Breakout Sessions

Shifting the Story

Speakers: Carissa Woodwyk, Ashley Mitchell, Kim Scholten

Let’s start at the very beginning because it’s always a very good place to start. Join the adoption triad as they name the pieces and parts and people in our collective adoption story - all of its brokenness, all of its beauty, all of its pain, all of its possibility.


Missional Marriage: How to Deepen Your Experience of Oneness.

Speaker: Beth Guckenberger

For over two and a half decades, Beth and her husband have fought to stay connected in their marriage relationship in the midst of ministry and multiple adoptions. This frank conversation is not intended for a PG audience and will dig into issues relating to conflict resolution, intimacy, and missional marriage.


Diversifying Our Multi-Ethnic Family’s World

Speaker: Robyn Afrik

Do you already know the importance of diversifying your world, but aren’t sure where or how to start? This interactive, how-to workshop will walk participants through a step by step process on how to think about diversifying their world (old vs. new) and begin a working framework that leads to proactive approaches and a plan.


Ask An Adopted Adult Anything

Speakers: Dave Overholser and Brett Carleton

Their lives are an open book, and they are willing to answer (almost) any question, regardless of how ridiculous. Brett & Dave-O are available to address questions from audiences about all aspects of adoption with humor, (some) tact, and honesty.


Six Stuck Spots

Speakers: Dave Overholser and Brett Carleton

Dave-O and Brett will dig deeper into six common hurdles for adoptees: reason for adoption, missing or difficult information, identity, permanence, difference, and loyalty. They’ll share from their personal experiences and offer helpful insights for adoptive parenting.


“You’re Not the Boss of Me!” Motivating Strong-Willed Toddlers, Tweens & Teens

Speaker: Kirk Martin

How do you motivate a child who looks right at you and doesn’t listen? What about a teenager who has shut down or defiant? Your child was born with boxing gloves on, ready to fight. Well-meaning people tell you to clamp down on and get control of your child. But you don’t want to crush his spirit or create more defiance. Instead of constantly creating power struggles, we'll show you how to enjoy a respectful, motivated child who is confident, persistent and purposeful.


Stop Sibling Fights & Marriage Tension

By Kirk Martin

It is NOT your job to be the sheriff and break up every sibling squabble. Your children must learn how to resolve conflict on their own. We will show you practical, stress-free strategies that work when: Your kids bicker endlessly back and forth. Children hit, scream, bite or annoy siblings. One child drains all your energy and time. Your kids whine, “That’s not fair” and “He’s looking at me!” You want your kids off their video games without being asked (or pleading, “Hold on, I just need to save it, I just need to get to the next level!”).


Becoming a Warrior in the Waiting

Speaker: Alicia Bruxvoort

The adoption journey is filled with waiting. Whether we are waiting for our child to come home or for hearts to be healed and promises to be fulfilled, waiting is hard. But what if we let God use our waiting seasons to strengthen our faith instead of sap it? To woo us instead of wreck us? Join Alicia as she shares encouragement and Biblical truth that will equip you to move from worrier to warrior in the waiting.


Who Am I?: Understanding My Personhood Through the Racial Identity Development Process

Speaker: Dr. Bernice Patterson

This seminar will focus on gaining a deeper understanding of personal cultural identity by examining the different stages of racial identity development. This seminar will help attendees locate themselves within the stages of racial identity development, begin to consider the stage of development of their support networks, and begin to examine where their children may be in their own racial identity development process.


Raising Black Girls

Speakers: Dr. Bernice Patterson, LaKendra Morgan, Rhani Bryant, Dr. Casilda Maxwell

What do parents in transracial families need to know about raising black girls in a society that is struggling deeply with issues of race and identity? Join this panel of African-American women willing to have an honest discussion about race, culture, and care as they share from their knowledge and experience.


Helping Moms Calm 

Speaker: Robyn Gobbel

Since adoptive parents often cannot remove themselves from stressful situations, they benefit from learning how to shift their nervous system into a state of regulation even in the midst of chaos. By leaning into the latest brain science on regulation and self-compassion, this workshop will help you identify and harness already existing opportunities to practice moments of rest and regulation in order to strengthen your resilience and decrease burn-out.


Helping Kids Calm

Speaker: Robyn Gobbel

Teaching kids calming skills is important, but when we rely solely on the 'thinking' part of the brain to help with regulation, we overlook the two most important ways to help support regulation in our kids- through the body and through relationship! This workshop will focus on supporting regulation in your child both through your relationship and through supporting the needs of their body (especially sensory needs or difficulties!).


2020 SPeaker Lineup »