Creative Encouragement

Speaker: Andrea Lehman

This breakout will share current research on effective encouragement and will give ideas on how to give it in real life, day to day ways. Learn how to enhance your relationship with your children by using common items found around the house.  Do you have Post-It Notes? Stickers? Dry Erase Markers? Magnets? String? The ideas and tools presented are simple to implement but can make a great impact on how your children view themselves and their relationship with you.

Discipline That Works: Get Your Kids to Listen the FIRST Time

Speaker: Kirk Martin

Instead of being drawn into power struggles, yelling, and giving meaningless consequences, Kirk will show you 10 ways to discipline with dignity so kids listen to, respect, and trust you. Stop the whining, complaining, and tantrums. Get kids to listen when they are loud in the car or interrupt on the phone. Teach kids to control their own behavior (self-discipline) so you don’t have to “make them” behave.

How to Talk to Children About Trauma

Speaker: Stephanie Grant

Trauma is a complex topic that can be hard to break down to a child's level without sounding scary or overwhelming. Come learn how to explain trauma in a way that makes sense to kids and gives them language to process what they or their siblings may be experiencing. Multiple hands on illustrations will be presented for you to replicate on your own later.

Let's Talk About Open Adoption

Speaker: Ashley Mitchell

Are you thinking about an open adoption, currently in an open adoption, or just struggling to figure out how to navigate a complex relationship with your child’s birth family?  Birth mother, Ashley Mitchell, is a spunky and vulnerable truth teller and educator. She’ll share some important tips for navigating an open adoption and will host an “anything goes”  time of Q and A for those seeking answers or support.

Overwhelmed, Stressed-out, Grouchy and Guilty: What happens when we stop taking care of ourselves?

Speakers: Lynnae Guffie and Barbara Lubic

This session will explore both the science and the personal aspects of self-care, using the perspective of both an adoptive parent and a therapist together.  This session will use real talk about feelings of exhaustion and the grace needed to overcome. Come to hear about strategies for increasing vitality and peace from two people who have lived the struggle and know the chaos it brings and who have found a way to restore balance (most days...)

The Power of Words

Speaker: Carissa Woodwyk

Language is so important and powerful. It shapes how we view and value ourselves, the adoption triad, and God. Our words can be helpful and healing or harmful and hurtful. The choice of a specific word or phrase can convey compassion, respect, and acceptance, or it can send unintentional negative messages to and about those who make up the adoption triad. This interactive breakout will focus on creating empathy for and deeper connection with your children, and focus on how to pursue a more whole and integrated adoption culture.

Raising Black Boys-Part 2

Speakers: Kyle Ray, Julian Goodson, Cole Williams, Clarkston Morgan

What do parents in transracial families need to know about raising black boys in a society that is struggling deeply with issues of race and identity?  What wisdom and tools can we give boys to help them become confident, Christ-centered men? Back by popular demand, our African American dads are back to continue this important conversation!

Sharing Messy Stories 

Speaker: Stephanie Grant

Our children’s stories are important but are often messy and full of “grown up” details. It can be difficult to know what to share, when to share it, and what words to use when we do talk about it. This session is designed to provide you with a starting point of how to have those difficult conversations and will address things such as domestic violence, abandonment, prostitution, drug/alcohol use, abuse, neglect, incarceration, and termination of parental rights.

Sibling Voices

Speakers: Connor Dood, Kelsey Brouwer, and Kristin Kmecik

Listen in to a group of sibling panelists as they share their perspectives on their family’s varied adoptive and foster stories.  Learn how their families prepared them, walked through transitions and challenges, and what they’ve learned about themselves in the process.

Stop the Yelling, Lecturing, and Power Struggles 

Speaker: Kirk Martin

Do you need help calming your explosive household? Tired of yelling at, negotiating with and bribing your child? Do you want your child to take responsibility for his school work, chores, and attitude? It’s time to stop the yelling, arguing, and power struggles with toddlers and teens. How can you expect your kids to control themselves...if you cannot control yourself? Moms, it’s not your job to manage everyone’s emotions and make everyone happy! We’ll show you how to create stress-free mornings, school, dinner, and bedtime. We promise you will laugh and leave with a dozen practical strategies that really work.

Triple Threat - Teenagers, Trauma, and Talking

Speakers: Julian and Stacey Goodson

This breakout session will help parents understand the differences between "normal" teenager behaviors and "trauma" behaviors and why it is important to use behavior management methods that are trauma informed.  The breakout will also provide tangible behavior management methods that parents can take home with them and implement right away.

Whiteness 101

Speakers: Tim and Allie Nelson

The Nelsons have walked groups through the Be The Bridge: Whiteness 101 curriculum in their home and their church. They discovered a valuable resource with a crucial role in preparing white adults for fruitful dialogue and collaborative action toward racial reconciliation. These spaces have also equipped adoptive parents to more critically and confidently see, name, and talk about the realities of whiteness and race in multi-racial families and churches. The Nelsons will provide an overview of the Whiteness 101 curriculum and will share stories, tips, and helpful resources for facilitating a similar discussion group in your context.


2019 Speaker Lineup →