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.

Read More

The Adoptee Mindset: We Are Beautiful People with Beautiful Stories

I spoke at a conference in San Diego this past weekend. The event— Embrace Who You Are—was organized by Oleg Lougheed and his non-profit group, Overcoming Odds.

Oleg has a vision to create space for adoptees to share their experiences and overcome their challenges. He believes, like I do, in the power of story. Yours, mine, and his.

The day was transformative! It further strengthened my long-standing opinion that adoptees have a universe of wisdom to share with the world. All we have to do is assure them that it’s safe to open up and let that wisdom flow.

Read More

The Healing Power of Women

I’m in a small group of women that meets every Tuesday. We pray together, listen to each other, and support one another through  life’s ups and downs.

I love these women so much because they’ve shown me what it means—really means—to feel wanted and included, heard and seen within an intimate group. Their hearts are filled with grace and love.

I wonder if they know just how beautiful they are. I look at each of them and see radiance and kindness. I hope they notice the same qualities, too, when they look at themselves in the mirror.

Read More

Have You Been Thinking About Adopting a Child? These are 5 Reasons Why it is 100% Worthwhile

Have you been thinking about adopting a child? Do you wonder if you have what it takes to be a parent-by-adoption?

The decision to adopt should come with a healthy dose of contemplation. A child’s life depends on a parent’s complete and total dedication.

Today, too many kids in America are languishing in the foster system. In total, there are some 400,000 children in U.S. foster care right now. Around 100,000 of them are eligible and waiting to be adopted. These are kids who won’t be with their forever families this Thanksgiving.

Read More

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.

Read More

Keep Going, Don’t Give Up: Encouragement for the Adoption & Foster Community

The day has arrived. National Adoption Awareness Month has officially started. Hard to believe that it’s here!

Time moves by so fast, doesn’t it?

2018 has been filled with some tough moments and extraordinary challenges. If this year has been hard on you and on those you love, I understand.

The daily stresses of life layered with the anxiety and anticipation that often come with November and Adoption Awareness Month can be a lot.

Feelings and emotions can be heightened. Triggers come out of nowhere.

Read More

Every November: The Joy and Grief of Adoption Awareness Month

Two more weeks until November; just a few more days until National Adoption Awareness Month officially begins.

November can be an emotionally loaded month for those of us in the adoption community. Feelings can run the gamut; a true testimony to just how deep and diverse the adoption experience is.

An experience ripe with joy, sorrow, loss, gain, blessing, and pain. There’s a coming together and a coming apart. There’s a shattering and a healing. There’s community and isolation. There’s calm and rage. Contrasting views and perspectives. That’s adoption.

Read More

The Invitation in an Interruption: Listening to God’s Whisperings

On the last weekend of September, life as I was planning it was interrupted. The rush of the prior week was muted. I drove five hours north of my home in Santa Barbara. I stopped. I breathed. I raised my gaze as I looked up to the blue skies and majestic Redwoods.

I was rerouted from my initial plans for the weekend. I opened my heart to hear the testimonies of women ignited by the Word of God. This was not an easy trip to make, I’ll admit. I was reluctant to go.

Read More

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. 

Read More

My Daughter Spoke Words of Grace

I’m an adoption writer. As an adoptee and mama-by-adoption, it’s a subject I know well. I also write on topics of faith and forgiveness, gratitude and God.

I’m a Christian. I love mercy. I get up every, single day with the prayer that my life would be an example of justice and of fairness toward others.

My faith doesn’t make me perfect—far from it—and it doesn’t make me immune to mistakes, heartbreaks, or setback. My faith gives me hope and a confidence that through the ups and downs of this life, God is near.

And so, when I took a few precious moments today to sit quietly in prayer, I was deeply moved when my little girl (who I didn’t realize had come into the room) snuggled up on the couch and said these words:

Read More