Together for Adoption 2017 Workshops

Workshop A

Adoption Basics | Facilitated by Rick Morton

Are you, or someone you know, considering adding to your family through adoption? Do you find the process and steps confusing and daunting? This session will help to answer some of your questions around adoption, where and how to get started, and what to expect in the process. You will learn about the different options with respect to adoption, and the joys and challenges that present along the way in diverse adoption journeys.

Dads panel | Various

Come and hear a panel of adoptive dads share the insights they have learned through parenting. What is unique and special about being a dad?  How have they learned to support their wives in their parenting journeys? How has knowing themselves well helped when children inevitably push their buttons?  Come to hear their stories and ask them questions to help you be better prepared to be a godly dad.

Why Lament is Critical in Orphancare | Vernon Burger

The tears of God are the strength of history. It is this paradox that is the pathway for an honest faith that is both honoring to God and able to be true to every day life. When we understand that God is fully present, and affected, during the deepest times of violation, we are then empowered to vocalize our greatest pains and see that honest faith is not only filled with praise, but can even include pain and doubt. It is this type of biblical faith that allows us to see His merciful presence in all situations and care for the most vulnerable in our world.

Launching a Church Orphancare Ministry | Jason Johnson

Would you love to see a ministry in your church to care for the orphan and support adoptive and foster families? Come learn practical steps to launch a ministry and grow this ministry to a thriving and effective outreach to families in your community and church. From approaching your church board, to exploring the creative possibilities for your church ministry…we will cover it all  in this informative session. We’ll share resource ideas and help you get started.

Workshop B

Fostering Basics | First Baptist Woodstock WeFoster Ministry Leaders

Join this session for an introduction to fostering. We will discuss questions you may have about what fostering involves, how to apply, what is required, how the process works and what supports are available to families who choose to foster.

Better Together – Navigating the Challenges on Marriage in Adoption & Fostercare

One of the greatest challenges in adoption and fostercare is the pressure that is placed on marriages. Sadly, many adoptive and foster parents marriages are struggling. God’s design for marriage was that it would reflect His image and gospel in our world. This workshop will explore the ways couples can navigate the challenges of parenting while growing deeper in their marriage grounded in the gospel.

Understanding Attachment and the Image of God | Dr. Jon Bergeron

There are many factors that influence a child’s development – many over which parents/caregivers have little control – but attachment security is one important factor parents/caregivers can influence. A secure attachment is important for our children as it provides a foundation for resiliency, well-being, and satisfying relationships. Research tells us that the best predictor of a child obtaining secure attachment is that his/her parents/caregivers have made sense of their own childhood. In this session, we will look at how to determine our own attachment style and how to make sense of our childhood experiences in order to guide our children toward secure attachment.

Sustaining a Church Orphancare Ministry | Jason Johnson

In this session we will cover how to sustain an existing orphan care ministry. Jason offers vast experience in working with churches and orphan care ministries around the country. He will share best practices and encouragement.

Workshop C

Orphan Care that is Grounded in the Gospel | Rick Morton & Herbie Newell

In this session we will explore how to care for vulnerable children around the world in ways that are helpful instead of hurtful. Most importantly this session will cover how to root our efforts in caring for orphans in the gospel as well as practical ways and stories of encouragement from around the world.

Voices of Adoptees and Foster Kids – Panel Discussion

It is vitally important to remember that as foster and adoptive parents, we do not live in the “skin” of our children. Their perspectives and experiences are different and we need to get used to hearing their understanding of their journeys. We will have the privilege of interviewing a panel of adoptees to hear how their stories can help us parent our children most effectively, by learning from what was helpful and not helpful to them. 

Self-Care for Moms | Traci Newell

In this session learn how to become empowered to give themselves their much-needed yeses to alleviate stress. She will discuss symptoms of Compassion Fatigue that can result from a difficult parenting journey. She will also address overcoming unhealthy thinking that prevents us from taking good care of ourselves (we are the temple of God in Christ). Come and learn, get permission to take good care of you so that you can take good care of your family.

Shaping a Foster & Adoption Culture | Jason Johnson

This breakout session is particularly geared for ministry leaders seeking to shape community participation in foster care and adoption. We’ll talk spiritual formation to enable healthy heart response within the community, as well as pragmatics for best practices within your congregation. Bring your questions, experience, and ideas!

Workshop D

Adoption is War: Principles of Spiritual Warfare Applied to Adoption | Dr. Jon Bergeron

If adoption is the gospel lived out, we should not be surprised at the reality of spiritual attacks on our marriages, our families and our children. Addressing the biological, emotional and developmental needs without a spiritual understanding and plan of attack is, at best, an incomplete approach to parenting adopted children. This session will discuss the reasons adoptive families are targets for spiritual attacks and ways to be aware of this factor in helping our children heal and grow. Biblical principals for doing spiritual warfare will be discussed with specific application to adopted children and families.

On Race and Adoption | Tera Melber, Lynette Ezzell, Shawndra Onwuchekwa

Transracial adoption brings with it many important questions and often unforeseen challenges. How should we think about the issue of race? Tera, Lynette, and Shawndra will discuss:

  1. Celebrating our differences.
  2. Finding mentors for our children.
  3. Choosing to talk to our children about hard racial issues in our current day. How do we do this well?

In this workshop we’ll answer these questions and more through the lens of the gospel story of our adoption by God through Jesus.

The Image of God, Trauma, and the Gospel | Rick Morton

In this session, we will define what trauma is and explore its effect on children and discover what are the common behaviours we see in children who have been impacted by trauma. Armed with that awareness we will then dig into ways to be trauma-informed and how to support your volunteers as they partner with the parents in providing care for these children while they are participating in our church programs.

Lunch Sessions

Developing Support Systems that Sustain Families | Johnna Stein, Director of Training, Promise686

Learn how to create sustainable wrap-around support for all types of families caring for vulnerable children. Through utilizing the Care Community model discover how to intentionally serve your families with committed volunteers serving in various roles.

Racial Reconciliation and Adoption | Herbie Newell

In this lunch session Herbie will discuss the issues of race and adoption and how adoptive/foster parents can help in efforts towards racial reconciliation.