I love what I get to do.
There are different parts, each unique yet related and cohesive at the same time. China work. Caring for caregivers through The Sparrow Fund. Coming alongside adoptive families. I likely share the least about that last part—not because there are not valuable things to share but because there are a lot of hard parts and stories that I do not own.
About 10 hours a week, I’m sitting with moms and dads and kids who want more for their families than what they have now. My role is a simple but significant one. I get invited in. For a season, I get to be a professional mourner and a helpful appreciator to grieve the hard parts and magnify the good parts.
When I officially started a few years ago at the Attachment & Bonding Center of PA, I knew history mattered. Now, I know history matters in a deep sort of way. The tears I’ve cried beside families when their babies have said, “she shouldn’t have just left me there!” and asked, “”why didn’t they tell me I was leaving?” have changed me and the way I understand the world.
One of the things each one of the therapists on my team do is help parents walk with their children as they process their stories. I’d even say it’s one of our specialties. We are not afraid to enter right into the hard, bringing moms and dads with us there. If that’s where our kids are, then that’s where we need to be.
I’ve been trained in ways to do this. But, I want to evolve, grow, never stop adding new tools to offer that just may help a child and that child’s parents see things in new ways, process more deeply, and connect more deeply still.
I’m on a mission right now to do that. I want to add a tool we haven’t used before to help families consider more deeply what life may have been like for their birth families, to help families hear their voices. I want to use finding letters, real finding letters, letters reportedly found with a child at the time of abandonment. Not their own as not many were found with letters and fewer still received them. I want to use finding letters as an exercise to stop and listen to some so that they can stop and imagine what their own birth families may have said.
I need help from adopted persons from China to do this. My work isn’t only with families with children from China. This tool, however, will be. I am looking for Chinese adopted persons who have copies of finding notes and who are comfortable sharing them for the purpose of helping other adopted persons.
To participate, people simply need to email [email protected] with a jpg or png image of your finding letter and any background information you want to share. Include somewhere in the email permission to use the finding note for therapeutic purposes. I’ll have the notes translated and share that with each participant, including any associated observations about word choice or writing style, etc.