If you’ve been following along on my adoption journey, please take the time to click to the new FACES blog and check out my first contributing post.
FACES for Alberta is a new organization just getting off the ground. Created by some new friends of mine, they’re in the process of developing a website and reaching out to adoptive parents and those who support them.
When I started brainstorming for this post, I was certain it was going to be about the aspect of myself I wanted to improve throughout the course of next year. I was circling around the word “discipline”, something I greatly lack in my life, but creating discipline where there simply is none seemed like a mountain in front of me. I’m not really much into climbing mountains these days (if only I was more disciplined). Instead, I landed on the word “efficient”. Efficient as in, finding ways to work with my own personality traits – the ones I already have – to make my life as efficient as possible.
Heading into adoption this year, I know there will be plenty of opportunity to be self criticizing as I become overwhelmed with the new responsibilities in my life. There’s no need to start that now. I know that I am a good person with plenty of positive personality traits. I’m strong, I’m capable, I’m loving and compassionate. So what if I lack discipline or have a tendency to be a little irritable or lazy sometimes? I can work with those. I can set strategies in place that will help me to not become irritable, or to create an “out” when I need a lazy escape from the new day-to-day responsibilities. I can create efficiencies for a productive and happy life while still embracing all of my traits – the good, and the bad.
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).