Episode 147 Both Sides of the Story: Inside Adoption – Interview with Cherie Burton and Wendy Toomer

Episode 147 Both Sides of the Story: Inside Adoption – Interview with Cherie Burton and Wendy Toomer

When Cherie Burton was 25 she got pregnant and was abandoned by the father. Her decision to adopt out her baby daughter was accompanied by all the birth mother grief, stigma, shame, and judgment that often accompanies an unwed mother and “giving a baby away.”

She showed up on the adoptive parents’ doorstep when her daughter was just 3 weeks old and Wendy’s new family let Cherie wake her up and rock her back to sleep. Cherie is here today to walk us through her story of the decision of choosing adoption, the path of the toll that takes on the heart and mind, and the things she’s learned.

The adoption was an open adoption and the adoptive family has always been open with Wendy about her birth mom.

Cherie says “I learned we do not own each other. Parents merely have stewardship and a our souls are on “loan” from the Divine. We’re just all here to teach each other love, sacrifice, forgiveness, kindness and compassion. I’m pretty convinced Wendy, her mom Susan and I had soul contracts with each other to have this experience before we came here.”

Wendy, who is also with us today, says because of the open adoption she has always known how she came to her family and her adoptive parents have always been supportive. She acknowledges that it does have a unique set of issues, but knowing her genetics has helped her deal with PPD and PPA after having her first child, because she knew that mental illness ran in her genes and she was able to seek help from her birth mom to get through some tough spots. She says her birth mom is like an aunt or a best friend and they talk often and are so much alike.

Cherie Burton, the birth mother, has degrees in psychology and sociology and has worked as a group counselor at a psychiatric hospital, an addiction recovery center and a behavioral facility for teen boys.  She has stepped away from clinical work to inspire women worldwide to reach their full potential through books, workshops and retreats. Her work as an author, podcaster, international business owner, speaker, mom of 6, emotional release facilitator and leadership development trainer has helped thousands of women magnify their gifts and find wholeness

Wendy Toomer, the adopted child, is now married to her husband Larkin. They have been married for 7 years and she is pregnant with their second child. She is a Master Esthetician specializing in laser hair removal but mainly stays home with her best friend, a wild two-year-old boy named Tucker. During this season of her life she is focused on nurturing babies in a healthy and happy home.

Tune into the audio program for Cherie’s story and how she decided to embark on adoption as a 25-year-old, one year away from graduating from college, and then hear Wendy’s experience as the daughter with two mothers.

This is our first interview on adoption and I am so pleased to be able to do a “Both Sides of the Story” approach. Thank you, Cherie and Wendy, for shining a light on your process of learning, growth, and experience. It is by our stories that we shine a light on the path in front of others in how to move forward in spaces we personally have not yet trod.

To learn more about Cherie’s work you can find her at:

As you all know – my motto is to live intentionally and fearless every day!

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”–Henry David Thoreau.

My new book LIFE – Live Intentional and Fearless Every day is available on Amazon or a link on www.loveyourstorypodcast.com. With 21 LIFE Connection Challenges to help you create more connection, possibility, and self-care in your own wonderful story. To help you live your best life story on purpose.

About the author, Lori

Lori is the host and producer of the Love Your Story podcast, a podcast dedicated to sharing candid interviews and conversations about living our best life stories on purpose. Lori pulls no punches in capturing interviews that shine a light on how we make it through the hard stuff – stress, anxiety, suicide, eating disorders, rape, the death of children, abuse, divorce and the real stuff we have to deal with. But, she also shares interviews with Olympians and incredible athletes, life coaches, therapists, and people who are changing the world – most often these two categories are one and the same. She has a master’s degree in Folklore--her research focuses on the personal narrative. She is the author of six books and over 100 magazine and newspaper articles, including her latest, L.I.F.E. – Living Intentional and Fearless Every Day. She consults with individuals on a personal and business level in helping them find their stories, reframe the ones that are holding them back, and manage the stories they currently tell themselves in order to create the story they personally want to live.

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