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Semi-Retired as we adopted kids
Old 03-06-2006, 04:15 PM   #1
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Semi-Retired as we adopted kids

I think I'm semi-retired, I'm just trying to catch up on my calculations! (Assumption 1 - hubby keeps working and vesting in his teacher pension)

Hubby and I had been socking away cash while we waited for an adoptive placement (no kids of our own) through our local county.* No debt other than a mortgage, but we're Californians, so it is a biggie.* Once we were finally matched with kids (an 11 year old and her 2 year old brother) I realized I needed to take many months off to bond with the kids, and get our family life launched.* That all started in October 2005, and I started squeezing in my consulting time in January.

We'd always figured hubby would take the time off, as he is a teacher, and I made a lot more $$$ as an engineer in a high-demand niche.* I stopped to consider how many hours a week I'd need to consult to make up the difference between my salary and his -- and it was about 10 hours!* So we took the plunge, comfortable we could figure the rest out later.* I could always go back if I "needed to", but I'm going to invest the time in financial planning, budgeting, and psychology so I don't get to that point.

I'm currently reading "Work Less, Live More" (Bob Clyatt, Nolo Press) but it shares space on my nightstand with "Parenting the Hurt Child" (Keck & Kupecky, Pinon Press), "Lifebooks (O'Malley, Adoption-Works) and other works in a similar theme.
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Re: Semi-Retired as we adopted kids
Old 03-06-2006, 05:06 PM   #2
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Re: Semi-Retired as we adopted kids

Welcome, Shel! I can't tell you how much I admire you and your husband for taking on two adoptees. Talk about making the world a better place!

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Re: Semi-Retired as we adopted kids
Old 03-06-2006, 11:00 PM   #3
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Re: Semi-Retired as we adopted kids

Thanks for that.* We aren't equipped with anything "special" (profound love of troubled children, amazing emotional skills,etc.) but just willing to learn and take things as they come.*

Even in the toughest times (yet) I've never wished I'd pursued fertility treatments or infant adoption instead.
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Re: Semi-Retired as we adopted kids
Old 03-07-2006, 05:49 AM   #4
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Re: Semi-Retired as we adopted kids

Welcome aboard Shel...keep us posted on how things go with the new family members. Quite a few of us are recent parents although I dont remember anyone saying they adopted, there are probably a few around.

You've at least got the right attitude...deciding to stop working or cut back isnt a one way decision or the closing of a door forever.
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Re: Semi-Retired as we adopted kids
Old 03-07-2006, 02:43 PM   #5
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Re: Semi-Retired as we adopted kids

Welcome and congratulations ( on both the adoption and semi-retirement ).* How long did you have to wait in the adoption process?* I have been exploring my options to have kids around the time I RE (10 years or so from now - I'm 28 ).* I'm a single male, so I have tentatively decided on surrogacy versus adoption as there can be a bias against single ( and moreso single male ) adoptive parents.* Best wishes.
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Re: Semi-Retired as we adopted kids
Old 03-07-2006, 08:58 PM   #6
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Re: Semi-Retired as we adopted kids

Our wait for a placement was about a year. We are in one of the smaller counties in CA, so there just aren't as many kids going through.

With 10 years to go, you've plenty of time to explore your options. A single dad can be just the right person for a kid who was abused by their mom or another female. If there is any sort of coaching or tutoring you can get involved in -- do it. You'll have lots more experience with kids, and lots of parents as references to use for your adoption homestudy.

Kids in foster care are part of your community anyway. They will grow up - with parents or without. To help special needs (older, or minority, or sibling groups, or drug exposure) children find permanent homes, laws now provide "adoption assistance payments" that are the same as the foster care payments. The child will be eligible for medical coverage as well. And if that weren't enough, there is a $10,000 per child tax credit in the year the adoption is finalized, and it can carry over if that more than offsets your tax bill. In addition, if the child will need other services (developmental, psychological, etc.) you can negotiate additional help with that.
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Re: Semi-Retired as we adopted kids
Old 03-07-2006, 09:26 PM   #7
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Re: Semi-Retired as we adopted kids

I know of a couple families who adopted children that weren't prepared for fetal alcohol syndrome. There may be an advantage to foster a child that is likely to be available for adoption where the state encourages adoption by a foster parent.
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Re: Semi-Retired as we adopted kids
Old 03-08-2006, 02:24 PM   #8
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Re: Semi-Retired as we adopted kids

FAS and FAE (Fetal Alcohol Effects, less severe that FAS) is a whole other load of stuff to deal with. I think you'd need to be dedicated to working with a child who will always have challenges. FAS and FAE are both characterized by visible changes to the face and head (see http://www.fhs.mcmaster.ca/pblonline/fas.htm) and so aren't always such a surprise.

My husband and I didn't have a strong desire for an infant, and with slightly older kids there is generally more medical info and knowledge of issues. Still, it was important to us that we completely commit ourselves to the kids before we met them.

If a person is ready to foster without a high confidence of adoption (we weren't) it can be a very rewarding experience. You are able to focus on doing your best for the kid day by day, and worrying about the rest of it later. An early retiree with kids in high school could be a great foster parent for a few years.
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