Episode 31 - Whitney + Nick Runyon of The Archibald Project

 

Welcome to our 6 year anniversary of the very first adoption we documented! 6 years ago today we photographed an adoption in a Bulgarian orphanage where the photos inspired another family to adopt. It was then that we saw the power of storytelling and realized that we could use our gifts to advocate for vulnerable children all over the world! 

In today's episode of Around the World with The Archibald Project we get up close and personal while Whitney and Nick interview each other. We love interviewing outside guests but thought it would be special to interview one another about the past 6 years. We look back, laugh and share memories that you've never heard! We also share an exciting new project that we've been working hard on toward the end of the interview! 

You'll hear Nick embarrass Whitney as he confesses what our organization was originally named, you'll find out what the Runyon's future hopes for The Archibald Project are, you'll laugh as the couple bickers about accuracy of memories and you'll be impassioned by their passion to see the orphan crisis eliminated! 

Thank you guys so much for tuning in! YOU are apart of our movement and together we can all work towards ending this crisis!!!

If you guys enjoy our podcast we'd love to have you give it a quick review right here! (Click 'View in iTunes' right below our Podcast graphic to write a review!)

Photos from Archie's Adoption:

Episode 30 - Cassandra + Edison Lee of Justice Rising - Around the World with The Archibald Project

justice rising


Welcome to our 30th episode of Around the World with The Archibald Project! Today, we bring you and incredibly powerful interview with a couple living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo running an education program in war torn villages. Cassandra Lee founded Justice Rising with the desire and passion to empower communities to rise above war and bring lasting peace. 

As a 10 year old growing up in Canada Cassandra became passionate about working in war zones with a specific pull towards villages in the D.R.C. She jokes that she accidentally started her first school but shortly after the Lees were married they became an official 501c-3 and are now running a locally reputable education program throughout the country.

In today's interview we hear about the Lee's lives before marriage and before taking Justice Rising full time, we hear about their passion to not just put a bandaid on conflict but how they are working towards bringing lasting peace in war torn areas, we hear how education directly impacts the orphan crisis and how education can literally keep children in their families and off the streets and we share bits of wisdom and advice about how YOU can get involved in changing the world without even leaving your home.

This is one amazing interview so please don't forget to share this podcast with your friends and family! 

Episode 29 - Bethel China - Around the World with The Archibald Project

Welcome back to Around the World with The Archibald Project! In today's episode we bring you with us into Chinese foster home on the outskirts of Beijing, China!  

Bethel China is a home for visually impaired orphaned and vulnerable children and they are doing wonderful work towards educating and equipping the up and coming generation. A few weeks ago we traveled to China to document the adoption of a 13-year-old boy who is blind and also grew up at Bethel. 

While we were documenting the adoption we were able to sit down with two of the employees of Bethel, Anna and Tabitha and interview them!

In this podcast, we learn why children are abandoned in China, how Bethel's education for visually impaired children is working to keep families together, we help break down some of the fears and preconceived ideas around adopting special needs and/or boys and much more!  

You will be so inspired listening to this podcast, and be sure to stay tuned until the end because Anna and Tabitha give you all ways to get involved with the incredible organization that is Bethel. 

***

We're in the process of making a very special video about the adoption and Bethel, but until it's released we hope you enjoy our last video about Bethel!  

Around the World with The Archibald Project: Episode 28 - Foster Youth, Carlina

We have continued on from May's National Foster Care month to share even more inspiring foster stories. One huge part of the system are the children who age out without ever finding a forever home. Today we get to talk with one of those children, Carlina Shotwell.

During our time with Carlina we talk about the day when she and her four siblings were separated, the different homes she was placed, the raw emotions she felt and still feels today, her current relationship with her biological mother, and the book she wrote to inform and inspire people about the desire foster youth have for a family! 

Carlina is honest and inspiring; she knows the system was created as a good thing to help children but also wants to shed light on the problems it holds within. This podcast will make you laugh while still informing you of how some youth deal with being placed and passed through foster care. 

Definitely stay through until the end to hear about one of Carlina's recent accomplishments! Sit back, relax, and enjoy our interview with Carlina! 

Keep up with Carlina!
Carlina's Website
Carlina's Instagram

Buy her book: HERE
 

Around the World with The Archibald Project: Episode 27 - Foster Parents, Cara + Nick

May is National Foster Care Month in the states and we’ve been bringing you first hand stories about the system all month long. On our blog we’ve had foster parents, siblings and volunteers share their wisdom and experience and on our podcast we’ve interviewed an adult who aged out of the foster care system and a single foster mom.
In today’s interview we hear how one successful couple opened their home to vulnerable children only to be changed for the better. We are so excited to bring you our interview with Cara and Nick, who are foster and adoptive parents.
Cara and Nick have so much wisdom to share, I honestly think I said wow over 100 times. Today we hear Cara’s passion about giving her entire heart to her children, we hear the couple’s desire for more people to get involved in foster care, we discuss how foster care has changed their biological children for the better, we hear about what it was like bringing a 14 year old into their home and how they have fallen head over heels for her!
Cara and Nick are so honest and share their initial fears about foster care. If you or anyone you know has ever thought about fostering then this is the podcast for you! So share it! That’s how we get more people involved and thats how we end the orphan crisis! The more stories the world hears about normal people getting involved in orphaned and vulnerable children’s lives, the more children will be cared for and the less children we will loose to the orphan crisis and broken systems! So share, share share!
Okay, guys, thanks so much for tuning in, we’re honored you’re here! Now sit back, relax and enjoy our interview with Cara and Nick!

Keep up with Cara!
Cara's Instagram
Cara's Website

 

Around the World with The Archibald Project: Episode 26 - Millie Holloman

millie holloman

Meet Millie Holloman. In today's episode of Around the World with The Archibald Project we are so excited to introduce you to single Foster and Adoptive mom, Millie Holloman! Millie started her foster journey 3 years ago as a single 33 year old photographer living in North Carolina.
Through out 8 placements she found 2 of her children, a little girl who was adopted this past March and her son whom she will adopt soon!
During our interview with Millie we find out what prompted her to enter foster care initially, we find out what emotions and experiences she's had with children entering her home aging from 5 weeks to 20 years old and we hear her heartfelt wisdom about consistently showing and extending love to vulnerable children.
If you’ve ever considered getting involved in Foster Care, even as a volunteer and not a parent, this podcast is for you!
Oh, and yes, this sweet girl above might look familiar, as you've probably seen her on Good Morning America or a famous blog circulating your social media feeds :)

Below are the photos Millie talks about in the podcast that ultimately took her adoption viral and landed her and sweet Wren on Good Morning America and other news shows around the nation.

See the Hollomans on Good Morning America HERE!

Around the World with The Archibald Project: Episode 25 - Meaghan Martin, Form Foster Youth


For those of you who are new to our podcast, welcome! We’re a husband and wife duo who founded our nonprofit, The Archibald Project back in 2012. The Archibald Project is an orphan care advocacy organization and we use media to tell stories. Our stories advocate for orphans, educate on orphan care, build community and inspire people into action. And because The Archibald Project exits fewer children are called orphan! 

May is National Foster Care Awareness month, and while we aren't calling children in Foster Care orphans, they are vulnerable, and we advocate for orphaned and vulnerable children. Kids in the system are definitely vulnerable. Today, we are so honored to start the month off with our guest, Meaghan Martin, who is a former foster youth. Meaghan shares with us today what led to her entering the foster care system on her 15th birthday, what it was like entering new homes and how she over came the odds and is a strong and successful woman today. 

We would love to have you share our podcasts and stories with your friends and family, because we truly believe that the more people who are exposed to our media, the more people will be inspired to get involved in vulnerable children’s lives all over the world. 

Alright guys, thanks so much for tuning in and enjoy our inspiring and insightful interview with Meaghan.

Around the World with The Archibald Project: Episode 24 - Streams in Burkina Faso

Certain websites claim that Burkina Faso, a small country in Western Africa, is the 4th poorest country in the world. And where you have extreme poverty, you have vulnerable families and orphaned children, often in excessive numbers. 

This past April we spent 8 days in this desert country, sweating in the 107 degree weather, and learning as much as we could about it's orphan crisis. Now, 8 days may not seem like a lot of time to the average person, but we've spent the last 5 years developing a keen sense and particular knowledge in the world of ethical orphan care. We know the questions to ask and the signs of dishonesty or corruption. So let me say this: The people and organizations we met in Burkina Faso are honest, ethical and incredibly needed. Not they type of "need" that pushes its way into a community, unwelcomed and shouting how to "change", rather these organizations are coming alongside the government, local Burkina Bay leaders and communities and partnering together, hand in hand, and they are doing their best.  Because let's be honest, there's not a lot of aid in this country and people are struggling.

However, Streams of Burkina Faso has an orphan care portion of their organization and they are raising up the local villagers to foster and care for orphans. They are not an orphanage, rather they find families willing to care for vulnerable children until that child can be safely resettled back with it's biological family! 

If you would like to get involved with Streams in Burkina Faso please click their links below! Because, like they share in our interview, they've seen over 400 children resettle back with biological family!!! 

 


Around the World with The Archibald Project : Episode 23 - Selamta Family Project

We got an email months ago about an inquiry for what we thought was an orphanage in Ethiopia. However, the further we read on about Selamta Family Project, the more we came to realize that Selamta was not an orphanage at all. 

Selamta Family Project is a holistic orphan care organization in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capitol, working to ensure that orphaned children have forever families. 

This means that instead of having an orphanage, Selamta employees marginalized women to be full time mothers and aunties to 8-10 children per household. Each mom becomes a real mom. They don't clock in or out, they don't leave after a few years. Selamta makes new families out of broken people so that they might find love, community and safety amongst each other. 

Once we realized this was the model Selamta employed we knew we had to get to Ethiopia as soon as possible! 

Enjoy our podcast interview with Executive Director, Marisa Stam, on the balcony of the community center in Addis! Lots of street noise will help you feel like you're right there with us! 

To follow more of Selamta's journey, visit:

Selamta's Website: www.selamtafamilyproject.org
Selamta's Instagram: @selamtaproject
Selamta's Facebook: facebook.com/selamtafamilyproject

Photos above: far left image and far right by Media Mission Team Member, Allie Chandler! 

AROUND THE WORLD WITH THE ARCHIBALD PROJECT: EPISODE 22 - Wellon Bridgers w/ Mwana Villages

When I first received Wellon Bridgers' email about documenting their adoption, I was skeptical. We were living in Uganda and were in the middle of seeing so many hard and real situations of unethical orphan care. So we straight up asked Wellon why the children she was adopting needed to be adopted and how could she ensure they were truly operating inside an ethical adoption.

Her answers blew us away. She shared about how they came to find Mwana Villages, the organization in the Republic of the Congo where their children lived and how only after a broken adoption in the Democratic Republic of the Congo did they come to learn that many children living in orphanages and up for adoption had birth families who loved and wanted their children. Her love and admiration for Mwana was not centered around her adoption but how Mwana cares passionately for vulnerable women and works to keep families together.

Since we traveled with the Bridgers to the Congo, which you can see their adoption journey in photos here and in video here, Wellon has gone to work, stateside, for Mwana, advocating for vulnerable women and children and working to ensure that families can stay together!

In our podcast today with Wellon we hear why caring for birth families is a must, how Mwana ensures that they are operating ethically (they turned down an offer from an adoption agency for $10,000 a kid!!!), and how Mwana is making a lasting difference in the Congo! 

To follow more of Mwana's journey, visit:

Mwana's Instagram: @mwanavillages
Mwana's Facebook: www.facebook.com/mwanavillages
Mwana's Website: 
http://mwanavillages.org
Listen to our first podcast with the Bridgers here: Episode 4 
Watch the Bridgers' Adoption Video here: Adoption Video
Watch Mwana's Video here: Mwana

 
 
 

Around the World with The Archibald Project: Episode 21 - Kayla + Jonny Craig

Today we are excited to introduce you to the Craig Family!

Our Episode 21 interview is full of wisdom and love. You'll hear adoptive parents, Kayla and Jonny Craig share about their desire to adopt, love their kids well, how they've grown from seeing their son persevere through pain and why they choose a life of faithfulness over comfort!

If you've ever thought about adoption and wondered if you could do it, we know this podcast is for you! The Craigs help us understand what it's like to adopt and parent a child with needs and share knowledge from a road made by walking.

To follow more of the Craig's journey, visit:

Kayla's Instagram: @kayla_craig
Kayla's Blog:  manysparrows.me
Jonny's website/podcast: 200churches.com
Jonny's Twitter: @200churches

AND you can purchase your own copy of Just Really Joseph, Kayla's book about international adoption and birth mom love at:
www.justreallyjoseph.com

 

 

Around the World with The Archibald Project: Episode 20 - Julia Blasdel

russia adoption story

Archibald Community, meet Julia! Julia was adopted as a one year old from Russia. From there, her family life was unhealthy and after a hard night and broken arm, Julia was removed from her home and placed into foster care and then a children's home. After feeling like she was in prison, Julia was placed in a new foster home where her foster dad's sister fell in love and asked if she could be her new mom. 

In episode 20 of Around the World with The Archibald Project, you will hear profound wisdom spoken from a 20 year old woman who has known deep pain and experienced the power of healing, redemptive love. 

If you, or anyone you know has ever considered adopting, have adopted, are adopted, then you don't want to miss the pearls of wisdom shared by Julia in this podcast! 

Above photos by Julia Blasdel! 

To keep up with Julia, follow her on Instagram:
@graepfruit

Around the World with The Archibald Project: Episode 19 - Michelle Conner

During our Episode 19 interview with Michelle Conner, we highlight the importance of caring for birth families!
Conner founded her organization, Grace Like Rain this past spring with the mission to:
                     Listen, invite, equip, support without judgement and encourage struggling families. 
We absolutely loved hearing Michelle's heart and passion for loving and serving others. If you've ever wanted to get involved with supporting the family unit, this is your avenue! Grace Like Rain is doing beautiful work! 

Enjoy our time with Michelle, and don't forget to share our powerful and educational podcast with your community, you never know who will be impacted by the wisdom shared! Thanks!

Around the World with The Archibald Project: Episode 18 - Kaley Eggers

Deciding to adopt or foster a vulnerable child is a really big deal. So many thoughts and questions and considerations go into such a major life decision. We meet many single adults who express the desire to foster or adopt but don't feel like they can as a single person. Well, today, in our episode 18, we introduce you to Kaley Eggers, a single foster/adoptive mama! Kaley shares so much wisdom on entering the foster system as a single woman in her 20's and we greatly encourage you all to share this podcast with anyone you know considering foster or adoption, especially as a single adult! 

Kaley's Website
Kaley's Instagram
Kaley's National Foster Care Post for T.A.P

 

Around the World with The Archibald Project: Episode 17 - Joe + Jessica Honegger

In today's podcast we introduce you to Jessica and Joe Honegger! Some of you might know Jessica as the founder of the incredibly successful fair-trade: Noonday Collection, but today we're taking you behind the scenes! Learn how Jessica and Joe met and fell in love, hear how they decided on international adoption and of course we talk about how Noonday was founded! The Honeggers also share some helpful advice about the adoption journey and share what was harder and what was easier in adoption than they might have anticipated. 

If you guys are interested in learning more about Noonday and how they are changing the world through ethical artisan programs in vulnerable communities, please head to their website here

Also, remember, we exist to end the orphan crisis but we can only do this together! Which means we would love to have you share our podcast with your friends and family so that other might be inspired to care for the orphan! 

Thanks guys! Now enjoy our time with the Honeggers! 

(Above photos by Jessica's Instagram, Scott Wade + Wynne Elder!)

Around the World with The Archibald Project: Episode 16 - Katie + Benji Majors

In today's interview we bring you Katie and Benji Majors. Katie is a New York Times Best Selling Author for her book Kisses From Katie. However, during our time with the Majors we take you beyond the book and bring you their perspective on getting married in Uganda, what it was like adopting 13 girls as a single twenty something, becoming a new husband and dad to 13 girls, running their organization, Amazima and some invaluable lessons they've learned along the way! 

Amazima Website
Amazima Facebook
Amazima Instagram
Katie's Twitter
Benji's Twitter

Around the World with The Archibald Project: Episode 15 - Randy Doleman

For the entire month of May, our orphan care nonprofit, The Archibald Project has been sharing real and raw stories of the U.S. foster care system with the hopes of educating and inspiring you to get involved in the lives of our country’s vulnerable children! So far we’ve brought you blog posts from foster parents, CASA volunteers, babysitters to foster families and podcast interviews with an adult adoptee, a foster care director, a foster care judge and now, to end the month, a foster care father! 

We’ve been sharing new stories every week day on our blog and have had such a wonderful response that we are going to continue the stories into June, so make sure you stick around! 

However, today, we bring you a very insightful conversation with a foster care father by the name of Randy Doleman, who started a nonprofit centered around building community for foster and adoptive families.

In our interview with Randy we hear what made him take the plunge into foster care, what advice he would give parents just entering the foster care, what advice he would give to a friend of a foster family, why he believes community is essential in orphan care and about his amazing nonprofit, The Orphan Care Network!

So sit back, relax and enjoy our time with Randy!

Around the World with The Archibald Project: Episode 14 - Judge Martinez Jones

U.S. foster care, the archibald project

In today’s episode of Around the World With the Archibald project we take you into the Austin, TX court house, accompanied with bustling street sounds and all, to interview a judge who works primarily with children and families in foster care. 

As someone who has been in orphan and vulnerable children care for a few years now, I’ll be the first to admit that I really didn’t know much about the legal side of the U.S. Foster care system, and in this interview I learned so much from my time with Judge Martinez Jones. 

Outside of her incredibly peaceful demeanor and stuffed animal filled chamber, what struck me the most about Judge Martinez Jones is that you can tell she cares so deeply about the children and families she serves. She carefully interviews all parties involved in a case, from children, parents, teachers, CASA volunteers, etc. to ensure that she has the best information possible to make a decision that is healthy and safe for a child and family. 

In today’s interview we cover how Judge Martinez Jones actually became a judge, what the legal system is when a child is removed from their home, how the system works with biological families, why family visits and bonding are so important, and how to best approach a loving and healthy relationship with a child of trauma and their biological family. 

Okay guys, thanks for tuning in, we know you’re going to love our interview today, sit back, relax and enjoy our time learning from Judge Martinez jones!

 

TBRI Child Trauma Resources
Individual State Adoption + Foster Care Info

A HUGE thank you to Julie Kouri from
Fostering Hope Austin, a nonprofit equipping churches and families to transform the lives of foster and adopted children, for connecting us with Judge Martinez Jones! 

Around the World with The Archibald Project: Episode 13 - Kayleigh Cunningham

The month of May is national foster care month here in the states so we’re switching up our podcast release format a bit. We normally release a new podcast every other week, but with all the powerful and exciting stories in the world of foster care, we’ll be releasing a new podcast every week of this month. Last week we interviewed an adult adoptee from the foster care system who is now a charismatic television producer who uses all of her free time advocating for orphans so make sure you listen to that when you get a chance! And This week we are so excited to bring a new perspective to you guys from foster care director, Kayleigh Cunningham. Kayleigh is one of the people who helps find families for children who have just been removed from their homes. Talk about an intense job, right?

Listening to Kayleigh’s wisdom and insight from a behind the scenes perspective is heart breaking, inspiring and so insightful. In today’s episode we cover what you need to know about the foster care system works, why children are taken from their families, insight on birth parent’s perspectives, some beautiful moments of healing in children of trauma, how you can learn more about fostering in your state and what the first steps are to get more information on foster care! 

So sit back, relax and enjoy our time with Kayleigh!

Around the World with The Archibald Project: Episode 12 - Jeanette Jolley

Around the World with The Archibald Project kicks off National Foster Care Month with an interview with adult adoptee from foster care, Jeanette Jolley. Jeanette takes us through the emotions of growing up knowing she was adopted but not knowing where she came from or her family heritage. Jolly sheds an important light on using your life and skills to advocate for others and even shares about the time she met her birth mom on live T.V. with Richard Simmons (which you will want to watch, link to the left!). 

Jeanette is a television producer and has worked on shows such as: Emmy award winning Extreme Home Make Over, Blue Collar Millionaires, the CMA Red Carpet and countless others! Jeanette is passionate about using her life to advocate for orphans and vulnerable children and we are so excited to bring you her inspiring interview today!