Why I do what I do
I was thinking today, remembering really, about times I have really helped someone. This train of thought happened, I think, because I am selling my house. Buying this house, the time effort, and energy I put into this house, allowed me to help myself out of a really bad time in my life.
This analysis, this train of thought, made me wonder when and if I had every really — truly and honestly — helped someone. My thoughts led me back to when I was practicing law, back to a special client.
Somewhere in early November a new client came to my office and hired me to file for a step-parent adoption — an action by which her current husband could adopt her child from her previous marriage. My client’s ex-husband had divorced her and exited her life and that of their child. She told me where to find him, but also told me he rarely answered her letters. I prepared the paperwork, a consent form, and sent it to her ex at the address she provided, then we waited.
On Christmas Eve I received the signed consent form. I called my client, told her the news and asked her to stand by. I called a Judge I knew and asked if he could finalize the adoption that afternoon, Christmas Eve. He said he would wait for us. I called my client and told her to get to the courthouse as soon as she could.
Winters in Seattle are nasty, wet and cold, and this was just another of those December days. I met my clients and her son, all of us cold and soaking wet, and we shook off the rain on our jackets and went to the Judge’s chambers. The Judge took the forms, swore in the mother and step-father, asked the perfunctory questions, received the appropriate answers, and signed the adoption papers at 4:30 on Christmas Eve. It felt a little like a Christmas miracle, and I guarantee that none of us felt wet and cold at that moment.
I think that moment, that feeling from that wet and cold Seattle day, is what drives me today, to try to keep that feeling in mind in my work, in how I treat my clients, and to recognize that which my partners and I do is very emotional and important to our clients. We help them realize their dreams, build their future and achieve something they very badly want. It makes us feel good, and it makes our clients feel good…what could be better?