We're a little heated today.
The wife and I have been discussing adoption. We're of the age to where if we had become parents somewhere in the "traditional" childbearing age-years, our kids would probably range in age from being mid-teens to freshman/sophomore college-age.
So, we're not too old.
Financials? We're plenty comfortable. I've always made it a point to invest heavily and wisely while living frugally. With no kids, we never needed a huge house. We've never given a damn what the "Jones" next door ever thought, so our purchases have always been modest and always, always paid with cash.
Credit cards are financial heroin.
We keep one credit card with a significant limit on it for serious emergencies, and we maintain a line of credit to cover catastrophic occurrences. Other than that, we do not finance except for mortgages. We make car payments to specific savings accounts for years after the car(s) are paid off, and we only buy a new car when the old one(s) simply will not run and cannot be fixed.
We're college educated, zero criminal history, no civil lawsuits or liabilities, and we both retired in our late 40's as high-ranking executives from Fortune 500 companies. I work part-time in another industry and can leave it at anytime. Should we end up becoming "instant parents," I have every intention of never setting foot in another office again.
We're pretty typical in our close knit circle of friends, several couples of whom are also considering adoption--and like us, mid-teenaged kids. And like us, we all share something in common. When we expand our network to other families in other states who are considering adoption, we're all pretty much experiencing the same thing.
In our case. . .
Between three different state adoption services/agencies, we can't get them to give us the time of day.
Last year, here in Texas--which is one of the worst offenders from kids who "aged out" of the foster system I've talked to--I had actually managed to exchange e-mails with a social worker. Albeit one whose command of the English language was about as challenged as Michael Jackson's command of manhood.
Don't dare question a social worker about anything. Don't dare ask why.
We find out earlier this year that the kids had been split up--big sister got adopted, status of the younger brother is unknown.
Wonderful work, eh?
Fast forward to the present. It's Christmas time again and again we're wanting to send some presents, anonymously, to certain children in the system that have caught our interest. Alabama, Missouri and Florida to name three states.
Out of the three, only Alabama has even returned an e-mail--and it was a form e-mail. I got on the phone to the governor's office and finally found somebody I could yell at and am told "nothing THEY can do."
Who the hell is running these asylums???
We, the TAXPAYERS, are paying for them and we're paying EMPLOYEES to run them and to look out for the kids but nobody seems to be in charge!
And meanwhile, over 100,000 children sit in foster care writing letters to Santa Claus and praying to God for their Forever Family.
And the way the (expletive deleted) social agencies operate, those kids aren't ever going to see a forever family.
Instead, they'll "age out" of the system, be put on Medicaid and given a few other pittances and shoved right out the door. Onto the street.
Yet, these social workers can't be bothered to return phone calls, answer e-mails, or basically do jackshit as it pertains to their job. They whine about being "overburdened."
Well hell yes they're overburdened. In the private sector, we were overburdened all the time. You either produced or you got your ass fired. But I also haven't exactly seen thousands of families lining up at the door to Alabama's agencies wanting to adopt older teenagers. For damn sure not in Texas.
So I don't want to hear "overburdened."
I want to start hearing my phone ring.
Something tells me I'm going to be putting a lot of hours on the Cessna in 2012 traveling from one state capital to another raising hell with various governors' chief of staffs.
So be it.
It's not the kids' fault, damnit.