Parent Navigation of Trauma in the School Setting

Speaker: Stephanie Grant

Trauma is a complex topic and parents often find themselves overwhelmed and frustrated from trying to help support their children with trauma histories in a school setting when it can feel like the school “doesn’t get it”. Assuming a basic understanding of trauma for attendees, this breakout session will look at how trauma might present in a school setting and provide suggestions for strategies and accommodations that might be helpful for your child. Ideas of how to approach the school and resources to share with school personnel will also be presented.

Curly Hair Care: Health & Beauty

Speaker: Talisha Sutton

Styling hair can be a great source of stress between a parent and a child. If you've ever had to style curly hair, then you understand some of these challenges first-hand. Between the dryness and tangling, what can you do? Join this interactive session as we discuss the importance of hair and beauty in the African American culture and provide helpful styles, products, tips, and solutions for caring for both skin and curly hair.

Open Adoption Doesn't Equal Easy Adoption

Speaker: Donna Nicholson

We've all seen the ideal open adoption stories between adoptive and birth families.    But what if these relationships aren't exactly picture perfect?  What does an open adoption look like when a birth parent struggles with things like mental illness, addiction, emotional unavailability or openness boundaries?  Are open adoptions always what's in the best interest of a child?  Listen in as an experienced social worker shares her experience, knowledge, and resources for how to navigate harder open adoption plans.

Through Her Eyes - A Birthmom's Experience

Speaker: Donna Nicholson and panel of birthmoms

We've all had mixed experiences as we've met the first moms of our children.  But have you heard HER voice and perspective as she stepped into an adoption plan?  Listen in as this panel of birthmoms retells parts of their adoption experiences and shares what has been helpful and hurtful as they've walked the other side of the adoption story.

Raising Black Boys

Speaker: Kyle Ray, Clarkston Morgan, Cole Williams, &Julian Goodson

What do moms in trans-racial families need to know about raising black boys in our racially charged culture?  What tools can we give them to become confident, productive men?  How do we instill a strong and secure racial identity?  How do we equip them for experiences to come?  Join this panel of African-American dads as they have an important and relevant conversation about race and parenting.

How To Successfully Parent Children With FASD or Attachment Issues

Speaker: Kristin Berry

Parenting a child with attachment issues or a disorder like Fetal Alcohol Disorder (FASD) is not uncommon on the foster and adoptive journey.  Many parents struggle to find hope in the middle of this.  Have you ever wondered how to navigate these tricky parenting waters? In this session, we will discuss practical tips and strategies to help both your child and your entire family succeed.

How Can I Help My Children Adjust To New Additions To Our Family?

Speaker: Kristin Berry

The foster and adoptive journey can change in a heartbeat. It only takes one phone call for your family to grow overnight. But what toll does this take on the children who are already a permanent part of your home? In this session we will discuss practical strategies to helping the rest of your family adjust to new additions.

Together: how we strengthened and enjoyed our marriage through the stress of infertility and adoption.

Speakers: John and Julian Burden

Infertility and adoption bring a lot of stress to a marriage. In this breakout, Jillian and John Burden share the challenges they faced during their six year family-building journey and how they sought to strengthen and enjoy their relationship through it all.

Be the Bridge

Speakers: Jen Wickstrom and friends

In a time of racial tension and divide, courageous conversations and intentional listening are needed as we seek unity in the body of Christ  This is critical as we parent and prepare our children of all colors to be bridge builders in our world.  But developing meaningful relationships with people of different races and backgrounds can be intimidating and it’s often hard to know where to start.  Be the Bridge is a platform designed to bring women around a common table to hear, to heal and to reconcile.  Join a fellow adoptive mom, and her BTB group as they share their experiences around this table and how they’ve been challenged to think, live, listen and parent differently.

In Our Own Words

Speakers: Tara VanderWoude and a panel of young adult adoptees

Listen in as this group of adoptees gives voice to their experiences, struggles and hopes for the future through an informal Q&A time, facilitated by fellow adoptee, Tara VanderWoude.  A wide variety of topics will be discussed based on different adoption stories and backgrounds.

Parenting From a Place of Wholeness and Healing

Speaker: Carissa Woodwyk

We all want to get to the good ending – the part where all the brokenness gets turned into beauty. But we – both the adopted person AND the adoptive parent – can't skip the beginning or middle. Why? Because these parts of the story tell us what went wrong, where we fell, what places need the beauty to rise. Come discover your heart story and all its possibility to hold and heal and wrestle and reconcile…and become a needed part of your child's story. And then, together, write a story of rescue and redemption.

Understanding and Embracing the Inherent Loss and Grief in Adoption

Speaker: Tara VanderWoude

While adoption brings joy to many, it is rooted in tragedy and loss. As children understand their adoption history, it is important for parents to understand, acknowledge and give voice to various losses so that their children will feel understood, known, and supported. Time will be spent defining ambiguous loss, identifying the lifelong triggers for loss, and learning how to create an open and safe atmosphere in which grief and loss may always be discussed. You will leave with helpful strategies for supporting your children as they navigate these complex feelings



2018 Speaker Lineup →