Tuesday, December 2, 2008

FMLA and Adoption

Ever since we have been trying to get pregnant, I have always saved my sick and vacation time for when the baby was born. I have also always made sure I had an Aflac disability plan in place so that I would have that income available in case of bed rest or for after the baby was born. Adoption has put a snag in my plans.

I just started my new job in October. I accrue 8 hours paid vacation and 8 hours paid sick leave each month. I also have a personal holiday that I can take when needed, but I can't carry them over from the previous year. I called our HR department today just to make sure there was not some kind of adoption assistance offered. There is not, but I will qualify for FMLA. That means that I can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave after we adopt. I have to use my sick time first and then my vacation. After that, they will send an email to all employees asking for donations.

I am not sure how I feel about asking for donations. I have a co-worker who's daughter was born several months early and weighing just over 1 lb. I just received an email requesting donations for him and if I had anything to give I would, but being so new I don't have anything to offer. To me, that qualifies as an emergency. I don't think an adoption really qualifies.

I did the math, and it is going to take at least a couple of months to even get in the pool of qualified adoptive families. Who knows how long after that. I mean, we hope soon, but it could be a year or more easily. If it's a year from when I started with my new job, then I would have almost 5 weeks of leave saved between sick and vacation. I could safely take 4 weeks, leaving a buffer in case I or the baby get sick. The Husband could probably take 2. He works for our friend at it is just the two of them, so no set policy or plan for this kind of situation, but our friend is the kindest person I know, so I am sure he would give him all the time we needed. If worse came to worse, the Husband could pack the baby up and take her/him to work if he had to. I have no doubt my Mom would mind taking a week to spend with the new grandchild. Not to mention that she has been at her job for like 20 years and accrues crazy amounts of vacation time.

That puts us at 7 weeks. Not bad between the group of us.

I have other alternatives also. My Dad is retired, but he doesn't drive because of a heart condition. He is doing great with his heart, but because of an internal defib he doesn't feel comfortable endangering other drivers along with himself should it go off. I would not ask my Dad to babysit all the time, but he would be good in a pinch. I worry about the not driving but if it's a real emergency he would call 911 anyway and if if was semi important, my Mom works like 3 minutes away. The only drawback to that is that they live about 25 minutes away from where we live and I work. The husband would only go about 10 minutes out of his way to go there on his way to work though. There is also my Mother-in-law. They leave about 45 minutes away, but would help if needed. It just wouldn't be a good solution for permanent. My Grandparents would love to help, but my grandmother can't lift anything over 10 lbs and my grandfather broke his left arm and cannot lift with that arm. It would be too hard for them to watch an infant for an entire day.

I hope to find a nanny. With my schedule it would make more sense and be more cost effective. I work 12 hour shifts and only work 3 days one weeks and 4 days the next. On the week that I work 4 days, 2 of those days are on a weekend when the Husband is off. This means I would only need childcare for 5 days every 2 weeks. Daycare does not work with that kind of schedule.

My friend, M, has a nanny now that lives about 15 minutes away. She started out coming to M's house, but now she sometimes takes little M back to her house for the day so she can get stuff done. She is an awesome nanny, very devoted to little M. She acts like a grandmother. She also cleans M's house and does laundry when she is there. She is also very reasonable and works around our odd schedule. The only problem is that her husband has recently been having heart problems and she has had to tell M that she cannot watch little M a few times in the last couple of months. The occasional call out does not bother me, especially since she gave M plenty of notice. I could just use a back up plan person. The concern I have is that if his health continues to fail, she will not be able to care for both him and an infant. Of course she is not the only nanny in the world, but we are new to this area and don't know many people. I am putting out the word at work in case someone knows of someone.

Well, enough babbling for now.

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