Welcome to the Overcoming Odds podcast, where you get a glimpse into the stories of adoptees and foster care members who have overcome adversity, suffering, and struggle to achieve success. This podcast was built by you, and for you, to help you overcome adversity, suffering, and struggle in achieving your fullest potential.


She was born without legs.
Later on, she was placed for adoption.
Two life-changing events that would leave most of us hopeless.
But, Jen Bricker was different.

She said, “I played softball, volleyball, and basketball with no wheelchair or prosthetics...

It was painful.
18 years had passed before he saw her again.
He said, “We got in our family car. Drove to downtown Louisville, KY. Walked into a building we’ve never been to before.”
Reese Hoffa, along with his brother were playing in one room, while Diana was filling out paperwork in the other.

It took her years to figure it out.
Her life was consumed by anxiety and relationship issues.
As many of us know, our personal experiences often dictate the actions we take in life.
For Lesli Johnson, it was no different.
She was adopted at a time when parents were advised to tell as few people as possible about their adoptions

It was hard.

30 years of hard work. Massive credit card debt. Yet, the book was still not finished.

She said, “My mom died before she could finish her book. I am not going to die before I finish mine.”

However, things continued to get worse before they got any better.

“You never know.”

A lesson Samantha learned early on from her family and work.

Adopted from South Korea and raised in New Jersey, she never knew what might be the connecting thread between her twin sister and herself.

It was frustrating.
It would take 100 “No’s” before getting a single “Yes.” But, there was no other way around it.
Embracing rejection was the only way. Giving up on her dream was not.
Not for a girl from Long Island, NY.
Not for a girl who wanted to be on TV since the age of 3.

She couldn’t handle it.
At 12 years old, she became addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Later on, her stepbrother sexually abused her.
Her comfort zone quickly turned into a nightmare.
Hopeless. Not knowing who to ask for help.

Failure is good.

Fail fast, fail often.

She said, “I failed many times throughout my life.”

At school, she was not the best student.

At home, her life was one of abuse and fear.

Lara came to us by way of Operation Babylift, a mass evacuation of orphans from South Vietnam to the United States as well as other countries. She is now a professional musician living in Austin, TX as a Blues stage performer and recording artist. Her musical talent was inspired by influences such as her father, who gave her her very first music lesson, and dance classes...

It was hard to stay quiet.
Her body was constantly covered with bruises.
Her home was one of fear and abuse.
Her father was the man responsible for it all.
Others knew, but no one spoke up.
It left her no other option, but to speak up for herself.

Joe Galindo is a culinary entrepreneur based in Austin, Texas where he and his wife own and manage, RedBookChef. Their venture was inspired by his wife’s little red notebook in which she would take notes while watching cooking programs as a young girl. In this episode, Joe tells us the story of how he went from foster care and a lucky adoption, to where he is today.

Karen Goh didn’t know she was adopted until she was ten years old. After being asked countless of times why she looked so different, she asked her mother if she was “born” from her. 

“I didn’t know the word for adoption at the time,” Karen says while explaining this pivotal moment in her life.

Lisa believes that the ability to take control of your life all boils down to self-awareness. Through self-awareness you discover what makes you happy, drained, fired up, and motivated which in turn all help you decide how to proceed in life in the most strategic, productive way for your individual self.

"The only way you can change the future has nothing to do with money, it comes down to relationships and who you spend time with."

Join us as the most connected man in America, top business strategist and former director at Dell Computer Corporation: Peter Strople, talks about loss, love, relationships, and how he came to define those things through struggle and success.

Joshua Banks doesn’t believe there is any such thing as a selfless act. But, he does believe we can all be our most authentic selves while benefiting the people around us. According to him, we all have the potential to be self-centered, yet still be a positive influence on our communities.

Joshua earned many commendations during his years in law enforcement, where he learned much about the nature of people at their worst, as well as at their best.

"When I had zero, when I had nothing, it was absolutely freeing."

Kevin Kreider spent much of his upbringing being made painfully aware of how different he was as a Korean adoptee.

Join us as Kevin discusses the pain imposed on him by peers and the media for looking different, and the insecurity that followed motivated Kevin to begin working out. He eventually managed to start both modeling and acting careers, but was again set back. This time it was by Alopecia Areata, causing him to go bald.

Kira Omans is an Asian-American actor, model, dancer, and adoptee advocate. She was adopted by a Caucasian family living in Washington DC and grew up with an adopted brother from Korea, as well as a sister.

Join us as she discusses her struggles to adjust to how different she felt at school as her family had always celebrated their diversity. But, at school, these differences weren’t celebrated.