“Seeing the beauty doesn’t diminish the pain.”
Kelli Belt is the host of the podcast, Beauty is Rising. She’s the mother of 3 and a wife of 21-years. Kelli’s 7-year journey to adopt her daughter from Ethiopia led her to the work she focuses on today: equipping adoptive mothers with what they need to be happy right now, and connecting those mothers to a larger community of support.
Kevin Hofmann is the author of the memoir, Growing Up Black In White. He is a trans-racial adoptee who describes his experience as “a unique way to grow up.” His family was part of the second wave of multicultural families created through transracial adoption, in late sixties America, with no role models to guide them.
We begin our conversation with Kevin taking us back to Michigan and the racial temperature into which he was born. He terms it, inside his memoir, as being born in “the middle of a racial hurricane.”
Erin Darling is an illustrator who specializes in developing original animal characters and contemporary storybook scenes. In her own words, and I quote, “The world is changing vibrantly around us, and my art taps into that pulse to capture moments of connection, community, and affection.”
Erin’s images tell stories about who we are as a people and the kind of bright future we can find if we work together and listen to each other. Erin is also the illustrator for my new children’s book, Coco & Olive: The Color of Love, which follows a canine mother and daughter pair who explore the beauty of family diversity and adoption.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.