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The cat is out of the bag…. well nearly

Well, after approval and as the weeks have gone by, things are starting to firm up. With meetings being set with medical advisors, early attachment assessors, teachers, foster carers and the like,  the likelihood of this happening is fast becoming a reality. We are being told that there really should be no concerns with us not being passed at the final matching panel in 7 weeks.  We have had very positive feedback from the boy’s social worker and all parties involved. I still have an element of doubt there and that’s natural, especially when you want something so bad. Boy do I want this so bad!

The wait is still killing us and the roller coaster of meetings being moved or not being scheduled continues, but you know what – it’s the end goal that is the important result.  Providing a loving, caring and nurturing family for these two special boys.

So I took it upon myself to face up to something that I had been worrying about for some time and faced it head on – telling my boss.  I don’t know what I was nervous, I don’t know why I was concerned but my career has always been so important to me and I love my job.  I think I am the first same sex adopter in our company and probably the first male exec who will be taking full adoption leave not just paternity leave.  (I say ‘think’ as we never know as others may have not been publicised or common knowledge).

We claim to be a family-friendly company, with family-friendly policies and now was the time to put it to the test.

On his visit from the USA I decided to take the plunge, considering this something I only wanted to do, or could do,  face to face.  The day came and my stomach was in knots.  I tried to regulate my feelings, saying to myself several times, “What’s the worst that can happen?” “It’s your legal right to take this leave.” etc…. but it continued to worry me as to his reaction.

I suggested we go for a walk to grab a coffee, which naturally set his mind this was something big and then I came out with it.  “Myself and my husband have been approved to be adopters and we are currently hoping to be matched with two boys.” His response was positive, supportive and he said how humbling it was what we were doing.  I explained how I was going to be taking adoption leave, and his reaction was “What’s that then? A month or so?”. To which I replied “No, it’s up to 12 months and I will be taking the full amount.” (Wait for expression change on face and silence to ensue). The joys of UK employment law.

After this we discussed how I have had cover plans in place for some time now, how I have been focusing on my successor and the person I believe is the only person fit to cover for me and how I won’t leave him , them or anyone else up a creek without a paddle.

You may ask yourself why care about this?  Why worry about something that ultimately they will have to cover themselves and I will be totally immersed in the trials and tribulations of fatherhood and adoption? After all I am not the first person to take adoption/maternity/paternity leave.

Well, it comes down to a few simple facts:

  1. I care.  I have worked hard developing my career and my team and this year we have really developed some great advances in what we do and as individuals.  I want this to continue and to evolve whilst I am out and therefore I need the best person doing this.

  2. I want to come back.  I know many of you are thinking ‘stop worrying about this’ but I do want to come back.  I want to return to a team that has evolved further and nailed some of the key objectives and focus areas I have already built up for 2017. We have started a great development journey in 2016 and I can’t wait to come back and see how much further it has moved. Plus, without stating the obvious, we are going to have two new mouths to feed and their lives to finance and fund and financially I need my job and want it to be a continued success.

  3. I am a perfectionist. Even my school reports used to state ‘ Matt does well and exceedingly well but his wish to have everything perfect may actually hold him back form completing things’. Something I have had to challenge myself over throughout all my career.  I don’t want any old cover for whilst I am out, I want the best and to see that all our hard work has been continued.

  4. I have an extreme sense of loyalty. To both my team and my company.  Despite many trials and challenges to this over the years, I ultimately feel a massive sense of belonging, loyalty and faith in my company and team.  Some may question this. Some may call it lunacy.  I don’t

So the cat is out of the bag, well kind of.  Currently the news is in lock down with only a few key people knowing.  I personally called our CEO, with whom I have a great relationship with and regard as a key mentor in my life, as well as our CFO.  They were both, as expected extremely supportive and please for us both.  They know I am a professional and I will ensure all is ok.  They are both solid family men and totally came alive when I told them this exciting news.

The next few weeks are sorting out the cover plan, discussing details and moves and then in two weeks time I will be sharing this with the key people affected.  I truly hope they see this my way of saying to them, I trust you, I want you to take the lead and to grow this team even further.

Watch this space……

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