I’M AN ADOPTEE AND HERE’S MY (QUICK) STORY OF HOW I FOUND MY FIRST THERAPIST
The way we experience the world around us is a direct reflection of the world within us. — Gabrielle Bernstein
I have little to zero expectations. I had been searching for a therapist for several weeks. Due to covid, most therapists were booked and not taking new clients. I dove into betterhelp.com to find someone, but each time, it felt like I was getting a Yoga instructor who was trying to make money as a therapist.
Finally, I went down the road of seeking an “adoption” therapist. As I googled, I came across a list of adoption therapists (growbeyondwords.com). Since I wasn’t getting much response from anyone, I basically created a pitch email to everyone on this list. It felt like I was at a startup trying to growth hack the company for new clients, except the clients were a therapist for me. Ha!
I didn’t expect much from all the emails I sent. However, within minutes, I received a response. Soon after, I received more and more responses. I had hit the jackpot of therapy gold. I’m not sure why I received so many responses, but either way — if you’re an adoptee looking for help, start at growbeyondwords.com.
Faith emailed me first with a reply that sounded like a human being. I was shocked at how fast she responded and I was desperate, so I replied, hoping I didn’t get tricked by a bot reply. Ha!
We quickly jumped on a zoom and just like that, I was on the adoptee road to therapy.
As I look back on the 30 minutes I talked with Faith, these are some of the thoughts and emotions I had.
I cried because it was the first person I spoke to beside my wife who could actually help me through trauma, grief and the mysteries of adoption. I’ve spoken to dozens of people about being adopted. However, most of the time the response is, “wow, what an incredible story.” People praise where I am at now, but never ask how it affected me.
I feel like I also cried because I had hope to come through the other side. After hearing Faith’s own adoptee story, I knew I was talking with someone who is further along in the journey than me. It was someone I could really learn from. A therapist and a coach.
When I say “I cried,” it was like real crying. My tears were rolling down my cheeks, nose runny, glasses fogged up type stuff. I was wrecked. The type of crying that wears out your physical body. I needed it. Looking back, I can feel how much of a burden I’m trying to carry.
I was proud of myself for sharing my story. I was also very proud of myself for asking questions about Faith’s story. I wanted to really know the benefits of therapy.
What was life like for Faith before and after therapy? How was she different or better because of therapy? If I’m walking down this path of learning, I want to know I’m with someone who can lead me. I also want to know that we have like spirits and I believe we do.
After we finished, I felt exhausted but peaceful. I’ve had similar feelings when I’ve had a crazy good work out. Time seems to stop. Nothing else seems to matter. I even sat at my desk and looked over books and notebooks around me and just listened. I was listening for any type of inner voice or self talk. I wanted to hear what my mind and body were saying after the experience.
For the most part, I just wanted to do nothing. My body felt exhausted and my mind felt at peace. I don’t know what that’s called in therapy land, but I must have really needed it. If you have kids, you know what it’s like when they are exhausted but won’t sleep. Then, when they finally do, they sleep for hours.
That’s the type of feeling it was. As if my mind and body needed a nap, a place of refuge, a safe place.
As I shuffle down this path, I want to have clear objectives but at the same time, I don’t know what I don’t know. It’s as if I’m excavating ancient ruins. I know their are treasures down there, I just don’t know exactly what they could be. This is the path I’m on. This is the mystery and the excitement of the unknown.