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candace cahill birth mom

Birth Mom Candace Cahill on Double Loss, Connection, and Healing

For every person we met at Michael’s funeral, my son’s father David always introduced me as Michael’s mom. It was really the first time I felt like I was his mom.
And it’s bittersweet because it was also too late.
Candace Cahill, birth mom, in Ep 204 of Adoption: The Long View

Candace Cahill placed her infant son in 1990. The adoption was semi-open adoption for awhile, but closed when Michael was 8. Shortly after he turned 18, he reached out to her. After navigating the complexities of reunion for 5 years and only a single face-to-face meeting, Michael died in his sleep of natural causes at age 23.

Shocked and devastated to lose him a second time, Candace attended the funeral, where she encountered unexpected compassion from Michael’s family. They proudly introduced her as Michael’s birth mother, which contradicted years of self-sabotaging internal messages. Their acceptance, along with her husband’s encouragement, launched Candace on her path to healing.

Candace is an artist –- silversmith, musician, storyteller, and writer who lives in Denali, Alaska.

Episode 204 of Adoption: The Long View will help you understand mothering in surprising ways, and you won’t want to miss it.

Candace Cahill’s Perspectives as a Birth Mom

Listen in as we talk about:

  • Why she chose the parents she chose when planning her son’s adoption;
  • Her way of dealing with a sense of powerlessness and despair when yearly letters and pictures stopped arriving;
  • The backstory to why there were so many silent years;
  • Her son’s death after their one-and-only meeting;
  • As well as the surprise source of her healing at her son’s funeral;
  • Which of the two kinds of gatekeepers her son’s father was; and
  • Candace’s best advice for adopting well and for adoptive-parenting well.
Ep204: Losing My Son Twice

Show Notes from Episode 204 with Candace Cahill

Candace has written a memoir about her experience, and I’ve had the absolute pleasure of reading an advance copy. Goodbye Again, A Memoir reveals how child loss, no matter how suffered, is a universal pain. While she believes there can be beauty in adoption, we must first acknowledge that it begins with the trauma of severing a child from their mother.

Prefer to read? Here’s a transcript (but listening is so much better!).

How to Tune In Regularly

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Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page, and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

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