Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Nikki Pauls DeSimone: Grief and Loss {with something special just for you!}

As of late, I’ve taken a little look at myself and some of my main (non-family) loves. Here are my top 3.

#1 – I love going on job interviews. I job interview for hobby with no intention of taking the job. It makes me feel good about myself. It’s sick, I know. This is how I end up with 6 jobs – not exaggerating.

#2 – I love falling asleep on the couch. It’s like a little treat for me. My bed is so comfy and I love my husband, but there’s still nothing better than the occasional “Nikki night.” I was older when I got married, so I still appreciate a night sleeping alone here and there.

#3 – I love talking about grief and loss. It is absolutely my favorite topic during home study interviews. Perhaps life in general. Always has been. But now after adopting my own child, I am obsessed with the subject matter. Home study families and dinner party guests of the future, get ready.

So when I was asked to present one of my three main loves at Joy in the Journey retreat, I was all too happy. You’ll have to come to the session to find out if I’m giving job interview pointers, extolling the virtues of a night alone, or talking about grief and loss.

In my grief and loss session we will examine the common theme of grief and loss as it pertains to your adopted children. In this session we will see how grief and loss issues can manifest themselves in your child though sleeping issues, eating issues, self-confidence issues, maturity, and their educational journey. We will look at trigger events and see how grief and loss issues will be lifelong.  I will pepper you with stories from older adult adoptees so we can really see how your child will never “outgrow” these issues, We will also take a look at our own grief and loss issues and see that by dealing with them proactively we may be able to avoid the common Post-Adoption Blues phenomenon. Come to this session with an open mind, ready to learn, perhaps put some pieces of your child's puzzle together, and examine the importance of doing some work on you before, during, and after your adoption. 


I have worked in adoption for the past 11 years, but my love for adoption began long before that. As a young child, I begged for my mom buy to me a Cabbage Patch doll that looked nothing like me. I treasured that adoption certificate with my life. As a teenager, I befriended all the exchange students at school and babysat almost exclusively for children who were adopted. When I was in college, I began sharing my plans for adopting my own children. It was around that same time that I figured out that I could also make a career out of it. Six weeks before graduation with a Spanish degree, I chose MSW programs that didn’t require the GRE, applied quickly and got accepted days before I graduated. While in graduate school, I made no bones about the fact that I had no desire to do anything in social work that didn’t relate to adoption. Much to the chagrin of my professors (of which, for the first time, I was not a faculty favorite…can’t imagine why) I landed my own practicum at the international adoption agency where I have worked for the past 11 years. My love for adoption grew in 2008 when I also began working in the field of domestic adoption and then in 2014 when I adopted my own child from China. I am so excited to be attending and speaking at Joy in the Journey this year. I’ve never attended a women’s adoption retreat before and am eager to get to spend a couple of days with old and new friends. 

Read More About the Retreat Sessions here

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