Name: AJ Bergstedt
Title at MLJ: Intern/Student
What do you actually DO with MLJ? I have had the pleasure of learning the ins and outs of writing/updating home studies, researching resources for families when they receive their referral, learning the process and details behind adoption, and so much more. As a student at IUPUI I am looking to learn as much as possible so I can take this with me into my future career as a social worker.
What is your favorite part about what you do with MLJ? I have been so thrilled to get to know the staff at MLJ and see them use their passion and knowledge to advocate for children who are literally oceans away and to use their skills to properly place the child with the best parents. I hope that one day I can use my skills, knowledge and passion just as they are!
How long have you worked with MLJ? I have been a social work intern since August of 2018 and will continue my internship until I graduate in May of 2019.
What do you think makes you excellent at what you do? I myself was adopted and have always had a passion to find children a forever home where the child can be loved, happy, and free to be themselves.
What do you love about adoption? In adoption, we take two different parties, one being the adoptive parents and one being the child and fill the void in their lives by matching them up.
If you could change one thing about adoption what would it be, why, and how? It is always sad to realize the trauma the children have endured and will grow up with even after being placed with their family. If I could take away one thing, it would the lifelong struggles.
What is one thing you wish more people understood about the adoption process? I think some people view adoption as just finding the kid you want. However, it is not like that at all. We are here to advocate for the young children who need wonderful families. We always lookout for the child’s best interest and find the best home for them.
What do you want to tell us about your family? I have the most wonderful parents who adopted both my older sister and I, who have given us both a better life than we would have had otherwise. My sister and I are forever grateful to them and thankful that they always answered out lengthy questions about adoption and our birth families while growing up.
When not working, what do you do for fun or to relax? I have two Polaroid cameras, which on sunny days I enjoy using to take unique photos with. On a rainy day, I love curling up on the couch with a good book and a laser for my cat to chase.
Any other fun, interesting facts about you? I have a cat that has always been mean but then our house and the cat got struck by lightning and she has been significantly nicer ever since!