Last week I was frustrated. Frustrated by so many things. But mostly irritated by a bit of news from my employer that did not sit so well with me. There is a law in Colorado that any employer leave or benefits offered to birth parents and infants must be equally matched for adoptive parents and adopted children. So I was a bit taken aback to learn that there is a non-written practice among my (unnamed) employer that birth mothers are "automatically" granted paid leave from the sick-leave bank because childbirth is considered a major health event. However, when I inquired about adoption and the needs of our potential adopted children I was told very generally that I could obtain a letter from a doctor stating what my child's major medical need was and that the committee would consider my request. O.k. that just does not feel right, does it? The "committee" could turn down my request for whatever reason, yet if I was giving birth it would automatically qualify? Unfortunately it seems this is not technically breaking a law because there is nothing on paper saying that birth mothers are automatically granted leave from the sick leave bank. Uhg. Perhaps we are still living in the dark ages in some parts of this country. The sad thing is that I am not completely surprised by this news and so I was already prepared to be taking unpaid leave. But come on, how can you tell a adoptive parent, whether they be adopting a domestic infant or a international toddler that it is perfectly fine to drop that kid off in daycare and go back to work ASAP. I don't think so!
So I can't say enough what a blessing it was to have two surprises this weekend. First, I was introduced via email to a new family in our same town who is interested in adopting from Rwanda. They have some other things to take care of first but they are eager to help the orphanage so she emailed me to let me know that they have a ton of donations for us to take with. Wow, what great news to end a frustrating week! Then we received a very large monetary donation from a family member to support our adoption expenses. This sum will cover nearly all of our travel expenses and give us some cushion for me to take as much leave from work (maybe unpaid given what I just vented about) as I need to love these kids and to catch up on all the time I have missed with them. On most days I love my job, I am glad that I have devoted my career to helping children, but honestly right now I am REALLY looking forward to devoting my time to two more little ones in my own house.