Healthy Minds recently held an internal writing contest, with the winner receiving a donation to the charity of their choice.
Congrats to contest winner Janet Nordine, who asked that Adoptees Connect receive the prize money on her behalf.
In addition to Janet’s work at Healthy Minds, she also has a popular blog, www.experiencecourage.com, where she writes about issues pertaining to adopting children and being an adoptee. Given her professional and clinical expertise combined with her lifelong experiences as an adopted person, Janet is an invaluable resource to anyone looking to learn more about the topic of adoption.
The Importance of Staying
by Janet Nordine, MS, LMFT
It was a day at the beach that changed the course of my career.
On July 27, 2012, I had spent the day with my husband riding our bikes along the Pacific Ocean. Wind on our faces and ocean air in our lungs. The kind of day that you write in a journal about as being “the perfect day.”
After our ride, and on our way home to Las Vegas, I checked my emails. There, I found an email from a psychologist in town who had a new idea that he and a psychiatrist I knew had been discussing, and he wondered if I would be interested in hearing more. I had worked with Dr. Lisa Durette before, and knew that I would love an opportunity to work with her again.
I emailed that I would be interested in sitting down, hearing more and having a conversation.
Over 6 years later, I continue to be interested in the conversation at Healthy Minds on bettering the lives of children in foster care.
What that email asking about my interest in this new venture could not have known was that I became a therapist to help others through life’s experiences. You see, I was once a foster child myself. For the first year of my life, I was in the foster care system waiting for a permanent, adoptive home as I had been relinquished to be adopted at birth. I have five older brothers who were raised in a foster home and aged out of foster care here in Clark County.
When I sat down to talk about this “pilot program,” I knew that this work was my life’s calling, as I felt a connection to these children and felt that this innovative idea would really help children and families heal.
These children, and their families have changed me as a human being and as a therapist.
These children have endured so much in their short lives. I have heard their stories that speak of the evil in the world. Stories of physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Stories of seeing parents beat each other. Stories of seeing a parent murdered. Stories of hunger, fear, neglect and loneliness. Some of these stories still haunt me and I seek out the support of my peers to process my own feelings.
And yet, these children have shown me the beauty in their healing. They have taught me about resilience. They have broken my heart, over and over. I have cried with them and for them. There have been days I did not think I could do this job for one more day and there have been days when I could not even imagine doing any other work.
The children are the reason I show up day in and day out, with hope still residing in my heart, knowing that we at Healthy Minds are making a difference in the lives of these children and their families. And, they are making a difference in my life, too.
About the author:
This Healthy Minds article was written by Janet P. Nordine, MS, LMFT
Janet Nordine is a graduate of the University of Phoenix with a Master’s of Science in Counseling, emphasizing Marriage, Family and Child Therapy. Her therapeutic approach is to see each client as a person, not a diagnosis, using kindness and reflective listening to validate each client’s life experience.
Areas of specific interest and passion are recovery from childhood sexual abuse, navigating the emotions and trauma of adoption for all in the adoption constellation, Connected Parenting, utilizing Play Therapy modalities, and Sand Tray Therapy with children. Janet is trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and she is a certified Trust Based Relational Intervention, (TBRI) Practitioner with the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development.
Janet is currently in a year long advanced training with The West Coast Institute for Gestalt Therapy with Children & Adolescents to become a Certified Trainer and Gestalt Certified Therapist. She is a member of American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, The Association of Play Therapists, she is the Nevada Representative for The American Adoption Congress, and a past president of a local school Parent Teacher Association (PTA). Janet is well-versed in community assistance ideas and referrals for all types of situations.
As a 3rd generation Nevadan, she feel confident in helping families navigate stressors that living in Las Vegas may bring. First and foremost, she is a wife, mother and adoring dog owner.