DaVita Stories

Changing the World by Changing Way the World Looks to One Person

We don’t have to change the world when we can change the way the world looks to one person at a time!

Never in my early adult years did I think I would ever have eight children calling me mother, but life’s callings have a way of changing you.  The seed for adoption was planted in my teen years but didn’t began to bloom till about the time I turned 30. By this time, my husband of 10 years and I already had three children, ages 7, 5, and 3. He was content. As a stay at home mother, I found myself feeling unsettled, sensing I/we were meant for something more.

It has now been nearly 11 years since we began our first adoption journey. My experiences with adopting five children with origins from half way around the world (China) have challenged and changed the way I see the world. As I have grown in my Christian faith, I often wonder how I can change the world, which can be an overwhelming thought. It’s even more overwhelming when you’ve been in an orphanage, seen all the children who wait for the love of a family, and know that many will never be given the chance. Some won’t even live long enough to have a chance. Such images have haunted me and I use them as my motivation to advocate and educate others to adopt or support families who are in pursuit of adoption.

While it is good to want to change the world, if we focus on such a big goal, and become overwhelmed we will do nothing. If we can refocus on changing how the world looks for one person, we can see those results and be motivated to do more. This is my focus in adoption and as a social worker with DaVita.

Our adoption journeys motivated me to work toward becoming a social worker. Last summer, after four years of late nights utilizing an online program, I finished my master’s degree of social work!  So while I have only been a social worker with DaVita six months, I have seen how the diagnosis of ESRD can crush a patient’s world. I’ve witnessed how those who remain with this focus tend to struggle physically and emotionally. Therefore, when I work with patients, my goal is to encourage them and give them hope by letting them know that they have a team here at DaVita who knows that their journey is not an easy one but that it is doable. That we are here to walk alongside them, cheering them on along the way.  As a caring team, we can encourage patients to embrace this journey as becoming a part of them but not defining who they are. This change in perspective can alter how they continue with life.

For me, adopting five children and supporting and loving them as they learn and grow has been incredibly rewarding. Similar to my experience as a social worker at DaVita, I have found my way to change the world by helping to change the way the world looks to one person.

Tracy Downey

Tracy Downey

Tracy Downey is a DaVita social worker in Indiana who began her career within the Village in 2016.