Adoptees telling their own stories of life in adoption, their search for their birth family, and how their reunion attempt turned out. Stories that make you laugh, cry, or simply say "wow".
This podcast has two purposes:
1) To help you explore your own feelings about your adoption, accept your desire understand your own personal history, and decide for yourself whether reunification with your biological relatives is right for you. It will help you understand how others have dealt with issues related to protecting the feelings of their adopted families who may be supportive of your search, or question your motives and present challenges.
2) For non-adoptees, this podcast will help you understand some of what is in the minds of your friends, family members, or others who are adopted. Perhaps you had questions for them but you didn’t know if you should ask.
The stories will make you smile or bring you to tears, but they’re all true as told by the people who lived them. In them, I hope you’ll find something that inspires you, validates your feelings about wanting to search, or motivates you to have the strength along your journey to learn “Who Am I Really?”
2020 NAAM - Male Adoptee Voices
November is National Adoption Awareness Month (#NAAM), a time to bring awareness to all of the issues that adoption brings to adoptees, families formed through adoption, and natural families of adoptees. However one underrepresented voice in the adoption constellation is that of the male adoptee.
On the “Who Am I Really?” podcast only 30% of the adoptee guests have been men. While adoptees have the ultimate voice about the adoption experience, very few men have stepped forward to share their adoption journey. For #NAAM 2020 I gathered three of my male adoptee podcast guests online to share their inner thoughts and deepest emotions about their adoption journeys. Andre McCallum (ep 001), Tom Andriola, (ep 012), and Adrian Jones (ep 132) joined me to share their stories of adoption, reunion, and the roller coaster of emotions they lived along the way.
Andre, Ep 001 - The End of Summer Cake - http://bit.ly/2S8ZpLp_001
Tom, Ep 012 - I Need This For My Sanity - https://bit.ly/3nLJrIh_012
Adrian, Ep 132 - Nearly Dying Is One Of The Best Things That Ever Happened - https://bit.ly/31GDq6m_132
*Who Am I Really - An Adoptee Memoir, by Damon Davis - https://amzn.to/2Y9RNf8
148 - Being More Positive Is Huge In My Life
Ben, from Fannystelle, Manitoba Canada, had an extremely rough start in his first home with his biological family. He was abused at the hand of his step dad, so he was removed by child and family services for his safety.
Bensen, or Ben was nursed back to health in foster care, and placed in a new family at seven years old.
He admits he was an angry teen, taking on negativity in his life to cope. But as an adult he's done the hard work to make positive change for himself despite living with triggers on his body that remind him of what he's endured.
Ben speaks of breaking the cycle of abuse when raising his own daughter, thanking his foster family for their loving care, and encouraging other adoptees (especially men) to tell their story over and over to try to reduce the pain we sometimes feel.
This is Bensen's journey.
147 - Please Don't Carry That Weight Anymore
Lisa Marie chatted with me via Skype from Lake Garda in the North of Italy.
In her journey you'll hear the impact of a transracial adoptee who grew up in a homogenous world that didn't look like herself, and the serendipitous meeting that allowed Lisa to free herself from part of her past.
Even though she lived a world away, technology allowed her to find her birth mother and spend the entire day online with her and her birth family.
In front of an intimate audience in Colorado, Lisa got the once in a lifetime opportunity to sing to one special woman sitting in the front row of her show.
This is Lisa's journey.
146 - You Were Who I Always Needed
Michelle, from Ohio.
She talks about the challenge of her childhood, craving a connection, but having the one she shared with her Dad snuffed out.
Her search, which began with Adoption Network Cleveland where she found an ally in a birth mother in the group. Along the way Michelle felt the shame of her simple request to have access to her own records, and was met with secondary rejection.
Luckily, Michelle has found the one person she now shares an undeniable bond with -- the one she's always needed.
She said that adoption shaped her, her lack of attachment to her biological family forever changed her to her core. But she's moving forward with all the joys in the family she built and with the family she's found.
This is Michelle's journey...
145 - Tommy Davidson, Living In Color - What's Funny About Me
Comedian television and film actor, and all around entertainer. Tommy Davidson has seen it all. He launched his comedy career in the Washington DC area. Capitalizing on his innate ability to entertain people and make them bust out in laughter.
But his earliest days were grounded in trauma that as an adoptee, he didn't face until he was an adult and was at risk of losing everything. Tommy graciously took time to chat with me about his life and his career as documented in his book, living in color. What's funny about me. From being found as an infant, clinging to life, to his show, business success on one of my favorite sketch comedy television shows, living color . Tommy has put in the work to face the trauma of his adoption, overcome addiction and rebuild his life. This is Tommy's journey.
144 – Gullah Girl
Brandi, who called me from myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is an inquisitive person adopted in to a family with a history of scholars, which is rare for a black family in the south.
DNA led Brandi to a cousin who was determined to help her figure out their biological connection and which of two men were her birth father.
Coincidentally Brandi studied the music of a uniquely east coast southern diaspora of African people, only to learn she was studying the music of her own roots.
This is Brandi's journey.
As an adoptee, I am extremely grateful to have found this podcast which has been an invaluable resource to me in my personal journey and is a necessary contribution to the genre of adoptee media. The interview style is conversational and sensitive yet profound and deep. Thank you so much for creating this podcast, sharing your story and those of others and I look forward to every new episode!
In a word....fascinating!
Interesting subject matter + quality production.
Voices of Adoptees
I am a social worker, adoptee and birth mother and I am loving the wide range of stories told in their own voice and put together so well by Damon Davis!