Foster Roadmap

I’ve been mentoring foster kids for about 5 years. I’m no stranger to the system. However, I’m also far from an expert.

Since I felt the call to pivot and focus on this new Adventure of fostering I’ve been looking to reacquaint myself with the system and begin to understand what the roadmap looks like. How are we going to go from life partners who travel constantly to parents?

Kirk and I have been navigating the relationship side of this and have a solid plan. We’re saving for a house and planning to move in together this summer.

What hasn’t been clear is what exactly the government is going to look for as evidence of our stability to qualify.

That was cleared up this weekend! My church happened to host a foster info session and there were experts there that answered most of my questions. I discovered that much of what I thought I knew is outdated and/or rumors. So it was great to get solid info.

Turns out we’re on the right track in most areas.

They look for stability in our relationship as a couple, stable income sufficient to support a kid (the government offers some financial support but it’s given after the fact as a reimbursement), legal history, emotional stability and a stable support system.

Co-habitating will show the stability of our relationship and some time in one city (vs nomading) will help too. We both have clean records and have done a lot of self-development work on our emotional stability. My family is a killer support system and we have tons of friends in Orlando which is why we’re here. Mostly in good shape!

However.

I need to get some steady, reliable income.

Self-employment is okay in theory, but they’d be looking for stable income over time which I haven’t had, especially since I’ve played so heavily with bartering. I suspected this may be the case so I’ve been searching for a remote part-time job for a while. Like a year. Now that I have confirmation that the job could make the difference in my ability to foster has lit a fire – I’m off to research and find the perfect job that I know is just waiting for me. Wish me luck!

The Newest Adventure

Adventure can describe a lot of different scenarios.

For a long time, the Adventures of Sunni involved me honing my intellect and leapfrogging my way up the corporate ladder.

For the past three years, Adventure has involved me living a nomadic lifestyle, living out of my suitcase traveling around the world.

For the past 6 months, Adventure has involved me wandering around the US on an endless road trip.

Now, it’s time to embark on a new type of Adventure – creating a family.

I have returned to my childhood home, while I will always be a traveler my nomading days are behind me. My new Adventure is focused on becoming a foster parent to teenagers. This is no small task. The system looks for stability in foster parents and a nomadic lifestyle is not that. So I will spend the next 18 months returning to a more traditional lifestyle, mentoring foster kids, completing classes and generally proving my ability to be stable and become responsible for kids.

I have wanted to foster for as long as I can remember. Specifically teens as they are an often neglected demographic and I really enjoy them. I’ve been mentoring teens as they age out of foster care for about 5 years and I’m ready to go deeper, get closer and work with them younger.

Lately, much of my time has been invested in creating online group programs and working with folks 1:1 as an Intuitive Strategist. I guide my clients in designing a life they love through the practical application of spiritual principles. It has been so fulfilling and rewarding to see adults discover their own power and really define their own path through life. I am  eager to take this to the next level in working with teens.

An element of this new Adventure that is really exciting for me is that I’m not alone. Kirk is very much onboard and we are in this together, we are ready to start a family together, in our own way. I’m grateful for his partnership as patience is going to be needed and that is something he excels at far more than I. Not only in working with the kids but in the steps required to get us to that point, groundwork must be laid and of course, I want it now! 🙂

I’ll share more about the experience of shifting modes and entering the system to foster as things unfold.

How bad do you want it?

I spent the past week planning and prepping to shift my life to road-tripping mode. In the midst of my planning the Universe decided to ask me:

just how bad do you want this?

Since I spent the past several months hanging at my Partner’s place I’d accumulated a decent amount of belongings out of my storage unit. Also, last year I lived out of my Condo (aka suitcase) and revisited my Storage unit every 4-6 weeks.

With the endless roadtrip I’ll have lots of extra space (I mean, a whole car!), but I won’t be able to get to my Storage Unit regularly.

It took me about 20 hours to go through everything, put things away in Storage, choose what to go into the Condo and what to go into my car. I bought several tools to help me stay organized but ultimately didn’t need most of them. I was worried my trunk was going to be jam packed – it’s not.

Basically what I added to the car was:

– 1 bin of winter clothes
– 1 bin of occasional clothes (dressy, professional, beachwear)
– 1 small bin of craft and biz supplies
– 2 tiny bins of workshops in a box (1 woo woo and 1 biz)
– 1 carry on sized suitcase of linens
– 1 pillow
– 1 suitcase stand

I also put a decent soft cooler and a bag of kitchen supplies into my car. It really wasn’t that much. I’m pretty impressed with my minimalism. Honestly, if you knew me 10 years ago you’d be seriously impressed.

SO

I got everything packed up Saturday night. Sunday morning the plan was to go to church and then go to my parents for the night and then off to Jacksonville Monday morning.

Sunday morning I went bopping out to my car, and well, here’s what happened next:

What I ultimately discovered was, the mechanical issues weren’t a ‘sign’ that I shouldn’t go. Rather, they were an opportunity for me to show God/Universe/Spirit/Divine just how committed I am to taking the actions that align me to my purpose. So I pushed through, found a solution and I’m on my way!

Priorities trump plans

I planned to be based out of Orlando through the holidays, mid-November until the end of the year, that was the plan. My Platonic Wife, Sarah, has a spare room and loves having me stay so being in town for 6-8 weeks, not a problem. I did manage to get away for a week in Vegas with My Guy, Kirk, in December, and the plan became to go back on the road mid-January.

Best people watching spot in Vegas

Then, something happened. Kirk’s mom went to the hospital complaining of chest pain. The drugs they had her on left her groggy which meant she couldn’t be trusted to communicate/process information from the hospital staff so a family member needed to be there most of the time. I put myself in the rotation and did my daily shift, picked up food, reminded people to sleep, shower…you know the routine. Twenty-four days and 1 open heart surgery later she was discharged. Kirk went back to work, I checked in on the Mom-in-Love regularly and began to plan to get back on the road.

Mom-in-love on way home from hospital

Then, something happened. I went to the specialist about Ms. Gallbladder and was informed she needed to be retired. At first the surgeon said it wasn’t urgent, when I described my lifestyle and that I didn’t plan to be back in town until November he said, Never mind, in your case, it’s urgent. So, I got on the schedule to have laparoscopic surgery in late March, thinking I’d be good as new by early April.

Drugged and ready for surgery

As I recovered I began to get excited about the upcoming European trip with Sarah & Kirk, we were all set to leave in late April. I was hoping all of the soul evolution I’d experienced over the past months would gel as I adventured (as tends to happen with me) such that by the time we returned I’d have clarity and be ready to get back on the road.

Then (are you noticing a pattern here?), something happened. Kirk’s sister had surgery a week before we were scheduled to leave for Europe. While the surgery initially seemed to be successful, a couple of days later there were complications and his sister passed on. We sent Sarah off to Europe (more on that later) and I stayed behind to support him through some very difficult weeks filled with funeral arrangements, family drama and the like.

Dude, with all of these plans down the drain, I’m not going to lie, there were some moments of real frustration. I’m a traveler! I belong on the road! Yet. I’m clear on my priorities:

  1. Me
  2. Family
  3. Joy/Freedom (aka Travel)
  4. Business/Money

Supporting my family and taking care of my own health comes first. Period.

It’s funny, last year this time I was faced with a situation where having clear priorities helped. Last year I was considering a return to corporate to support the house I owned, but when I looked at my priorities it made more sense to sell it. I’m so glad I did.

Similarly, this year I’m so glad I stayed in town. Being there allowed some amazing growth and evolution in my relationship with My Guy. Being there for those emotionally charged times in his family also allowed me to see some new things about myself.

Family Bonding Time

The original plan for Europe was to travel as a Triad. I planned everything, I had worked out all of the transportation, most things were in my name, I’d been practicing the languages. I was going to be their guide. Sarah had never traveled alone or been overseas before. I’m so proud of her for having the courage to go solo, so stinking proud. And she had some amazing experiences she wouldn’t have gotten if we’d been with her. (side note, we got a lot of money back given the circumstances of our cancellation, and she used the things that were nonrefundable, so it wasn’t a huge financial hit)

Sarah in Morrocco

The time in Orlando also allowed me to complete all three levels of Reiki training which has opened up a whole new path in my Spiritual evolution. I’ve given dozens of distance healings and realized it’s something I really enjoy and has added another layer to the services I offer in my barters. I also had time to establish some healthy habits with a personal trainer, and deepen some friendships.

Plans are great. I spend a lot of time helping others define a strategy and plans to fulfill that strategy. It’s just as important to have clarity on your priorities so you know when to ignore the plans and go with the flow.

Like I said, I spent time being frustrated by this, and, I quickly came to see the value in the shift in plans to align to my priorities. I think it happened more quickly this year than last and that’s all I can really hope for, to learn and grow along the way.

Grateful for the VonMutii

My last name is VonMutius (von-mew-tee-us), when there’s more than one VonMutius in one place at one time, we call us the VonMutii. I am perpetually honored to be a VonMutii.

For 11 years now my family has prioritized and chosen to take a long weekend, family beach vacation together. This is especially impressive to me since we have no third generation, none of us have kids, we’re all adults. And we still choose to spend time with family.

I use those words intentionally.. Choose. Prioritize.

Lots of folks tell me that they don’t have time or money to do family vacations. Not enough time off, too much money to spend or why would I use my vacation time to be with my crazy family.

My family is close, and works hard at communication and boundaries to allow us to stay close. Each of us makes a conscious decision to prioritize spending time together, we choose to invest our time and together we work out a budget that works for us.

Typically we stay on or near water. We play games, do a puzzle, eat a LOT of awesome food and spend time together.

I love it.

This year My Guy was supposed to join us. He had an amazing job opportunity that conflicted with Family Vacation. Together we decided that the job supported the life and Partnership we’re creating so he emailed my family to tell them he couldn’t join us. Long story short, family offered to move the whole vacation which didn’t work out so Kirk rented a house in Orlando so we could do a one night sleep over, mini stay-cation, that included him.

I know. I am very, very blessed. And, I can’t stress enough, it all comes out of us choosing to prioritize. <3

 

Vacation & Romance

I know to some it seems like my life is one big vacation. It is not, I assure you. I still need to create time to disconnect, unwind and relax. Over the next two weeks I will do just that with My Guy.

His giant hand holding mine

Speaking of My Guy, this seems as good a time as any to share a bit about him. Kirk and I have been close friends for over 20 years. In the past five years or so he’s become one of my very best friends. Over the past year we’ve found ourselves morphing our relationship from friendship to romance.

This has been all sorts of amazing and juicy. And also very weird. But mostly juicy.

It’s weird because we have so much history and know each other so well. Some of the typical relationship phases just got skipped entirely.

It’s juicy in that we have very well established rhythms and ways of communicating that worked as friends but not so much as Partners so we’re both having to learn, evolve and adjust in our communication. Also juicy in that we have both been pushed to really grow as individuals in order for this Partnership to work – we both like growth, so that’s good. 🙂

Sarah, Kirk and I on a ‘family’ beach weekend.

Also, for clarity’s sake it seems wise for me to mention at this point, in addition to my Partnership with Kirk I also have a Partnership with my Platonic Wife, Sarah. I’ve also known Sarah for about 20 years. I’m very blessed – I know.

Anyhow, today Kirk and I embark on our first road trip together and, at 12 days the longest period of time spent together. Wish us luck and follow me on Instagram for pics and updates as I doubt I’ll be sharing much here.