By Sheri Verdonk
In celebration of ATN’s 2016 Angels in Adoption award, we’re profiling ATN members who have helped ATN win the award — and who have themselves been Angels to families and children.
Our first profile is of Larry Smith, who we lost only a few short weeks ago. Sherry Verdonk, a former ATN board member and long-time volunteer, described the impact Larry made on both her and her family:
I had already been in counseling with our son pretty much since we adopted him at 3 years old. Larry was our third therapist and first male. Hallelujah!!!! Our son had issues with women and we had been treading water with him, but I was on the road to healing (or so I thought). Larry was matter-of-fact with a touch of humor and while some of what he taught went over the young one’s head, most stayed with me and my husband.
Unbeknownst to me my son wasn’t the only one treading water – I too was stuck. Larry in his infinite wisdom hit me with some truths and took off my rose colored glasses so that I could be a more effective, therapeutic parent. But Larry’s true Angel-ness came in revealing to me that I too suffered from secondary PTSD. I balked when I saw this, but slowly I realized that it was true so that I learned to accept his help and his direction in terms of helping our son. I began to reach out to others even more through volunteering with the ATN as the Director of Support and moreover reached out to those in my world who were on the same journey but didn’t even know it. Larry challenged me and gave me the encouragement to do it and educate others as well.
Larry Smith’s dry wit, extreme patience and consummate wisdom helped many.
Can you think of someone who has been an ATN Angel? Join the celebration by sending us your nomination here: http://www.