January 20, 2014

Breakthrough For One of Our Own in Adoptee Community
Don't Give up Hope! E-V-E-R!!!

Joe Soll
This past weekend the adoptee community was  buzzing! Everywhere I looked, I saw the reports of this breakthrough!

The big news was about  Joe Soll, psychotherapist, author, adoption educator and founder of the Adoption Healing Network. 

Backstory: Joe is a black market adoptee who was sold as a baby, by a famous baby broker in New York named Bessie Bernard. He was resigned to accept the fact that he would probably never be able to know the truth of his history, or find his family. The time period of his search was 32 years.

Enter: DNA testing!

Through DNA  testing and  connecting with a cousin, Joe finally discovered his truth in the past few days as the cousin revealed his mother’s name. 

The discovery is bittersweet as his mother passed away in 1987. It is still amazing that Joe now knows the truth – he has his mother’s name and photo and is connecting with other family members.

Joe posted photos of his mother and the resemblance to him is astounding.

A Heart to Help

Joe has his own unique style of helping people. 

Methods can be vastly different among those who strive to help others. At the core of the issue, a true heart to help people must remain the most important thing.

 When you really want to help people, method becomes secondary to message. A close companion to the importance of message is motivation.

Photo Credit: JasmineDeliliah, Flickr
One thing I’ve noticed during my time as an active part of the adoptee community is that Joe is well known for his kindness and generosity.

There’s so much to be said for that.

Two personal experiences come to mind:

A few months ago, an adoptee I had never connected with before walked into our Adoptee Restoration Tampa Bay support group meeting.When I asked him how he found us, he said, “Joe Soll sent me here. He thought this group would be helpful for me."

I was shocked!  Joe has his own healing network. He writes books, counsels, and hosts his own "healing weekends." Why would he send this man to us?

Joe just wanted this adoptee to get help. Whether it be at his group – or another group, was of less importance to Joe than simply meeting a need.

The second occasion I had to observe Joe in action was when some adoptees who read here alerted me of an adoptee who was in the process of attempting suicide. A group of us began to reach out to her on Facebook but she had left her computer and headed to another location where her attempt was in process. The police were called and reached her in the nick of time, but Joe was instrumental on the scene as well. One of the adoptees said, "I think Joe has her phone number!." 

He did.

Why did Joe have her phone number? It wasn't the first call he made over the years, in an effort to "save" her in time.   

My heart was touched to hear that he stopped everything, picked up the phone and made that call.   

Both times.

I’m not buddies with Joe or anything like that.
We are just acquaintances. 

He's a psychotherapist.
I'm a pastor. 

I'm sure we don't agree on everything. (Who does?)
And, I don't think we share the same faith, although I'm not totally sure.

So what's my point?  

Whatever It Takes, and Whoever it Takes

There’s a lot to be said for just caring about helping people, whatever it takes -- and whoever it takes. That's what brings progress, with most anything.

The amazingness of a non-threatened, kind soul who just wants people to get what they need, no matter who they get it from or how they get it --  is profound. Someone who doesn't care so much about how it happens and just cares that it does. This is a rare find.

From everything I've observed, Joe is that kind of guy.

The Law of Sowing and Reaping

As a Christian, I believe in the biblical law of sowing and reaping. This works, for good or for bad.

In 2 Corinthians 9:6 the Bible says, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”

Galatians 6:9 instructs: “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.”

Sometimes it takes time to reap.

Maybe even 32 years. Or more.

Joe has sown into the lives of a lot of people with his kindness and good deeds. He is reaping now and a community rejoices with him.

I’m thankful that in response to his pain, Joe chose to reach out and help others.

And, I’m also grateful that he DNA tested to find his natural family, and didn’t give up hope completely as bleak as it looked. This is a great inspiration to the rest of us who are still searching.

Yesterday Joe posted on his Facebook page that he is “flying”.

Fly, Joe, fly!

We cheer you on, as you do.

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” ~ 2 Corinthians 6:9