Episode 15: From Foster Care to Miss DC USA 2019, with Cordelia Cranshaw

Cordelia Cranshaw is Miss DC USA 2019 and is an Education Specialist for DC’s Child and Family Services Agency.

Her journey to where she is today has come with great challenge. As a former foster child, she was told time and time again that she would never succeed.

On this episode of The Greater Than Podcast, we share Cordelia’s story of overcoming adversity and finding self-confidence. It’s a powerful story of a young woman who wouldn’t give up and who now lives to serve and support others in the foster care system.

To learn more about Cordelia, follow her on Instagram @missdcusa.

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Episode 14: Embracing, Supporting, and Uplifting Birthmothers, with Adrian Collins

On this episode of The Greater Than Podcast, I speak with Adrian Collins. Adrian writes about the complexities of being a birth mother, biological mother, and adoptive mother—and she puts her experiences to work for children. She’s testified before the Colorado Senate Committee on behalf of the Colorado Children First Act. She’s also the Adoption and Pregnancy blog editor for Hope’s Promise, and is working on her first memoir. Adrian’s journey is one of love, faith, and everlasting hope.

Whether you’re connected to adoption or foster care, or not, what Adrian shares here about that “pedestal of perfection” can resonate with us all.

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Episode 13: Giving Your Body What it Needs to Heal with Dr. ACE

Is there correlation between disease and past hurt/trauma? Adoption community, you’ll want to hear what Dr. ACE has to say!

Dr. Alexandra Carswell Engle—known as Dr. ACE by her patients—is a Naturopathic doctor who runs Regenerate Health Medical Center in Santa Barbara, California.

She has an incredible story to share of moving through severe pain caused by a childhood accident and onward to become a doctor of naturopathy who helps patients put together the pieces to their health puzzle in order to heal, renew, and optimize their health and wellness.

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Episode 12: Find a Way, Not an Excuse with Evie Toombes

“Find a way, not an excuse.”

This is the motto of Evie Toombes of the United Kingdom. She is the recent winner of the Well Child Inspirational Young Person Award.

Evie battles serious health conditions as a result of spina bifida, a birth defect that impacts the spine.

Yet, Evie lives fully and serves her community and country in beautiful ways—an elegant example of rising up over challenge and adversity.

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Episode 11: The Power Behind Your Story, with Oleg Lougheed

On this episode of The Greater Than Podcast, I speak with Oleg Lougheed. Oleg’s story begins in Russia: a hard beginning followed by a painful and difficult decision.

A decision in which the outcome left him stripped of his voice, his identity, and his family. Oleg was a vulnerable child—an orphaned child.

Yet, Oleg has a unique and transformative way of looking at his story. And, at YOURS. Oleg shares why your story matters and the power behind your story.

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Episode 10: A Conversation on Choice, Chance, & Motherhood, with Christine Bauer

On this episode of The Greater Than Podcast, I speak with Christine Bauer. Christine is the author of the memoir, Those Three Words: a birth mother’s story of choice, chance, & motherhood.

Her book represents the journey of a woman’s life and the choices that are made within a life. The pages are filled with reminders of the power of family, respect, acceptance, love—and, yes, the power of choice.

Starting the dialogue about a woman’s choice, no matter what that choice looks like, is a conversation that Christine is passionate to engage in. I’m honored for Christine to share her perspective with us—for sharing encouraging words about feeling our sadness, and leaning in to those places that hurt inside of us.

In the words of Christine’s mother, “Sadness stretches the heart so that there is more room for joy.”

We have to feel our lives if we are going to rise up and become greater in all aspects of our lives. We cannot stay numb. And, what we discover, over time, is that choice is always attached to a powerful, real, and raw story.

Leaning in to those stories is where we create greater empathy and understanding around the conversation of a woman’s choice or any other choice in front of us.

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Episode 9: Leaning In, Listening, and Letting Victims of Sexual Violence Lead with Guila Benchimol

Every ninety-eight seconds in America, someone is sexually assaulted. Every 98 seconds…

Sexual violence affects millions of Americans, and can have long-term effects on its victims.

We know the #MeToo movement. But, do we really understand why it’s essential that victims be given a voice?

On this episode of The Greater Than Podcast, my guest is Guila Benchimol.

Guila is a PhD candidate in Sociological Criminology from the University of Guelph.

Her dissertation project examines how some victims of sexual violence go on to become anti-sexual violence advocates and activists. A topic that is important to explore within the scope of this podcast.

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Episode 8: The Power of We: Helping Others Reclaim Their Lives with Motivational Speaker, Loren Michaels Harris

On this episode of The Greater Than Podcast, I speak with Loren Michaels Harris.

Loren Michaels Harris is a survivor of the foster care system. He draws upon his upbringing to motivate and inspire others in overcoming their obstacles to success and achieving the life they want.

Loren is a motivational speaker and message discovery coach. He assists individuals in realizing what they can do with their own personal stories and messages—how their stories can be used to help others reclaim their lives.  It’s the “power of we” that Loren so eloquently shares with us. 

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Episode 7: Zoe Johnson, A Former Foster’s Story of Reuniting with Her Birth Father

On this episode of The Greater Than Podcast, I speak with Zoe Johnson. She has an incredible story to share! She’s a former foster child, orphaned as a little girl. Today, Zoe is a wife and mother, and a woman on a journey of faith to sharing the amazing story of finding her bio father through ancestry.com

Anyone who is searching, on any level, for truth in their life will want to listen to Zoe’s insights as she walks the real and raw path of reunion. Zoe’s journey to truth and to her bio dad is inspirational. Her ability to forgive and to start right where she and her bio dad are, is something we all can learn from. To learn more about Zoe, you can find her on YouTube.

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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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