The Forgotten Adoption Option Podcast

Season 3’s monthly episodes cover strategies for thriving as an adoptive family. 

In Season 2 guests explain how to adopt U.S. in the foster care system and in Season 1 you’ll hear personal stories of adoptive parents and adopted children.

Whether you want to begin the adoption process right now or in the future, if you have any question about the process or are wondering if you are even qualified to adopt, please reach out using the social buttons on the top right.

a look at the global orphan crisis

Meet Gary Schneider Founder & CEO – Every Orphan’s Hope and Vision Catalyst & Founder – Orphan Sunday. Learn more about Gary’s work and explore opportunities for child sponsorship at: If you’re interested in learning more about Zambia signing the Hague Convention on Inter-Country Adoption, click here.
(Season 3, Episode 9 – August 8, 2023)

being an emergency foster home

La’ Toria Kern who serves as a foster parent for emergency situations in Las Vegas. She is also the founder and executive and artistic director as a nonprofit called FAMILYArts @ WHALER’s Creation
(Season 3, Episode 8 – July 11, 2023)

HOW to invite your employer to become an adoption-friendly workplace

Angie Schaefer is the Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer at Safety National. Want to ask your employer to add or expand adoption benefits? Use the Adoption-Friendly Workplace Toolkit. Does your employer already have adoption benefits, invite them to participate in the Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces Survey.
(Season 3, Episode 7 – June 13, 2023)

a practical strategy for parenting adopted children – Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®)

Meet adoptive mom Kathy Searle. Kathy is also the vice president of Utah programs for Raise the Future.
(Season 3, Episode 6 – May 9, 2023)

how Mississippi is increasing their pace of adoptions from foster care

Andrea Sanders has been the Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services since November 2020. She says, “Every day I throw on my CAPE ([which is an acronym for her] core values of Compassion, Accountability, Professionalism, and Excellence) and I challenge my staff to do the same. Our work is too important to not give it our all each and every day. It is truly a new day at MDCPS, and I implore my fellow professionals and all Mississippians to lock arms with us to protect our children by investing in Mississippi families.
(Season 3, Episode 5 – April 4, 2023)

modernizing child welfare technology

Meet Matthew Wollack, Vice President of Strategic Development at Wolverine Human Services and as President & CEO of eNoble.
(Season 3, Episode 4 – March 7, 2023)

how to stay committed to children in the foster care system regardless of the outcome

Meet adoptive mom of a sibling pair – Kara.  You’ll learn about how she handled the adventure and uncertainties of the foster care system.
(Season 3, Episode 3 – February 7, 2023)

current adoption trends according to data and research

Meet Ryan Hanlon the President & CEO for the National Council For Adoption. Dive deeper into the research report Ryan discusses: Need continuing education as an adoption professional, consider the NCFA Conference.
(Season 3, Episode 2 – January 10, 2023)

leveraging technology to connect forever families to waiting children

Meet Thea Ramirez, the founder and Amy Simpson, the director of programs for Adoption-Share.
(Season 3, Episode 1 – December 6, 2022)

HOW to write a children’s book about foster care adoption

Meet Adam Gunn the co-founder of Seventh Avenue Creative and the incredibly talented illustrator of my new children’s book Mallory Cheatham.
(Season 2, Episode 12 – November 8, 2022)

HOW to make a make a child in foster care comfortable in your home

Rob experienced the foster care system as a child and then, as an adult, started a nonprofit called Comfort Cases which assembles care packs for children in foster care.  To date, his organization has impacted over 185,000 children in the foster care system. Rob has adopted 5 children through the foster care system and is the author of his memoir called A Forever Family: Fostering One Child at a Time.
(Season 2, Episode 11 – October 6, 2022)

HOW to use the kitchen to connect with children who have been in foster care

Meet Chef Kibby – biological, foster, and adoptive dad. During the pandemic he pivoted from a catering business to helping foster and adoptive parents connect with their children through the shared act of cooking and eating together.
(Season 2, Episode 10 – September 13, 2022)

HOW to understand the unmet needs of children in foster care

Meet Shari Shink, child welfare advocate. She spent 33 years as a lawyer, founded the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center (the first non-profit law firm for abused and neglected children), and most recently, founded Cobbled Streets, a nonprofit that goes ‘upstream’ to serve younger foster children, promoting their health, growth, and development and preventing them from emancipating from the foster care system to the streets and homelessness. 
(Season 2, Episode 9 – August 9, 2022)

HOW to share your family’s foster care adoption story

Meet Ancil Lea, adoptive dad & business owner, who peaked the hearts of almost 8 million adults through a simple LinkedIn post.
(Season 2, Episode 8 – July 12, 2022)

HOW to verbalize and process fears associated with adopting children in foster care

Adoptive mom, Joy Gilraine, shares practical ways for current and prospective adoptive families to own their foster care adoption fears and explore them without judgement.
(Season 2, Episode 7 – June 7, 2022)

HOW to find and become an adoption-friendly workplace

Rita Soronen, President & CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, returns to share about the rewards and impact of being an Adoption-Friendly Workplace.
(Season 2, Episode 6 – May 2, 2022)

HOW to see professional photographs and bios of children waiting to be adopted through foster care

Matthew Straeb co-founded the Heart Gallery of America. In this episode you’ll learn HOW to see professional photographs and bios of children waiting to be adopted through foster care so that you can consider adopting these children and also share this resource with those you know who are interested in adoption. 
(Season 2, Episode 5 – April 5, 2022)

HOW you can obtain required training hours without having to go in-person to a class

Meet Liz Brooks Wilburn, Co-Director of Foster Parent College. Noticing the need for convenient high-quality training, Northwest Media Inc. created to provide online, on-demand, engaging training for current and future foster parents.
(Season 2, Episode 4 – March 8, 2022)

HOW to know you’re ready to adopt

Lynn Stacy shares how she knew she was ready to adopt and what social service agencies are looking for in adoptive families.
(Season 2, Episode 3 – February 8, 2022)

HOW to spot a future adoptive parent

Denise Goodman has cracked the code on recruiting foster and adoptive parents. Are you a future adoptive parent? Find out how to know.

Need help finding local training to become a foster, adoptive, or respite parent? Denise says to reach out to the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) –
(Season 2, Episode 2 – January 4, 2022)

HOW to help waiting children find YOU

Jennifer Jacobs & Jessica Stern developed a software platform that uses “family mapping” technology to find forever families for waiting children. Is your data up-to-date and in the right places? Get the scoop on how online data is used to map a child’s family and friend tree and could lead to them finding a permanent family. 

Learn more about the tools Jennifer and Jessica are building to help children in foster care at:
(Season 2, Episode 1 – December 17, 2021)

Meet Travis & Anna – Adoptive Parents

Travis and Anna adopted a daughter through foster care and then had biological children.
(Season 1, Episode 24 – November 5, 2021)

Meet Sandra Flach – Adoptive Mom & Author

Sandra is the author of Orphans No More, co-founder and president of Justice for Orphans, and mom of 8 total children, 5 of which are adopted. 

Dive deeper into fetal alcohol spectrum disorder using Sandra’s resources at:
(Season 1, Episode 23 – October 22, 2021)

Meet Ben & Emily: Soon-To-Be Adoptive Parents

Ben and Emily are in the process of getting licensed to adopt through foster care! Get a peek into what the process is like.
(Season 1, Episode 22 – October 8, 2021)

Q&A with Nathan & Marcy

My husband and I answer your questions about the foster care adoption process from readers of my book The Forgotten Adoption Option and The Forgotten Adoption Option Community on Facebook.
(Season 1, Episode 21 – September 24, 2021)

Meet Tanya – Adoptive Mom of a Sibling Pair

My husband and I provided respite care for Tanya’s boys who she ended up adopting.
(Season 1, Episode 20 – September 9, 2021)

Meet Melody – Foster Youth

Melody speaks of her personal journey navigating life from the inside of foster care. She was in foster care for 8 years but never adopted.
(Season 1, Episode 19 – August 27, 2021)

Meet Mary – Adopted Child

Mary was adopted through foster care as an infant.
(Season 1, Episode 18 – August 13, 2021)

Meet Dalton – Adopted at Age 6

Dalton shares his personal story about being in foster care and then adopted.

A clip of Dalton’s song “Homesick” is played in the episode. Listen to the whole song on SoundCloud.
(Season 1, Episode 17 – July 30, 2021)

Meet Pam – Adoptive Mom (of a sibling group of 7!)

Pam and her husband raised 5 biological children and then adopted a sibling group of 7 additional children. 
(Season 1, Episode 16 – July 16, 2021)

Meet CJ – Foster Child & Author

CJ is the author of “Obliterating the Odds”. She was in foster care and was never adopted although she lived in 35 homes before age 17. Listen to hear her journey of going from tragedy to triumph. 
(Season 1, Episode 15 – June 29, 2021)

Meet Amber – Adoptive Mom (of a sibling pair!)

Amber is in Texas and is the adoptive mom of a sibling pair. She also gifts my book The Forgotten Adoption Option to potential adoptive families in her area. Get ideas and insights about foster care adoption in this episode.
(Season 1, Episode 14 – June 10, 2021)

Meet Sherry Hursey – Creator, Co-Writer and Star of “Lilly’s Light: The Movie

In “Lilly’s Light: The Movie”, Sherry stars as Lilly, a loving foster mom and keeper of an enchanted lighthouse, who uses joy, love, laughter and song as her tools, showing everyone that “Life is Full of Possibilities!”

Download the free “Lilly’s Light: The Movie” Activity Kit
(Season 1, Episode 13 – May 27, 2021)

Meet Nathan – Foster Dad (for 16 years!) to Teens and Young Adults

Nathan shares about his experience being family to teens and young adults. He has been a foster parent for 16 years.
(Season 1, Episode 12 – May 18, 2021)

Meet Big Brother & Little Sister – My Adopted Sibling Pair

A special Mother’s Day episode with my children – Big Brother & Little Sister.
(Season 1, Episode 11 – May 7, 2021)

Meet Natalie – Adoptive Mom (who adopted her first 2 placements!)

For Natalie and her husband, adoption was their Plan A. She shares lessons learned and emotions experienced.
(Season 1, Episode 10 – Apr. 27, 2021)

Meet Robin & Dave – Adoptive Parents (of older boys!)

Meet Robin & Dave. A couple who has opened their homes, changed family trees, and started a nonprofit to teach other families how to do that same.
(Season 1, Episode 9 – Apr. 13, 2021)

Meet Alice – Adoptive Mom (and one of my mentors!)

Alice is a decade-long foster and adoptive mom. Listen as she shares insights on parenting children as a single mom. 
(Season 1, Episode 8 – Mar. 30, 2021)

Meet Grandpa Bob – Adoptive Grandparent (and my dad!)

Adoption impacts immediate and extended family. I’m excited to introduce you to my dad who shares his experience with my family’s foster care adoption journey.  
(Season 1, Episode 7 – Mar. 9, 2021)

Meet Rita Soronen – Foster Care Adoption Advocate

Learn about the opportunity to adopt and advocate for children through the foster care system from Rita Soronen, President & CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.  
(Season 1, Episode 6 – Feb. 16, 2021)

Meet Hunter – An Adopted Child (who is now an adult!)

Hunter shares his personal story of being in foster care for 6 years and then being adopted by a family that spent many of those years with him. 
(Season 1, Episode 5 – Feb. 2, 2021)

Meet Jane – Adoptive Mom (when her son was 6-years-old!)

Jane is a caring coworker who adopted a son when he was 6-years-old. She didn’t feel finished parenting after raising three biological children.
Hear how “love can be a noun, a verb, and a decision” when it comes to foster care adoption. 
(Season 1, Episode 4 – Jan. 18, 2021)

Meet Robin – Adoptive Mom (of a teenager!)

“It is the best thing and the hardest thing she’s ever done.” Robin of Exodus Fitness Retreats shares how she went from “mentor” to “mother” overnight.
(Season 1, Episode 3 – Jan. 5, 2021)

Meet Jennifer – Adoptive Mom (and fellow author!)

This episode is about a 3 month-old baby girl who met her forever family on Christmas Eve.

(Season 1, Episode 2 – Dec. 16, 2020)

Meet Nathan – Adoptive Dad (who also happens to be my husband!)

This has the feeling of a private conversation in our home. Learn from an adoptive dad who went from zero to two kids overnight. Learn common reservations for pursuing adoption and get a peek inside the real-life journey of the foster care adoption process.
(Season 1, Episode 1 – Dec. 3, 2020)

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