Category Archives: Podcast

How to Make Room for a Child By Dealing with Infertility Grief

Q: With your own parents, how do you think writing, or some sort of grief clearing, would have served you as their daughter?

Anne: It would have felt like I was driving a car that the windshield had been cleaned, instead of driving a car with a really dirty windshield and always having to focus on the dirt.

Anne Heffron, adoptee,
in Ep 206 of Adoption: The Long View

No baby should be born with a job, as Dr Phil has said (yup, he’s more entertainer than therapist, just like Dr Laura, but in this case it is good advice). It’s just too much to expect a baby to fix anything — a relationship, a heart, a life.

But many people come to infant adoption after experiencing infertility and enduring some sort of loss. They might think that finally getting a baby and filling their empty arms will heal all the hurt.

And it does heal some of the hurt. Adopting a baby does resolve parenting, but it does nothing to address the wounds of infertility, which can be deep and enduring.

Grief doesn’t go away on its own; it needs to be addressed and processed. But how?

↑ Listen right here! ↑

This month’s guest for Episode 206 of Adoption: The Long View is an expert on one way to process and possibly even release big emotions like grief. Anne Heffron is the daughter of parents who hadn’t worked through their feelings of inadequacy and insecurity, who hadn’t resolved their own losses prior to adopting their three children. Parents who couldn’t talk about adoption when Anne tried to bring it up with them.

Anne wrote through her own big emotions one summer a few years ago, resulting in her memoir You Don’t Look Adopted. Since then, her Write or Die! method has had a profound impact helping people heal their wounded places and make way for their next chapter.

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Busting Myths about Adoption & Shining Light on Blind Spots

My intent is to make adoption better, to fix the problems that we face, and to preserve it as a safe choice for women. Because in my experience, as it is and always has been, adoption is not a safe choice for women to make.

Kelsey Vander Vliet Ranyard, birth mom,
in Ep 205 of Adoption: The Long View

If your main sources of information about adoption are from the loudest voices — namely adoption professionals and adoptive parents (like me) — you may be missing out on key aspects that would help you better navigate your own adoption situation and better serve your child. You can’t see your own blind spots, by definition, and you don’t know what you don’t know, which is why it’s important to diversify where you get your information.

As you diversify, find and choose trusted sources, people with lived experience, people who also encourage diversity in their own sources of information, rather than from echo chambers.

To that end, with me in this episode are two amazing guests, two trusted and incisive women in the adoption space: Sara Easterly, a well-respected adoptee voice, and Kelsey Vander Vliet Ranyard, a well-respected birth mom voice. Each of them has their finger on the pulse of not only their own part of the adoption triad, but they also crossover into other parts. Each of them seeks to elevate the voices of the lesser-heard, and each is busting myths about adoption.

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Episode 205 of Adoption: The Long View will help you better understand your child’s experiences and your child’s other parents’ experiences and proceed accordingly, with fewer blind spots.

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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

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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.

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