Saturday, December 17, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like...

...I'm a person who's going on adoption leave before too long.
I had my last lectures of the term, of the year, and possibly of the next 12 months, yesterday. We had a few negotiations during the week about Christmas presents, paperwork that hasn't been sent, and what might be possible re. travel dates, with OHP and NLA. I ordered some small things for N's apartment as a Christmas present (some of the to-ing and fro-ing that the SW has been doing has been related to N, with no possessions, moving into an unfurnished apartment) and called her yesterday evening to let her know something was on its way, and that if it was late it was my fault for waiting too long to order it (and not springing for Christmas delivery - as I have no idea which day the SW will see N, there didn't seem much point). The SW is hassling N for some paperwork so I didn't want the SW to be the bad guy on late presents, too.

We have worked out that we cannot both travel before the birth, for a boring insurance-related reason (the policy needs a name and a date of birth). We are neither of us really sure that we have an active desire to be at the birth - not quite sure why - it seems like the Holy Grail of domestic adoption but to us it seems private, and definitely not something we should press for. However, if N is really keen for that to happen, I guess I know more when I'll travel - I'd go over a week before the due date I think - and just hang around. That has implications for adoption leave because I'd have to take more time as holiday and less as adoption leave but it's not the end of the world.

If not, then I am no closer to knowing when I'd go away and I'm getting hassle from colleagues who want to know this.  We'd probably be able to have custody of the baby about a week to 10 days after birth, if all goes well - we are not sure if I then will take more annual leave (before we come back to the UK) or if my adoption leave kicks in as soon as we have custody.

Next question is exactly how long am I going to be twiddling my thumbs/holding the baby in a hotel without Mr Spouse.  And who is going to come and hold my hand? I am kind of wondering about posting an appeal on the FB page of a couple of well-known US bloggers I'm FB friends with (not the one who told me to get lost after a flippant Victor Meldrew style comment recently though), to see if any of their fans live in the area. 


Rachel said...

I'm around and available if you're within driving distance of Massachusetts. :)

Anonymous said...

All the best for sorting it all out etc.

Also, SQUEEEEEEEEEE excited!

Thalia said...

If it's the comment I'm thinking of, I thought it was a bit of an over-reaction.

But very glad to hear all proceeding well. All crossed for you.

Twangypearl the Elastic Girl said...

SUCH exciting times! It must indeed be hard to believe it all.

Good luck with everything..

Claudia said...

I'm a few days behind but wanted to answer a q you had about adoption leave - although not sure if you found out and edited? (Sorry, memory is not all it should be!) Adoption leave will only start when you have the child in your custody *in the UK*. This meant for me that I took some of my unpaid leave (that would normally be months 10-12 of adoption leave) at the start of our adoption, then had a bit less at the end. It was 12 months all together, and I got the same total pay, but got it at different times, ie the paid bit was in the middle rather than at the start. I work for a university too and the HR team had NO idea what to do about an international adoption. I had to find all the forms and give them to them - they didnt' realise that it was different regulations from a domestic adoption. SIGH!

I think your idea of finding adoption bloggers to say hi to is a really good one - who else is going to understand what you're going through? I would also say - get DH out there AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I found the first few weeks in a hotel room with newly adopted kids to be a lot mroe stressful than I anticipated and needed the support at that stage even more than when we got home. It's fabulous that you have a date now - start crossing days off the calendar!