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S03 E04 Special - Live Recordings from the Concerned United Birthparents Retreat

This is a special episode where I bring you some recordings I made when attending the Concerned United Birthparents Retreat in Carlsbad, CA. I talked with adoptees, first mothers, and a grandmother of loss. We discuss what they learned at the retreat, and what they wish society knew about adoption. If you’d like to hear some of my reporting directly from the event, check out the Adoptees On Facebook page for the live videos I did after each of the sessions I attended. Partner with me and...

Duration: 00:27:19

S03 E03 Tracy: I Was a Disappointment to Her

Today we discuss what happens when you search for your origins and find out you’re too late. Tracy also shares some painful stories about what her childhood experience of growing up with a narcissistic mother was like. Tracy explains her inspiration and the symbolism behind the broken heart adoption pendant. We wrap up with a great discussion about fostering creativity in ourselves and how that can lead to resilience and move us towards healing. Partner with me and join the secret...

Duration: 00:51:35

S02 E02 Derek: Reunion Brings Ghosts to Life

Derek Frank tells his story about how the movie Philomena brought his desire, to know where he came from, to the surface. We talk about his reunion with his birth father and siblings and what’s holding him back from connecting with his birth mother. We tackle some deep topics including feeling like "culturally cousins" instead of like siblings, grief, and the importance of art therapy. Ridghaus (from season 3 episode 1) returns and, together with Derek, they share behind-the-scenes of the...

Duration: 01:37:10

S03 E01 Ridghaus: Am I Adopted?

Ridghaus shares about relinquishing a son at age 19, and then moving ahead to age 35, he is surprised to learn he too is adopted. We discuss the crisis of identity caused by late discovery and how he managed to establish and ground himself during a two-year healing period. Ridghaus also shares an intimate conversation between himself and his son, processing adoption loss and what he would do if he could go back in time. This is part one of the two-part premiere of season 3! Next week we...

Duration: 00:59:11

S02 E13 Finale with Jessenia - Adoptee Advocate

Jessenia Parmer of I Am Adopted shares her incredible journey from being abandoned as a baby, her challenges within her adoptive family, to becoming an advocate and voice for adoptees. She is incredibly candid about her personal adoption trauma experiences which include abuse, identity issues, and suicide attempts. As a Christian, Jessenia is open with her faith yet struggles with how the church presents adoption. We discuss the things we’ve learned from our work with adoptee advocacy and...

Duration: 01:58:25

Healing Series: Finding Allies

Lesli and I answer a listener question from Kate: How do we talk to significant others or friends about your feelings about being adopted? Any advice for how to teach a non-adopted partner or friend to be an ally? to partner with me!

Duration: 00:11:37

S02 E12 Liz: Speaking Out

Liz Latty is a powerful writer, adoptee advocate, and activist. She shares her story with us and we talk a lot about reunion with our Dads and why we think first fathers often don’t even get a second thought. We dive deep into the complexities of adoption, sexuality, and the seemingly oh-so-common secondary rejection. Liz is incredibly candid about how concerned she was about coming out to her evangelical Christian birth father. We discuss what adoptee activism is and how understanding our...

Duration: 00:58:55

Healing Series: Perfectionism

Pamela Cordano, MFT teaches us why so many adoptees struggle with perfectionism. Even better… she gives us three practical tools we can use to work on our perfectionistic ways.

Duration: 00:43:53

S02 E11 Jemma: Adopted Back

Can you really be adopted back into your family of origin? I get to introduce you to Jemma Sullivan, and she shares some incredibly painful realities of having a narcissistic adoptive parent, it’s not all gloom and doom though - I promise you need to wait to hear what happens at the beginning of Jemma’s new chapter with her first mother.

Duration: 00:53:13

Healing Series: Identity

Lesli A. Johnson, MFT answers a listener question about finding our identity. “Lesli kept saying it was important to know your narrative as a way to heal trauma. I don't know mine. I don't know really anything about how I came into the world, I don't even know who my father is. Half of my ancestry is a big black hole. And society tells me to be grateful for that. How do we move forward without knowing our first chapter?” to help me reach 30 patreon...

Duration: 00:17:53

S02 E10 Marni: A Model Reunion

If you are in reunion or are anticipating one shortly… this episode is for you. Marni Hall shares her story and walks us through three guiding principles that she has for a successful reunion, and they are so helpful.

Duration: 01:07:46

Healing Series: How to Choose a Therapist

Haley talks about how to find an adoption-competent therapist. She gives you five questions to ask and multiple tips for finding that perfect fit.

Duration: 00:30:13

S02 E09 Rebekah: I'm an only child and I have six siblings

Rebekah Henson shares her story of growing up as an only child, then discovering she was one of seven biological siblings. If this sounds at all familiar, I actually interviewed Rebekah’s older sister Mary Anna King on season one, episode 7. Rebekah is incredibly open with me about the challenges of such a complex reunion. We also dish on all the awkward and completely inappropriate things people have said to us about being adopted. We also chat about the adoptee rights movement and...

Duration: 01:12:34

Healing Series: Success

Katie Jae Naftzger, LICSW discusses why adoptees can hold themselves back from becoming successful. Why do we feel like we’re not worth that much, that we don’t have value to bring to the table? How can we manage our insecurity? to support the podcast and join my secret facebook group!

Duration: 00:13:51

S02 E08 Mariette: A Restless Heart

Mariette Williams tells us about her experiences as a Haitian adoptee growing up in Vancouver, Canada, and finding out that her adoption was non-consensual. We touch on some things that transracial adoptees may struggle with and Mariette gives us her perspective on adoption reform. We wrap up with some recommended resources, and as always links to all of the things we’ll be talking about are on the website . Join my secret facebook group...

Duration: 00:42:32

Is Adoption Trauma?

Is adoption really as traumatic as some people say it is? Lesli A. Johnson, MFT teaches us about what the word trauma means and confirms that indeed a trauma occurs when an infant, a baby, a child is separated from their mother. There’s even brain science to prove it! The process of separating a baby from its mother is coded in the nervous system as traumatic for both the mother and the baby. We chat about ways to heal from adoption trauma and Lesli suggests three books for further reading...

Duration: 00:19:34

S02 E07 Special - Live Recordings from the Indiana Adoptee Network Conference - Building Bridges

S02 E07 Special - Live Recordings from the Indiana Adoptee Network Conference - Building Bridges An in-depth discussion with a first mother and daughter (Maret Headley and Erica Curry VanEe) that is one of the most touching and intimate views I’ve ever had of a reunion. They were extraordinarily candid with me about what’s been lost because of adoption. Three adoptees (Ruth Rawlin Tacoma, Lisa Floyd, and Michelle Madden) tell me, “what do you really think about adoption?”, “what would you...

Duration: 00:42:57

S02 E06 Mike: Host of The Rambler and Korean Adoptee

Mike McDonald, the host of The Rambler podcast, tells us about his experiences as a Korean adoptee, his work with the Also Known As Teen/Youth Mentorship Program and why he did DNA testing before he got married. Mike teaches us about the extensive Korean adoption program and tells us that there are over 200,000 Korean adoptees worldwide. Partner with me and join the secret Facebook group.

Duration: 00:59:57

Healing Series: Anger

Pamela Cordano, MFT and I discuss anger. What is it and why are so many adoptees accused of being “angry adoptees”? We discuss the reasons we have for legitimately being angry. Pamela teaches us about different types of anger and gives us some practical exercises to work on. I find out I’ve been engaging in Spiritual Bypass, and why that is so toxic. Anger is a powerful emotion, let’s harness it to make it work for us, and not against us. to join our...

Duration: 00:56:36

How Do I Tell My Adoptive Parents

Lesli A. Johnson, MFT answers the question, “How do I tell my adoptive parents I’m searching for my biological family”. An adoptee’s desire to search is not a rejection of their biological parents. It’s a natural, normal desire to want to know your biology, to know the circumstances of your birth, and to see someone who resembles you. Lots of great takeaways in this episode! to join our secret facebook group!

Duration: 00:13:42

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