Category Archives: Guest Post

Adoptee Elena Hall on Both/And in Adoption

When I was very new at being an adoptive mom, and upon hearing from several adoptees how painful an Either/Or mindset was to them in their own adoptive families, I began to embrace what I came to call a BothAnd heartset. It has become a key principle in how I conceptualize not only adoption, but life — becoming expansive enough to span opposing sides of something.

So imagine my delight when Elena Hall reached out about her children’s book, Adoption is Both.

Elena is not only an adoptee, but she has also been licensed as a master social worker (LMSW). She shares her thoughts on adoption and Both/And here.


Elena S Hall: Life comes with disappointments & joys. There is a natural duality every day between good and bad or happy and sad. 

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Healing Through Music: Songs for Adoptive Families by Lissa Schneckenburger

Here are three things about music that developmental psychologist Gordon Neufeld, PhD, pointed out in a recent interview:

  • music helps us access feelings for which we have no words;
  • music enables us to feel the shape of a hole;
  • music joins people together.

In other words, music can be an especially magical force for people affected by adoption.

Shortly thereafter, musician Lissa Schneckenburger wrote asking Why isn’t there music for adoptive parents? — and letting me know she is filling that gap in her own creative way. So I watched and enjoyed some of her music videos and invited her to talk here about the same thing Dr Neufeld highlighted: healing through music.

I hope you, too, enjoy the music and thoughts of guest poster Lissa Schneckenburger.

War Zone

It’s pretty common to hear snippets of song at our house, and not just because I’m a  musician by trade. You might hear strains of made-up-on-the spot hits like “oh my sweet  child, please pick up your shoes” or “go brush your teeth teeth, go brush your teeth” or  my son’s favorite, “Mama is so proud of you.”

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Emma Stevens Finds her True Self Despite All Odds in “The Gathering Place”

When Emma Stevens learns her birth mother wrote and signed a letter about her to the adoption agency, she knew she had to have that letter. Her birth mother had used a fictitious name at the maternity home and an assumed name on Emma’s original birth certificate. Emma takes bold measures to get ahold of that letter and start solving the puzzle that is her life.

Emma was adopted into a family that expected her to conform to their expectations of who she should be — but she did not arrive as a blank slate. Unable to see that her relinquishment and adoption were not her fault, her soul split into pieces. In order to put the pieces back together, Emma embarks on multiple journeys and adventures towards both solving the mystery of who she is, and healing from the pain of separation from her origins.

The Gathering Place memoir by Emma Stevens

Below is an excerpt from The Gathering Place: An Adoptee’s Story, Emma Steven’s newly released memoir.


The Letter

Continue reading Emma Stevens Finds her True Self Despite All Odds in “The Gathering Place”