Time to Share my Plans

I’ve decided that now is the time to tell my boss about my plans to adopt. Legally in Alberta, you need to give six weeks notice prior to taking maternity/parental leave. Adoption makes things a little more complicated because a) you don’t know when you’ll get a match, and b) you don’t know how long the transition will take. Thankfully, the law does give some flexibility because of these circumstances. I’m currently ~ten weeks away from knowing if I will be approved or not. As soon as that day hits, there is a potential for a match. I think ten weeks is fair notice for my employer, especially when I consider that a pregnant woman would typically be giving several months of forewarning.
Do you have any idea what it’s like, trying time and time again to find a slot in your boss’ schedule? I’ve been trying to track him down all morning. Every time I work up the courage to walk into his office, he’s not there, and I can tell I’ve just missed him because his screen is still on. I guess I’ll just have to try again tomorrow. I hope my nerves don’t get the better of me in the meantime.
I imagine that even double income families feel this stress, but I can only speak from a single parent perspective. I’m as best prepared as I’m ever going to be, but I am terrified of losing my job to another round of layoffs. I’m concerned that opening up about my plans to adopt will put me on the termination list, and I can’t raise a family without an income. I’m also afraid that springing it on them at the last minute could prove bad for office relationships when I return to work. It’s sort of a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” type situation, so I’ll take the chance and hope for the best.

Meanwhile, aside from preparing to share the news at work, I’ve been getting all of the adoption training completed and preparing for my next home visit and the start of the home study process on February 4th. I have a feeling that the next two months are going to be hectic and frustrating. I’m praying that everything goes smoothly, that no one loses my paperwork or goes on vacation while they’re supposed to be approving my file. I hope my house stays clean between each home visit and that my dogs don’t make jerks of themselves in front of anyone important.

I’m quite proud of myself for having the courage to be a little more outgoing than I’m comfortable with, and making new friends who are in the same place as me. I joined a meetup.com group of people both going through the process and post-placement, and I made some connections during the training. This gives me confidence that I’ll be able to stand up and advocate for my children when I need to. I will have the courage to be their voice when they can’t speak for themselves (or shouldn’t have to).

Dating During Adoption

I’ve been thinking a lot about love, lately. I think it has very little to do with the adoption, but probably a lot to do with the fact that I’m preparing my life and my home for a family; I’m settling down.

I don’t feel any pangs of regret or need to have the husband before I adopt. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. I think I’m just simply ready to find a long-term love. I’m finding my thoughts constantly wandering towards that warm, adoring, safe place that is being in love. It sure would be nice to have someone around to share my life with.

The timing is really unfortunate, because I can’t very well start dating right now. When would I possibly have the time to weed through potential mates? And what would I say to them about the adoption? Then there’s the more complicated matter of introducing them to the children. These kids are going to take a very long time to settle in and become comfortable and secure as a family, it wouldn’t be fair to throw an additional person into the mix, especially if that person was still a question mark in my mind. No, the whole idea seems out of place. Dating will have to wait.

I wonder then, how do the rest of the single mother’s go about dating? What will I be facing once my children are in a good enough place that I can put myself out there again? Is there ever a “good time” to add someone your family, and how do you go about doing it? Of course, my situation is unique so there will be differences, but there’s no point reinventing the wheel.

My Rock, My Safe Haven, My Soul Mate

It’s been five years today since I lost the most influential person in my life. The best parts of who I am have come from her, and she is everything I strive to become. Not a single day passes when I don’t see her face, hear her laugh, feel the warmth of her hugs or think how unfair it is that she was taken so early from my life. Even though it hurts to long for her, I can only be grateful because for 23 years she was my rock and my safe haven.

My grandmother meant the world to me. She had always wanted a daughter of her own, but when her third child was still-born, she lost that dream and I think she re-found it in me. I wasn’t the first female grandchild to be born, but I was geographically the closest and I think that allowed us to become the closest emotionally, as well. Growing up, I think I spent more time with my grandparents than I did with my own parents. I used to love hanging out with them. We would go for drives, get ice cream, go shopping, or just sit around at home cooking or watching scary movies. I still to this day don’t like scary movies but grandma did, and she made me feel safe. She would sit there knitting away and giggling and gaping at the television while I huddled in a blanket on the couch, simply happy to be in her presence.

I didn’t see Gram as often after my parents divorced and we moved away. I remember though, every time I came home I would ring the doorbell and walk in to greet grandma, she would turn the corner from the kitchen, see that it was me, and *sqeal*. I’m not exaggerating and anyone who knew her could attest to this. She would actually let out this high pitched throaty squeal and as it turned into a giggle she would grab me up and squeeze me until I couldn’t breathe any longer. I lived for those moments. I would give anything to have them back, I think they’re what I miss the most. I’ve never felt as important or special to anyone in my life as I did to her. She truly loved me more than words.

People talk a lot about “soul mates” in the context of romantic love, but I don’t think it has to be that way. I think grandma was my soul mate; in fact, I firmly believe it. Even though Gram hasn’t been physically in my life for five years now, my faith allows me to believe that she is no further away than she ever was. Sometimes I forget and get angry that she’s gone, but then I remember that she never truly feels far away if I would only pay attention.

I won’t be sad tomorrow, when the anniversary hits. Those dates never make me sad, it’s the unexpected things that do. Instead, tomorrow will  be a nervous and exciting day, because I will participate in the first of five adoption training seminars that I will complete this month. I’m sure grandma will be there next to me, cheering me on as I go! I can always count on her for that.

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I made this video a couple of years ago; It’s of Grandma with me as a baby. You probably don’t care to see it, but it makes me smile to hear her laugh. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zStrT62P8c