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Who will be at NatCon 2013 - Breakout Speakers

Over the next several weeks, I’ll be blogging about some excellent under-the-radar breakout sessions you should consider attending at our upcoming October 4-5 conference at Southern Seminary in Louisville. In each post of this series I’ll highlight a few breakout sessions offered in each breakout session time-slot. Everyone of these breakouts will provide you with valuable information, insight, and take-aways (you’ll find our full breakout listing here).

Session Three Breakout Highlights

Adopting the PERFECT CHILD and Other Fairy Tales: How to Have Realistic Expectations When Adopting (David Wooten) – Every adoptive family enters the journey with expectations – some realistic and some fantasy. When reality and expectations collide, you need a strategy to deal with the disappointment and to readjust your expectations. Come learn how to align expectations and prepare for those days when adoption and parenting is hard.

Big Brother/Adopted Sister: Then and Now (Nemili Johnson and Matt Wiebe) - Matt Wiebe and Nemili Johnson were both raised in Wyoming and are two parts of the same family! Come and hear Matt and his adopted sister Nemili talk about their unique perspectives. This session explores and reflects on both a biological sibling’s thoughts/feelings about getting a new sibling and adjusting to that transition, in addition to the adopted child’s perspectives about transitioning into a new family and some of the issues related to adoptive adjustment. We welcome adoptive parents thoughts and questions!

Fear: Not-So-Common Discussion Regarding All-To-Common Concerns (Kim de Blecourt) - Whether entering foster care, adoption or orphan care, fears, concerns and discouragement are often faced from both internal and external sources. This breakout offers a confidential setting for open and frank discussion regarding these concerns. Goal: An individualized plan for relieving worry, anxiety or fear using Biblical principles.

Getting Started in the Right Direction – Helping Pre-Adoptive Couples Make Sound Decisions (Becky Funk, Loving Shepherd Ministries) – For all couples who are thinking and praying about adoption AND ministry leaders who want to support these couples in their congregation, this breakout will explore the 5 key questions that all pre-adoptive couples should be asking. We’ll also explore where to find answers! The 5 key questions are: 1. Is adoption right for us? 2. What kind of adoption is right for us? 3. If international adoption, what country is right for us? 4. Which agency is right for us? 5. How can we afford this?

The Archibald Project: A Visual Approach To Adoption (Nick and Whiney Runyon, Archibald Project) - During this breakout session you will witness an adoption first hand in a short documentary featuring one family’s journey to their child. Come and experience what adoption can look like, see a family meet their child for the first time, and see the hope in their child’s eyes. The Archibald Project document’s adoptions and uses their media to educate and inspire others to adopt. When you witness an adoption, it doesn’t seem so scary. Come and be inspired!

Towards a Violence-free and an AIDS-free Generation: Where Love and Science Converge (Dr. Susan Hillis) - This session will review the intersecting epidemics of violence, vulnerability, and HIV and will describe what the best of science teaches us regarding love as a critical component to reversing these epidemics. Global advances in reversing the HIV epidemic will be reviewed, with time dedicated to questions and answers regarding adopting HIV positive children.

Session Four Breakout Highlights

Adoption Blogging: Not Just Your Diary Anymore (Melissa Peduzzi, Stephanie Cole, and Sophia Jindoyan, MercyFound Ministries) – MercyFound Ministries was founded by three adoptive mamas who connected through each other’s blogs. From their experience, these ladies realized the potential for blogs to be so much more than just a place to share pictures and updates with family. Through connecting and networking with other adoptive moms in all stages of the adoption journey, these ladies found ways to use blogs and online networking as a means to minister to adoptive families and inspire others toward orphan care. This session will discuss using your words to encourage, support and minister to adoptive families as well as ways in which adoption ministry can be done right where you are.

Brokenhearted: Walking with the Man of Sorrows (Kristin Wong) - “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.” (C.S. Lewis). Our God delights to turn ashes to beauty and mourning to joy and he invites us to join him. As we enter into the lives of orphans, we step onto the holy ground of shared life with the Man of Sorrows. When our hearts are wrung, we are invited to fellowship with our Savior. We’ll spend these few minutes together touching on biblical themes of suffering as we consider the hidden treasures that can be uncovered as our hearts are broken through orphan care and adoption.

Gospel Rest for Weary Moms (Dr. Donna Thoennes) - Motherhood can be overwhelming. It’s vital that we orient our heads and hearts around the truths of the Scriptures so we can truly rest.

What Do YOU Want to know About Attachment? (Dr. Karen Hutcheson) – Attachment is a buzz word in the adoption community and can often strike fear in the minds of prospective adoptive parents. What is attachment? How will it impact my adoption journey, my children, and my family? This session will provide a basic understanding of attachment, implications of forming healthy attachments, and the hope we have in our ultimate attachment with Jesus. Dr. Karen Hutcheson is an adoptive mom and licensed clinical psychologist who is currently in the process of becoming certified in Trust-based Relational Intervention (TBRI), developed by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross.

Part 3 in the series will highlight more breakouts from Breakout Sessions 1 and 2.

Early-Bird Deadline 2013

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