Leslie Jenkins, ASAP Family Therapist
After meeting with a pre-teen girl for several months, she casually revealed to me that she’d been sexually molested by her birth uncle. I asked her how she felt having shared that info with me, and she stated that she felt “like a weight had been lifted from her”. We then began the difficult process of trauma work. This girl wrote an amazing, powerful story, one that allowed her to add in her new life with her adoptive family. When it was time to read it to her adoptive parents, she began to panic and became very emotional. In this difficult moment, she was able to discover inner strength that she never knew existed. She did read her trauma story that day. I’ll never forget the way her words came to life, and she conquered her past. The two parts of her story that stick out in my mind the most are “my heart broke every time I was unable to tell my dad the truth about what was happening to me”, and “my therapist has helped me see that I am pretty and strong”. Hearing this story made my heart ache for her, but it also reminded me of what an important role I play in the lives of children every day.
After a hard road of disappointments and successes, I was able to sit down with the family to reflect and celebrate their accomplishments. As we sat down to enjoy the pizza together the adoptive dad said grace. As I listened closely to his heart felt words of gratitude, he thanked God for me and the help I’ve given their family. As I was preparing to leave that evening, I inquired what had been the most helpful about our time together. The adoptive mom replied that I have “restored hope to their family”.