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The Black Adoption Podcast

The Black Adoption Podcast

By Black to the Beginning with Dr. Samantha Coleman & Sandria Washington
Friends Dr. Samantha Coleman and Sandria Washington both discovered as adults they were adopted. Each quickly learned that Black adoption is common, but taboo to speak about in private or publicly. Black to the Beginning: The Black Adoption Podcast amplifies the adoption conversation by placing the stories of #BlackAndAdopted adults and #TheBlackFamily at the center. In order to change the narrative, you gotta CHANGE THE NARRATOR. With each conversation, more healing happens for generations of Black families and #ForTheCulture!
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S3E32: "Who Am I Really?" x Damon Davis

The Black Adoption Podcast

S3E32: "Who Am I Really?" x Damon Davis

The Black Adoption Podcast

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S3E36: "Long Lost Family" x Darius Colquitt
"At 23, my world just blew up. It literally just blew up in my face." - Darius Colquitt, Black Late Discovery + Kinship Adoptee "I love you. I love you, too. How much? Til the world blow up...". That's how Darius Colquitt and his dad would communicate when Darius was younger. With one fateful Facebook message, Darius' world that included his loving parents and his cool-ass uncle who wore suits and listened to jazz blew ALL the way up.  His uncle turned out to be his biological father and the man he knew as his dad was really his uncle.  In the aftermath, it was his passion and gift for artistic expression that helped Darius pick up, process and re-imagine the pieces of his life. The award-winning entertainer wrote his way toward healing and a new narrative.  Darius' personality is BIG and we cut UP in this conversation! But don't get it twisted. Take it from three late discovery adoptees: sometimes you gotta laugh to keep from crying. The height of our joy matches the depth of our pain. SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram  Black to the Beginning on Facebook  Black to the Beginning on Youtube           Darius Colquitt on Instagram @dariuscolquitt RECOMMENDED ADOPTION RESOURCES WATCH: "I Am A Product of the Southside" - an excerpt from Darius' one-man production, Til The World Blow Up!: A Southside Love Story LISTEN: Voices of African American LDA and kinship adoptees on The Black Adoption Podcast: S1E6, S2E5, S2E11, S2E14, S3E33 Black Adoptee Support Group on Instagram @blackadopteesupportgroup READ: Time to Come Off the Porch: Journey of Healing from the Wounds of Kinship Care in the Black Family by Dr. Kimberley Hundley REQUIRED READING: Black to the Beginning Reads Bookshop  - A carefully curated list of #BTTBreads...for the culture! SUPPORT THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST SUPPORTER: Make a monthly contribution of $0.99, $4.99, or $9.99 PayPal/Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning            SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #ADOPTION #BLACKADOPTION #AFRICANAMERICANADOPTION
01:10:20
January 14, 2022
S3E35: "Kidnapped, Abandoned, and Baking Cookies" x Zahra Alabanza
" Ain't no destination. We just keep journeying." – Zahra Alabanza Kinship care has been the method of choice when children are unable to reside with their biological parents. However, this is not always the best or DESIRED option, especially when children don’t know certain sides of their family and/or there is a perception that one’s family hasn’t shown up for them in times of need. This is the conundrum Zahra Alabanza found herself in at the age of 12, after being kidnapped by her father, abandoned, and spilt up from her siblings. Although there were challenges along the way, the girl grows up and makes the best of the cards she’s been dealt. Just when Zahra is living her absolute best life in these Chi-Town streets, she finds out that her nephews have been placed in the foster care system. This is a full circle moment for her, and despite not being the “cookie-baking” type, she decides to raise her nephews, and reimagines what motherhood and family constellations can look like. Zahra’s lifelong preparation coupled with her professional expertise as a social worker provides revelations and stark lessons for us about how to play chess, not checkers, when it comes to foster care system and deciding to formally adopt your kin. Listen in and listen up to this story about loss, grief, grace, compassion, and a continuous journey toward healing so that one doesn’t repeat generational trauma. Check out the Recommended Adoption Resources in the Show Notes and SHARE! SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram  Black to the Beginning on Facebook  Black to the Beginning on Youtube           Zahra Alabanza on Instagram @zahra_ala RECOMMENDED ADOPTION RESOURCES Guides and Handbooks for Kinship Caregivers LISTEN: Voices of Fostered Adults and Kin that Care The Black Adoption Podcast: S1E4, S2E1, S2E2, S2E10 REQUIRED READING: Black to the Beginning Reads Bookshop - A carefully curated list of #BTTBreads...for the culture! SUPPORT THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST SUPPORTER: Make a monthly contribution of $0.99, $4.99, or $9.99 PayPal/Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION SOTRY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #FOSTERCARE #KINSHIPADOPTION #AFRICANAMERICANADOPTION
01:00:57
January 10, 2022
S3E34: "Selling Blessings" x Qadriyyah Safiyyah Mabel-Dorothy
"Your creation was the best I could be for you." - Qadriyyah S. Mabel-Dorothy Listen, much like The South, African American birth mothers got something to say! Outcasts in their own right, Black women who choose adoption for their babies often live with shame, even when they believe their choice was the best they could do at the time. Following her divorce, Qadriyyah knew that she didn't want to have more children. God, however, had different plans, revealed to her in recurring dreams of a beautiful, Black baby boy. She knew she would have another baby and also that she was "giving birth to somebody else's baby."  Twice. Navigating through lack of adoption knowledge, denied requests for therapy support, a "janky" money-focused adoption agency, family and friends who didn't understand her choices, all while raising children through anxiety and depression, Qadriyyah's journey shows parenting and adoption take more than love. Take a listen, check out the Recommended Adoption Resources in the Show Notes and SHARE! SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram  Black to the Beginning on Facebook  Black to the Beginning on Youtube           Qadriyyah on Instagram @qadriyyah_allmother RECOMMENDED ADOPTION RESOURCES The Cradle Sayers Center for African American Adoption LISTEN: Voices of African American Birth Mothers on The Black Adoption Podcast: S1E10, S2E4, S2E8  BlackAdoptionMatters.com READ:  My Brown Baby: On the Joys and Challenges of Raising African American Children by Denene Millner REQUIRED READING: Black to the Beginning Reads Bookshop  - A carefully curated list of #BTTBreads...for the culture! SUPPORT THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST SUPPORTER: Make a monthly contribution of $0.99, $4.99, or $9.99 PayPal/Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning            SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #ADOPTION #BLACKBIRTHMOTHER #AFRICANAMERICANADOPTION
01:23:58
December 24, 2021
S3E33: "Living in a Fog" x Sonia Morgan
"I know who I am, but I just want to know, where it actually started." - Sonia Morgan Imagine finding a photo album that you’ve never seen before. The pictures are of you BUT the name on the book and photos is not your own. Hard to fathom, right? Our guest, Sonia Morgan lived this experience, and at age 27, her world is turned upside down when she confirms her lifelong feeling that “something’s not right.” Sonia grew up in a loving home with her parents and older sister where she has fond childhood memories of playing outside, jumping rope, and playing jacks. She felt safe, secure, and had no reason to believe that there were any family secrets bubbling beneath the surface. Listen in as we chat about what it means to be a late discovery adoptee (LDA), the intensity and fluctuation of emotions that are felt during the grieving process, the exploration of the “truth,” and the conflict of being empathetic and compassionate, when those expressions are often denied to adoptees. More importantly, we drill down on intentional curiosity about oneself. In doing so, adoptees can sit in their power to not “erase,” who they are, but live in their purpose without shame. Check out the Recommended Resources in the Show Notes and SHARE! SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram  Black to the Beginning on Facebook  Black to the Beginning on Youtube           Sonia on Instagram @ms.sonique RECOMMENDED RESOURCES LISTEN: Black to the Beginning: The Black Adoption Podcast Seasons 1 & 2 REQUIRED READING: Black to the Beginning Reads Bookshop  - A carefully curated list of #BTTBreads...for the culture! African Ancestry DNA Testing 23andMe DNA Testing SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST SUPPORTER: Make a monthly contribution of $0.99, $4.99, or $9.99 PayPal:info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning            SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #ADOPTION #LDA #FOG #BLACKFAMILY #EVERYBIRTHHASASTORY
54:59
December 17, 2021
S3E32: "Who Am I Really?" x Damon Davis
"I consider myself to be on the far end of the scale of good reunions." - Damon Davis Every search and reunion story is unique, and Damon Davis knows this well. More than 150 adoptees have shared their stories on his popular "Who Am I Really? Podcast" and his own search and reunion stories (plural) made our hearts swell (you'll definitely want to read his memoir and be prepared for a good, ugly cry). Damon was raised by two Black parents and for most of his life he had no desire to search for his biological family. The birth of his son, Seth, changed that. Taking two different search and reunion paths with each birth parent - formal and more informal - Damon's journey underscores for adoptees the importance of searching intentionally for the right reasons at the right time, caring for ourselves emotionally throughout the process, and if a reunion is an outcome, the beauty that can come from holding those precious initial meetings sacred as a potential relationship evolves. AND in this conversation, we turn the tables on Damon and get his official answer to his own million dollar question, "Who Am I Really?". Take a listen, check out the Recommended Resources in the Show Notes and SHARE! SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram  Black to the Beginning on Facebook  Black to the Beginning on Youtube           Damon on Instagram @waireally  RECOMMENDED RESOURCES LISTEN: Who Am I Really? Podcast LISTEN: Black to the Beginning: The Black Adoption Podcast Seasons 1 & 2 READ: Who Am I Really: An Adoptee Memoir by Damon Davis  REQUIRED READING: Black to the Beginning Reads Bookshop  - A carefully curated list of #BTTBreads...for the culture! African Ancestry DNA Testing 23andMe DNA Testing SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST SUPPORTER: Make a monthly contribution of $0.99, $4.99, or $9.99 PayPal:info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning            SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #ADOPTION #REUNION #FAMILY
01:23:13
December 07, 2021
S3E31: "Dear Black Girl: It (For Real) Takes a Village" x Tamara Winfrey-Harris
"Tell your stories." - Tamara Winfrey-Harris Welcome to Season 3 of The Black Adoption Podcast! It's an honor to be back and to kick things off with noted writer, storyteller, speaker and author, Tamara Winfrey-Harris. She is the best-selling author of Dear Black Girl: Letters From Your Sisters On Stepping Into Your Power and the recently re-released The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America (Second Edition).  We're all about changing broken narratives with this podcast and in this conversation Tamara traces her writing journey and her passion behind telling authentic stories of Black women and girls. She also explores how these "broken narratives" around Black women and family continue to shape the Black Adoption conversation. We also get into her extensive personal family genealogy research, the rich stories (and famous relatives) she's uncovered, and the importance of discovering the heroes in our own families. "Every birth has a story..." and we hope this episode will inspire you to pick up your pen to own your story and tell it. Whatever your story is, someone else is waiting to be seen in your words. Take a listen, share, and grab your copy of Dear Black Girl from the BTTB Bookshop linked in the Show Notes! SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram  Black to the Beginning on Facebook  Black to the Beginning on Youtube           Tamara Winfrey Harris on Instagram @tamarawinfreyharris RECOMMENDED RESOURCES Official Tamara Winfrey Harris Website READ: The Sisters Are Alright (Second Ed.) & Dear Black Girl by Tamara Winfrey-Harris LISTEN: Black to the Beginning: The Black Adoption Podcast Season 1 & 2         REQUIRED READING: Black to the Beginning Reads Bookshop  - A carefully curated list of #BTTBreads...for the culture! African Ancestry DNA Testing 23andMe DNA Testing SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST SUPPORTER: Make a monthly contribution of $0.99, $4.99, or $9.99 PayPal:info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning            SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #ADOPTION #WRITING #STORYTELLING #TAMARAWINFREYHARRIS
49:52
November 26, 2021
HAPPY 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY, THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST! [BONUS EPISODE]
Go, shawty, it's ya birthday!! On November 13, 2020 we launched Black to the Beginning: The Black Adoption Podcast and we're still here in these #BlackAdoption streets celebrating one year of dynamic stories, and the guests and listeners who make this work possible. This episode is a look back at a few standout moments, a look forward to Season 3 and a love letter to everyone who has supported in some way along the way. THANK YOU! Have you enjoyed our first year of The Black Adoption Podcast? Has it impacted you in any way?  Leave us a review or a comment; share this episode or your favorite episode; or simply give us a listen if you are new to the podcast. We appreciate all the support!
41:13
November 13, 2021
S2E15: "The Gift of Adoption" x Jini Thornton [SEASON 2 FINALE]
"I need to fill this gap for my children." - Jini Thornton Jini Thornton was not pressed about being adopted or about someday finding her biological family. The New York native was raised in a loving and stable family, where adoption was normal. Jini grew up with cousins who were adopted and the family - particularly her mother who adopted Jini in the late 1960's as a single, Black woman - talked about adoption openly. It wasn't a thing. It wasn't until Jini's son expressed his need and desire to know that Jini moved forward with getting her original birth record and starting down the path of finding her birth family. Going into the search and reunion process Jini didn't think it would be a big deal, but quickly learned that was more than a notion.  Even when the outcomes are favorable, search and reunion is a rabbit hole where the only expectation is to understand that you can't know what to expect. Jini's story highlights the saving grace of having the support of loved ones, faith, and a good therapist on the main line behind Jesus.  Jini wants Black families to know adoption is an option and adoptees have power and permission to choose in their lives. Take a listen, check the Recommended Resources in the Show Notes and leave a review! SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram  Black to the Beginning on Facebook  Black to the Beginning on Youtube           Wendi on Instagram @jinithornton  RECOMMENDED RESOURCES WATCH: "The Gift of Adoption" -  Jini Thornton's adoption story on YouTube LISTEN: Black to the Beginning: The Black Adoption Podcast Season 1 & 2         REQUIRED READING: Black to the Beginning Reads Bookshop  - A carefully curated list of #BTTBreads...for the culture! African Ancestry DNA Testing 23andMe DNA Testing SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST SUPPORTER: Make a monthly contribution of $0.99, $4.99, or $9.99 PayPal:info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning            SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #ADOPTION #HEALING #FAMILY
01:02:01
September 10, 2021
S2E14: "Say it Loud! We Are Rising" x Renecia Jackson
"Adoptees are basically the eye of the storm." – Renecia Jackson Adoptees, in general, experience a great sense of loss from the moment they are born. Late discovery adoptees (LDA), however, have a unique experience in that they are living two different realities that are unbeknownst to them. While they may grow up with what feels like an intact family, there comes a fateful day when they learn that everything they’ve come to know and love – is smoke and mirrors. At the age of 22, Renecia Jackson finds out that she is adopted while in a heated argument with her parents. They assumed that she knew this information because she was making transformational changes in her life that were unfamiliar to them. Like a lot of adoptive parents, their guilt and/or inability to hold the secret anymore, allowed the words come tumbling out without a lot of care or follow-up. There is relief for the parent(s), but the adoptee is left to restructure the remnants of lies and half-truths for some semblance of understanding who they are. Renecia provides us with a full breakdown of her LDA experience, her reliance on spirituality and therapy to aid in her healing and "rise up,", as well as a call to action to share one’s story, loudly, at a time that feels right for the adoptee. Take a listen, check the Recommended Resources in the Show Notes and leave a review! SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram  Black to the Beginning on Facebook  Black to the Beginning on Youtube           Renecia on Instagram RECOMMENDED RESOURCES LISTEN: Black to the Beginning: The Black Adoption Podcast Season 1 & 2         REQUIRED READING: Black to the Beginning Reads Bookshop      - A carefully curated list of #BTTBreads...for the culture! African Ancestry DNA Testing 23andMe DNA Testing SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal:info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning            SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire
50:28
September 06, 2021
S2E13: "I Was Selected Not Expected" x Wendi Cherry
"We're moving forward as The Sibs Nation. The parents will have to deal with their trauma." - Wendi Cherry "1989, the number, another summer" - a classic lyric from Public Enemy and the life-changing year Wendi Cherry met her first biological sibling. Wendi's sister was older, cooler, and one of NINE siblings that Wendi would eventually come to know. Five of "The Sibs" - the nickname of their siblings crew - were given away in secrecy and adoption while their birth parents stayed together and raised a family.  Instead of focusing on the secondary rejection from her birth parents and their inability to speak on the past, Wendi and her Sibs chose to unite and build their relationships. Their journey has been "overwhelming with love," embracing their shared characteristics, traveling together, celebrating holidays and milestones, and having FUN. Wendi is a whole mood in this conversation, taking us on a nostalgic ride from the 80's to present day. If you need a feel-good Black adoption story, this the one! Take a listen, check the Recommended Resources in the Show Notes and leave a review! SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram  Black to the Beginning on Facebook  Black to the Beginning on Youtube           Wendi on Instagram @AwakenAndHeal  RECOMMENDED RESOURCES VISIT: Selected Not Expected Website -  A contemporary clothing and accessories line and blog created to highlight adoption in Black and brown communities READ: "From Jersey to Me: The Awakening & Healing of A Goddess" A memoir by Wendi Cherry LISTEN: Black to the Beginning: The Black Adoption Podcast Season 1 & 2         REQUIRED READING: Black to the Beginning Reads Bookshop  - A carefully curated list of #BTTBreads...for the culture! African Ancestry DNA Testing 23andMe DNA Testing SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal:info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning            SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire
01:14:55
August 14, 2021
S2E12: "Finding Joi is Possible" x Joi Fisher
"I can’t live two lives."– Joi Fisher You can know that you were adopted at a very young age. Your adoptive parents can read to you ALL of the recommended children’s books, but this still doesn’t stop the stares, the playground gossip, or hushed conversations amongst family that one may overhear. It’s was in those moments that Joi realized that she was “special,” but not always in an endearing way. Rather, it was a term to excuse or explain her adoption status so that others may be able to digest what they understood externally, but not in the hearts of she and her parents. Most time, Joi didn’t focus on the fact that she was adopted. However, triggers would present themselves, causing her to struggle with her identity and question whether she was lovable, worthy, and deserved better out of life. This internal battle and desire to “find Joi” led her down the rabbit hole of New Jersey legislation, ancestry testing, Facebook messaging, and ultimately finding the pieces to the puzzle of who she was, is, and now becoming. Take a listen and check the Recommended Resources in the Show Notes! SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram  Black to the Beginning on Facebook  Black to the Beginning on Youtube          Joi Fisher-Griffin on Instagram @findingjoirenee RECOMMENDED RESOURCES VISIT: “Finding Joi” The      Official Website  EXPLORE: The term ‘Ghost Kingdom’ as depicted on “This is Us” LEARN ABOUT: New Jersey Coalition for Adoption Reform and      Education LISTEN: Black to the Beginning: The Black Adoption Podcast      Season 1 & 2        REQUIRED READING: Black to the Beginning Reads Bookshop - A carefully curated list of #BTTBreads...for the culture! SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal:info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning           SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION #ADOPTIONPODCAST #IDENTITY #GHOSTKINGDOM #SEARCHANDREUNION
01:01:35
August 07, 2021
S2E11: "Discovering My Truth" x Raye Thomas
"Kids live with people who are not their parents and it's fine until it's actually not." - Raye "Am I adopted???" That's the question Raye grappled with when she stumbled across her first Black to the Beginning Instagram post. The content and stories from podcast guests resonated, but she wasn't adopted. Until she realized that she was.  Informally. Raye was raised believing her grandmother was her mother. Meanwhile, the woman who came around simply known as Tasha was, in fact, her biological mother. The revelation opened up a Pandora's box of confusion. While many adoptees are told a story of being chosen, Raye has struggled with feeling like she wasn't chosen.  Is ignorance bliss? Not quite, but life for Raye was emotionally simpler before the truth was revealed.  This conversation is more than another Black kinship care story; this is a conversation that explores the layers of Black adoption. What makes someone "adopted"? Who should identify themselves as an adoptee? If you're raised with and by family, are you adopted enough? It feels good to finally find Tribe! May this conversation be your soft place to land, too. Take a listen and check the Recommended Resources in the Show Notes! SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram Black to the Beginning on Facebook Black to the Beginning on Youtube         Raye on Instagram @everydaywithraye RECOMMENDED RESOURCES VISIT: Raye the Doula Official Website READ: "Time to Come Off the Porch: Journey of Healing from the Wounds of Kinship Care in the Black Family" by Dr. Kimberley Hundley LISTEN: Black to the Beginning: The Black Adoption Podcast Season 1 & 2       REQUIRED READING: Black to the Beginning Reads Bookshop  - A carefully curated list of #BTTBreads...for the culture! SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal:info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning          SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION #ADOPTIONPODCAST #FAMILY
52:39
July 30, 2021
S2E10: "Everyone Will Know it was God" x Sana Cotten
“My mother was literally just the vessel that God used to get me here on this Earth.” – Sana Cotten Children are resilient, but they need, want, and hope for the love and security that mothers are expected to provide. When women, aka human beings, make different choices in their lives that impede their ability to care for their children, child protective agencies i.e. foster care step in to provide refuge.  In the Black community, these systems are often frowned upon, but sometimes they make a way out of no way. At 8 years old, Sana found herself making life-altering decisions for she and her brother. In true adoptee fashion, she found herself considering the feelings of her birth mother and adoptive parents, but ultimately chose herself. This story is one of loss, love, and letting go. It is about keeping the faith, optimism, and building up from brokenness. We learn that healing is a choice, but still not optional. Sana’s story reminds us that our steps are ordered, we have divine purpose, and that our unapologetic stories are meant to be shared – OUT LOUD! SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram  Black to the Beginning on Facebook  Black to the Beginning on Youtube        Sana Cotten on Instagram @sanalatrease RECOMMENDED RESOURCES VISIT: Sana Latrease Official Website LISTEN:  Black to the Beginning: The Black Adoption Podcast Season 1     REQUIRED      READING: Black to the Beginning Reads Bookshop      - A carefully curated list of #BTTBreads...for the culture! Get into “Belonging” by Toko-Pa Turner and “The Deepest Well” by Nadine Burk-Harris, M.D. SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal:info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning         SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION #ADOPTIONPODCAST #FOSTERCARE #BELONGING
01:00:06
July 23, 2021
S2E9: "When Family Comes Calling" x Glodean Champion
"Whoever wants to meet me is who I'll meet and whoever doesn't want to meet me, I'm okay with that." - Glodean Champion By the time of this episode's airing, Glodean Champion's life has already changed significantly - AGAIN! Usually when adoptee reunion stories are told it's from a place of longing - a far off, wishful hope -  or they're told in the past tense. We spoke with Glodean as she was only a few weeks away from meeting biological family, including her father, for the first time.  Don't worry, we already know a Part 2 is necessary! However, this conversation won't leave you on a cliffhanger. In this episode, Glodean gives us an intimate, real-time view of that exhilarating rollercoaster time between finding/getting a missing piece to your story and connecting with that piece in the flesh. How do you prepare for a reunion? How do you manage expectations for yourself and others? How do you set boundaries? When do you talk about your experience publicly, and how much do you share? There are no "right" answers, yet, Glodean's experience provides some options from the adoptee perspective.  Take a listen and check out the Recommended Resources in the Show Notes! SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram Black to the Beginning on Facebook Black to the Beginning on Youtube       Glodean Champion on Instagram @glodeanglo RECOMMENDED RESOURCES VISIT: Glodean Champion Official Website Ancestry.com LISTEN: Black to the Beginning: The Black Adoption Podcast Season 1    REQUIRED READING: Black to the Beginning Reads Bookshop  - A carefully curated list of #BTTBreads...for the culture! Get into "Are You My Mother?" by P.D. Eastman (children's book) and "Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself" by Nedra Glover Tawwab SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal:info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning        SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION #ADOPTIONPODCAST #FAMILY #ANCESTRY
01:01:32
July 12, 2021
S2E8: "A Birthmother's Sacrifice for Love" x Kiami Merritt
" You always have three choices - either parent, abortion, or adoption." – Kiami Merritt Kiami chose adoption. The decision to place a child for adoption, is not one taken lightly by birthmothers, although society tends to shame them as if it was. Black birthmothers, in particular, also battle with their choice due to the continued belief that Black people don’t adopt and they certainly don’t relinquish their children. This back-and-forth battle with oneself is extremely stressful as one weighs the pros and cons of this ultimate sacrifice. In this episode, Kiami shares with us her choice as a Black birthmother to select a single, white, adoptive mother for her child. We take a dive into the legal aspects of adoption, as well as how the notion of open adoption has traumatized birthmothers. Kiami’s “heart work,” is now empowering and mentoring birth mothers to heal from their adoption experiences. In particular, she is seeking to expand her work with Black birthmothers and is calling these women to action because it is her belief that keeping one’s story locked inside of them, “is a toxin within your body, and it’s going to resonate in other areas of your life.” SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram  Black to the Beginning on Facebook  Black to the Beginning on Youtube      Kiami Merritt on Instagram RECOMMENDED RESOURCES Adoption Network Law Center On Your Feet Foundation LISTEN:  Black to the Beginning: The Black Adoption Podcast Season 2 (check out Episode 4) REQUIRED READING: Black to the Beginning Reads Bookshop - A carefully curated list of #BTTBreads...for the culture! Get into                  "Get Over It: Thought Therapy for Healing the Hard Stuff" by Iyanla Vanzant SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal:info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning       SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION #ADOPTIONPODCAST #BLACKBIRTHMOTHERS #HEALING
51:43
July 07, 2021
S2E7: "In Reunion...The Rest of the Story You Didn't See" x Patrice Martin
"This should have and could have at any moment taken me out, too, all the stuff that I talked to you about." - Patrice Martin But God. There are more than two sides to a story when it comes to adoption, and when you hear Patrice Martin's story you'll understand that God is truly the Author and Finisher of her story. In Season 2 Episode 6 we introduced you to Patrice's sister, Sarah Murphy, and her diligent search for Patrice. The two sisters met for the first time on the TLC show, "Long Lost Family" (Season 6 Episode 8).  In this episode, Patrice walks us through life before and after the show. Patrice not only met her sister that day, but also her birth mother - the woman who birthed her alone at home, cut the cord, surrendered her baby behind a mall, went to work and then carried the secret for years.  "Adoption is trauma" and Patrice's "divinely ordered" journey is one that has led her to use her incredible story to advocate for other adoptees and mothers. Take a listen and check out the Recommended Resources in the Show Notes! SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram Black to the Beginning on Facebook Black to the Beginning on Youtube     Patrice Martin on Instagram @psmartin76 RECOMMENDED RESOURCES WATCH: 2PAC "Brenda's Got A Baby" [Official Video] WATCH: Season 6 Episode 8 of TLC "Lost Lost Family" National Safe Haven Alliance:  Find Safe Haven law and locations in your state. 24/7 Crisis Hotline: Call 1-888-510-BABY or text SAFEHAVEN to 313131 LISTEN: Black to the Beginning: The Black Adoption Podcast Season 1    REQUIRED READING: Black to the Beginning Reads Bookshop  - A carefully curated list of #BTTBreads...for the culture! Get into "The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child" by Nancy Newton Verrier SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal:info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning      SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION #ADOPTIONPODCAST #FAMILY
01:06:60
June 25, 2021
S2E6: "Lost and Then Found" x Sarah Murphy
“One day I would just wake up, like, let me look for my sister.” – Sarah Murphy Have you been touched by an Angel? If not, get ready to hear from one, as she takes us through one of THE MOST epic and fantastic voyages through identity and sisterhood that one could ever imagine. Sarah Murphy, after spending years in foster care, is reunited with her mother at 14 years of age, only to find out that she has a sister that she has never met. Suspicious and doubtful of this story, she delves into crates of newspapers and scans microfilm, searching for truth and clues about the baby that her mother abandoned behind a mall, wrapped in her clothes. After years of what appeared to be a fruitless mission, the introduction of DNA tests (Ancestry) finally cracked the door to her sister, Patrice. Ironically enough, Patrice was looking for her too, but in a VERY different way. The two were reunited on Long Lost Family, a TLC Network series aimed at reuniting family members after years of separation. Listen in, as we discuss Black maternal health, systemic inequities, empathy, communication, people pleasing, generational curses, and the love of siblings, despite their parents. For the first time ever, we get to hear the biological sibling perspective on adoption. These two sisters were lost, found, and have been working toward building their sisterhood. SNEAK PEAK: Patrice Martin (Sarah’s Sister) will be featured on Season 2, Episode 7, next week! SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram  Black to the Beginning on Facebook  Black to the Beginning on Youtube    Sarah Murphy on Instagram  RECOMMENDED RESOURCES African Ancestry Ancestry DNA National Association to      Advance Black Birth Black Women’s Health Imperative Therapy for Black      Girls READ: Black to the Beginning Reads Bookshop - A carefully curated list of #BTTBreads...for the culture! SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal:info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning     SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #ADOPTIONPODCAST #BLACKBIRTH #BLACKWOMENSHELATH
01:02:04
June 18, 2021
S2E5: "Surviving Adoption & Colorism" x Dr. Pamela Phoenix
"There's things in your family that you're just not going to be able to do anything about, because it's really not up to you. It's up to them to want to be a part of this healing, too, and everybody doesn't want to be a part of healing." - Dr. Phoenix In radio, they call it dead air, but on this podcast we call it holding space. There is healing on the other side of the discomfort of listening to the silence. Thank you, Dr. Phoenix, for reminding us of that. Forty years ago at the age of 17, Pamela Phoenix learned that her favorite aunt was actually her biological mother. Learning she was adopted devastated her, and in the process of losing who she believed she was she also lost her family. Since 1998, Dr. Phoenix has been going "Black to the beginning" to the roots of her trauma and helping others along their own healing journeys for more than two decades as the facilitator of the Sankofa Rites of Passage program for youth and adults (Sandria is a graduate of the 2021 adult cohort). Dr. Phoenix's life and work underscores the fact that adoptees are SURVIVORS, there is power in (re)writing your life's story, and being rooted in the divinity of Blackness and your purpose can feel like a return home. This extended episode is not for casual listening. Grab your journal, a cup of tea, and settle in for this intimate conversation. May it shine a light wherever you are on your healing path. SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram Black to the Beginning on Facebook Black to the Beginning on Youtube   Dr. Phoenix on Instagram RECOMMENDED RESOURCES Sankofa Rites of Passage with Dr. Phoenix Good Grief  - Support and resources for grieving children LISTEN: Black to the Beginning: The Black Adoption Podcast Season 1 (check out Episodes 6 and 14!)   READ: Black to the Beginning Reads Bookshop  - A carefully curated list of #BTTBreads...for the culture! Get into "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal:info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning    SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION #ADOPTIONPODCAST #PERSONALDEVELOPMENT
01:23:09
June 04, 2021
S2E4 "The Secret of the Black Birthmother" x Courtney Cook
“I’ll probably say this until my last breath, but adoption is one of the best decisions I've ever made.” – Courtney Cook Whether or not we feel WORTHY in our lives, even as children, has an impact on the relationships we have, our ability to chase or discard our dreams, and the overall manner by which we make decisions. Unfortunately, Black birth mothers – young and more mature in age, have grappled with their worthiness and have had to make the life altering decision to place their children for adoption. Most have shared that they were at a crossroads in their lives where they knew that even if they placed a lower value on themselves at the time, their unborn child deserved to have more than what they were prepared to offer. A 17-year old Courtney Cook was pregnant, unsupported by family, deserted by her child’s father, and on her way to college. As a child herself, she made the ultimate sacrifice to enter a semi-open adoption with her son, counting each pain-staking year that went by in the hopes of a reunion. This story continues to solidify why transparency is a necessity, healing – not an option, and the importance of birth mothers and adoptive mothers forging relationships (when possible). Class is in session on Episode 4. Listen in and take some time do a self-check on your “worthiness” meter. SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram  Black to the Beginning on Facebook  Black to the Beginning on Youtube  Courtney Cook on Instagram  RECOMMENDED RESOURCES Courtney Tierra, LLC The Worthy Reminders Worthy! A Book for Kids of All Ages On Your Feet Foundation LISTEN: Black to the Beginning: The Black Adoption Podcast      Season 1 (check out Episode 10!)  Black to the Beginning Reads Bookshop - A carefully curated list of #BTTBreads...for the culture! SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal:info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning   SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION #ADOPTIONPODCAST #BLACKBIRTHMOTHERS #COURTNEYTIERRA #WORTHY
44:24
May 28, 2021
S2E3 "The Desire of My Heart" x Denise Hendricks
“People are going to talk about you, regardless.” – Denise Hendricks All the single ladies! *cues Beyonce and hits an 8 count right quick* These days, it seems like coming into motherhood later in life - particularly as a Black, single woman - bothers folks more than becoming a mother too young. What in the Being Mary Jane is a woman to do? Denise Hendricks will be the first to tell you to listen to the desires of your heart and not to any negative energy around you.  In her early 40s, Denise decided to pursue adoption as a single woman. With the support of her "tight village" of family, friends, church family and a growing sister circle of Fabulous Adoptive Black (FAB) moms, Denise persevered through the many ups and downs of the unpredictable adoption process and today, her son Luke is her greatest blessing. Real motherhood. Real transparent. Real unapologetic. Real inspiring (several people in her circle, including couples, have followed her lead). Mess around and take a listen to Episode 3 and she just might inspire you, too!   SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram Black to the Beginning on Facebook Black to the Beginning on Youtube Denise Hendricks on Instagram RECOMMENDED RESOURCES WATCH: "Good Times" - Willona adopts Penny Good Grief  - Support and resources for grieving children LISTEN: Black to the Beginning: The Black Adoption Podcast Season 1 (check out Episode 7!) Black to the Beginning Reads Bookshop  - A carefully curated list of #BTTBreads...for the culture! (get into "Motherhood So White" by Nefertiti Austin) SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal:info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning  SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION #ADOPTIONPODCAST #DENISEHENDRICKS
51:42
May 21, 2021
S2E2 "A Bond with a Purpose" x Latonya Minor
“I could never replace his mom no matter how good of a job that I think I'm doing” – Latonya Minor Was it luck? A chance encounter? Or simply God, that would not allow the connection between Latonya Minor and her nephew to be broken? While being raised by blood relatives is not always in the best interest of a child, this amazing testimony is a prime example of what love and “want to,” can do to change the trajectory of someone’s life. As a woman of faith, Tonya took a serious self-inventory of her life and made the conscious decision to parent, when she could have continued living her best “no kids attached” life. Tonya illuminates for us how life’s challenges can be reframed into opportunities – if we let them. Every twist and serendipitous turn within this story demonstrates why we must “stay woke,” because you never know what’s coming for you.   While it is certainly not easy raising her nephew, as a single mother, it is, indeed, HER PURPOSE! Get into this Kinship Adoption Conversation! Get into ANY conversation that is going to help you, and someone else heal. Struggle is overrated. SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram  Black to the Beginning on Facebook  Black to the Beginning on Youtube Latonya Minor on Instagram RECOMMENDED RESOURCES Children’s Place Association Good Grief  - Support and resources for grieving children LISTEN: Black to the Beginning: The Black Adoption Podcast Season 1 Black to the Beginning Reads Bookshop     - A carefully curated list of #BTTBreads...for the culture! SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal:info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning  SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION #ADOPTIONPODCAST #KINSHIPADOPTION
31:57
May 14, 2021
S2E1 "Kinship Adoption: It's Complicated" x Rev. Dr. Theresa Thames
"All the time that I thought I was saving my nephew, he was saving me..." - Theresa Thames She get it from her mama. And her mama's mama. Theresa Thames (Rev. Dr. Theresa Thames, put some respek on her name!) comes from a lineage of Black women deeply rooted in Biloxi, Mississippi who modeled taking care of our own. In this Season 2 launch episode, Theresa takes us back to the roots of Black Adoption, weaving with grace the interconnected beauty and complexity of three generations of kinship care. Theresa's mother took pride in being an adoptive mother, legally adopting her niece. For Theresa, they were sisters first and not first cousins. "It wasn't until I was older that I learned that she was adopted, but because she was my uncle's daughter, it didn't even seem like adoption." Granny Ruby (and the small, honeysuckle-scented Biloxi community where she lived) raised Theresa and her older sister after their beautiful, vibrant mother battled drug addiction. And when Theresa's sister unexpectedly passed at the age of 40, Theresa - at age 32 and newly divorced - raised her grieving nephew as a single parent through legal kinship guardianship. Or rather, they raised each other.  "I didn't know that parenthood and motherhood would look like this." Theresa made her motherhood and womanhood journeys her own and found strength in the women who came before her, whose legacies she celebrates in "In Our Mothers' Gardens," a new documentary now streaming on Netflix.   Theresa is a self-proclaimed joy enthusiast and you'll hear it all throughout her story, even the hard parts. Welcome to Season 2, take a listen! SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram  Black to the Beginning on Facebook  Black to the Beginning on Youtube Theresa Thames on Instagram RECOMMENDED RESOURCES Soul Joy Coaching & Yoga with Theresa S. Thames  WATCH: "In Our Mothers' Gardens" documentary featuring Theresa Thames (Netflix) GIRLTREK - Join the movement of 1 Million+ Black women walking as a revolutionary act of self care Good Grief - Support and resources for grieving children LISTEN: Black to the Beginning: The Black Adoption Podcast Season 1 Black to the Beginning Reads Bookshop - A carefully curated list of #BTTBreads...for the culture! SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal:info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning  SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION #ADOPTIONPODCAST #ADOPTION #THERESATHAMES #INOURMOTHERSGARDENS
44:53
May 07, 2021
S1E14: REEL Talk - "Jumping the Broom" x Dr. Sam and Sandria
“End, Scene.” Join your self-proclaimed movie critics as we dissect and reflect upon the 2011 romantic comedy, “Jumping the Broom.” For all the laughs and giggles at some very cute moments, the topic of adoption finds itself inserted at a very critical time, leaving the characters and viewing audience feeling “sorry” for the protagonist (Paula Patton’s character). Why is that? It’s as if the word “adoption,” itself is the Scarlet letter. This movie takes us through ALL things “Black to Beginning,” – Black family, Black love, Black adoption, Black traditions, and Black culture. We encourage conversations around all of these topics, but we also suggest that you to begin to critically look at movies, television shows, and magazines to understand how adoption shows up in popular culture. Is it accurate? Are you provided with a different frame of reference by being able to externally view these situations?  Is there an opportunity to rewrite the narrative? These are all questions that we are asking ourselves and look forward to continuing our “For the Culture,”episodes to dig deeper into the Black Adoption Experience. This is the Season 1 Finale! Thank you for listening and for your support. We look forward to seeing you soon, for Season 2. RECOMMENDED RESOURCES FROM ALL 13 EPISODES (review past episodes for additional resources) The Ardythe and Gale Sayers Center for African American Adoption Wreckage and Wonder Website Christian Family Adoption Aid (CFAA) - grants for adoptive families Coffee HipHop and Mental Health (CHHAMH) on Instagram Illinois Department of Public Health Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange Request an Original Birth Certificate Therapy for Black Men The Broken Brown Egg Website Fertility for Colored Girls (FFCG) Fertility Coaching with Rev. Dr. Stacey L. Edwards-Dunn (Founder of FFCG) On Your Feet Foundation SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal:info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning  SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION #ADOPTIONPODCAST #ADOPTION #BLACK FAMILY #NOSECRECY #NOSTIGMA #NOSHAME #REWRITETHENARRATIVE #MENTALHEALTH
38:04
February 26, 2021
S1E13: "I wish I was just adopted by Black people" x Robin Alexander
“...another story needs to be told about transracial adoptees." - Robin Alexander The Black adoptee experience is not monolithic and the same can be said about the Black transracial adoptee (BTRA) experience. Robin Alexander recalls always searching for who and what she was, never feeling at home in the "Indian, Mexican, French, and Spanish" origin story her white parents told her and anybody who would listen.  There was a piece missing from her biracial identity and an inner knowing confirmed for her that the missing piece was hiding in Blackness. There was no turning back for Robin once she fully identified as Black. A Black person who happened to be adopted into a white family.  Where some Black adoptees raised in white families may feel internally disconnected from their Blackness and maybe unworthy of fully owning their Blackness #Impostersyndrome, Robin leaned all the way in, even in the times her Black card was put into question (she can't play Spades, y'all, but her invite to the cookout is still intact!).  Now, at 51 years old raising four grandchildren, her adoption journey is uncovering new questions. Where does her adopted self end and her authentic self begin? The searching continues, but this conversation is a reminder for us all that showing up authentically can start with boldly telling our stories. Get into Episode 13 on your favorite podcast platform. There's only ONE MORE EPISODE remaining in Season 1! SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram Black to the Beginning on Facebook Black to the Beginning on Youtube    RECOMMENDED RESOURCES "You Gon Learn Today!" BTRA Instagram Accounts: @wreckageandwonder and @_heytra and @juneinapril #BTTBreads: The Meaning of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey WATCH: "Little White Lie" documentary (Amazon Prime) SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal:info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning  SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION #ADOPTIONPODCAST #ADOPTION #BIRACIAL #IDENTITY #MENTALHEALTH
01:09:52
February 20, 2021
S1E12: “Even now I'm grieving the losses." x Maya Holmes
“I’ve always thought of myself as an adoptee…that’s the main part of my identity.” – Maya Holmes Maya’s birth mother was deliberate in ensuring that her adoptive parents were Black. She recognized that it was necessary for her child to see representation of herself within her family. As Maya matured and the time came time to really dig deep into what it meant to be adopted, there wasn’t a community that supported that need to explore the intersections of all aspects of her identity. It left her asking “Where is the community for Black adoptees?” We feel you, Maya. We’ve been asking that same question!!! While some adoptees may find themselves in loving homes and raised in what may seem like the best of circumstances, this still doesn’t minimize that longing of wanting to know where you came from. A search and reunion process doesn’t mean that you’ve somehow been healed and that the elapsed time spent away from your biological family is suddenly erased. While the stopwatch begins, one can’t help but to reflect on what’s been lost. THIS is why Black adoptees require a space to share and support one another around our unique experiences. While Black Adoptees adopted by Black adopted parents (BABP) appear to be an anomaly, they really aren’t. And while our fellow Black adoptees who have been adopted transracially have a plethora of support groups to choose from, the BABP is left to go it alone. NOT ON OUR WATCH! Listen in to S1E12 available on your favorite podcast platform right now! Reach out to us and share your ideas on how we can build our community as Black Adoptees adopted by Black Parents (BABP). SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black      to the Beginning on Instagram  Black      to the Beginning on Facebook  Black      to the Beginning on Youtube    Maya Holmes on Instagram RECOMMENDED RESOURCES · Black Adoption Collective · Black Adult Adoptee Alliance · Black Adoption Matters SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal:info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning  SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION #ADOPTIONPODCAST #BLACKPARENTS #COMMUNITY #IDENTITY #MENTALHEALTH
33:00
February 12, 2021
S1E11: "You don't want to sacrifice yourself trying to be accepted" x Christina Lopez-Pegg
"I love my story...Maybe this is something that can make somebody think or help somebody." – Christina Lopez-Pegg As a biracial adoptee, born to a white mother and a Black father, Christina Lopez-Pegg was taught from a young age that she didn't have to choose a side. Instead, she could choose HERSELF. Christina gives thanks that, "my parents always raised me to be me...I never felt that I needed to pick Black or white." Raised by an African-American mother and a Black and Hispanic father, the mantra that was passed on to Christina and her siblings was "no race is better than another." Christina found comfort in identifying with all the pieces of her heritage - Black, white, Polish and more. However, just because she didn't feel the need to choose a side doesn't mean life and society didn't try to choose for her. She experienced the isolation of being the only one who looked like her throughout school as a child and a hurtful lesson rooted in Black colorism. Christina's story and this conversation invites us to explore the possibilities in self-acceptance. When it comes to the search for identity, perhaps we should look no further than full acceptance of all that we are: the known, unknown and everything in between.  Take a listen to S1E11 available on your favorite podcast platform right now! SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram Black to the Beginning on Facebook Black to the Beginning on Youtube   Christina Lopez-Pegg on Instagram   RECOMMENDED RESOURCES #BTTBREADS: Climbing Life's Mountains: Overcoming Challenges of Biracial Birth, Adoption, Gender Identity, and Depression by Jala A. McKenzie-Burns #BTTBREADS: 50 Shades of Brown: Mixed Kids and Colorism in the Black Community SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle:      info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal:  info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION #ADOPTIONPODCAST #MENTALHEALTH #BIRACIAL #COLORISM #IDENTITY
47:31
February 05, 2021
S1E10: "Sometimes, as women, we do dumb shit." x Chana Timms
“You don't have to walk in shame anymore. You don't have to feel guilty.”  – Chana Timms Humor us, for a minute, by singing along with Bobby Caldwell’s song - What You Won’t Do for Love.” What you won't do, do for love You've tried everything but you won't give up In my world, only you make me do For love what I would not do Make me do for love what I would not do. Chana’s faith and unwavering love for her daughter reinforces that a child being gone, does not mean that they are forgotten. Time may have elapsed, but it’s highly possible to reunite and be present in the here and now. The courage to tell the truth and give her daughter the full story of how she came into existence was one of the best gifts that she could have given. The birth mother’s story, much like their children, is complex. It is often judged, ridiculed, and picked apart by a lack of understanding. What is lost in this misunderstanding is that the choices that were made in the past are not to be held over these women. Like a lot of decisions, we choose what we believe to be best at the time. Sometimes, our decisions are coerced – either forcefully or based on our own sense of self and worth at the time. Birth mothers and their children are aligned in their healing process. When birth mothers/adoptees engage in a search and reunion, the process may be eased when both parties are open and willing to communicate and be transparent about their emotions. When we don’t give ourselves permission to acknowledge our past trauma(s) they may manifest themselves in a myriad of ways that are detrimental to us showing up in life as our very best selves. Episode 10 begs us to answer the following question(s) – What will you do for love? What are you willing to sacrifice in order to heal? SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram Black to the Beginning on Facebook Black to the Beginning on Youtube Chana Timms on Instagram RECOMMENDED RESOURCES On Your Feet Foundation  Emotional and Psychological Effects of Adoption on the Birth Mother SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal: info@blacktothebeginning.com SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION #ADOPTIONPODCAST #BIRTHMOTHERS  #COMMUNICATION #TRANSPARENCY #HEALING
58:03
January 30, 2021
S1E9: "Our bodies are policed as Black people" x Regina Townsend, Founder of Broken Brown Egg
"This is bigger than babies.” – Regina Townsend Little Black Girls are told to follow the blueprint: don't have sex, focus on your education, then focus on your career, get married, and THEN start a family. Easy! We're taught to control our fass-tailed bodies, inundated with messages about hypersexual and hyper-fertile Black teenage mothers. But no one tells us about how our bodies work; about fibroids and miscarriages and infertility. No one told Regina Townsend. No one told her that she could follow the blueprint perfectly and it would result in her feeling imperfect. Broken, in fact.  Regina's journey to motherhood began as a long, dark and lonely road, but along the way she discovered she wasn't alone. The more she talked, finding her voice through blogging about her experiences with infertility, reproductive health, adoption and foster care, the more light was shined on a whole secret sisterhood of Black women living with pain and shame. "Black women suffer with infertility at twice the rate of white women, but we're least likely to seek treatment because we're embarrassed." We're also tired of being dismissed by doctors, poked and prodded by doctors, and experimented on by them, as so many of our foremothers were. The Broken Brown Egg blog has since grown into a platform for Regina to advocate for Black women's reproductive justice and healing.  This conversation explores the many layers of reproductive health, life and motherhood that so many of us had to learn the hard way. THEY aren't coming to teach us. Press play - class is in session. SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram Black to the Beginning on Facebook Black to the Beginning on Youtube Broken Brown Egg on Instagram RECOMMENDED RESOURCES The Broken Brown Egg Website #BTTBREADS: Hold On to Hope: Stories of Black Women's Fertility, Faith and Fight to Become Mommies Fertility for Colored Girls (FFCG) Fertility Coaching with Rev. Dr. Stacey L. Edwards-Dunn (Founder of FFCG) SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle:      info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal:  info@blacktothebeginning.com SHOP Black to the Beginning SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION #ADOPTIONPODCAST #MENTALHEALTH #BROKENBROWNEGG #INFERTILITY #BLACKWOMENSHEALTH
01:06:39
January 22, 2021
S1E8: "They know...That I know... What it really is... " x Jonathan Funderburk
"Keep it real…” – Jonathan Funderburk As simple as these three words may seem, keepin’ it 100% can have lasting effects on adoptees. Advocates of open adoption believe informing children about their adoption status as soon as possible is in the best interest of the child. However, Jonathan Funderburk shares that for him, ignorance may have been bliss. Jonathan grew up in a Black family alongside his older sister, who was also adopted. His community and church home were anomalies, in that the Black Adoption Experience was not a secret or shameful. In fact, it was commonplace! This didn’t mean that the impact of his adoption was not ever present as he navigated identity issues and how to become a man. We learn that checking ON you, is not the same as checking FOR you. While some adoptive parents may feel as if lavishing their child(ren) with material things serves as a replacement for the separation from one’s biological tie, it’s not enough. Getting to know your child’s likes, dislikes, hopes, and dreams will allow for you to nurture their nature. Providing guidance and tough love may really be the key to showing that you care. Join us as we explore love, search and reunion, parenthood, and mental health. It's not easy for a Black man to say “I needed therapy a long time ago.” By publicly sharing his story and listening to others, this artist and writer is committed to his healing and is unapologetically “doing my own journey.” SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram Black to the Beginning on Facebook Black to the Beginning on Youtube Jonathan Funderburk on Instagram Listen in to Jonathan’s music on Soundcloud RECOMMENDED RESOURCES Therapy for Black Men Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle:      info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal:      info@blacktothebeginning.com SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION #ADOPTIONPODCAST #EVERYBIRTHHASASTORY #KEEPITREAL #THERAPYFORBLACKMEN
48:47
January 15, 2021
S1E7: " This is what you damn well signed up for " x Trey Anthony, Author of Black Girl in Love (with Herself)
"Falling apart is such a level of vulnerability that I think, as Black women, we have never been given permission to have." - Trey Anthony When Trey Anthony got "the call" to bring home her son - a dream come true after several heartbreaking adoption attempts - she never imagined her dream would include the love of her life ending their five year relationship (over text!), nearly ending up homeless, and raising her beautiful baby boy as a first time mother solo (and in a damn pandemic!).  She wasn't prepared for the postpartum depression, or the feelings of insecurity, fear and jealousy that arose while honoring her commitment to parent in an open adoption. For the first time she had to take a hard look at all of her friendships, her family, her finances, her career, and what she truly wanted out of life. Falling apart in the midst of grief and struggle is not what she was raised to do, but in the surrender she learned some of her greatest lessons and fell in love again - with herself.  This conversation takes you behind the scenes of some of the most pivotal life moments and lessons found in her new book, Black Girl In Love (with Herself), published by Hay House, and what's helped her heal her own Black girl pain. Black Girl in Love is a love letter to Black women. In 2021, we're coming for ALLLLL the love and Trey reminds us to accept nothing less! SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram @blacktothebeginning   Black to the Beginning on Facebook @blacktothebeginning   Black to the Beginning on Youtube @blacktothebeginning   Trey Anthony on Instagram @blackgirlinlove Trey Anthony Official Website treyanthony.com RECOMMENDED RESOURCES #BTTBREADS  Black Girl in Love (with herself) by Trey Anthony  Motherhood So White by Nefertiti Austin (memoir) All Families Are Special by Norma Simon (children's book) SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal: info@blacktothebeginning.com SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION EXPERIENCE STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION #ADOPTIONPODCAST #SELFHELP #PERSONALDEVELOPMENT #TREYANTHONY
57:03
January 08, 2021
S1E6: "I think I've learned to live with lies" x Ami McReynolds
"Don't go digging because it's only going to cause problems." – Ami McReynolds One lie, two lies, three lies, FOUR! Since the age of seven, the precocious and inquisitive Ami McReynolds could sense that she had a story that was not being told to her. Deep in the crevices of linen closets and hidden baby books were the roadmap to her past, her truth, as an individual that was adopted. Like most children, when we have questions, trust is placed in our caregivers to provide us with the answers we need. Because we don’t know any different, we ACCEPT what is told to us. However, every five to six years of Ami’s life, she would get that nagging feeling in her gut that something just wasn’t quite right. When she would address these questions with her parents, they would be “settled,” with an omission of truth or blatant elaboration of it. Once Ami reached her 20’s, she’s then told one of the most damaging lies that any young woman might hear about a parent. For two decades, she holds onto this lie until she steps into her own power to search for what is owed to her – THE TRUTH! What does she find? Listen to find out. SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram Black to the Beginning on Facebook Black to the Beginning on Youtube Ami McReynolds on Instagram RECOMMENDED RESOURCES For Illinois Residents Illinois Department of Public Health Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange  Request an Original Birth Certificate SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal: info@blacktothebeginning.com SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION #ADOPTIONPODCAST #EVERYBIRTHHASASTORY #NOMORELIES
46:52
December 18, 2020
S1E5: "I will not value one of them over the next. They both are my moms" x Quandra Boston
"If my mother lit me on fire, I would still want my mother...my connection to my mom cannot be broken." - Quandra Boston/Ashley Pickens It's one thing to believe in theory that the mother and child bond can never be broken, but it's another when missing links feel so deeply the chain from which they came. Since the age of 3, Quandra Boston has been asking, "Where's my mommy?" She's felt her presence and smelled her scent since she was a little girl and always believed that one day her mommy was coming back for her. Quandra's own journey to motherhood led her to her first mother and another hidden woman:  Ashley Pickens - the name her birth mother gave her...and still calls her. Today, she lives within the dualities of loving two mothers and living two identities inside of one life. Whew chile! Quandra's story is a fantastical ride through search and reunion.  They say nothing is stronger than a mother's love, but this story begs you to consider the possibility that nothing is stronger than an adoptee's love for their first home.  SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram @blacktothebeginning Black to the Beginning on Facebook @blacktothebeginning Black to the Beginning on Youtube @blacktothebeginning Quandra Boston on Instagram @neweralifecoach RECOMMENDED RESOURCES #BTTBREADS The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child by Nancy Newton Verrier  SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal: info@blacktothebeginning.com SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION EXPERIENCE STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION #ADOPTIONPODCAST #IDENTITY #SEARCHANDREUNION
50:17
December 11, 2020
S1E4: "You should be able to say, fuck. Shit. Goddamn. I'm tired." x Christopher LeMark
"Since the age of 15, I have allowed unresolved trauma to run my life." – Christopher LeMark Christopher LeMark takes us on his journey to manhood, allowing us to feel the struggle and heartache of a little boy that simply wanted to be seen and loved. We gain a glimpse into the child welfare system that so many Black people are fearful of.  It is this very fear that has served as the catalyst for Black families informally adopting their kin. However, blood relatives may not always be in the child’s best interest. At the hands of his own family, Christopher endured physical, mental, and emotional abuse. His isolation and anger had him bound to be a statistic. But God! Christopher’s ability to tap into his imagination, express himself through writing and music, have built a foundation of resilience. Today, he is channeling his life experience and passions into his nonprofit organization – Coffee, Hip-Hop, and Mental Health where he seeks to normalize therapy. SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram Black to the Beginning on Facebook Black to the Beginning on Youtube Christopher Lemark on Instagram Coffee HipHop and Mental Health (CHHAMH) on Instagram Normalize Therapy on Instagram RECOMMENDED RESOURCES Find a Therapist– locate a mental health professional in your city to receive therapeutic services Donate or Volunteer – support CHHAMH to provide 500 Miracles on Christmas Eve 2020! SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal: info@blacktothebeginning.com SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION #ADOPTIONPODCAST #CHRISTOPHERLEMARK #CHHAMH #NORMALIZETHERAPY #SELFLOVE
01:11:39
December 04, 2020
S1E3: "God told us adoption is not plan B" x Darren & Chantal Smith
"We're two Black people that love each other, wanted a family, and this was the way God chose us to have our family. That's it." - Chantal Smith Normalizing and advocating for Black people formally adopting is a ministry for Darren and Chantal Smith. The two began their relationship as high school sweethearts and now 14 years into their marriage they are the proud parents to a daughter and twin boys through agency adoption. In this episode, The Smiths share why despite challenges with infertility, adoption was never their plan B; their pre- and post-adoption struggles; being the "token" Black family for agency outreach; how they built bonds with their children before they came home; and Darren's latest children's book based on their family, "Together Forever." SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram Black to the Beginning on Facebook Black to the Beginning on Youtube Together Forever Book on Instagram Together Forever Book on Amazon You Are Full of It Blog (Chantal's parenting + lifestyle blog) You Are Full of It on Instagram RECOMMENDED RESOURCES Christian Family Adoption Aid (CFAA) - grants for adoptive families SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal: info@blacktothebeginning.com SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION #ADOPTIONPODCAST #TOGETHERFOREVERBOOK
50:58
November 27, 2020
S1E2: “I am healing from the racial erasure that happened to me.” x Torie DiMartile
"…But, I’m Italian." – Torie DiMartile in her 16-year old voice Being biracial and adopted transracially lends itself to complex struggles, specifically when it comes to racial identity and belonging. It’s not easy to wake up each day and not see yourself reflected in the faces of your parents or your community. For some adoptees, this can be extremely damaging, as they attempt to make themselves more digestible to White people by distancing themselves from Blackness. Torie speaks very candidly about feeling as if she were fake with a stamp on her head that read “counterfeit.” As she has been on her own journey of “becoming,” Torie now recognizes that her feelings of brokenness ultimately led her to realize the beauty that she had on the inside. The “wreckage,” becomes “wonder.” SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram Black to the Beginning on Facebook Black to the Beginning on Youtube Wreckage and Wonder on Instagram     RECOMMENDED RESOURCES Wreckage and Wonder Website SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal: info@blacktothebeginning.com SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION
01:16:36
November 20, 2020
S1E1: "You're gonna adopt a stranger's child?" x The Cradle's Nijole Yutkowitz & Kikanza Harris
“Typically in our culture we value blood ties..." - Nijole Yutkowitz Black people don't adopt. Adoption is too expensive. What if something is wrong with the child? Can I love a stranger's child? There is so much fear, stigma, shame, and straight up misinformation about Black adoption that we had to kick off Season 1 with experts who go hard for Black children and Black families daily.  The Cradle, based in Evanston, IL, is one of the nation's foremost adoption agencies. Nijole Yutkowitz (Vice President of Community Outreach & Education) and Kikanza Harris (Community Engagement Manager) oversee programming and outreach for The Sayers Center, one of the only programs in the country that specifically promotes adoption awareness in the African-American community. In this episode, Nijole and Kikanza deep dive into what stops Black families from "stepping up to the plate" to adopt,  the adoption process, how adoption fees aren't "buying babies," transracial adoption, and the passion they have for seeing Black children placed with Black families.  Their Black Adoption Experience moves them to tears of joy and, at times, pain. SHOW NOTES CONNECT WITH US! Black to the Beginning on Instagram Black to the Beginning on Facebook Black to the Beginning on Youtube Black to the Beginning on Twitter The Ardythe and Gale Sayers Center for African American Adoption The Sayers Center for African American Adoption on Facebook The Cradle on Instagram The Cradle on Twitter RECOMMENDED RESOURCES The Cradle's FAQs The Cradle's Adoption Education, Training, and Classes SUPPORT BLACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE BLACK ADOPTION PODCAST Zelle: info@blacktothebeginning.com PayPal: info@blacktothebeginning.com SHARE YOUR BLACK ADOPTION STORY Podcast Guest Questionnaire SPECIAL THANKS TO: Audio Production:  @rajitheone Audio Engineer:  @treyvmademedoit #BLACKANDADOPTED #BLACKADOPTION #BTTBPODCAST #BLACKTOTHEBEGINNING
01:06:01
November 13, 2020
Introducing Black to the Beginning: The Black Adoption Podcast!
Heeey! Welcome to Black to the Beginning: The Black Adoption Podcast, co-hosted by Dr. Samantha Coleman and Sandria Washington! Season 1 features conversations with Black adoptees, agency professionals, fertility experts, single and married adoptive parents and others - all speaking candidly about the hurts, fears, joys and hopes of Black adoption. Turn us up in your headphones, it's ON!
00:60
November 09, 2020