Kirsten Fawcett-Dubow, social worker, Cleveland

I want to tell you about my friend Kirsten Fawcett-Dubow.

She lives on my street and our kids are the same age and used to go to the same school. She co-founded the Girls on the Run chapter at the school and when I became a volunteer we got to know each other better.

She has a way of acknowledging the feat I have before me in raising my particular kids, without that panicked “slowly backing away” vibe, and also without the dreaded pity.  I always feel supported by her. She acknowledges and respects what I’m doing, and she’s championing me, but she’s not one bit worried I can handle it. Which is more than I can say for myself half the time!

When I was looking for a place to hold a retreat for autism moms? It took her two seconds to find one. Her mom has a lake house, which I didn’t even know about when I put out out the call to the Universe, (and I quickly learned where Kirsten got her generosity gene from). She also found me a yoga teacher to volunteer for the occassion.

Kirsten hosted the first slumber party Riley ever was invited to. Riley lists it as among the three best occasions of her life, along with getting her service dog Jingle and going to Mexico.

Kirsten’s daughters are full on adorable. They are kids who walk around with a light inside them, the kind that comes from being well loved.

Kirsten is a counselor at a local school district and she recently introduced Seth to another boy who has PANDAS. A cool, older boy who could offer him advice on what to say to peers and how to advocate for himself. It was the first person Seth ever met who also had PANDAS. It made him feel better not to be so alone. She intuitively knew it would. She also knew it would be good for the other boy to be able to offer guidance to Seth.

I could go on and on. Kirsten and her husband took the kids for a few hours no questions asked when Todd was in the hospital. Last year they helped me by taking the kids overnight so I could give Todd a night away as his Christmas present. To them it’s no big deal. To us it was our second night away in about ten years, having kids we’ve not been able to leave casually. It was a very big deal.

Kirsten even wrote me a letter of reference when I went to Divinity school. What? You didn’t know I went to Divinity school? Sadly, it didn’t take, but her letter! It was so lovely and heartfelt. At the time we talked about how great it would be if we all wrote letters of references “just because” for our friends. To let them know what we think of them. I guess this is my letter of reference for her.

In order to be there more for her family, Kirsten has recently re-jiggered her employment situation and she is going to be offering counseling services to new clients. She is working at Family Center by the Falls. Local friends, please spread the word! Spread it far and wide! She’s exactly the kind of counselor you want in your corner. Her new clients are going to be so blessed to have her. Soon I’m going to have a little button on my side bar under “sponsors” where you can refer back if you are looking for her info.

For everyone else, I ask you to consider writing a letter of reference for a friend in your life, just because.

Just because it feels awesome to do so.

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8 Responses to Kirsten Fawcett-Dubow, social worker, Cleveland

  1. Meg says:

    I will so happily spread the word! Yay Kirsten!

  2. What a wonderful idea! Thank you for the inspiration — and for sharing this beautiful person with us —

  3. Terry Dubow says:

    What a lovely note – and you don’t know the half of it. Kirsten is an even better wife than friend. Thanks for letting the world know about her!

  4. Renee Bischoff says:

    Kirsten was one of the first people I met when I moved to Cleveland nearly three years ago. When I told her I ran, she immediately encouraged me to join her group. She never asked how fast or slow I went (most people would) and never told her her pace (most people would). Rather, she saw that I needed the support of other runners and through her generous personality, she opened up a whole world of new running friends and terrain to me. The list of “I never would have done that without her” goes on and on. This is a lovely and fitting tribute to an amazing person.

  5. Dani says:

    This made me cry – Kirst, you truly are the best and I’m so happy to see you publicly acknowledged! We love you!

  6. kario says:

    I love this idea, Michelle! I’m totally doing it. You are brilliant!
    And of course, your brilliance has attracted this kind of friend. Of course it has.

  7. Carrie Link says:

    A damn fine idea.

  8. amber says:

    ” At the time we talked about how great it would be if we all wrote letters of references “just because” for our friends”–

    Brilly! Love it!

    I would title your letter, ‘ Mo’N, a damn fine Bish.’


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