Today I'm posting a link to a "Free Positive Thoughts" printable. I need this today as I'm trying to refocus my energy from negative to positive. I came into work today all happy and good, until I opened my work e-mail and found a link to an employee update titled "New Maternity Benefits for Adoptive Parents Added." Why would this create negative energy for me, you ask? Well, because the benefit is being added on September 1st, the VERY DAY that I go on a part-time contracting schedule with my company which excludes me from ANY AND ALL benefits for full-timers, including this newly-added adoption benefit. Not only this, but I've been pushing for this benefit for the last 5 years, basically since I started here and basically since the day that I had the awful realization that I wasn't getting any maternity benefits because I didn't have the pregnancy "disability" that would have made me eligible under the old maternity benefits. A few years ago I talked with my manager and the head of my department about my frustrations with it. They were both supportive and encouraged me to write a letter to HR. I did that, and it was a long and somewhat emotional letter. I provided links to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, and stats on the impact of an adoption maternity benefit. Last I heard, this type of benefit was being considered for the firm's 5 year plan, but to not keep my hopes up. Evidently they stepped up the plan.
So I'm trying to not be negative here. I have to think of all the positives. I did help make a change, a big change, for adoptive parents at least at my company. Noone else at this company will ever have a day like mine a few years ago when I realized we'd have to self fund my maternity leave. The benefit is very generous and more than covers the normal leave, it also helps pay for the adoption itself. That's good, it's a step in the right direction for the company and more progress towards the goal of adoption becoming a very socially acceptable topic. I'm also the one who wanted to go part time. I knew full well that I'd be excluded from benefits, and I'm not sure I could have waited for the indefinite amount of time before the second adoption just to get the maternity benefit. The next adoption could take months if not years to happen. Would it be worth it to wait that long? To miss potentially another couple of years of my daughter's life? To continue on with the stressful commute five days a week, 55 hours of daycare for Bean, and the miserable Saturday mornings when we're all exhausted and have to spend all day running the errands we couldn't do during the week? No, probably not. Life's too short, who knows what tomorrow may bring.
Ok I'm back. No more negativity. It is what it is. Change has been made in a positive way. I don't get to access it and the coincidence of the date that they are adding the benefit stings a bit after I worked hard to get that thing added, but that's ok. In the long run it's not enough to stew over. In five years it'll be forgotten. And as I've said before, days with Bean can't be bought for any amount of money. So here's the free printable "Positive Thoughts" from here. Cheers.
And PS, definitely visit the Dave Thomas Foundation. If you've never been there, they have an amazing amount of resources for adoptive families and companies who are considering adding adoption-related benefits. I highly recommend visiting the site, and encourage people to talk with your HR or benefits group about adoption benefits. It worked here, all it took was a letter from the heart.