THIS IS US: The Add Water and Stir Podcast Recap

‘This Is Us’ Recap: Season 1 Catchup

Our first show is a recap of the first half of the series, episodes 1-10. While there are multiple story lines, we focus mainly on Randall, a transracial adoptee, and how meeting his birth father impacts the entire family.

Listen to our thoughts on the first half of ‘This Is Us” Season 1:

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Mimi and ABM from the Add Water and Stir Podcast recap NBC’s hit series, “This Is Us” with added commentary about race, class, privilege, adoption and a bit of humor.  Join the conversation on our Facebook page and check out our entire podcast catalog at addwaterandstirpodcast.com.

Parenting Plans for 2017

On the first episode of 2017, Mimi and ABM return from their holiday break to discuss what’s in store for their families for the year. The ladies shied away from setting New Year’s resolutions due to the poor success rates associated with keeping those resolutions. Instead, ABM and Mimi set larger goals for their families for 2017. They discuss their family plans for the year, and note the differences in their family goals based on the ages of Hope and Nana. Spoiler alert–both families have goals related to weekend activities, but they could not be more different!

During the show’s second segment, ABM and Mimi dish about all the plans they have for Add Water and Stir for 2017! There will be a new podcast website, more interviews on topics you want to hear about, guest blogging opportunities, and the return of quarterly live shows! There will also be new show segments and lots of great content on the Add Water and Stir page on Facebook. The ladies hope to make Add Water and Stir your primary source of information on adoption and raising healthy well-adjusted children of color.

Of course, they kick off the new year with a Wind Down segment about the San Francisco phenomenon “Cutty Bangs.”

Show Notes

Mimi and ABM’s 2016 Reflections

On this episode of Add Water and Stir, Mimi and ABM take some time to reflect on the 18 episodes of the podcast they published in 2016. The show grew tremendously this year thanks to great listeners and great individuals who were willing to take time to share their stories and wisdom.

Shows included lots of truth telling about Mother’s Day, parenting guilt, adoption disruption and self-care. New voices were welcomed to the show to discuss fatherhood, transracial adoption, LGBT families and how to find safe places for support online. ABM and Mimi also talk about one of their most powerful episodes of the year, Episode 50, Yield to Adoptee Voices, which included four adult African American adoptees discussing their life experiences. The ladies share few giggles along the way as they recall past Wind Down segments that discussed “Hall Passes” and schnacks. It was a great year.

Looking forward the Mimi and ABM provide a few recommendations and briefly discuss some future plans for Add Water and Stir. The show will resume episodes after the holidays!

Show Notes

Yield to Adoptee Voices Redux

On this episode of Add Water and Stir, Mimi and ABM continue to commemorate National Adoption Awareness Month in the US.

This episode is a replay of Episode 033: Hope Shares Her Script, which is a great opportunity to hear a young adoptee talk about her time in foster care and the process of being adopted.  You get to hear Hope share what we should know about children in foster care as well as her advice and encouragement to kids who need loving homes.

Show Notes

Yield to Adoptee Voices

On this episode of Add Water and Stir, Mimi and ABM commemorate National Adoption Awareness Month in the US.

Rather than making the special episode adoptive parent-centric, the ladies were fortunate to have several adoptees who were willing to share their stories. So, they yielded the floor to these courageous guests.

Adoptees S.M, Kara, Barbara, and Michael were each asked to frame their stories based on four questions: What was positive about their adoptions, what was not positive about their adoptions, what advice they would give adoptive and hopeful adoptive parents and what advice they would give to their fellow adoptees. These Add Water guests shared their joys, their hurts, their challenges and their triumphs. They dispensed important advice for all of us to consider as we embark on our lives as parents and as adoptees.

ABM and Mimi would like to thank our guests for participating in this episode and sharing their experiences with us.  We have additional material from some of our guests and we hope to bring more of their voices to our listeners at a later date.

The ladies round out the show with recommendations for finding other adoptee voices and the launch of a new page to access links to various sources of adoptee voices.

Show Notes

ABM & Mimi Talk Issues and Early Voting

On this episode of Add Water and Stir, Mimi and ABM get back to basics by catching up on a few adoption and diversity topics. The ladies gave themselves 5 minutes to dive into 4 topics. ABM explores the discourse that holds up adoption as an alternative to abortion and how that positions birth mothers as providers of children to prospective adoptive families. The ladies envision a world where families have the support they need to embrace parenting their children. They also explore how the use of the term “orphan” may be overused in adoption, and how its use positions adoptive parents as saviors and inappropriately erases the existence of birth families.

Mimi tackles diversity in movies and TV through the lens of Tim Burton’s  Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Netflix’s Luke Cage. Both have been criticized for their relative lack of diversity–one having almost all White actors, the other featuring nearly all actors of color. Mimi also kicks off a discussion about Halloween costumes which results in the Add Water team giving some guidance on avoiding cultural appropriation.

During the Wind Down the ladies chat about what they’re watching on TV and things quickly devolve into a hall pass “dibs” feud over actor Mahershala Ali, who currently stars in Netflix’s Luke Cage. Mimi recently abandoned her long time hall pass, Don Cheadle and ABM called dibs on Ali despite not abandoning her long time hall pass, Lenny Kravitz.

Mahershala Ali

Mahershala Ali

Since it’s election season, they decided to put it to a vote: Who gets to call dibs on Mahershala Ali? Cast YOUR early vote below!

Mimi and ABM also shout out some fans of the show and offer some recommendations to round out the show!

Show Notes

LGBT Adoptive Families – An Interview with Sammie Mendez

One of the hallmarks of the Add Water and Stir podcast is to embrace diversity and different kinds of families. Our greatest effort has been to support families and children of color lead healthy, well-adjusted lives. To that end, we are delighted to dive into a discussion about LGBT families.

On this episode, ABM and Mimi are delighted to welcome Sammie Mendez from the blog, The Chronicles of a Non-Belly Mama, to the show.  Sammie lives with her wife and 4 children in NY. She actually became a “belly mama” last year, so we’re eager to hear about the future of name of the blog. One of her children is currently in the process of being formally adopted by the family. Sammie chats about interracial relationships, transracial adoption, assisted reproduction, you name it, they talk about it. You’ll love Sammie’s positive energy and fun-loving approach to life and family!

As protests continue in Charlotte, North Carolina, the ladies forgo the Wind Down as they mourn the recent deaths of Terrance Crutcher and Keith Scott, both killed by police this month. Mimi and ABMr round out the episode with a few recommendations and shout outs.

Show Notes

Self Care: An Interview with Sojourner Verdad

On this episode of Add Water and Stir, ABM and Mimi welcome the awesome Sojourner Verdad, affectionately known as SoJo on the internets!. The ladies are fans of the podcast, Whiskey, Wine and Moonshine which is hosted by three African American ladies who tackle race, gender, pop culture and everything in-between; SoJo represents Moonshine in the trio.  It’s by listening to the podcast that they learned that SoJo has been a foster care parent and that she is an advocate for self-care for everyone and especially foster and adoptive parents.

Mimi and ABM also chat about the lawsuit brought by Jennifer Cramblett and her partner who have a biracial daughter thanks to a clerical error made by the sperm bank they used for artificial insemination. The case was recently dismissed, but the controversy about the suit and how the family has described the challenges and inconvenience of raising a biracial child persist. The ladies debate the merits of Cramblett’s suit and her difficult adjustment to having a transracial family.

SoJo sticks around for the Wind Down and a hilarious discussion about “schnack” foods.  Yeah, you read that right, not snacks, “schnacks!” Find out about the ladies corner store yummies by listening to the end.

Show Notes

Domestic Infant Adoption – Team Java’s Story

Although Add Water and Stir tackles issues related to adoption and foster care, we have never really had much of a discussion about domestic infant adoption (DIA). On this episode the ladies finally sit down to talk about DIA. According to a recent article in Adoptive Families, more than 18,000 newborns are adopted in the US each year. This represents about 13% percent of adoptions in the US;  the number of newborn adoptions have steadily declined since the mid-1970s as more birth families chose to parent.

DIA can be complicated as hopeful adoptive parents wrestle with costs, the match process and interstate compact issues. When you add race to the mix, like many things, infant adoption seems to become more complicated. There seems to be a specific need for more prospective adoptive parents of color as desired by expectant parents who are interested in same race placements. Statistics are hard to come by, but media accounts suggest that this need is real. So much so, that private adoption agencies have been known to actively recruit these families to meet the desires of expectant parents.

To help the ladies explore domestic infant adoption, on this episode they welcome a pair of new adoptive parents to talk about their recent experiences!  Jason and Yava, or Team Java, are a young African American couple from the Midwest who recently adopted a baby girl. The couple share how they came to choose DIA and what the process was like for them. Spoiler alert: it was a great experience!

As usual, the hosts close out the show with shout outs,  recommendations, and a Wind Down recap of Mimi and ABM’s recent strategic planning efforts in DC!

Show Notes

An Interview with Al Coates

On this episode of Add Water and Stir, it’s a belated Dad’s day! To date, in 44 episodes, we’ve only had 1 father on the show (Episode 39: The Changing Face of Foster Care), Daryn who is a foster father in NYC.  Most of the content out there focuses on the voice of women in the adoption triad–whether its birth mothers, adoptive mothers and women adoptees.  The male voice is often minimal and frankly, rarely heard.

So, in the spirit of amplifying the male voice in adoption, Al Coates, our UK friend of the Add Water family, joins us on this show to talk about fatherhood, adoption and foster care, and a bunch of other stuff! We have been following him for a long time on Twitter and just respect his work so much that we really wanted to feature him on the show. We are fortunate to have figured out the multi-time-zone issues to make this episode happen, and we are extra jazzed because our visit with Al represents our first foray into the international adoption and foster care scene. Al drops all kinds of WORD on this show, so listen close! He’s also funny and charming and one of our new besties!

On the Wind Down segment, we chat about the 2016 Summer Olympics and how Team USA is melanin rich in Rio. If you’re looking for brown and black sporty role models, then you need to tune into Olympic coverage  daily! We give a rundown of numerous athletes who are kicking butt and taking medals. Brown and black folks are everywhere in Rio!

As usual, we close out the show with shout outs and recommendations!

Show Notes