Keynote Speaker

Stef Loveland

Stef Loveland is simply a passionate lover of Jesus, a wife to West, a momma to Shepherd, and a grown-up (not in heart) adopted kid.  Being outside in Arkansas nature or Kansas fields, playing and watching sports (especially basketball), and spending time with family and dear friends are Stef’s favorite ways to spend time.  

There are not big enough words to describe how overwhelmingly grateful Stef is to be an adopted child by her incredible parents, Steve and Anne, but first and foremost by the Lord.  Stef considers speaking on adoption and encouraging those on its journey one of her absolute greatest gifts of grace in life. 

 

Stef is a licensed associate counselor (LAC) and a public speaker. Stef holds a M.S in Community Counseling with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from John Brown University. Additionally she holds her B.S. in Elementary Education from Pittsburg State University and spent a year studying leadership and Bible at the Kanakuk Institute. 

Breakout Sessions

A Shift in Perspective: The Open Adoption (Stacey Stark and Bekah Behnke)

Does open adoption seem like a foreign concept?  Maybe the idea brings feelings of anxiety or it’s simply a new concept for you.  In this session, two families will share how open adoption works for their families as well as steps they’ve taken to incorporate healthy relationships with their children’s first families.

Transracial Adoption: Perspectives from Adult Adoptees (Ginette Friesen, Zee Pinkerton, and AJ Crabill)

Join our panel of adult adoptees as they share their perspectives of transracial adoption.  Prepare to be challenged by their experiences and to gain tools to utilize with your own transracial family.  Each of the adults in this panel-style breakout session will share their story as  adult adoptees and then take questions from you about their experiences.

Sensory Processing from an OT Perspective (Heather Linscheid)

At times of stress, exhaustion, hunger, or illness, we all demonstrate difficulties in sensory integration.  For the most part, the nervous system is able to process and regulate without difficulties.  However, due to the experiences of many children, sensory integration does not develop as efficiently as it should.  Fortunately, there are many tools parents can utilize to assist their children appropriately process their sensory needs.  Heather Linscheid, Registered Occupational Therapist, will address ways in which parents can assist their children meet their unique sensory needs.

Preserving God’s Perspective of Marriage (Shane and Sara Wood)

In this session, Shane and Sara Wood will take you on a journey of marriage as God intended.  This session will present a Biblical perspective of what marriage should be, provide practical tips for thriving  (not just surviving) in marriage, and working together and connecting with each other through the tough times.

Sibling Harmony: Perspectives of Connection (Meri Rogers and AJ Crabill, Erin Young and Rachel Garner)

Join two sets of siblings as they discuss the special circumstances that lead to their current relationships.  Through their stories, you’ll share in the heartache of loss as well as God’s redeeming grace through reconciliation.  Bring your questions regarding sibling connections through the unique process of adoption and foster care.

A Professional Perspective of Foster Care and Adoption (Stef Loveland, Lori Chalmers, Nikki DeSimone)

Do you ever wish you could get advice from a professional about your child’s specific needs? Do you need to be connected to some resources but not sure where to start?  If so, this session is designed for you!  Come with your questions for our panel of counseling and social work professionals and prepare to leave empowered to assist your child with his/her individual needs.

Connecting While Correcting (Magggie Popp)

This session is presented to assist the adoptive and foster parent in viewing behavior from their child’s perspective.  It includes helping parents understand the impact of their child’s history, what they themselves bring to the parent-child relationship, the fundamentals of attachment, the impact of fear, and the importance of meeting their child’s unique needs.

Preserving Your Child’s Cultural Perspective through Heritage Trips (Nikki DeSimone)

A birth country visit is a life-changing trip where children and their parents revisit the past, celebrate the present and anticipate the future.  In this session, parents will have an opportunity to hear the ins and outs of planning and carrying out a heritage trip with their Internationally adopted child.

Adoption from an Adult Perspective: The Foster Care Experience (Krystle Davis, Jeff Phillips, Gary Roberts)

Join us as a panel of adults unpack foster care from their own unique perspective.  Each of the adults in this panel-style breakout session will share their story as former foster youths and adult adoptees and then take questions from you about their experiences.  

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Workshops

This year we will be offering optional Sunday morning workshops!*

These workshops will give you an opportunity to explore specific areas of interest in a small group and hands on setting. 

  • Bible Journaling

  • Creating a Life Book

  • Caring for your child's natural hair

  • Sensory Make and Take

*There will be an additional small fee for these workshops to cover cost of supplies etc. 

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