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.