It has been a while since I posted anything. I haven’t much felt like blogging lately. I have quite a few thoughts about adoption, parenting, and life-with-kids, but nothing seems all that blog-worthy. Plus, there ain’t much happening…yet.
The “yet” is what struck me this morning. Things are quickly coming to an end (or at least to a turning point). The fire/safety inspection is this week. After that, our social worker will complete the home study writeup, enter information in CHESSIE (Children’s Electronic Social Services Information Exchange System – Maryland’s new case record system for child welfare services), and get final approval from her supervisor. It sounds like we could be on the waiting list by mid to late September.
The approaching light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel is stirring up a few thoughts and feelings about what comes next. Juan and I have talked a lot about child care, work schedules, commuting, and family medical leave. We’ve been able to figure a lot of things out, but the “yet” has got me to thinking more about leave from work.
In the past, when I’ve envisioned those first few days and weeks after placement, I imagined that I would be, at least for a while, a stay-at-home dad. I loved the idea of being able to be home and be focused on our child, our family, and our home. I pictured lots of bonding, playing, walking, running errands, and crying (the baby too). And what was most appealing to me was the idea that Juan and I would take some time off together to be home with our child. I figured we’d both arrange our schedules so that our leave would overlap at some point.
Unfortunately, things are probably not going to work out this way.
I started a new job this past July. Until then, I hadn’t really known the specifics about FMLA except that I was eligible for up to 3 months of unpaid leave. What I didn’t realize until employee orientation is that I had to be at my new job for at least a year before I could take advantage of FMLA.
To put it plainly and maybe a bit immaturely – That sucks. Sure, if placement happens in July ’08, leave isn’t a problem. But we are both hoping that it happens before next summer. July ’08 might as well be light years away.
So, assuming something happens before next summer, I’m faced with the reality that Juan will take leave and be the stay-at-home dad, and I’ll get my butt up each morning and go to work. I can imagine myself sitting at my desk, feeling disconnected from the home-happenings and calling Juan every hour – “What’s he doing now? Did he smile? Gas-smile or real smile? Where ya going? To the store? Oh damn…I wanna go!”
Juan and I did talk about the leave issue a bit. He pointed out that I’ll be home after work and weekends. And both of those are true. I get home at a not-so-bad 5:30 pm and now that I’m not in school, weekends are no longer filled with research papers and studying. So I will definitely look forward to weeknights (I imagine myself practically running to my car as the clock strikes 5pm), Saturdays and Sundays. I’d be lying though, if I were to say that I’m happy starting off as the After Work and Weekends Dad.
I guess this situation will be one of many compromises and adjustments we’ll have to make as we raise a family. We can’t have and do it all exactly the way we envision it should be. By the time we’ve adopted the second, third, fourth and fifth child (Just seeing if Juan actually reads my posts), I’ll have plenty of time in at my current job and will be able to take plenty of leave.