Debra Wilson has served as an adoption social worker for nearly 40 years and will retire from CHS on June 28th. Her impact on adoption will be forever on the hearts of the birthmothers, families and staff. Please read her thoughtful “parting thoughts” below. We wish Debra well and will miss her! Thank you, Debra, for making a difference and giving us the opportunity to learn so much from you!
I remember sitting at my desk towards the end of the year 2017 thinking to myself that maybe it was time for me to consider retirement. But then I thought, “Why are you doing that you have only worked at CHS for eleven years!” Of course reality set in that my career as an Adoption Social Worker began in January 1977 and for only 2 ½ years (9/91-3/94) I worked at a preschool. So when I added up all the years, it had already been 38 years. No wonder I was thinking about retirement!
My emotions have been like a roller coaster but I am happy to say that I have truly enjoyed my chosen path—social work—for 39 ½ years. I have touched the lives of many people, and most importantly, there are many infants whom I had the opportunity to place in permanent, safe and loving homes.
I have worked with wonderful couples who longed to be parents and were given the opportunity to be moms and dads through adoption.
I have worked with birth mothers and birth fathers who made difficult decisions when they decided to put the needs of their infants first, to offer them a life they were not in a position to provide at that time.
Working with children has always been my chosen path; when I changed my major from teaching to social work, it was with the idea of working and serving the needs of children.
I am thankful for the opportunity to have worked at Children’s Home Society of Virginia. I thank Nadine Marsh Carter for hiring me and for her dedication to the agency and the mission; always thinking about the services the agency can provide for children, families and young adults aging out of foster care. She has worked tirelessly moving the agency to the forefront, but also thinking of the needs of her staff as well.
I thank Laura Ash-Brackley for being the kind of supervisor she is, and having patience to listen to the many stories that I would tell her about the cases in the infant program…as well as my own personal stories!
I thank the entire team at CHS for their support and encouragement no matter what the situation. I firmly believe that when you wake up in the morning and get ready for work you shouldn’t feel as if you are going to dig ditches (unless that is your job!)
So I am ready to move on to the next phase of my life with NO REGRETS…only wonderful memories of having worked for a great agency doing great work.
Blessings and Love,
Infant Program Manager