My Social Work Journey
Hello, today is my birthday, yay!
In honor of my life and the joy that I get out of my calling, I want to write and give you all a synopsis of my journey as a social worker in adoptions and my “walking in good works that God prepared beforehand for me to walk in” or something like that 😉 (Ephesians 2:10 is a better translation!)
Outline/Timeline Part 1:
Prior to my birth: Although I was raised by my biological parents, adoption is a big part of my family that I have known about for as long as I can remember.
Elementary school: One of my most favorite TV shows is Punky Brewster, a show about a foster child who gets adopted by her unlikely caregiver, Henry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punky_brewster)
Later elementary school/early middle school: I love Barbies, and making stories for their lives. I have adult and child barbies. One of my favorite story plots is having a Barbie orphanage and having the children get adopted.
Middle school: I consider I might like to go into psychology (or social sciences) as a field.
High school: I make some bad choices. Other things happened, but the bad choices are relevant 🙂 I also learned that I have a comfort level with/interest in sadness.
College: I get involved in various causes to support others, double major in psychology and English. Also, I become a Christian. I’m sure this wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for some of the pain I had experienced. God used this pain, over time, as well, to help me be sensitive to others’ vulnerability and be able to commiserate with them. By the end of college I wasn’t sure what kind of career I wanted to go into, but I knew it would need to be focused on helping others. Particularly, as we studied what Jesus said about divorce in the bible, I felt a strong pull to help children whose parents had divorced, as I sensed this was a very hard thing for children.
Year after college: I work at a psychology research lab at Syracuse University. I do home visits and work with many families, some middle class and some very poor. I have a sense that while we are researching the families and helping a larger cause, I wish I could offer more help to the families we visit. Also this year, I meet a foster family at my church and their foster son, John. I am really impacted by this family I think this is a sort of job I can pour my heart and gifts into. These experiences, and the thoughts I had at the end of college, make me consider if I could really have what it takes to be a social worker. Although lots of people with experience say it is really hard, I decide it’s worth a try. I move down to Orlando with a close friend from college, my friend Ellen 🙂 (See my previous post about her!)
To be continued…
I will leave you, for now, with a picture of me and Ellen with a few friends in college 😉 In this picture, I think we are doing the cupid shuffle move the ‘Charlie Brown’ and we don’t know what that is!