My sister is adopted. She never knew her biological father, and her mother died when she was young, so my sister mostly grew up in the care of her stepfather. Though we share many experiences, her home roots are different than mine. I grew up in a stable family with a mother and a father. My sister literally went through two sets of parents and, once she entered foster care, switched from home to home until she met us at age twelve.
Digging Up the Roots
During the course of January – March 2018, I will embark on a 10-post series called “Roots” exploring the childhoods of people I meet and see—people like my sister, who have stories that have shaped them in remarkable ways. I want to empathize with those around me and put myself in their shoes. As a Christian, I want to see what they see and understand how their childhood affects how they view the world.
Most importantly, I want to listen. I think so often we get caught up in the magnitude of our lives, our problems, and our own voices that we forget to listen to our coworkers and friends, the very people we pass every day in coffee shops, in class, at work. We listen to respond to them, but how often do we listen to understand them? Not often enough.
My childhood shaped me into the person I am today just as your childhood formed you into you. Through contemplation and a humble heart, I seek to have an open mind and come face-to-face with the people around me.
I hope you’ll join me as I embark on an honest journey of understanding and empathy.
Abby Jewett is an English Major at the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, MN. She is an aspiring author with an ever-growing curiosity for the world around her. Follow her on Twitter and read her personal blog.