Episode 6: Uplifting Children & Youth in the Foster Care System with Author Chavis Fisher

On this episode of The Greater Than Podcast, I speak with author, Chavis Fisher. We discuss how we can uplift the children and youth in foster care and raise their voices. In addition, we share the importance of foster children understanding that they are not alone in their journey—that there are people who love and care for them.

With over eighteen years of legal practice, Chavis Fisher has worked with hundreds of foster children, adoptive parents, Court Appointed Special Advocates (better known as CASA) and Department of Child Services agency employees. She received the prestigious Congressional Angels in Adoption Award for her commitment to improve the lives of children in need of permanent homes.

Chavis Fisher is the author of the book, Adopting Tigerwhich explores foster care through the eyes of a child. It’s a number one best selling book on Amazon. I couldn’t put it down!

To learn more about Chavis Fisher, please visit: chavisfisher.com.

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Birth Country Bound: Thoughts from an International Adoptee on Traveling Home

Home, it’s been a weighted word for me all of my life. Perhaps, other adoptees will understand what I mean by this. As a person of international adoption, I have struggled with where home is for me.

I’ve tossed and turned with thoughts of what and how much I am allowed to feel for the land I was born into and the land I was adopted into.

If you honor one side are you dishonoring the other? This is a very real question for the adoptee: the internal conflict between birth heritage and adopted heritage.

Often times, it was easier for me not to face this question. As an adolescent—a time filled with the longings of identity and belonging—I’d turn off my emotions and silence the chatter of those telling me who and what I was.

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Processing Pain, Resisting Rejection, & Giving Grace: Hope for Hurting Adoptive Parents, by Naomi Quick

1991

I trudged to the front of the group, my palms clammy and heart racing. The gym was overcrowded with sweaty kids, a typical 90’s summer day club. The promise of good times and trying new activities had become disillusioned for me quite early on. My quiet, slightly pudgy 7-year-old self had won the attention of the camp director. And since attention was neither appreciated nor desired, dread—not laughter—filled my summer days.

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Creating a Family: There is No Box

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I’ve been a fan of actress Sandra Bullock since forever. And, after hearing her recent interview with Hoda Kotb on the Today Show, I admire and respect her even more. The truths that Ms. Bullock shares on adoption, within this interview, are poignant and important.

I’d like to focus on three of Bullock’s truths and share my thoughts, as a mother-by-adoption myself, in order to help others who might currently be considering adoption or who have begun the journey to adopt.

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Three Women, One Love: Honoring Bio, Foster, and Adoptive Mothers

I’m not an adoption professional. What I am is an expert on how it feels to be adopted.  I’m an international adoptee. I hold a wealth of knowledge and understanding about living in the skin of adoption.

I was born in England. Not in London, but in a smaller place known as Bury St Edmunds. Bury St Edmunds is a town in West Suffolk on the River Lark.

It is of an ancient ruin and is said to have been the site of a Roman villa and later a royal Saxon town. Bury St Edmunds is named for Saint Edmund—king of the East Angles—killed by the Danes around 870, and is buried there.

I tell you this not because I’m a historian, but because I hold a deep sense of pride in where I am from and from where I was adopted.

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The Faith-Building Ways of Open Adoption, by Kristin Hill Taylor

All three of our children came into our family through adoption. One Sunday, when Rachel, my youngest of three kids was just a couple weeks old, we sang Oceans during worship. I’d never really attached to the song like so many other Christians that I know did. But that morning, the song fell on me fresh.

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders / Let me walk upon the waters / Wherever You would call me / Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander / And my faith will be made stronger / In the presence of my Savior.”

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Episode 5: Open Adoption and Cultivating Love Between Bio & Adoptive Families with Molly Rampe Thomas

On this episode of The Greater Than Podcast, I speak with Molly Rampe Thomas. Molly is a licensed social worker, and Founder and CEO of Choice Network, a pro choice adoption agency that, at its very core, is founded on Molly’s love for her daughter’s biological mother.

We discuss open adoption and inspiring a culture of honor, gratitude, and respect between bio and adoptive families. In addition, we discuss the immense need for  families to consider adopting older children and sibling groups from the foster care system. To learn more about Choice Network and Molly’s work, visit: choicenetworkadoptions.com.

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Family Building from Foster Care: Out of the Blue, by Debi Cantu

Perhaps many people can say what I am about to say: when I first began fostering children I had no plans on adopting. I was experiencing a bit of the ’empty nest syndrome’ and wanted little ones in my home once more. I also wanted to foster children on my own terms with the choice to stop when I felt the time had come.

I received a phone call from a social worker asking if I wanted to foster a baby who was still in the hospital. I immediately said, “Yes.” The social worker began informing me of the baby’s health condition. “This baby was born three months premature, weighs only four pounds at six weeks of age, and has tested positive for crack and alcohol.” She added, “The baby needs to be picked up today.” I raced out of the house and headed to the hospital to meet a tiny little girl.

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Out of Hiding: Helping Adoptees Arise

I used to hide. As an adoptee, I hid from the world. I was so afraid of being rejected that I left before anyone else could leave me first. I was in hiding.

Innocent, yet accused. Named, yet nameless. I had been an orphaned child, marked by abandonment: a mark that seemed to be my permanent identity. And, so I hid.

Many adoptees do the same. A moment in our lives—a decision made by others—hurts us so deeply that we retreat into the shadows. We often live on the outside looking in. Our new families wonder what is wrong, “Why can’t my child trust?” If they only knew that we’re in hiding, afraid of reaching out our arms and opening ourselves to love.

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17 Things Adoption Has Taught Me About Loving Well, by Lori Schumaker

The little black ringlets of hair curling round her rosy cheeks and dark brown eyes captured my heart at first sight. It’s a moment I’ll never forget. As the tears came out of nowhere and my heart exploded, it was instantaneous. Somewhere in that place a Mama feels the deepest of emotions, I knew she was ours. God had shown me the little girl He’d hand-picked for us halfway across the world.

It was love. A love that seemed surreal — but one I knew was a gift. I just wouldn’t understand the magnitude of that gift for many years to come.

Our adoption story wasn’t one of the easy ones. I don’t know that anyone has an “easy” story, but ours was riddled with unheard of obstacles, detours, and heartache.

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