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Mississippi Family Law

Family is a Choice

I think one of the scariest things a person faces when divorcing in Mississippi, or anywhere for that matter, is that their family will look differently.  A family is supposed to be a mommy, daddy, two kids (a boy and a girl), a house with a picket fence and a dog named Barkley, right?  The daddy works from 9 to 5 and not on the weekends and mommy stays home and does housework and pilates, with cookies and milk waiting for the kids when they get off the bus, as Barkley obediently sits next to her side, tail wagging and tongue appropriately extended.  At night, they play board games, read books and do their homework before dozing off to a peaceful sleep in their matching twin beds. Read More

Adoption, Mentoring and Teen Pregnancy

By now you probably know that Mississippi ranks the highest in teen pregnancy nationwide.   Check out this recent news report.    According to Governor Bryant and his Plan to Prevent and Reduce Teen Pregnancy in Mississippi, youth in Mississippi are burdened with high rates of adverse life circumstances such as: Read More

200 Million Flowers Update

A few people have asked me whether or not I am going to quit practicing law and focus on 200 Million Flowers full time.  I kind of laugh when people say that, not because it is necessarily a crazy idea, but because I am leveraging the law practice to be able to help, in part, finance this new adoption agency.  One friend said “The divorces are funding the adoptions.”  I guess that’s true. However, I really love practicing law and managing my law firm.  I get to work with an client base every day – many of whom are in the worst crisis of their life, and the R+A team is world class in my humble opinion.  But I am also having a blast helping to get 200 Million Flowers off the ground.  It is a really fun second job and we are just getting started.   Read More

My Dog Wears a Sweater

We live in great abundance in the United States.  It is hard to understand this until you visit a poor country like I had the opportunity to do earlier this year when I traveled to South Africa to work in orphan care at the epicenter of the world AIDS pandemic.  Notwithstanding that amazing trip, which you can read about here, it was easy to settle back into my routine of abundance.  This is evidenced, in part, by the fact that my dog wears a sweater.   I try to tell folks that he is my “man dog” or that he is my “hunting dog”, but the truth is –well, you know what the truth is.  He is, to say the least, a luxury.  For goodness sakes he is wearing a sweater! Read More

The South Africa Essay: Conclusion

Today will be our heaviest day.  We are going to the heart of Sweetwaters to visit the Hope Center where kids from the community live that cannot go home.  They also distribute food on Fridays.  We have a window in the otherwise terrible weather to get in.  Narrow dirt roads and the hilly terrain make travel difficult.  Before we go, we head to Tabitha to participate in the daily worship.  Everyone attends.  The children carry plastic chairs on their heads and line them out for us.  The singing is transcendent.  Hands are raised in the air and the smiles are big.  The workers are angelic.  Their worn shoes hardly touch the ground as they clap and sway.  The children join the celebration.   Read More

The South Africa Essay: Part 4

Nothing has gone exactly as we planned.  Sleep is a necessary but sometimes limited commodity.  My body has not adjusted.  The mind swimming with images of despair coupled with hope are dizzying.  David, my roommate, has been my comic relief.  In his deep southern drawl that reminds me of home, commentary about his socks and the day’s events are sometimes surprisingly astute and reflective.  Looking around our room, we are reminded that we are in Africa.  The electrical system is primitive and the appliances are a little different –not other planet different, but certainly other cotenant different.  For no apparent reason, sometimes the power will just go out, even if the weather is perfectly clear.  The system will just overload.  Locals say it will be out for days, but we have only experienced a few hours. Read More

The South Africa Essay: Part 3

Today I woke up about 3:30 to the sound of rain on the metal roof of our guest cottage at the Old Berkshire.  I could not go back to sleep although it was the perfect slumber weather with rain and the hint of jungle.  The temperature has cooled considerably.  I got up and went looking for monkeys at daylight, but even they were smart enough to be elsewhere. Read More

The South Africa Essay: Part 2

Story telling around the fire was incredible.  We shared for hours.  It was like a condensed version of the men’s retreat about getting in touch with your life story that my counselor friend hosts in Holmes County he calls Deer Camp.  I had never sat in a circle with men and women in that open of an environment.  God created holy ground around in that place.  The firewood burned about as fast as we could put it in the rock lined pit.  It was very smoky.  Shameful historical details of lives lived were shared and chains fell off.  At the end when we prayed, I had my eyes open.  As the missionary we are supporting named Jason was closing, a shooting star streaked across the sky.  I realized after hearing story after story of seemingly blessed Americans on a foreign continent that even under the most ideal circumstances, we all have our own brand of fatherlessness.  Thank God there is hope and restoration.  In Revelation 9, John talks about the battle four our souls being won:   Read More

The South Africa Essay: Part 1

Is it a mission trip or a missions trip?  Regardless, it was a long day of travel.  The plane from Atlanta to Johannesburg was crammed packed.  All types of people going everywhere.  I had these big ideas that I would read and write, but I may have written a paragraph and I read a page or two.  I watched half of two movies and all of one, which was about a guy who got trapped while rock climbing and literally had to cut off his own arm to survive.  It was amazing, but gruesome. The entire group is tired, but we are glad to be in Africa.  From the plane, Africa looks brown.  I slept a little, but not much. The Delta flight attendants said that the fifteen hours we were in the air is the longest direct Delta flight in the world.  I feel like we are about the start a great adventure. I pray for a paradigm shift- like I am moving out of the dessert and into the second half.  It feels good. This is probably the biggest adventure I have been on since I traveled Europe in law school.   Read More

Olivia Y

There are many well-intentioned, talented people with hearts for children and Mississippians working at the Department of Human Services. However, I always advise people to work with a private attorney whenever possible. The DHS workers are underpaid and overworked. Obviously, while lawyers can help with child support collection and can bring certain private court actions related to children, attorneys are not able to provide certain social services. These are the responsibility of the state of Mississippi. One such service is our system of foster care.  Read More

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