We are so honored to have as guest blogger this week Whitney’s literal lifesaver, Kristi Marshall. Our readers were first introduced to her in a recent series: Between Two Worlds, Seeking Help and Laying It All Out. There was a time in Whitney’s life when Kristi was her only safe person in the entire world. During that incredibly difficult period, Kristi taught and loved and guided and challenged and stretched. She would say that was just “doing her job,” but her calling to walk alongside hurting people is something that has forever changed our lives. We know that each reader can find something here to cling to in this special guest post.
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Hello! Let me introduce myself! My name is Kristi and if you have been following We the Lees, you may know that I am a licensed professional counselor. I have many years of experience counseling all members of the adoption triad – adoptees, birth families and adoptive couples. To say that adoption is a passion of mine would be an understatement! Needless to say, when Whitney stepped into my office, I was thrilled to see her. I could tell from the look on her face that she was weary from walking her journey alone. She tried to mask it with her big beautiful smile, but her pain was obvious. I think it’s so common to feel “alone”- alone in your struggle, alone in your pain. Sometimes the biggest thing counseling can offer is the gift of presence. There is nothing magic about talking to someone (although I do have a magic wand in my office for emergencies), but as Whitney can attest, there IS something “magic” about being vulnerable. It is so intimidating to think about going to a “stranger” to talk about “feelings.” I always tell clients, I am first and foremost, a human being (not a robot). Yes, I am a therapist, but much of what we discuss in counseling is the nature of what it’s like to be human, to have big feelings…sometimes scary feelings. There is no judgment in a therapist’s office. Ideally, everyone finds a safe place that is full of grace and compassion; permission to be where you are.