Episode 23: On Immigration, Compassion, & Complexity

On this episode of Mama Bear Dares, Leslie and Tesi talk to Cynthia Vanderpool Garcia about immigration, advocacy, and neighborliness. Cynthia, mom to two young children and an immigration lawyer, explains what it's like to be on the front lines of immigration in America. Together, we dig into the immigration process, compassion fatigue, and the complexities of life in America. Cynthia offers a look into a fascinating world, gently educating us and encouraging us to live our lives well.

Other points discussed:

  • Body image after childbirth
  • Her journey and the draw to immigration law
  • The very real perils of compassion fatigue
  • The necessity of Mama Bear boundaries
  • Immigration in the current political landscape
  • A breakdown of immigration and a simplified answer to the question, How does it work?
  • Are community and connection antidotes to fear and rhetoric?
  • How do you begin to know your neighbor?


The novel Americannah, written by the fabulous Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, is a fantastic depiction of an immigration experience in our current culture. Read it! :-)

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichies has a few great Ted Talks. Click here to view a favorite!

Episode 17

Vanderpool Garcia Law Firm

Episode 3

American Immigration Lawyers Association

Cynthia mentions reading The Enchantress of Florence. You can find it HERE.

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Episode 7: The Flow of Generosity

Image by Molly Sabourin Photography

Image by Molly Sabourin Photography

It’s funny how things speak to us differently at different points in our lives. Some people hear a bit of wisdom and are changed forever, while others hear the same and remain untouched. Some of us walk right by potential, while others take pause and soak it up. In Zen philosophy it’s described like this: When the student is ready, the teacher appears.

In this episode of Mama Bear Dares, we spend time in conversation with Beth Johnson and explore her unique journey, considering the way each of us is shaped by people, our surroundings, and what we consume. Beth shares her story of small graces and quiet action, encouraging listeners as she reflects on pivotal moments and influences in her life, and reminding us to be thoughtful with our lives and open to generosity in it all its forms.

Show Notes:

You will love the poet Mary Oliver. All of her poems are amazing. If you’re looking for a place to start, we recommend this book.

An interesting look into Cabrini Green, upon its demolition.

Beth threw a “pretend” shower and the gifts went to the Humility of Mary.

Don’t forget about our giveaway! For a chance to win a basket full of Leslie and Tesi’s favorite fair trade items, subscribe to us on iTunes, rate us on iTunes, review us on iTunes, Like us on Facebook and Instagram, and follow us on Twitter. If you do all of the above, you’re entered SIX times! We will announce the winner Thursday on our social media outlets!

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Episode 2: Meet the Hostess, Part II—Tesi Klipsch

Moms are complex creatures with incredible depths and layers of complexity. Even though Tesi and Leslie, the hosts of this podcast, have known each other for 14 years, each conversation reveals something new. Such are the joys of long friendship—it’s our oldest and dearest friends that we never run out of things to discuss over coffee, wine, or via Skype.

On this Mama Bear Dares podcast, we meet Tesi Klipsch. Tesi lives in Michigan with her husband Zach and five children—born to her by birth and through adoption. Tesi tells us about her interest in health, fitness, and helping others discover their personal best, as well as the challenges and joys of raising five children, three of them whom were adopted from Ethiopia.  Always quick to laugh, Tesi and Leslie enjoy a purposeful conversation that introduces you to one of the Mama Bears behind the podcast.

Follow along as Tesi explores mothering older children, her unique take on current events and race in America. www.tesiklipsch.com.

Mama Bears reading list:

Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies.

Danielle LaPorte's The Desire Map.

Gloria Steinem's My Life on the Road.

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Please write a review and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

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Episode 1: Meet the Hostess, Part I—Leslie Klipsch

In Mama Bear Dares inaugural podcasts, we aim to introduce you to the hosts of the show, Leslie and Tesi Klipsch. This pair of Midwestern women married brothers within months of each other and, for the last 14 years, have shared several life stages: the newlywed stage, the pregnant mamas-to-be stage, the new parenthood stage, and, most recently, a  move to the world of adolescent shepherding. Through it all they’ve laughed a lot. And talk a lot. And shared a passion of encouraging those around them to love the world.

Today we introduce you to Leslie, a mom to three through birth and adoption, a writer, and a woman who recently added a puppy to her life. Tesi and Leslie talk about believing in who you are, the ins and outs of everyday life and how it shapes you as a person, and the importance of self care amidst work and parenthood.

Watch for updates and the release of Leslie’s first book on her author website! www.leslieklipsch.com.

Interested in coworking in Eastern Iowa/Western Illinois? Check out the coworking space Leslie founded with her partner Amy in November. www.coworkqc.com.

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Write a review and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

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