Saturday, June 20, 2009

Just being Me

As I move through life, I have gone through many iterations, changes and transformations.

I was the super shy awkward girl who spent a lot of time alone, reading, writing poetry and sketching. I was the super-tomboy who raced remote control boats with my Dad. I was the studious teen, who would cringe at the thought of breaking any rules. I was the late teen who could think of nothing better than to break all the rules; just because.
I was a college student, I was a college drop-out. I was a waitress, a flight attendant, a secretary, a legal assistant, a college graduate, a graduate student, a teacher, a corporate trainer, a worker-bee, a manager of teams, and always a writer.
I was married and not married.
I live on the right side of town. I lived on the wrong side of town. I lived in comfort. I lived in squalor. I lived.
I was poor. I was rich. I was poor.

I am now a mother. I am a writer. I am a photographer. I am a business owner. I am a friend. I am a lover of life. I am me.

Me, the person who cries easily. Me, the person who protects fiercely. Me, the person who cares deeply. Me, the person who forgives. Me, the person who lives peacefully.

Just Me.

I have grown and changed and transformed and I can finally say, I love just being me.

I love that I went through all the things I have, to come to the place I am. I love the idea that there will be many more changes, transformations and versions of me to come.

Just Me.

I will become something different each time, but lose nothing of what I was or what I am now.

I will become something more. A richer version of me. A more intensely layered me. A more colorful me.

Just me being me.

Friday, June 5, 2009

100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces For 2009

In 2002, when I became a Mom through adoption, having a company that was adoption friendly made the experience less stressful in several ways. I worked for Accenture, LL.P., a large IT Consulting firm. As an employee, I was treated just as any new parent. One of the ways that Accenture assisted me was through an adoption program giving adoptive parents up to $4,500 towards adoption expenses.

Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy's Hamburgers, was adopted at six months old and is remembered not only for his restaurants but for his commitment to adoption.

The 3rd annual Dave Thomas Foundation - 100 Best Adoption Friendly Workplaces was released and below are the top 10 companies.

1 Wendy's International, Inc.
2 Citizen's Financial Group, Inc. / RBS Americas
*3 way tie*
3 Liquidnet
3 LSI Corporation
3 United Business Media LLC (UBM)
6 Subaru of America, Inc.
7. Bowen Engineering Corporation
8. Timberland
9. Barilla America
10. Time Inc.

You can read more about it at:

It is hard to believe that adoption is so costly. However, the hard truth is that a private/agency domestic adoption costs in the range of $15,000 to $40,000 depending on the agency and the circumstances of the adoption. There is no simple formula used and as a person who wants to be a parent; having tried all the other options, adoption is often the only and best choice, regardless of the costs.

Becoming a parent is so amazing and when you have become one through adopton, the costs pale in comparison to the joy you feel with your child in your arms. The costs nearly dissapear from your mind and yet, as a new parent, the costs of having a child change everything.

Being provided the adoption benefit with Accenture deferred some of the costs and thus the stress associated with the that process. Many companies offer adoption benefits. If you are in the process or considering adoption, investigate these options. Ask your Human Resources department about what benefits are offered and understand the laws regarding your rights as a new parent.

It is imperative that you be proactive in the search for adoption related benefits, whether through the company you work for or through other sources. Dependant on your personal circumstances, there are many ways to defer costs, have a leave of absence and other options specific to your employer.

For more information on adoption, the laws and benefits of adoption, please visit The National Center for Adoption Law and Policy at

Now, six years later, my son is a vibrant, loving child who changed my world forever. He is part of me. There is no other option than knowing he is my son. All that was before him is of little consequence. He is my child and I am so grateful for my joy in him.