Personal Statement for Application to Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

As rewarding as that experience was, not all of my work at the adoption agency was as satisfying. Most people understand that any adoption process -- especially when it occurs internationally -- is a long and complicated process that must deal with significant layers of bureaucracy. Success is, unfortunately, not necessarily guaranteed. But when adopting families are only a few weeks away from receiving their new children, we all begin to assume that adoptions will go through and we will have helped create many new families. Thus, it was especially devastating for all of us at the agency, not to mention the families involved, when two weeks before a new batch of Chinese children was meant to arrive, the Chinese government decided against letting the children leave the country. In hindsight, the reasons are unimportant; no rational explanation could have assuaged the grief of the families who had expectantly and lovingly prepared their homes for the arrival of their children. The consequences of this bureaucratic decision stymied the creation of new and happy families and destroyed months of work that I had participated in to carefully match prospective families with Chinese children who needed to be adopted.

While technically my work was done with the adoption process when the Chinese government denied the children's release, I felt obligated and responsible to comfort the grief of the families who just found out their new child was not going to arrive. But for as much capacity as I had to facilitate the adoption process and help mate children with new families -- such as the thankful work I did with said ten-year-old Chinese girl -- I found I was woefully unprepared to provide comfort for the debilitating grief these families felt. As rewarding as it had been to facilitate communication and the development of familial bonds between adopting parents who successfully received children, I found it equally heart wrenching to want to be able to help these broken parents and find myself unable to do so.

My decision to pursue graduate education in mental health/counseling has been driven by my inability to provide substantive succor for the potential families destroyed by the seemingly arbitrary decision of the Chinese government that day. Had I been better trained to help resolve grief in traumatic situations, I might have been able to marginally improve upon the personal disasters that occurred that day. It is my sincerest hope that furthering my education in mental health/counseling will provide me with the useful tools and techniques to improve lives and ensure that more adoption situations develop as favorably as they did with one ten-year-old Chinese girl.

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