Meet Marilyn Rich, our Central PA District Supervisor and Search Coordinator! Her impressive career path demonstrates her dedication to the family building process through adoption. As an adoptee herself, Marilyn has poured her heart into AFTH and tells us that the best past of her job is seeing the children of families she has helped over the years as they grow up and have success in life!
Marilyn Rich has been in the reproductive healthcare field for 40 years. For the last 25 years, she has been a District and Regional Supervisor with Adoptions From The Heart in the Central PA Region. She also serves as the agency’s Search Coordinator, assisting adoptees seeking to contact their birth parents.
As an Adoptee, She Was Passionate About Working in the Field of Adoption
Marilyn comes to the agency with personal adoption experience. She was placed for adoption at 4 months old and her adoptive parents felt that it was very important to maintain a relationship with her biological family. Her adoptive parents afforded her many opportunities to visit and keep in contact with her biological relatives. She sees the immense value of maintaining an open adoption over the years. Once she interviewed with Maxine Chalker, AFTH’s Executive Director, she was thrilled to see the philosophy of the agency reflected her very own.
Marilyn’s career began with the wonderful opportunity to witness a training with psychotherapist Dee Paddock, during which time she learned important tools that have helped her in her work. Some of the things she learned from Dee: adoption brings both joy and sorrow always woven together in this tapestry we call family. Children placed through adoption may have issues with separation, loss, abandonment, rejection, and identity, which birth children in intact birth families do not have.
Throughout Her Time at AFTH…
Marilyn has seen many different sides of adoption in her work from all the members of the adoption triad. She has seen difficulties which may arise when communication and understanding lacks with issues separation, loss, abandonment, rejection, and identity.
In her work with adoption searches, the fact that many adoptive parents lose sight of the importance of contact throughout the years with pictures, letters, and visits still strikes a chord with her. She is impressed and comforted by the adult adoptees whose adoptive parents understand the importance of their child’s family history.
Marilyn says that Rabbi Earl Grollman, an internationally known bereavement counselor, put it best: “Please don’t try to destroy part of your past even when remembering HURTS. Yes-we are children of today and tomorrow, but we are also children of YESTERDAY. The past travels with us and what it was, is what WE ARE.”
Marilyn adds, “adoption profoundly affects every member of the adoption triad in many ways. We must continue to respect the individual journey for each person as they grow and discover their stories.”
AFTH is so glad to have Marilyn as a part of our team for the past 25 years and counting!