spectrum is pretty broad. From winning the Arkansas State High School Debate Championship to having a commercial drivers license and working assembly line shift-work. From being a Christian Camp counselor and Youth Pastor to booking bands and working with club owners to promoting independent female musicians. From being an Arkansas Razorback Pom Squad member and FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) member to working as a cashier, Railway hostess, and waitress while completing college and volunteering for the NWA (Northwest Arkansas) Battered Women's Shelter and coaching Special Olympics.
"I live, alive. No regrets, because it's the lessons I've learned
through pain that have made me who I am today. Faith
and Family are very important to me. It is my Faith that
helped me survive when the practice of "cutting" would
come and go throughout my life. "
I've endured the sadness of a miscarriage and multiple failed insemination attempts, been the victim of TWO horrible fraud incidents while attempting private adoption and happily rejoiced in the thrill of a finalized adoption. I'm a foster parent who managed through a precious 3 year old's tantrums, self harm incidents and destructive behaviors as he allowed love to come into his heart and replace fear, pain and abandonment. This past February we adopted our third child after having him as a foster son for 15 months. He currently has G-button for liquid intake as he works to overcome a swallow dysfunction.
I LOVE being creative, talking about fostering and adoption and sharing my Faith! After losing my step-brother in a freak winter storm and watching the lives of our foster children change with LOVE, I'm eager to share what My Kind of Family means to me and learn what it means to others!
Available for speaking on the following topics:
- Overcoming struggles with childhood trauma
- Parenting (As an LGBT parent, during a pandemic, etc.)
- Understanding struggles with foster and adoption
- For educators - what to expect from LGBT parents
- Becoming a children's book author
- At Schools (online now) - about kindness and character development.
I am currently working on additional tools for "Let's Do Something Together" as a resource for K-3rd grade teachers in meeting their Diversity and Inclusion teaching requirements. I've updated "Understand How You Feel" and "Never Doubt You're Loved" to versions that don't require coloring. I'm hoping to release those two with the second book in the Adventures in Sockland series before the end of 2020.