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Who will be at NatCon 2013 - Breakout Speakers

This is part 3 of my blog series on 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 highlight a few breakout sessions offered in at least two breakout session time-slots. Everyone of these breakouts will provide you with valuable information, insight, and take-aways (you’ll find our full breakout listing here).

Session One Breakout Highlights

Adoption 101 (Laura Beauvais-Godwin, Nightlight) - Explore how your experiences, including infertility, can influence the type of adoption that may be best for you, your family, and new child. The basics of each type of adoption, including embryo, domestic infant, foster care, and international will be outlined and resources provided.

Engaging in the Local Orphan Ministry (Heather Sewell, Orphan Alliance of Louisville) – Orphan Care Alliance is a regional orphan care ministry for Kentucky and Southern Indiana. OCA’s Vision is for the Body of Christ to lead the efforts of caring for the fatherless in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. The mission of OCA is to equip Christians and connect them to opportunities to care for the fatherless in order to pursue the vision. With our governments struggle to care for children in care, the Church is the only real adoption and also a mandate of our Great God! Please join us.

Fierce Compassion: The Story of Donaldina Cameron (Kristin and Kathryn Wong) – Thousands of girls and teens were quietly trafficked from China to California, sold to the highest bidders, and turned over to nightmarish abuse for the rest of their (usually short) lives. Most Americans turned away from the horror, but a handful of Christians decided to fight on behalf of these girls. One of these, a young Scottish-American woman named Donaldina Cameron, was particularly daring and tenacious, charming and devout. For decades, she boldly fought Chinese organized crime and American racism, rescuing hundreds of slaves and raising them as her daughters. Mother-daughter author team Kristin and Kathryn Wong, captivated by Donaldina Cameron’s courage and faith, have written her story for a new generation, introducing others to their heroine, one of the Hebrews 11 “cloud of witnesses” who can infuse us with hope and perseverance as we live out our own stories.

Hair, Bonding, and Identity: One Mama’s Journey Learning about African Hair (Dr. Karen Hutcheson) – Natural or relaxed? Perm or texturizer? Kinky or curly? 4a, 4b, or 3c? Weave, extensions, human hair, synthetic hair, or maybe even hair from a Hindu temple? Karen Hutcheson, adoptive mom & clinical psychologist will share insight & basic tips she wishes she would have know about taking care of her Ethiopian daughter’s natural hair.

How Can the Adoption Tax Credit Help Me? (Becky Wilmoth, Bill’s Tax Service) - The Adoption Tax Credit was enacted to help make adoption more affordable. Our mission is to help adoptive parents understand if they qualify for the Adoption Tax Credit, whether it is an international, domestic, private, or foster adoption. If they have adopted in the last five years they can amend those returns to carry forward the credit. It is not refundable this year, but should be taken even if they have zero tax liability. Alan and Jaime Newcomb, owners of Bills Tax Service, are foster and adoptive parents. Our session will focus on this wonderful credit.

Session Two Breakout Highlights

Adoption is War: Principles of Spiritual Warfare Applied to Adoption (Dr. Jon Bergeron, Director of Hope for Orphans Family Care) - 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.

Don’t You Already Have Kids? Adding to Your Existing Family Through Adoption (Dr. Randy Stinson, SBTS) – Many people think that adoption is merely an alternative for families who are unable to have children biologically. This breakout session will help those who already have children think through the various factors involved in adding to their existing families through adoption.

Family First: Family Preservation, Reunification, Foster Care, and Adoption - (Jason Kovacs, T4A & ABBA Fund) – This breakout session will cover the wide spectrum of caring for orphaned and vulnerable children by providing a comprehensive view of the issue.

Innovative Adoption Funding Solutions & How the Churches Can Respond (Rich Metcalfe, Lifesong for Orphans and JT Olson, Both Hands Foundation) – This work shop will equip churches and families to overcome one of the biggest barriers to adoption: money. Learn creative solutions to the funding hurdles, both big and small. Explore specific examples and “case studies” of God’s provision through churches and individuals to meet the financial needs of adoption.

Ministering to Birthmothers through Domestic Adoption (Herbie Newell, Lifeline) - Learn more about the process of domestic adoption and also explore how the call to adopt domestically is more than just a call to love a child, but also a call to love your child’s Birthparents as well.

Navigating Foster Care (Lisa Prather, A Helping Hand and Emily Deitrick, The Bair Foundation) - Not everyone is called to adopt, but we are all called to care for orphans. What about foster care? Is it right for our family? How will having a foster child affect my family? Isn’t it hard to care for a child only have them leave your home after a short time? What are the guidelines and rules for foster parents? How do I know if I have what it takes? We will answer all of these questions and more in the Navigating Foster Care workshop. Lisa Prather is Executive Director of “A Helping Hand Adoption Agency” and Emily Deitrick is the Intake Coordinator for The Bair Foundation.

Learn more about this year’s national conference at Southern Seminary.

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