Conference Breakout Sessions - 2013
Do you want to adopt a child, but don't know where to start? Maybe you are considering adoption, but you are faced with questions or fears. This presentation will help you think about the different kinds of adoption. We will look at adoption finances, the home study, and living as an adoptive family. The presentation will also show how to bring along friends and family through your adoption journey and how you can give back to other families on their adoption journey.
Domestic Adoption 101
In this session, learn about domestic adoption from two couples who've been through the process. We'll discuss finding the right agency, meeting the birth family, legal requirements, and common issues and misconceptions associated with domestic adoption.
Foster Parenting 101
God calls some families to welcome a child into their home as a foster family. Many families consider foster parenting, but don't know how to get started. We'll present the initial CPS information meeting, telephone screening, and the application process. The home study process will be covered, as well as the PRIDE classes and additional training necessary to become a foster parent.
International Adoption 101
This session will be facilitated by an International Adoptive couple and will provide an overview of the most common intercountry adoption programs offered. We will discuss some of the differences in each program and some items to consider such as agencies, home studies, timeframe, travel, expenses, etc. There will be highlights of some of the major programs and a question and answer time.
Adopting an Older Child - Panel Discussion
Whether God is calling you to adopt domestically or internationally, the biggest need for orphans worldwide is to adopt older child, who in most cases are already waiting to be adopted. Adopting older children can be a blessing, but it may bring unique challenges to parenting those children. This panel will be composed of families who have adopted older children and how they have tackled some of these challenges with good parenting practices and a good portion of God's grace.
Adopting Children From the Foster Care System
Is your adoption path centered around adopting a child who is currently in the foster care system and able to be adopted? This session will provide you with information about the children currently available to be adopted from the foster care system. It will also cover how families are matched with children and provide an overview of the adoption process for these children.
Empowering, Connecting, and Correcting
Tragically, children who have been harmed, neglected, or abused are at dramatically increased risk for behavioral problems. All too often, parents are mystified by these behaviors and struggle to find effective interventions. In this workshop, participants will develop an understanding of Empowering, Connecting, and Correcting Principles and how to apply these principles to children of all ages and all levels of risk. Parents and professionals will find powerful insights for creating a healing environment for their children.
Establishing a Church Adoption Fund
Adopting a child usually comes at a significant financial cost. Even with the generous tax credit available to adoptive families, many times the cost of adopting presents a roadblock to adoptive families. In this session, we will discuss some thoughts and considerations for a church ministry providing financial assistance to adoptive families. Two models of church-provided adoption financial assistance will be addressed with pointers to follow up information.
One of the major roadblocks in making the decision whether to adopt a child is the cost of adoption. Adoption fees vary greatly and sometimes depend on whether you adopt an infant or an older child, use a private or public agency, etc. We will discuss the many sources of help for adoption costs and numerous factors to consider.
Foster Care Redesign in Texas
There are significant changes in work for foster care in the State of Texas. These will be some of the most significant changes in decades, affecting how foster families interact with agencies and the Texas DFPS. They will affect how agencies work with the DFPS. This session will cover those changes and is open to foster families, potential foster families, and foster care agency representatives. This session will be led by experts in the field who are actually participating in the redesign effort. You will definitely gain useful insights into what is coming.
Home Schooling Your Adopted and Foster Children
In recent years, homeschooling has become recognized as a viable and effective mode of education for millions of children. But, have you considered how educating your adopted child at home might aid in his or her attachment and transition to your family or how it might serve to connect and provide stability to your foster child? Cyndi Krawietz, former public school teacher and veteran homeschooler, will share her family's homeschooling journey, particularly as it pertains to the special circumstances surrounding the adoption of their 14 year old son from Ethiopia four years ago. Join us for heartfelt discussion, gather resource suggestions, and consider whether homeschooling might be the best option for your family!
Infertility & Adoption
After the vast emotional toil, hormonal changes, and physical challenges associated with infertility treatment & procedures, it is difficult to look at options beyond pregnancy. However, the choice of adoption is a way that dreams of building a family can go from a vague possibility to a reality of wonder and joy. Please join us for a panel discussion with questions and answers of how to overcome infertility grief, opt out of further medical treatments, and proceed confidently with adoption.
International Adoption Medical Concerns
When families adopt internationally, they must consider many health factors for their child. This session will address such potential issues as infectious disease and immunizations. We will also discuss the topic of evaluating a child's referral paperwork to understand growth and medical risk factors that may evident.
Introduction to Sensory Integration
Your child's ability to process and interpret the information he receives from his senses is something that parents take for granted. However, for children who come from sensory-deprived backgrounds, they may have difficulty processing sensory information, which is known as Sensory Integration Dysfunction. For adopted and foster children who have difficulties with Sensory Integration, their senses create a major barrier between the child and the world around them. This breakout session will introduce parents to the topic of Sensory Integration and to recognize the sensory needs of their child.
Launching an Orphan Ministry in Your Church
Do you ever wish your church could have a ministry to help adoptive and foster families, but you don't know how to start? This session gives the principles and practical tools needed to launch an effective adoption and foster care ministry. We start with strategies for approaching your church leadership with a ministry plan and cover a variety of topics to help you develop your vision for informing, encouraging and supporting. You will also hear ideas from existing church ministries around the country.
Life As a Foster Family
Foster families are making a lasting positive impact, but what does fostering look like on a day to day basis? They have opened up their home and lives to many. They have weekly visits with birth patents that wreack havoc with the emotions. They are often required to go to court. They do the job of a nurse by logging medicine. They take detailed daily notes, and are required to attend numerous training classes every year. They must communicate with and love very imperfect people in a very imperfect system. They need to look beyond inappropriate and extreme behavior into the heart of a child. They are guaranteed to experience loss. They learn fist hand what drugs and alcohol, neglect, and abuse do to a child later in life. They need to love these unloved and unwanted children as their own children, or more importantly as God's children.
Living as a Multi-racial Family
God's calling to build a family through adoption does not pay attention to racial differences. Many times, an adoptive family will be build from two or more races, which presents certain questions and challenges that a parent should be prepared for. From questions about identity from the child as it relates to family and friendships to being prepared to face discrimination from the world, these topics will be explored to help equip families in parenting their children.
Preparing Your Heart and Your Family for Adoption
Adoption is a big step for a family and the information can be overwhelming. This session will take it back to the heart with suggestions on how to prepare your heart and family for the blessings and challenges of adoption. Topics will include suggestions on prayer, scriptures to meditate on, how to talk to extended family and friends about adoption, and how to talk with your children about adoption.
Sensory Integration Strategies
In order to help children overcome Sensory Integration Dysfunction and develop healthy processing of their sensory input, specific strategies must be employed. This breakout session will present some specific techniques to develop a positive "sensory diet"; to improve your child's integration of his or her senses.
Supporting Adoptive and Foster Families in Your Church
When a family decides to adopt or become a foster family, they need a community of believers to help them during the ups and downs. There are practical needs, emotional needs, and spiritual needs that these families will face. The church - your church - is God's plan for providing that support. In this session you will gain an understanding of how your church ministry can surround adoptive and foster families with love and support. This session is a must for those who are seeking to launch an adoption or foster care ministry in your church!
The Home Study
A home study is a necessary part of adopting and becoming foster parents. But it doesn't have to be scary or intimidating. Your social worker is looking for whether your family is going to provide a safe environment where a child will thrive. This session will take the mystery out of the home study process so that you can understand and be prepared for your home study.
Will My Child Attach?
When a child is brought into an adoptive family, sometimes parents think that all they have to do is love their child, and they will develop healthy attachment to the parents. However, the reality is that many adopted children experience attachment issues due to being raised in an institutional setting or because of neglect, abuse, or instability. This presentation covers many of the techniques and strategies that parents can use to overcome these issues and develop healthy bonds between parent, adopted child, and other children in the family. A must for adoptive families!
Your Adopted Child's Identity - Panel Discussion
This panel-led session will present the unique ways our panel participants prepared their families and children for identity formation. Panel participants include domestic and international adoptive families. This session will also include time for questions and answers. Intended for both pre- and post-adoptive families, this session will help you become more intentional in helping your child form a positive self identity.
- Informal Q&A
- Adoption agency presentations
- Information on waiting children
- Connecting with adoptive families