Sunday, October 23, 2011

Where I've Been

I promise to start updating more frequently (and with more pictures) very soon.  I suppose my first update should be this one, which is likely to be nothing more than a big 'ol pot full of excuses about why I've been too "busy" (everyone knows I HATE that word) to blog.  Basically it all boils down to the new job I took I couple of months ago.  Why the new job?  Why more hours?  Why a longer drive?  To answer, I have to back up a bit.  I've been with the same health care organization for just about five years and I've said it here before - I LOVE them!  I love the organization, I love the people I work with, the location of the particular clinic I work at is perfect and the benefits are awesome.  Last year I made the decision to give up my full-time position for a fill-in position and thus, gave up a phenomenal benefit package.  It was necessary at the time because of the extent and type of care that Marissa required.  The organization supported me completely and I have continued to work for them on an as needed basis, filling in and essentially setting my own hours.  We were lucky enough to be able to get a fairly decent health plan for Kevin, Esen and I paying out-of-pocket premiums, but they would not cover Marissa.  I take that back, they offered us a plan with a $10,000 annual deductible and no prescription drug coverage for her, which I politely declined.  Marissa is covered by Medical Assistance because her adoption was classified as a special needs adoption and because she is considered by the State as permanently disabled.  We are grateful for the MA, but it is much nicer to have her on group insurance coverage primary with the MA secondary. 

With the new children coming and even more medical issues to address; Marissa older, stronger, and more stable; I decided to return to work in a more permanent capacity.  I considered staying with my current employer and explored the possibility of a part-time position.  Unfortunately, staying with them would not afford us the luxury of choice when it came to health insurance coverage.  See, it is critical to me that each of our kids are covered at AFCH - aka our second home.  Marissa receives all of her care at AFCH and sees all UW doctors.  Esen has a UW pediatrician and sees some UW specialists.  Going with another health insurance plan would mean giving that up and I decided that there was no way I could do it. 

So, many months ago I began searching for the perfect job.  I wanted 20 hour weeks with inexpensive, full-coverage insurance that would allow the kids to stay at the UW.  I knew changing employers meant taking a pay cut, likely increasing my commute and starting over, but for the right insurance plan, I was willing.  Well, I found it and was so lucky to find it within one of the top health care organizations in the area.  The job itself is something totally different from what I've done before, challenging, and really enjoyable.  The people I work with are great and other than the commute, there is nothing I don't love about it. I also kept my fill-in position, so I really have the best of both worlds!

That brings us to now (and here come the excuses) - the last month, I have been training - full time.  I'm also keeping my part-time hours up at my other job.  I'm trying to manage the house, the kids' schedules, Marissa's therapy and doctor appointments, working on three adoptions from two different countries, and desperately trying to fundraise. Then, there was the stomach flu of the last week - I'll spare you any further details on that.  I also sit on the Patient Family Advisory Council for AFCH and I'm participating in several upcoming events - The Patient and Family Centered Care Conference  - where I'm sitting on a panel of 4 parents talking to over 400 participants (yes, me who can't stomach public speaking) and also this Wednesday's Child Health Advocacy Day at the Capitol.  I have an annual post placement report to write, AVON books to assemble and get out, and of course tons of stuff to do around the house.

Most days I feel like I don't know whether I'm coming or going.  I feel like I'm not being a great mom, wife, employee, volunteer, or anything else.  I kind of feel like I'm just getting by.  My 'to do' list is a million miles long and there is so much that needs to be done around the house before the kids come home.  I know it's going to get better.  November will bring a somewhat calmer schedule and I know it doesn't really matter if Kevin and the kids have to eat Mac n Cheese a few more times or if the papers lay on the counter another couple of days.  Knowing it doesn't make it any easier to tolerate, though.

So, there you have it.  That's where I've been - nowhere really.  Just working and living and getting by.  I promise to update and each of the kiddos soon. 


Jessi said...

Whoa. Really, really busy. I hope things slow down for you soon. You are AMAZING!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more, you are amazing! x

Suzanne Bilyeu said...

You are a phenomenal woman and don't ever sale yourself short!!!