Name: Natalie Zickmund
Title at MLJ: Intern
What do you actually DO with MLJ? I am a senior majoring in Social Work at IUPUI and am completing my practicum at MLJ. I am on track to graduate in May of 2019!
What is your favorite part about what you do with MLJ? My favorite part about MLJ so far has been getting to speak with families who are adopting. Every family has a unique story and I love being able to see families who want to open their home to a new child. MLJ is also wonderful place for students to be able to learn and get hands on experience. I know that I will gain a lot from completing my internship and am looking forward to where this experience takes me in the future.
How long have you worked with MLJ? I have been interning at MLJ since the beginning of August 2018 and will be interning here until I graduate in May 2019.
What do you think makes you excellent at what you do? I am very passionate about international adoption and want to be involved in any way I can. For two years I lived in Guatemala with my family. I spent a lot of time in orphanages there and became attached to the children. I knew that I wanted to grow up to help children without loving families and stable homes. Now that I’m finishing school and completing my internship at MLJ that dream is coming true! I am eager to learn and hope to continue in the field of adoption after I graduate.
What do you love about adoption? I love adoption because it takes a very loving and special family to open their home and hearts to adoption. I love being able to see the difference in families before and after adoption.
What is one thing you wish more people understood about the adoption process? One thing that I wish more people knew about adoption is that it is so important to embrace the culture of the country that you are adopting from. I think that it can really help a child to adapt to their new home if they can still remember their old home. There are so many fun ways to incorporate a new cultural into your home!
What do you want to tell us about your family? I am the oldest child of 4. I have two younger sisters and a younger brother. My dad is a pharmacist and my mom is a Spanish teacher. We love to travel and go on vacation with each other. I also have a 1 year old Jack Russell named Tucker. He is a ball of energy who loves to go on walks and LOVES to eat popcorn.
When not working, what do you do for fun or to relax? In my free time I love to catch up on my favorite TV shows and spend time with family and friends. I also enjoy going on long walks with dog and exploring Indianapolis.
Any other fun, interesting facts about you? I have climbed the same volcano in Guatemala 3 times!