What It’s Like to Adopt Kids

A Message to H.S. and College Graduates

What you do today determines your level of happiness tomorrow. I sure wish this was my graduation speech. View the full transcript below.

I’m going to tell you young men and women today that life sucks.

You may think it sucks now, but it gets worse. You are probably going to be unhappy in your life.

Here’s the thing. We’re all kind of bred into this society where we’re taught that if you work hard enough and believe enough, that you’ll become everything you want to be. That’s not true.

Something that all young people need to learn is that nobody cares about you. Your mom may, your dad might, maybe your brothers and sisters, but outside of that, no one cares for you. If my best friend were faced with the choice of his family getting blown up in a bomb, or me getting shot in the head, he’s going to choose me getting shot in the head. Because nobody cares about you. When you get a job, your boss is not going to give a crap about you.

Oh, and by the way, you’re going to be about 30 times smarter than your boss and much more educated. They’re going to make the dumbest decisions, and you’re going to scream and yell and say, “You know what? I can do a better job!” But nobody cares. Nobody cares! The only thing that’s important is that that comfy chair in the corner office is filled. Oh, and by the way, there’s a line of people waiting to be next, waiting to be next.

I hope you don’t end up like me, where you get into a company after company after company. You work hard and you set high expectations for yourself, and you run into the glass ceiling every time. Every time. Every time.

You know where I’m heading now? I’ve got this suit and this tie. I’m looking real nice and fancy. Well, I’m heading to a Sam’s Club to sell therapeutic back massagers. Yup, I’m that guy that’s gonna pull you aside and try to get you to buy something that you don’t want. Do you think I like that? Do you think I go to bed every night looking forward to another day of making hardly any sales?

You know what sucks most about life? We all have one chance. It’s crazy when you think about that. It’s like, you’ve got one chance to pick one career out of the millions that are out there. You have one chance to pick a place where you love to live. Pick a passion. One chance to set up a life for yourself that you love to live.

I wish… I don’t know. I wish I could do it over again. And maybe…. maybe you can. Don’t, don’t find yourself in this position where you’re sitting in a Sam’s Club waiting to go inside to be rejected time and time again because nobody wants to buy the product that you’re selling. Don’t. Don’t do that.

I guarantee you that you’re going to look back one day and you’re doing to wish beyond anything else that you can redo it. Consider this your redo.

Let’s just say you’ve already lived my life. Let’s just say you’ve already been on the streets. Let’s just say you’ve already struggled. You’ve already lived an unhappy life. Pretend that you’re already living your second chance!

Pretend that you are your future. That you don’t like what you do, that your job makes you miserable, that the glass ceiling has beat you black and blue! Pretend that you’ve been through it all. Pretend that you’ve been through the thick and the worst of it. And decide today at the start of summer vacation, that you are going to fix it!

You’re going to make a good life for yourself. You’re going to set up a life that you love! No matter how much hard work it takes. Start today. You’re going to have the rest of your life to do anything you want. But you’re not going to if you’re stuck at a 9-5 where you’re working for five different managers who don’t give a rip about you.

Guys, figure out what you want to do. And figure it out now. Now is your time to invest in what you love. Forget the sports cars, forget the money, forget the girls, for now. Take all the money you have and put it in what you love. What do you love to do? Get good at what you love! Don’t put yourself in a position where you’re working for five different bosses. Because you’re not going to get their seat. You’re not going to get their offices. It’s not going to happen.

No matter how good your intentions, no matter how honorable your ideas are, you’re always going to be told no. Well, this is the biggest yes you’re going to get in your life. Go for it. Go for whatever it is you want to do. Make it your life. Make it your passion, and do it. It’s going to take a lot of work, but I really think it’ll be worth it.

Now you probably need a laugh:

Who Would You Have Play the Genie in Disney’s Upcoming Aladdin Movie?

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Disney’s reboot sub-genre might have been just a two-hit wonder (2015’s Cinderella, and 2016’s The Jungle Book). True, many people loved the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, but even the most die-hard fans have to admit it focused more on gender politics than it did on improving upon the 1991 original.

But really, the filmmakers charged themselves with a virtually impossible task.

So now, I’m more reserved than ever about Disney selecting Will Smith, of all people, to play The Genie in the upcoming Aladdin adaption.

Granted, no one can beat Robin Williams’ brilliant and iconic voice work, but I’ve got to credit Disney for trying. But the way I see it, Will Smith had his chance years ago and he chose to side with the competition (Dreamworks), and delivered an annoying and forgettable performance of a clown/fish/talking fruit in the abhorrent Shark Tale.

Remember that movie? Neither do I. And seeing that Will Smith hasn’t really done anything worth watching since I Am Legend (2007) ten years ago, maybe Disney decided to take pity on him and wants to (ahem) free Willie from the lamp that’s kept him in Hollywood lockdown.

Now, to be honest, I’d prefer an unknown actor to fill the role, like Mowgli and Cinderella, but seeing as Disney wants to cash in on star value now, I’ll sadly rule that option out.

So! I’ve compiled a list of better candidates whom Disney should have chosen to fill the big read shoes (I saved our favorite for the end). Also, I’ve included a poll to allow you the chance to vote for your own preference! Just click the link and voice your opinion:

Click Here

Cars 3 is Everything You Didn’t Expect in a Cars Film (and More!)

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Pixar lovers and Cars naysayers, rejoice! Cars 3 is not only by far the best of the franchise (and this is coming from someone who loved the first installment), but it ranks up there with some of Pixar’s more adult films (think Toy Story 3 and Up).

Click here for my full review!!

Lamenting the Late Adam West

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Keith Farthington has some kind words to say about the passing of the original Batman, and it’s quite touching. Check out the YouTube link below:

Lamenting Batman’s Death

Scoring the Last 10 Years of Disney Magic (and tricks)

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This is an interesting article. It runs through the last decade (literally since 2007) of Disney’s theatrical releases – and scores them by everyone’s favorite movie gauge: Rotten Tomatoes!

As flawless as Disney movies seem to be now, you’ll be surprised to see that it wasn’t that long ago that the Walt Disney Studios was still trying to regain its footing in the world of Hollywood favorites in the midst and wake of Michael Eisner’s long overdue ousting.

Oh, and the article was written by yours truly. Seriously, it took me a long time, so jump over and take a gander: Electric Beach Entertainment

 

Foster Care Reform

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I know it’s been a while since I’ve spoken about foster care or adoption on this blog. There are some sensitive issues Sarabeth and I are battling with the system, and we’re longing for change.

I know I bemoan politicians and warn us against putting our hope and faith in them, but I’m proud to say that I stand behind our state of Kentucky’s governor Matt Bevin (@MattBevin). Even if you’re not in Kentucky, I have a feeling you’ll be hearing a lot from him in the coming years.

He and his wife attempted to adopt years ago, and after going through the tedious and long process of classes and paperwork and on and on and on, they were eventually denied a placement because they had too many kids already (five). So the 8,000 kids in foster care did not drop down to 7,999 that day.

Governor Bevin, in a recent interview, has not only vowed to reform foster care in the state of Kentucky, but to set the model for the rest of the country to follow. I can honestly say that his views and options are my own.

Everything from the system needs a complete makeover. From race being no issue, money being spent in the wrong places, the slow and torture of leaving kids in limbo in the system, to the damaging effects reunification can cause.

The system is broken, and because of that, we have a lot of people who want to foster-to-adopt but are afraid to try. I don’t blame them. But the problem that causes is that more kids end up growing up without a safe childhood with a good family, and I blame the court, I blame the government, and ultimately, I blame us.

We see these problems such as the broken foster care system, the insurance industry robbing us blind, animal abuse, and on and on, but WE THE PEOPLE just leave it to the government to fix.

Even Bevin says that’s a bad idea and nothing will get fixed this way.

We consider our heavy lifting going to the polls every 2-4 years and punching a hole in a ballot.

Yay. We contributed.

And most of the time we don’t even know who or what we’re voting for. We just vote according to our affiliated party, which is like getting bad pizza at a place closer to home rather than driving the extra ten minutes for better pizza.

I’d take the long drive and the good pizza any day.

What are you passionate about? What would you like to see change? And finally, what are you doing about it?

Here’s the interview. I loved every minute of it. #FosterCareReform

And if Matt Bevin ever wanted me to come work for him, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

https://www.ket.org/episode/KCINW+000000/