Breakout Session I
Adult Adoptees and Former Foster Youth Panels
Join us as panels of adults unpack adoption and foster care from their own unique perspectives. Each of the adults in this panel-style breakout session will share their story as former foster youths and/or adult adoptees and then take questions from you about their experiences. For this session, you will choose to attend one of the following panels:
Former Foster Youth Panel-Entered Foster Care as a Teen or Aged-Out of Foster Care
Former Foster Youth Panel-Entered Foster Care as a Baby or Child
Internationally Adopted Adult Adoptee
Domestically Adopted Adult Adoptee
Breakout Session II
Recognizing, Obtaining Diagnoses, and Treatment Options for Attachment Disorders (Gary Roberts)
Have you ever fostered or adopted a child and questioned why they are so emotionally closed off? Have you ever thought to yourself “Why does my child have nightmares often?” Have you talked to a friend or loved one who says “I think your child may have ADHD” but you are unsure? Children come to your homes many times with a variety of different mental health related concerns and you may not be aware. How hyper is too hyper for my 6 year old? Should we do medication? If my child is always in his/her room, are they depressed? Come get some insight on behaviors and patterns you can recognize to help guide you with your child.
Dancing in No Man’s Land: Pursuing Truth and Peace in a Hostile World (Brian Jennings)
People are at one anothers' throats. Never has it been more important and difficult to pursue two things at the same time: peace AND truth. Jesus managed to do this perfectly. In this session, we'll take his example and apply it to 2021. Brian will share what he's learned in helping people navigate generational, ethnic, doctrinal, and cultural differences that threaten our unity with one another and witness to the world.
Online Safety: Protecting Your Children in an Online World (Angie Boy)
It seems like everything we do is online these days…school, watching TV, shopping, ordering dinner…you name it, it’s online. With so many platforms, apps, and websites, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. This workshop will talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly of the online world. We will look at the various ways online technology is used by perpetrators to attract and groom children for victimization. The session will also look at the top apps used by kids (and perps) so parents know what their children are using. We’ll look at how to talk to kids at different ages about being online and how to set up family rules about online use. We will also look at ways technology can be protective while online and look at a few prevention resources available. Participants should walk away feeling more comfortable in navigating the online world with their kids.
Teaching Your Child to be Anti-Racist (Maria Hansen-Quine)
We are living in a crucial time in history, where the generations after us will be talking about what we did and didn't do. One of the first things we can do is teach our children. We can teach them about racism and we can teach them how to be anti-racist. This is the goal of this class, to teach you to teach your children. Topics covered will be racism, white privilege, the unconscious bias, diversity and others. Walk away knowing how to talk to your kids about these important topics.
Breakout Session III
How to Thrive when Fostering and Adopting Teens (Gay Brielle Crawford)
Fostering and adopting teenagers may pleasantly surprise you in many unexpected ways while also challenging you in others. This workshop is for those who want some practical guidance on fostering and adopting teenagers either currently or in the future. You will leave this workshop with practical tools on helping teens feel welcomed while also setting realistic rules/expectations while your teenager(s) get rooted in your family environment. Come be inspired by Gay Brielle’s journey as a teen in foster care and now as a foster and adoptive mother to teens of all ages and ethnicities. Gay Brielle has fostered 5 teenagers over the 7 years she’s been a foster parent and mentor to countless others.
Relationship with Biological Family after Reunification (Emily Dunavent)
In this session, you will learn how to create and cultivate relationships with your foster child’s biological family as well as how to be a continued resource after reunification, while maintaining healthy boundaries. The session will also address navigating through the uncomfortable to get to know the bio family and understanding why they are in this situation. You will also learn how to support families and maintain contact with former foster children in a healthy way.
Reflecting the Kingdom of God in Your Home (Brian Jennings)
God created parents to be the primary spiritual leaders in the lives of their children, but sometimes we feel stuck. In this session, we'll share practical steps you can take to spiritually nurture your children, their friends, and your neighbors.
Building Resilience: Helping Children Heal from Adversity (Kelly Wright)
Building Resilience is a science-based presentation on the effects of childhood adversity on the developing child. In this session, we will discuss evidence-based treatments for children who have experienced trauma and discuss tools to help build a child's resilience.
Breakout Session IV
Deep Cleaning Your Marriage: 3 Things You May Need to Add and 3 Things You May Need to Toss (Brian Jennings)
Does your marriage look like my garage - needing some new shelving and needing some junk tossed in a dumpster? The longer you are married, the easier it will be to add unhelpful clutter or to neglect what is valuable. Let's have a cleaning day so that your marriage can serve the purposes of God.
Black-ish and Culture -The Black Middle Class Today (Tamia McGuire)
This session is specifically geared towards mothers who are raising African ancestry children, where one or both parents are not of African Ancestry. This session will explore the origins of the Black Middle Class, what this term means in the 21st Century and exposure opportunities for your children within the Black Middle Class community.
Insights to gain through this session:
The origins of The Black Middle Class
Understanding of key societal norms that exist today within the Black Middle Class
Creating safe spaces and opportunities for exposure in preparation for Adulthood
Understanding Ourselves: How Childhood Experiences Shape our Health and our Parenting (Kelly Wright)
Childhood trauma is an extremely common experience; most of us will have at least one childhood trauma. This presentation is a look at how our experiences shape our health and our responses to our children. We will also discuss ways to build awareness of our responses and help ourselves heal so that we can be the caregivers that our children need.
Sharing Their Stories (Nikki Pauls DeSimone and Yiyi DeSimone)
For some of our children, stories are all they have. As such, we must covet our children's stories for them until they are ready. In this breakout session, we will cover how and when to share our children's stories with them, find creative ways to share, and examine the importance of being age appropriate when talking with children about their stories. We will discuss what is appropriate to share with others and how to equip our children to answer those hard questions that are inevitable with children who have been adopted. This session will include contributions from an teen international adoptee.