Staff Spotlight: Lauren Dove, LMSW

Lauren joined our team in August of 2015. You can find her professional bio here, but today is more about getting to who Lauren is and why she chose this line of work. Here are her answers to a few get-to-know-you questions we asked:

 What is a favorite/most rewarding part of your job? 

The most rewarding part, in general, is witnessing and playing a very small role in a family being created, both via adoption and surrogacy. There are certainly more specific moments that have stood out over the years that will forever have a special place in my heart- witnessing my first birth, any time I’m sent a photo a birth mother visiting with the adoptive family and child, calls from first moms- even years later- just to check in and catch up on how they are doing, the occasional times I hear from someone with whom I worked but whom ultimately decided to parent, thanking me for walking that road with them while they considered their options.

Describe the circumstances that led you to choose this area of work: 

My sister told me, while I was in college, that she and her husband were hoping to adopt. I started wondering and thinking about the woman who would ultimately be choosing to place her child with them and wondered who she had “in her corner.” I’d always had a heart for the expectant population, but it was this moment that solidified for me that I wanted to work with women who were considering adoption plans for their children as I felt it was one of the most selfless and hardest things a woman can do for her child. Once I started working for the firm, and learned more about surrogacy, and came to appreciate a completely different version of selflessness in working with the women who choose to become gestational carriers!

 Is there a quote or particular value that inspires you to keep going on the hard days? 

There is a sign in my office that says

Beautiful girl, you can do hard things.”

I purchased it with the population I work with in mind, but it’s a subtle reminder to me, too. When I am having a particularly hard day or a day of self-pity (feeling like the job is too much, spending too much time away from family, or just overwhelmed in general), I take a moment to put into perspective that when the task or day is over, I am still going home to my family, where I am supported, loved, and am not facing a life altering decision like an adoption plan. Reminding myself that my temporary discomfort or “sacrifice” is spent helping someone through a heartache that I cannot fathom helps change my mindset.

Name something you admire or appreciate about a co-worker and why: 

Our office really has a collaborative feel to it. Not many people are blessed to work in an environment where they feel like someone “has their back,” but I do! I am also amazed at Jim and Dale’s ability to compartmentalize and exude positivity, even on the hard days.

Name your top 3 podcasts or books: 

I spend a lot of time in the car so podcasts are extremely helpful! You can usually find me listening to podcast of a recording of The Ace & TJ Show, The Office Ladies, or Dimples & Adoption.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

 Over the last year, my daughter has been a “brand ambassador” for the clothing company KK Made. This has been a great hobby as it allows me some dedicated time with her, as well as  introduced me to a wonderful group of mamas who live all over the country! Plus the clothes are cute 😉. 

Do you have a favorite local place to eat, relax, or play? 

With traveling to different parts of the state being a big part of my job, I’ve come to feel like the entire state is “local.” I’ve found “favorites” all throughout the state:

Willy Taco in Spartanburg (@willytacohubcity)

Pawley’s Front Porch in Columbia (@pawleysfrontporch5pts)

Brown Dog Deli in Charleston (@browndogdeli)

Tattooed Moose on John’s Island (@tattooedmoose_johnsisland)

The Sweetery in Anderson (@thesweetery1)

What do you love about living in South Carolina? 

So many things. I’m from an extremely small town where I learned the value of a sense of community and taking the time to help others when you can. I love that South Carolina is a relatively small state- you can get from the mountains to the beach in a matter of hours. I love that we have 4 dedicated seasons (though, in my opinion, summer can tone it down a notch, I could do with less of the heat! Haha!).

If you’d like to get to know other members of our staff, stick around! We’ll be introducing them one by one over the coming weeks.

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