Mother’s Day was always a big day in my house. My dad would take us to Walgreens to pick out anything we wanted for my mom. Looking back, I laugh at the idea of drugstore shopping, but we loved it and she pretended to adore the gifts of bath crystals and Chapstick.
I have spent many a Mother’s Day with all titles; stepmom, dying to be a mom, finally a mom, foster mom and for the first time this year, adoptive mom. This past Mother’s Day, we celebrated with our three beautiful children, two of whom are being adopted this summer, and I owe a lot of that joy to Sodexo and its amazing culture.
Our kids, Josh (6) and Nev (9) were introduced to us in March 2017. We had just received our certification in our new state of Virginia when we were asked if we would consider taking in siblings. We were terrified but excited. When I told my previous employer the great news, I was instantly met with annoyance. I was asked how I thought I could possibly juggle being a foster parent and my job. I knew it was time for a big change, and thankfully, Sodexo agreed when they hired me last June!
Sodexo has a much different take on fostering and adoption. Instead of aggravation and concerns over my ability to climb the ladder as a foster parent, I have been met only with understanding and excitement from everyone I have encountered.
Taking care of two children who have faced a lifetime of adversity in their young lives is not an easy task. It is extremely rewarding but not easy. When children have been broken, it can take a lot to put them back together, even when they are as resilient and incredibly happy as ours happen to be. We work with a team of therapists, advocates, teachers, attorneys and social workers monthly to ensure their future is bright.
Never in my time with Sodexo have I been made to feel guilty about the time I have taken to help our kids heal. While the amount of work didn’t change just because I was now a mom of three, my attitude did.
I truly believe that is due to my supportive work environment. It doesn’t feel like a chore to keep it all going when you love your job and the people you work with. My colleagues and manager have celebrated each new step of the adoption alongside me.
This past Mother’s Day, I was especially thankful. I was grateful for the adoption making us a family of six, for the three young kids that call me “MOOOOOOOOMMMMM” and the 18-year-old who calls me a cool stepmom. Finally, I am grateful to Sodexo for making me see that it is possible to have a career without sacrificing a six-year dream of adoption.