Sara Easterly, Kelsey Vander Vliet Ranyard, and Lori Holden for ADOPTION UNFILTERED **IN-PERSON**

Loyalty is very excited to welcome Sara Easterly, Kelsey Vander Vliet Ranyard, and Lori Holden to celebrate Adoption Unfiltered! The authors, in addition to being in conversation among themselves, will be joined by some wonderful panelists to discuss their experiences with adoption. This event will take place at Loyalty Petworth (843 Upshur Street NW, Washington, DC 20011). **This event is free to attend, but registration is required** You can purchase the book from Loyalty below or in-person during the event! We are currently at capacity for RSVP's. Please email  if you'd like to be added to the wait list!


Reveals the candid thoughts and feelings of those most directly involved in adoptions: adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents. 

Adoption Unfiltered authors Sara Easterly (adoptee), Kelsey Vander Vliet Ranyard (birth parent), and Lori Holden (adoptive parent) interview dozens of adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents, social workers, therapists, and other allies--all sharing candidly about the challenges in adoption. While finding common ground in the sometimes-contentious space of adoption may seem like a lofty goal, it reveals the authors' optimistic aim: working together with truth and transparency to move toward healing.

Healing isn't possible, though, without first uncovering the hurts--starting with adoption's central players: adoptees, who are so often in pain, suffering from what the latest brain science validates as the long-term emotional effects of separation trauma. By encouraging others to vulnerably share their stories, the authors discover that adoptees aren't the only ones in the adoption constellation who are hurting. Birth parents regularly shut down after being shut out by adoptive parents. Adoptive parents often struggle with unique parenting challenges and hidden insecurity, feeling the need to hide the fact that they are not the Super Parents they led the agency to believe they would be. Across the industry as a whole, misinformed and even unethical practices abound.

Adoption Unfiltered models the importance of adults in adoption working together in the spirit of curiosity and empathy--to better support adoptees and their first and adoptive families.


Sara Easterly is an adoptee and the award-winning author of books that include the groundbreaking book Adoption Unfiltered: Revelations from Adoptees, Birth Parents, Adoptive Parents, and Allies, co-authored with birth parent Kelsey Vander Vliet Ranyard and adoptive parent Lori Holden, as well as her spiritual memoir, Searching for Mom. Sara’s essays, articles, and book reviews have been widely published and she is the founder of Adoptee Voices, supporting other adoptees in sharing their stories. She is also a trained course facilitator with the Neufeld Institute, a lens that informs Sara’s insights on the intersection of attachment, child development, brain science, and adoption.

Kelsey Vander Vliet Ranyard spent several years working in the adoption field, most notably working on public policy issues impacting all adoption-triad members. Kelsey has played a part in the success of state legislation and has tirelessly advocated for current federal legislation. She’s a birth mother who is passionate about raising the standards in adoption to better serve the children, mothers, and families affected by family separation and is the author of the groundbreaking book Adoption Unfiltered: Revelations from Adoptees, Birth Parents, Adoptive Parents, and Allies, co-authored with adoptee Sara Easterly and adoptive parent Lori Holden. Kelsey is also a co-host of the first-ever birth-mom podcast, Twisted Sisterhood.

Lori Holden is mom to two young adults, whom she and her husband adopted at birth. She is author of the groundbreaking book Adoption Unfiltered: Revelations from Adoptees, Birth Parents, Adoptive Parents, and Allies, co-authored with adoptee Sara Easterly and birth parent Kelsey Vander Vliet Ranyard. She wrote the highly acclaimed The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption with her daughter's birth mom, is host of the podcast Adoption: the Long View, and has explored adoption for 17 years at Lori was nominated by Senator Michael Bennet to be honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.


Cynthia Landesberg is an interracial adoptee born in Busan, South Korea and adopted at five or six months old by Jewish parents. She grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., with an older sister who was domestically adopted. Cynthia is also an adoptive parent to two sons, both adopted from Korea (in addition to parenting her biological daughter). Cynthia blogs at Adoption Squared and her writing has been published in many spaces, including an Op-Ed for The Washington Post.

Damon Davis is a domestic, same-race adoptee. He’s the author of the adoptee memoir Who Am I Really? as well as host and producer of the award-winning podcast of the same name. Since starting the podcast in 2017, Damon has supported countless adoptee listeners around the world process their own adoption stories and helped nonadopted people grow in their understanding of adoptees’ challenges and triumphs. In addition to parenting a biological son, Damon is an adoptive parent through a kinship adoption.

Tony Hynes is a former foster youth and adoptee, adopted by a same sex couple in the mid 1990’s. He is the author of The Son With Two Moms and works as a Training Specialist at Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.). Tony completed his Master’s thesis in Sociology on the psychology of children within the same-sex headed household and was awarded a full scholarship to begin his PhD studies in Language, Literacy, and Culture at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where his dissertation-in-progress focuses on social connectedness among interracial adoptees.

Janelle Ison, MBA, has devoted herself to enhancing adoption practices and fostering support for families, both personally and professionally. Her commitment to education, advocacy, and compassionate guidance continues to reshape the landscape for adopted individuals, expectant parents, birth parents, and adoptive families. As someone who has experienced adoption as both an adopted individual and a birth mother, Janelle shares her personal journey openly, offering empathy and insight to others in similar situations. Her dedication extends to participating in adoption panels and support groups, where her voice adds depth and understanding to these vital conversations. In her role as the Adoption Education Manager at the National Council For Adoption (NCFA), Janelle spearheads the development of best practice educational content. Janelle resides in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband and son and maintains a strong connection with her birth mom and birth son.

Please note Loyalty has a zero tolerance policy for harassment or intimidation of any kind during this event. 

Event date: 
Tuesday, February 27, 2024 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
843 Upshur Street NW
Washington, DC 20011
Adoption Unfiltered: Revelations from Adoptees, Birth Parents, Adoptive Parents, and Allies By Sara Easterly, Kelsey Vander Vliet Ranyard, Lori Holden Cover Image
ISBN: 9781538174692
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers - December 1st, 2023

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