Follow TSP on Facebook
Follow TSP on Twitter


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Smarty Mom: Becca Albertson

By Katie M

I am thrilled to introduce you all to Becca Albertson today! When we first launched Triad Smarty Pants last year, Becca was one of the first girls I approached to be a Smarty Mom. Yes, I know it's been over one year (we have both been busy) but I was finally able to corner Becca into sending me her profile! Becca has a beautiful multi-racial family and she is a huge advocate for overseas adoption. She has a wonderful story to share with all moms, and in fact, she has many stories to share these days. In addition to her blog Expanding the Albertsons which we featured on our mommy blog list, Becca also joined the blogging team at Forsyth Family magazine. You can catch her latest - and oftentimes hilarious - posts at So, after you read her profile today, be sure to log on to her blogs and continue to follow her from here on out.

So let's get to know Becca!

Becca and her husband, Zach, have three children: Leah (age six), Pete (age four) and Sam (age 2 1/2). Becca was born in Winston-Salem while her dad was in medical school at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, moved away for a short while, came back to W-S when she was nine, and has lived here ever since (and attended Wake Forest). Becca stays home with her children full-time, and she juggles several different part time jobs. In addition to her blogging position at Forsyth Family, she also works part time at the William G. White YMCA daycare - and (because of her past career in social work) she also completes homestudies (otherwise known as pre-adoption assessments and approvals for families waiting to adopt) for Carolina Adoption Services (CAS).

You have been with CAS for almost eight years. Tell us more about your role.
I absolutely love my role in helping to build families through adoption. I work with families on a case-by-case basis and usually schedule meetings in the evenings or on weekends. I have absolutely loved every family that I’ve ever worked with. The adoption community in this area is amazing! (by the way, my clients know me as “Rebecca” while friends call me Becca)

You and Zach have a beautiful multi-racial family with the adoption of your youngest son, Sam. After having Leah and Pete, what inspired you and Zach to pursue adoption, and what led you to Sam?
Zach and I have always included adoption as a way to grow our family. It seemed natural to both of us, as I have three sisters adopted from Romanian orphanages. Zach has been with me to orphanages in Romania and the Republic of Georgia (south of Russia) and Zach has worked with kids in the Dominican Republic, and I in Guatemala.

Loving orphans, and knowing that we had room for children without parents to care for them, seemed like a no-brainer for us because of what we had seen. Pete, our second child, had just turned one, and we started seriously thinking about starting the adoption process. We thought and prayed about where our child was growing, and both had an overwhelming sense that he/she was in Africa. In our minds we had narrowed our decision down to Vietnam and Ethiopia, because of the number of orphans and the conditions in each country. With our sense that our child was in Africa, we started the process to adopt from Ethiopia.

We were blessed by this community in our fundraising efforts - people we love and know well donated to our adoption fund, as well as complete strangers. Knowing that people wanted to be a part of this story - a part of bringing a child into our family forever - was a beautiful thing to watch.

Our paperwork took months to complete, and eventually arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in September 2007 - the same week that Sam was found and brought to an orphanage. It took months to get through the court system there, and we were granted custody and permission to bring him home in April 2008. He is our miracle baby… he was sick and malnourished for months, and very weak and small. He was barely on the growth charts when we brought him home, and now is in the 50th percentile for everything! He is a healthy, thriving (and tantruming, haha) two-year-old, and we couldn’t imagine our lives without him. He is my soul baby!

What is the biggest difference between international – and local (US) adoptions?
The US has two types of adoptions - 1.) birthmother adoptions, where a mom chooses an adoption plan for her child and takes part in choosing a family to adopt her child (these families are with an agency and create profiles for birthmoms to get to know them by) and 2.) foster care adoption, where a birthfamily’s rights are terminated by a court, or they are willingly placed into foster care, and the adoptive family goes through this state program to adopt a waiting child.

Like international adoption, these two systems require adoptive families to go through homestudies and paperwork to be sure they are competent to add a child to their family through adoption. International adoption usually takes place because a birthmother is impoverished, sick, has a cultural taboo against her for the pregnancy, or is deceased, resulting in the child needing to be abandoned or placed in an orphanage. Adoptive families from the US must go through homestudies here, but must also receive US immigration approval to bring an immigrant orphan into the US, and must also abide by the other country’s paperwork requirements and laws to be granted custody of a child. In addition it must be proven that the child has no relatives that are able to care for him or no potential adoptive families in his country of origin.

What kind of advice can you share with other moms who are thinking about – or going thru – the adoption process?
Brace yourself for a roller coaster! Any time you combine your desire to build a family through adoption with other entities, like a birthfamily, the domestic foster care system, or another country’s government, there will be many hoops to jump through and tasks to complete. Emotionally you will feel like you have very little control over anything. However, have faith that the child meant to be yours will come home to you when the time is right.

Be respectful of the process and all the people involved. Have love and compassion for what all of the entities are experiencing- adoption occurs because of loss. It is a sensitive, heart-breaking, and beautiful thing all at the same time, and it deserves patience, as hard as that can be at times. Keep the faith! Practically, choose a good, fully licensed agency to guide you through the process. Any agency you investigate needs to be fully licensed by the state you are in, and needs to have a great reputation from many angles. Do very thorough research before settling with an agency, and be sure that you feel totally comfortable with the staff.

Are you planning on future adoptions?
We will definitely adopt again. Zach has to make it through graduate school over the next many years, and then we are hoping to adopt a little girl from Ethiopia, maybe around the age of 4. We’ll see how life plays out, but that’s our desire!

Tell us more about your blogging!
I do blog… and stir the pot a bit at times! My personal blog started as a way to track our adoption journey, and now chronicles our lives as a family. Writing is my art and helps me to contemplate how I feel or what I’m thinking in regards to the issues that surround us every day, in addition to just telling funny kid stories. I love to touch in controversial issues in politics and religion, and usually have to brace myself for criticism. However it is good to put new and fresh ideas out there for us all to think about… stretching our viewpoint on any given issue, and especially attempting to understand another person’s viewpoint (especially if they are of another race, religion, political party, sexual orientation etc from our own) is a very healthy thing to do. People are people, and starting a discussion with love and compassion as opposed to fear and misunderstanding is the way we will come to a more whole and unified community.

(And don't forget: You can also catch Becca's blogging at

So, how do you do it? You have so many balls in the air and yet you manage all your roles so well!
There are many days when I think: what have I done? Can I really raise these children? Am I nuts? And I just have to remind myself to keep it real. Life is hard with three little ones, but I think we create the hardship sometimes. Who cares if our house is dirty for awhile? I try to focus on the incredible blessings we have here, instead of the mountains of laundry that await me. And I really hate sibling rivalry, and would love a magic potion for that. But alas, being present as a mom is what will work… lots of guidance and teaching… and it is hard!

What Smarty tips do you have for other busy moms?
Do yoga, find time to exercise, fuel your body with good food, and take deep breaths… and know that our acute mothering years are numbered, and to enjoy them while they last.

Ok, so now on to some less serious topics...

Favorite place to get a good deal on kids clothes?
Honestly I wait for clothes to fall from the sky, and they do! My amazing friends drop off boxes of boy clothes, and Leah wears my youngest sister’s hand-me-downs… so I usually (and just sometimes) have to buy shoes… at target!

Favorite place to splurge on kids clothes?
I really do love Baby Gap and Kids Gap… so cute and practical.

What is your favorite family activity?
I’m sure you can sense a “free” theme here… we love to ride bikes around Reyolda Gardens and WFU, and simply take walks around our neighborhood!

Favorite “mommy-time” activity?
Cycle class (at the YMCA)!

Best place to eat lunch and/or dinner with the kids?
We’re obsessed with the Thai restaurant inside the Cloverdale Harris Teeter… the kids call it “Teeter Thai.”

Favorite date place?
What’s a date? Okay, when it does happen… anywhere local. We love Winston restaurants! Especially all of the downtown ones. 6th and Vine rocks.

Funniest thing your kid(s) has ever said?
Well this is X-rated but… Pete shouted in Costco one day… “Mom! Can we buy boobies here?” Nice. Why do my kids subject me to these things?

Favorite park in the Triad?
We live in Ardmore, so we love to walk to Lockland and Miller parks! But City Park in Burlington is amazing!!!

You've lived in the Triad just about your whole life. What are some of your favorite things – from when you were young and today?
The city (Winston-Salem) has stayed the same, in that is has remained a warm, friendly, welcoming place with many of the same traditions and landmarks (the Nutcracker at the Stevens Center at Christmas… Krispy Kreme donuts, familiar high school rivalries, Wake Forest sports, etc). The positive changes have been incredible, however. The renaissance of the downtown area, especially on Trade and Fourth streets, has been refreshing and exciting to watch. And one critical change that has impacted my happy thinking for good: Krankies Coffee!!!

Mini-van or SUV?
We have a hot mini-van, and I’m proud.

Best mom secret YOUR mom has shared with you?
My mom is awesome and raised (still raising) six kids. And she just does what SHE thinks is best… and doesn’t care so much about nosey opinions. She goes with her instincts and is confident with her decisions. She takes other opinions from books and friends into account, but ultimately does her own thing and doesn’t sweat the small things. It works!

Best birthday party you have attended?
Our friends are all pretty cheap and non-dramatic with that kind of thing, so we just love the good old fashioned party-at-the-playground-with-cake party.

Best book you’ve ever read?
The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns is the most recent. Loved To Kill a Mockingbird as a student.

What’s your favorite thing about Triad Smarty Pants?
Knowing about all the cool mamas in the Triad!

I could not live without my... COFFEE

I wish someone had told me sooner about... Organic milk. I had no idea how good it is! Even the low fat kind!

Thanks, Becca, for your sensational smarty answers today! I know today's interview will be helpful to many moms out there considering the adoption process.

If you know a Smarty Mom or Dad you would like us to profile, email us at


April said...

I saw this family at The Pizza Loop a few weeks ago! Another great Smarty Mom post!

Rachel said...

Great profile today! Best of luck with your next addoption!

Nikki Francis said...

Hello Mrs. Rebecca!!!! It's sooooo good to see you on here! Your mama in law took such good care of me a few months back and I enjoyed hearing all about you and your family from her!!! Hope to see you all soon!!!

Post a Comment