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).

Around a Year Ago

It was around this time last year when I had my meltdown. I hit the depression stage of grief, after losing my father. My relationship with Y came to a heartbreaking and unexpected end, and my work atmosphere had me so stressed out that I could barely face walking into the office each day.

I remember bawling during my entire morning commute one day. I remember sitting in the parking lot trying to catch my breath and stop myself from crying and shaking. I was having a major panic attack.

That day marked the climax of my breakdown, and it was also the day I started to heal. I already knew my mind wouldn’t be focused on my job that day, so I spent my time searching the web for a psychologist, and later that afternoon I saw my family doctor who prescribed me both an antidepressant/anti-anxiety medicine, as well as Ativan (Lorazepam) for the tough days. I also bought a journal and started writing my feelings out. There were a lot of them, they were messy, but it helped.

That day didn’t fix things, but it got the ball rolling. My grief was full bore ahead for quite some time, I couldn’t understand why things ended with Y, and I had to pop an Ativan before I could go to work most days because tension in the office was just that bad. I was being bullied. I ugly cried in front of my boss. Twice. If I wasn’t crying I was on the verge of telling her exactly where to go. It was a horrible few months.

Eventually, the meds started kicking in and I was able to keep it together a little better. It took a couple tries but I eventually found a shrink I clicked with, and we worked through a lot of abandonment issues that I was left with after my parents divorce. For the grande finale, I gave my two weeks notice just after Christmas and was able to decompress for nearly a month before starting my new job. From there, things were on the upswing.

Today, I’m in a healthy office environment. I have a job where
I’m praised, appreciated, challenged and supported. I miss my dad every day, but I’m sad about it far less often. I have moved on romantically, and I’ve made the decision to pursue my life dream of adopting an older sibling group.

My life isn’t perfect yet, and I doubt that’s even possible, but I have come so, so far over this past year. I’m finally living for me, and I’m happy about that.