This page contains photos and feedback from events where I have spoken publicly about my adoption experience and writing process. You’ll find more photos over on my Facebook page.
“You were amazing… so relaxed and poised and you spoke incredibly well.” – Paula Lotter
“I so enjoyed the evening, learning about the different facets, emotions, and people involved in the triad of adoption. Thank you, Paula. You are very inspiring, and have a special gift to share with the world!” – Helen Currie
“Even though I’m not an adoptee nor an adoptive mom, your talk created such an interesting conversation between me and my son.” – Colleen Walls
“You are an inspiration, Paula.” – Cathy Cowan
“You sounded great and have a fantastic voice! It’s so good to see people chase and CATCH their dreams; I was a little choked up, actually.” – Maya Moreno
“Your grounded, centered, down-to-earth warmth will take you far.” – Janice Leibowitz
“A new Star is born and shining brightly!” – Lyrica Beavan
…some audience / viewer comments following an author interview at the official launch of Umbilicus at Skoobs, Theatre of Books in Johannesburg, 2 August 2016.
Click here to watch the 45-minute video of the interview which was live-streamed on Facebook – a first for a book launch in South Africa.
“Thank you so much for the fantastic talk yesterday, it was so beneficial for our learners.” – Vicky Lesser, Head of Department Life Orientation at Rand Park High School in Johannesburg, following a Teen Talk for Grade 10 learners, 23 August 2016.
Author Talk at Le Soufflé Book Club Lunch in Johannesburg, 30 August 2016. Pictured with book publicist Helen Holyoake of Helco Promotions.
Author Talk at Life, in a Garden Book Club Lunch in Johannesburg, 17 September 2016.
“I just want to say a massive thank you for your wonderful speech yesterday and for being there to open for us. Everyone was saying how great your speech was, and Kobus [Rossouw] and I so appreciated your contribution.” – artist Angela Banks, following an exhibition opening speech at the Tina Skukan Art Gallery in Pretoria, 9 October 2016.
“Paula, you were brilliant, not a dry eye in the house!” – Dee Blackie, child protection activist + founding member of the National Adoption Coalition of South Africa
“Paula, we were so happy to have you as a part of the conference, and I believe NACSA can really benefit from your ongoing involvement and support. I also believe you will now be viewed as one of the voices in our community, and we know it is not always an easy one to operate in.” –Katinka Pieterse, Programme Director of Abba Specialist Adoption and Social Services + Chairperson of the National Adoption Coalition of South Africa
“Paula, I think your vulnerability in sharing your story is going to have a ripple effect in the SA adoption world! We need more voices of adoptees to be heard instead of professionals speaking on behalf of the adoption triad!” – Elke Day, adoptive mother and adoption specialist at AdoptiCare + Executive Committee Member on the National Adoption Coalition of South Africa‘s Board of Directors
“Paula, we met at the conference and I really was very impressed with your presentation. I definitely feel that we will be able to use the information in your book when rendering services to the adoption triad.” – Jasu Jagjivan, Adoptions Manager, Child Welfare Durban and District
“You were excellent, Paula. I want to personally thank you for your positive contribution with your heartfelt talk. You are going to make such a difference in the adoption community.” – Letitia van den Berg, professional social worker and adoption specialist
“Paula, you spoke so well and touched hearts today!” – Mandy Hain, adoptive mother and adoption consultant at Adoptmom
“I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation, Paula. You transported me into your world and so effectively gave the different perspectives of the triad.” – Naina Modi-Patel, working at the Thusanani Childrens Foundation
“It was lovely to be part of your adoption journey, Paula!” – Ulrike Mann, GM of Ikholwa Children’s Home
…some comments from organisers and delegates, following a Triad Talk at the ‘Adoption 2016 and Beyond’ Conference at the Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre in Boksburg, 2 November 2016.
Author interview during #AdoptionAwarenessMonth with Samm Marshall on Morning Live at the SABC‘s studios in Johannesburg, 6 November 2016.
Creative collaboration during #AdoptionAwarenessMonth with Morgan Mitchell, fellow adoptee and journalism student at Texas State University, 11 December 2016.
Click here to watch the video which includes some never-before-seen photos from my private collection.
Triad Talk for a group of prospective adoptive parents at social worker and adoption specialist Letitia van den Berg‘s private practice in Pretoria, 28 January 2017.
Publicity interview for Johannesburg Design Week’s Authors’ Day with Samm Marshall on Morning Live at the SABC’s studios in Johannesburg, 15 April 2017.
“Loved your talk and your approach to tackling things head on. Well done, Paula!” – Elizé Roets
“Profoundly inspiring.” – Andries Baloyi
“Thanks for a very informative presentation this morning. I definitely learnt a lot about the publishing industry!” – Chad Thomas
“So inspiring! What a beautiful, eloquent Authorpreneur.” – Karla Jonker
“Each of the speakers brought such a unique perspective to the event, including Paula, with her hands-on practical advice.” – Chris Avant-Smith
“You truly inspired us today, Paula. Thank you for all the insights you shared in your journey – it will definitely move us forward!” – Yoke van Dam
“You were incredible, you are going to fly.” – Dave Nemeth
…some comments from delegates and organisers following an Author Talk for Johannesburg Design Week’s Authors’ Day at the annual Rand Show, 20 April 2017.
On air interview with fellow adoptee and author Sara-Jayne King, host of Late Nights on CapeTalk, 18 May 2017.
Click here to listen to the podcast of the radio interview.
Author Talk at Kingsmead College Grade 10 ‘Young Readers’ Award’ prize-giving ceremony in Johannesburg, 28 May 2017.
“Our two very inspiring speakers took us on a journey through their respective lives, showing us how strong and resilient we can be. Thank you very much Sam Cowen and Paula Gruben for sharing your journey with us.”
…message from King Edward VII Preparatory School’s PTA following an Author Talk during Women’s Month at Johannesburg’s Protea Hotel Fire & Ice in Melrose Arch, 5 August 2017. Photo credit: Ellen Dos Santos.
Author Talk at Ikholwa Children’s Home fundraiser in Johannesburg, 9 September 2017.
“Paula – Every single person I spoke to after your talk this morning was SO complimentary – I’ve not often had such unanimity in the audience about the quality of the guest speaker. You were prepared and polished and honest and so sincere. It was excellent and very moving. Thank you so, so much for your time and for sharing your experience with us. All the best.” – Penny Hochfeld of Exclusive Books
…message following an Author Talk at the Killarney branch of Exclusive Books in Johannesburg, 25 January 2018.
On air interview with fellow adoptee and author Sara-Jayne King, host of Late Nights on CapeTalk, 12 February 2018.
Click here to listen to the podcast of the radio interview.
“You spoke with such power and conviction. I wish you could have heard all the verbal nods of approval and empathy and respect that I heard from the people sitting behind me. The lives you are able to remould because you chose to share your story makes your book so goddamn powerful. And the priceless advice you gave that last lady in the audience was truly wonderful. I think you changed a life today.” – Phillipa Mitchell, audience member, following a ‘Cut Off at the Roots’ panel discussion with authors Sara-Jayne King, Jonathan Kaplan, and Zinzi Clemmons, facilitated by Victor Dlamini, at the annual Kingsmead Book Fair in Johannesburg, 12 May 2018.
“On behalf of the organisers of this event, we are truly grateful to you and your art, and we sincerely hope you will be able to participate again next year.”
…message following an Author Talk which formed part of the ‘Art of Goth’ lecture series during the South African chapter of World Goth Day celebrations, at Melrose House in Pretoria (an 1886 Victorian mansion, now museum), 26 May 2018.
Author Talk at Meropa Communications in Johannesburg, 3 May 2019.