American RadioWorks |
Michael Walker with students in Minneapolis (photo: @MPS_BlackMales Twitter account)

Boosting Black Male Student Achievement

The Minneapolis Public School District created an Office of Black Male Student Achievement earlier this year. One goal of the office is to help young African American men graduate from high school in greater numbers.

Recent Posts

  • 01.22.15

    Free Community College for All

    President Barack Obama wants to make the first two years of community college free for what he calls “responsible students” who are “willing to work for it.” It’s being called “America’s College Promise.” This week on the podcast we examine the prospect of free community college for all.
  • 01.14.15

    What’s in a number?

    Our guest this week has a message for high school seniors and their parents who are poring over the latest college rankings lists: Put ‘em down.
  • 12.23.14

    Who’s missing from the achievement gap debate?

    The achievement gap refers to the disparities in academic success between lower-income students of color and their more affluent white counterparts. But according to Quyen Dinh, executive director of the national advocacy organization Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), one group often left out of the conversation is Southeast Asian American students.
  • 01.05.15

    Following the Money in Education Philanthropy

    Philanthropic foundations have been giving money to public education for years. But our guest this week argues that philanthropies are increasingly pushing specific educational agendas.

American RadioWorks |
Michael Walker with students in Minneapolis (photo: @MPS_BlackMales Twitter account)

Boosting Black Male Student Achievement

The Minneapolis Public School District created an Office of Black Male Student Achievement earlier this year. One goal of the office is to help young African American men graduate from high school in greater numbers.

Recent Posts

  • 01.22.15

    Free Community College for All

    President Barack Obama wants to make the first two years of community college free for what he calls “responsible students” who are “willing to work for it.” It’s being called “America’s College Promise.” This week on the podcast we examine the prospect of free community college for all.
  • 01.14.15

    What’s in a number?

    Our guest this week has a message for high school seniors and their parents who are poring over the latest college rankings lists: Put ‘em down.
  • 12.23.14

    Who’s missing from the achievement gap debate?

    The achievement gap refers to the disparities in academic success between lower-income students of color and their more affluent white counterparts. But according to Quyen Dinh, executive director of the national advocacy organization Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), one group often left out of the conversation is Southeast Asian American students.
  • 01.05.15

    Following the Money in Education Philanthropy

    Philanthropic foundations have been giving money to public education for years. But our guest this week argues that philanthropies are increasingly pushing specific educational agendas.


Adoption stories


Presentation ceremony of Nicolas. July 6, 2004. Bogota, Colombia.

Erin Conroy
Moorhead, MN

Birth Country: Colombia
Decade of adoption: 2000 or later

Our son Nicolas (named by his birth mother) was adopted from Colombia in 2004 as a special-needs adoption. My husband is deaf, and we sought to adopt a deaf child. Working through Lutheran Social Service, we originally wanted to adopt from China because of the stability of the China program. However, almost immediately after our submission to the adoption program at LSS, I received an email from our social worker asking us if we would be interested in adopting a deaf boy named Nicolas from Colombia.

When we were children, my sister had always wanted a boy and she was going to name him Nicolas. During both her pregnancies, she had chosen Nicolas as boys' names. Both pregnancies turned out to be girls.

The first person I contacted about Nicolas was my sister. (Not my husband, oops.) I told her of the deaf two-month-old baby in Colombia. She hesitated for a long time before sadly asking, "Erin, are you sure you want to do this? I thought you wanted a girl from China?"

I replied, "His name is Nicolas."

And she said, "That's your baby."

I returned the email to our social worker exclaiming, "Yes!" Only as an afterthought, I emailed my husband and told him of the possibility.

We flew to Colombia on July 5, 2004 to collect Nicolas. We stayed for approximately six weeks and came home August 12, 2004.

Adopting is a soul-searching, oftentimes gut-wrenching process. Parents often grieve for the loss of a biological child, myself included. In hindsight, I wouldn't change anything. The emotional, spiritual and social growth I have experienced as an adoptive parent is something I would never have had if I had only biological children.

I still grieve now, mostly for Nicolas' birth mother. The most surprising aspect of the adoption process for me was the amount of loss I feel for Nicolas' birth mother. I think of her on a daily basis. I hope and pray she has peace with her decision. She has given us the opportunity to be a family. I can never repay her.



Back to Adoption Stories


American RadioWorks |
Michael Walker with students in Minneapolis (photo: @MPS_BlackMales Twitter account)

Boosting Black Male Student Achievement

The Minneapolis Public School District created an Office of Black Male Student Achievement earlier this year. One goal of the office is to help young African American men graduate from high school in greater numbers.

Recent Posts

  • 01.22.15

    Free Community College for All

    President Barack Obama wants to make the first two years of community college free for what he calls “responsible students” who are “willing to work for it.” It’s being called “America’s College Promise.” This week on the podcast we examine the prospect of free community college for all.
  • 01.14.15

    What’s in a number?

    Our guest this week has a message for high school seniors and their parents who are poring over the latest college rankings lists: Put ‘em down.
  • 12.23.14

    Who’s missing from the achievement gap debate?

    The achievement gap refers to the disparities in academic success between lower-income students of color and their more affluent white counterparts. But according to Quyen Dinh, executive director of the national advocacy organization Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), one group often left out of the conversation is Southeast Asian American students.
  • 01.05.15

    Following the Money in Education Philanthropy

    Philanthropic foundations have been giving money to public education for years. But our guest this week argues that philanthropies are increasingly pushing specific educational agendas.