Roundup: Best Advice from 12 Adoption Thought Leaders
“It’s very easy to center yourself in everything.
We adoptive parents think about ourselves
and our needs, and that’s natural.
But I try really hard to remember that I’m the person
with the most power in this dynamic.
Always, I get to make the choices.
I’m the one with the legal standing.
I have more power than my daughter.
I have more power than her mom.
So it’s my responsibility to step back sometimes
and give power where I can.“
— Leah Campbell, single adoptive mom & author of
The Story of My Open Adoption
in Ep1 —
Episode 12 of Adoption: The Long View
With Episode 12 we close out our first season. What a success it’s been! I’m so grateful for all of you for listening. Thank you for tuning in, for sharing with others, and for continuing to support us.
Prefer to read Episode 12? Here’s a transcript (but listening is so much better).
I’m also grateful for the 12 amazing guests who talked with me during Season 1, a remarkable group made up of 4 adoptees, 4 birth parents, 4 adoptive parents, 1 researcher, 4 activists, 1 therapist, and 1 in a double-position (don’t even try with the math!).
Each has delved into the complexities of adoption in a way that helps us become more comfortable and effective at the difficult parts of adoptive parenting. I’ve found that these parts get easier just by acknowledging them, being willing to look at them.
Best Of Season 1: Twelve Guests on What Adoptive Parents Need to Know about the Long View
“I feel for that whole generation of adoptees who didn’t have a safe space with their parents to process their adoptedness.
I always want to be that safe space for my kids.
In those moments when they’re willing to
share their stuff with me and call me out on mine,
I feel like maybe I’ve done okay.”
— Rebecca Vahle,
adoptive mom, activist,
Angel in Adoption® in Ep8 —
If you’ve been following along, you know that my guest and I talk about a provocative topic that adopting parents need to know the ins and outs of, or at least various perspectives. They share brilliant nuggets of wisdom with me, and before we know it our time is up.
I end each interview by asking each guest the same question: what’s your best advice for adoptive parents about the long view of adoption?
In Episode 12 you get the digest, the down and dirty clips of what each guest had to say to that question. You may be surprised with some of the commonalities among them, and you may be intrigued by the “special sauce” brought to the table by each guest and their unique perspective and experience.
Listen in to is what my fabulous guests have said when I asked them to boil things down to their best advice for adoptive parents about raising their children to healthy adults and with vibrant connection. We have a transcript available so you can easily find any episode you’d like to refer back to.
“I will absolutely 100% respect somebody’s privacy, and not share something that could be hurtful or harmful.
But I’m not going to keep a secret that is going to be damaging, either for me or for anybody else involved.
Understanding that distinction is super important
and is my best piece of advice.“
— Kim Court, pioneering birth mom in open adoption in Ep10 —
Show Notes from the Season 1 Roundup: Best Advice for Adoptive Parents
Click on the name to go to the guest’s own site, listed in order of appearance in Ep12.
Click on the episode number for that guest’s full interview.
- Leah Campbell: adoptive parenting and living in open adoption, even when it’s hard. Ep1.
- Dr Abbie Goldberg: the latest research from following adoptive families for 15+ years. Ep9.
- Richard Uhrlaub: shifting from shame and secrecy to truth and transparency. Ep4.
- Angela Tucker: on being wedged between the pain of one set of parents and the joy of another. Ep5.
- Sara Easterly: on the dreaded phrase “you’re not my real mom!” and coming out of the adoptee fog. Ep6.
- Clemencia Deleon: how a birth mom found her voice when her kinship adoption that was supposed to be open went way wrong. Ep7.
- Ashley Mitchell: a birth mom’s perspective and the necessity for better adoption education. Ep2.
- Kim Court and Linda Marie Mueller: on figuring things out during the “pioneer days” of open adoption. Ep10.
- Rebecca Vahle: how to improve adoption now, with the founder of Family to Family Support Network. Ep8.
- Lesli Johnson, MFT: on babies as blank slates and the neuroscience of adoption. Ep11.
- Carolyn Savage: her inconceivable story about pregnancy, adoption, and surrogacy, thanks to an unthinkable IVF lab mix-up. Ep3.
- Episode 12 transcript
How to Tune In for More of Adoption: The Long View
- Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.
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Now on the list of Top 25 Adoption Podcasts!
We’ll Be Back Soon!
We’re taking a brief hiatus as we prepare for a stellar Season 2. Make sure to click the subscribe button wherever you get your podcasts so you know when we release new episodes. And please, do share with others who may benefit.
Until then, work on your own stuff, get comfortable with complexity and discomfort, listen to adoptee voices, and be aware of always being a safe space for your child to have their feelings.
And may you meet everything on your road ahead with confidence, capability, and compassion.
Lori Holden, mom of a teen son and a teen daughter, writes from Denver. Her book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole, is available through your favorite online bookseller and makes a thoughtful anytime gift for the adoptive families in your life. Catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.
Lori was honored as an Angel in Adoption® in 2018 by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.