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.
By: Stephanie Reh Garde
If there was an ultimate ATN Angel, it would be Julie Beem. I still have the email exchange we had in February, 2009, when she and I met. Via a phone call and some emails, I suddenly became a part of ATN.
Julie has done what many get paid to do, run a non-profit. She has done this without the benefit of a salary until just this year. That is many years of professional leadership unpaid. I can’t stress how amazing that is. Moreover, she has kept it viable, been the leader as it has grown and flourished, and managed volunteers like me. Volunteers come with their own set of challenges. It is a “herding cats” situation and she does it with compassion and humor. She has been the keynote speaker at conferences and is well-known and well-respected in our community. She brings a sense of professionalism to ATN and demands it from the rest of us. She left a rewarding career for this. But, she stayed true to herself and made sure her family and daughter’s needs came first. The way she has found the tools and methods for her daughter is nothing but true grit and determination. I could go on and on. But, I sense she is squirming.
For me, she has been a professional, a boss, a mom, and a friend, living in a similar situation I am experiencing. She lives in Georgia. I live in Massachusetts. We have seen each other, face-to-face, probably less than a month in our 7 years together. She is a dear friend and my go-to person when I am stressed (lucky woman!). Her patience and understanding of the reasons for her daughter’s behaviors were models for me.
ATN is here, today, because of Julie. And, we are all better people for knowing her. She is wicked awesome!
Can you think of someone who has been an ATN Angel? Join the celebration by sending us your nomination here: http://www.attachmenttraumanetwork.org/atnangel/.