RISK! Podcast
  • Episode:#404
  • Date:October 27, 2012
  • Run Time:49:54
  • Download: MP3

The Third Man

Mani Sheriar tells how she fought one battle to have a baby and another to keep him.

Song: RISK! Theme by Wormburner and John Sondericker

Song: Russia by Ramona Falls

Radio Story: The Third Man by Mani Sheriar

Song: In the Beginning by Daughn Gibson


  1. Kevin thank you so much for helping me tell this story! I am so grateful for your support. And I love the music and the way you cut everything together. Perfect! <3

  2. A wonderful story. This is the first time I’ve listened to your show, I’m positively impressed. Thank you and please thank Mani Sheriar for sharing her story. As a social worker, I think it should be taught in Social Work schools and workshops.

  3. Best Risk story ever.

    A powerful story of redemption.

  4. Such a riveting and powerful story! It amazes me how much love can bridge the gaps that seem insurmountable between people. Than you Kevin for sharing this story and Mani for the bravery to tell it.

  5. What a profound story, and so beautifully told. I had tears streaming down my face as I listened. Mani, you are an amazing mom. My favorite Risk story to date.

  6. I am so thankful I listened to this. You really touched my heart Mani, how you are so honest and heartfelt. Your love for your son and all things is inspirational.

    Thank you for sharing your story. xo.

  7. The most amazing Risk! story ever. Thank you.

  8. OMG I just had to share … I am BLOWN AWAY by this email I just received from our lawyer, who was there with us at the hearing, and who heard the podcast:

    “Thank you so much for sharing this. I just listened to it and loved every minute of it. I couldn’t hold back the tears. I remember the case so vividly and you do such an amazing job of sharing the story and the powerful message behind it. It is case I will always remember.

    “The 10 minutes I had in that room had the exact same profound impact on me as well. It was truly a divine gift to see that kind of beauty and to learn that powerful life changing lesson. It is a story I share with others and that I will share with my children. I think of ourselves as so lucky to have had that experience.

    “The only thing that I would add is that it was even more profound to me because while I too got to witness the beauty and lesson coming from Frank, I also got to witness the beauty and lesson coming from you.

    “I always say that we are not what happens to us but, rather, how we react to what happens to us. This is what defines us. You were in such a bad situation and your reaction to it was so profound and loving. It was just as powerful as what was coming from Frank.

    “I will always be enriched for being in that room to see you both teaching the same lesson of compassion, strength and love. It is amazing how the small 10 minute occurrences in our lives can be so life changing and powerful.

    Thanks again for sharing it with the world (and me).”

    WOW. I am humbled. ♥

  9. Now THAT’S why we do what we do! I am thrilled that this story is touching others as much as it did me. Comments are coming on Twitter and our email as well. Thank you Mani! We’re honored.

  10. Absolutely riveting and deeply deeply touching.

  11. Damn you for making me cry at work! Honestly I don’t think I’ll ever be the same again, I’ve always tried not to judge but trying isn’t enough. I know that now.
    And I almost want to write a screenplay based on this because I would truly love that experience and if I did I would call it Almost Never.

  12. What and absolutely amazing and beautiful story.

  13. All I can say is that you make me proud to be a human being. Thank you with all my heart.

  14. This story would be incredible just to read about, but to get to hear it told with such closeness and emotion, I feel honored to have had the experience. It will have a lasting impact on me. Thank you so much for sharing.

  15. Risk! folks and Mani,

    I’m not really sure how to thank you for this. So… thank you for this.

    I’m a birth-father, in a very open adoption. My son was born last October, and his adoptive family have welcomed me and mine in. I cried through most of the second half of your story, Mani. At an open adoption support group meeting last weekend, one of the couples in The Wait was talking about it, and I took a break from the early episodes to listen. Thank you especially for humanizing Frank, by using his name, even as you were building him up as a monster, for that magnificent turn. I had no idea, until I was at the barrel-end of the system, that birth-fathers nowadays who *want* to be involved pay for the sins of the self-involved deadbeat douchebags. I hope your story helps other people problematize the way they see birth-fathers. We ain’t *all* villains. I’m so glad you have a powerful, hopeful story for Brody, when he’s old enough for it.

    In a VERY different way, I had to fight to be involved, too—not with the adoptive family, but with the birth-mother, who was abusive to me. When I feel I’ve got enough perspective on my story that I don’t feel like it’s driven by self-pity, I’ll pitch it here. Seems like the right place.

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  16. This is hands down the best story that’s been aired on Risk!. I’m not one to easily well up but the end of this beautifully told story had me crying while on the tube at rush hour.

  17. Thank you so much Mani for this beautiful story! I was adopted long before the process was open. To this day I still think about my birth parents and wish I could have known them. Your son is lucky to have you and your husband. He is lucky to still have a connection with his birth mother and he was lucky to have Frank in his life, even if only for ten minutes. Thanks for sharing this life changing experience with all of us. It has enriched my life and, yeah, I cried like everyone else. Still am actually.

  18. It’s in all the other comments on this story and I’ll repeat it. Rarely do we get such a profound look into someone else’s life. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful and transformative story. It’s people like you who give me hope.
    Thank you!

  19. Wow!! There are no apt words to express the love, compassion and gratitude that I feel after hearing Manis story! Thank you for sharing it with me.

  20. I will never forget this story, nor the profound effect it had on me. I have listened to it thrice, and I have cried every time. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  21. I haven’t listened to every story on risk (yet) but this is my favorite by far. Such a touching story. Thank you.

  22. Heartbreaking, heartwarming, beautifully and dramatically told — one of the best Risk stories ever!

  23. Such an emotional story beautifully told. Thanks for sharing

  24. There are no words. So lovely and clear and real. Such an amazing story. Thank you for sharing. Thank you.

  25. As a mother who gave a child up for an open adoption, I can’t begin to express how much adoptive parents mean. It’s so difficult, and so painfully beautiful. My daughter’s parents have been so amazing. I am so thankful for people like them, and you and your husband.

  26. Listening to this was like being offered an alternate ending to what happened in our own failed adoption story. I begged for a meeting with the putative father involved in our contested adoption; unfortunately, our ending did not turn out well for either us or the birth parents. Our attorney told us the same things along the way too–1 in a 100! Wow–thanks for sharing this.
    I am writing our story at http://www.abortedadoption.blogspot.com

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