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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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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Episode 4: Words on Adoption and Parenting with Adoptee, Madeleine Melcher

In this episode, I speak with Madeleine Melcher. Madeleine is an adoptee, mom-by-adoption to three children, book author, and owner of Our Journey to You, a company dedicated to designing adoption profile books and portfolios. She’s also an Angels in Adoption awardee who was honored in 2017.

With transparency and authenticity, Madeleine opens up about her journey as an adoptee and shares rich insight on what it means to parent children of adoption. In addition, she shares the why behind her work: every child deserves a family. It’s Madeleine’s why. IT’S HER FUEL!

To learn more about Madeleine, please visit: www.ourjourneytoyouadoption.com

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Episode 3: Transracial Adoption and Overcoming Breast Cancer with Rachel Garlinghouse

On this episode of The Greater Than Podcast, I speak with Rachel Garlinghouse, author of the book, The Hopeful Mom’s Guide to Adoption: The Wit and Wisdom You Need for the JourneyRachel has been part of the adoption community for a decade and is mothering four children, all of whom were adopted domestically and transracially. Rachel has shared her education and experiences on CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NPR, and Huff Post Live, just to name a few.

In this episode, Rachel and I discuss transracial adoption and, my brave friend speaks openly about her journey as a diabetic and breast cancer survivor. In addition, we talk about the ways in which we can navigate the losses in our lives. There is such hope in Rachel’s message: such inspiration found in living a life of healing verses in living to be healed.

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Episode 2: Family, Foster Care, and Adoption with Jamie Finn

On this episode of The Greater Than Podcast, Family, Foster Care, and Adoption, I speak with Jamie Finn of Foster The Family blog.

We discuss the importance of family, foster care, and how we can work, together, to improve the system. Jamie speaks of why it is essential to respectfully and compassionately talk about birth families, and the ways in which we can show up and support foster families and children in our communities.

Jamie expresses such wisdom within this interview. I am so honored to share her voice. And, I appreciate her letting us peek into the window of her life as a parent through adopting and fostering.

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