Not Family Enough

My boss is the liaison to the Employee Assistance Program committee for our agency. She sent out an email today to me and two of my coworkers, one just gave birth the other is due in June. It spoke about a new package called Welcome to the Family and it was for families in the state who have just had a baby or adopted. Cool I thought and went to look at the sight.

The sight talked all about daycare, flex savings and how to find child care. I poked around a bit but did not see anything of relevance to me. I clicked on the “special needs kids” link and it was broken. I tried a few more links and nothing was there for adopted teens or special needs children. Honestly I was a bit frustrated but knew deep down I had enough resources to solve the child care issue I would have next year with M2 aging out of her current program….but what if I did not.  Where would I go who could refer me through this maze. Finally I found a link to an organization to help parents. It was not child care or a solution but a parent group for special needs kids.

I sighed and emailed my boss back. I said to her “Thank you for the link. It was about babies and infant adoption not really for teens and special needs children.” She replied back fairly quickly “OH well I never looked at it I just thought I should share it. Maybe L and K will get something out of it.” OK I admit I am over sensitive right about now but I felt completely dismissed. I was not important enough to give appropriate resources too because, well I did not have an infant.

I knew I was in a bad mood but it seemed like yet another nail in the coffin. We took up donations for L and K. We had parties for both of them. We celebrated when L came back to work. No one past my immediate supervisor and my cubicle mate even recognized I am adopting a child. There were no parties, no collections and no one is even interested it feels that my family too is growing. It was so marginalizing to experience and I wondered if other families had this experience.

I feel like I have to do or say something to someone. Unfortunately I am not sure to whom I should address it. Yes my boss is on the EAP committee but it is clear she is not really interested in anything past infants. I want to reach out to the coordinators but am afraid that I will come off angry and bitter. Well all right I am angry and bitter it is so isolating at times to be a special needs mom and when no resources are even pointed out..yikes it is frustrating.

I know I know breathe and write it out. Get the frustration out so that you can address it in an appropriate manner when you need to do that.

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6 thoughts on “Not Family Enough

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  1. I wonder what they would say if you asked if they’d be open to you helping them research programs for parents of teenagers with special needs that your work could offer access to.

    I wish your new addition to the family was being celebrated the same way the other people’s additions are. This might be a silly idea if what you’re wanting is an acknowledgement of the lack of pre-celebration, but… Sometimes after people have a baby they hand out bubble gum cigars or something like that – maybe if you handed them out to coworkers and showed them a picture of the adoption day as you did it, they’d understand this is as big of a deal as adopting a younger child or having a baby.

  2. Ugh, been there. My boss, who is otherwise amazing corrected me every time I said I was taking family/maternity leave when Hope was placed–“No, you are taking PTO (paid time off).

    And you shouldn’t have to help them do their effing job. Nope! I do think you should say something. I swear there is a bias in supporting those of us who adopt older kids. I think we would be better embraced if we were adopting infants, even young children. Folks are quick to say we are saints and quick to ignore us there after. 😡😭😡😭

      1. When we brought our sibling group home, I completed a baby registry at Target. We had an “adoption shower” at our home for friends and family. When they asked me at work about it, I replied “Oh I can’t wait for my adoption shower! So-and-so’s baby shower was so amazing last Fall. It’s finally my turn! I’m registered at Target by the way.”

        So they threw a shower. It was the biggest one that year. I got towels, bedding, school supplies, games, beach supplies etc. You should have seen the face of the Target employee who helped us register. He asked if we were having a boy or a girl. When we responded 2 boys and 1 girl, his jaw dropped. He looked around, all confused and then finally stammered out, “You…uh…well you look really great for triplets!” LOL!

        That was almost as good as the time we went to Chili’s and sat at the bar after our disclosure meeting. We had margaritas and made a toast to “becoming parents in X amount of months!” I thought they might try to take my drink away! Ha!

  3. My work threw a shower when we adopted an older child. Yay. One gift was a bilingual book about an abusive drunk musician with the line “alcohol became his only friend “. Did they think my older child would come from a hard knocks life and want that instead of a book on fire engines or ninjas like other young boys? Hard to say.

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