Adoption Unfiltered Book Tour 2024 in Washington, DC: Inspiring, Informative and Transformative

Adoption Unfiltered Book Tour 2024 in Washington, DC: Inspiring, Informative and Transformative

Image of people sitting and listening to the Adoption Unfiltered Book Tour 2024
Written by Edna Davis-Brown, National Adoption Competency Mental Health Training Initiative (NTI) Training and Implementation Specialist (C.A.S.E.)
Published on: Mar 05, 2024
Category Adoption

A Delightful “Unfiltered” Evening

On a Tuesday evening, February 27, 2024, at the Loyalty Book Store in the Petworth area of Washington, DC, there was an amazing event that was inspiring, informative and transformative featuring three authors and five panelists all with experiences of varying degrees within the adoption arena. The featured book, Adoption Unfiltered:  Revelations from Adoptees, Birth Parents, Adoptive Parents and Allies, is written by three outstanding women, Sara Easterly, an adoptee; Kelsey Vander Vliet Ranyard, birth parent; and Lori Holden, an adoptive parent. Each shared their own personal journeys and what led them to write a book that shares candid accounts and experiences of an adoptee, birth mother and adoptive mother. Collectively, they bring over 7 decades of lived experience relating to adoption with a deep understanding of the history, challenges, and trends experienced by people living in adoption and the broader adoption constellation.

Adoption Unfiltered Hosts and Authors

The evening began with a very warm welcome by the host, Hannah Oliver Depp, co-owner of Loyalty Books who emphatically expressed that they were proud to champion this event and are fully committed to the breadth and depth of diversity that this literacy experience brings. The authors Sara, Kelsey and Lori each shared their own personal journeys with adoption and the inspiration for writing Adoption Unfiltered and read from various chapters to bring the book to life.



Get the Book!Adoption Unfiltered Book

Adoption Unfiltered Books can be purchased on Amazon and an audible version is also available.

The Book: Unfiltered

The book was intended to be written in a “raw reality” and a way to give people a microphone, a voice to ultimately get into the hands of professionals according to Lorie Holden. The audience had the opportunity to hear each author read from separate chapters from the book which is written in four distinct sections:

1. Adoptees Unfiltered

2. Birth Parents Unfiltered

3. Adoptive Parents Unfiltered

4. Hope and Healing

In authoring this book, interviews were conducted with 50 people including adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents, social workers, therapists, and other allies—of which twenty-three were adoptees and eighteen were birth parents—all sharing candidly about the challenges in adoption.

Edna Davis Brown and Tony Hynes Adoption Unfiltered Book Tour 2024

Edna Davis Brown, National Adoption Competency Mental Health Training Initiative (NTI) Training and Implementation Specialist (C.A.S.E.) and Tony Hynes, Adult Adoptee, Author, Training Specialist (C.A.S.E.)

Photo Credit: Courtney Carter, Digital Marketing & Communications Manager (C.A.S.E.)

Group photo of Adoption Unfiltered Book 2024 Tour Washington D.C. Authors & Panelists

Adoption Unfiltered Book 2024 Tour Washington D.C. Authors & Panelists

Five of those interviewed had an opportunity to share vulnerably during the evening which added a deeper perspective and dimension to the vast experiences, heartfelt challenges and yet the promises for the future for hope and healing. Among those interviewed and who shared candidly at the event included:

  • Janelle Ison, Janelle has been personally and professionally involved in local and national child and family advocacy efforts for over 25 years. As an adopted individual and birth mother, she openly shares her unique adoption story with others.
  • Rebecca Ricardo, Rebecca Ricardo joined her family through adoption. She is also a birth mother of a son she placed for adoption when she was a teenager. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Rebecca serves as Executive Director for a licensed agency in Richmond, VA, C2Adopt.
  • Cynthia Landesburg, an interracial adopted born in Busan, South Korea and adopted at five or six months old by Jewish parent who grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. with an older sister who was domestically adopted.
  • Damon Davis, a domestic same-race adoptee and an author of the adoptee memoir Who Am I Really? and a host/producer of the award-winning podcast of the same name.
  • Tony Hynes began his life with his mother, who suffered from Schizophrenia and struggled to care for her son. After being in the care of his grandmother or in an orphanage, Tony was fostered by a same-sex couple who ultimately became his adoptive parents. Tony is the author of The Son With Two Moms and is currently a Training Specialist with the Center for Adoption Support and Education.

The evening ended with participants having the opportunity to engage personally with authors and have their books signed. Sincere appreciation goes out to Loyalty Books for hosting the event, the incredible authors and those they interviewed who made this possible and to the engaging people who came to witness…many who came as far south as Richmond, Virginia and west from Fredrick, Maryland. An evening truly well-spent!

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