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Fierce Compassion, HELP!, and More…

by Dan Cruver Published Sep 23, 2013

Workshop blog post header

With Together for Adoption 2013 being just under two weeks away, we wanted to highlight several workshops that you’ll want to check out. If you’ve yet to register, do so today. See you in Louisville!

Breakout Session One (11:00am – 12:00 Noon, Friday):

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.

Breakout Session Two (1:30pm – 2:30pm, Friday):

Adoption Process for the State of Kentucky Foster Care System (Diane Underwood) - This workshop will explain how to get approved as a foster or adoptive parent in Kentucky. Diane Underwood will answer your questions about the process such as where do I begin? What do I do if I see a child on a website and want to be considered as an adoptive parent for that child? I have been told that these older children do not want to be adopted, why are you recruiting for them? What is adoption subsidy? Is there training available to help me parent a child from foster care? Join us and become familiar with not only the Heart Gallery, but the general outline of how the adoption process works in the state of Kentucky.

“HELP! Our Adoption Isn’t Going According to Plan!” (Kim de Blecourt) - Whether domestic or international, the adoption process is seldom smooth. How can we best cope when the process is filled with unforeseen delays and difficulties? The author of “Until We All Come Home” explores this topic, using her personal adoption story as an example. This confidential setting will enable attendees to share their adoption journeys and participate in group prayer.

Breakout Session Three (11:00am – 12:00 Noon, Saturday):

Brush to Berries: Creating a Business that Sustains Orphans (Keith McAfee, Lifesong) – Garner key principles and replicable activities that have helped build a successful agricultural business in Zambia that today provides employment and income for caregivers, orphans and ongoing ministry. Learn key lessons experienced from past successes and pitfalls on topics including leadership, management, profit structure, and local team building. Discover concepts and tools your church orphan ministry can use to create a sustainable business to help orphans.

Gospel Rest for Weary Moms (Dr. Donna Thoennes, Biola University) - 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.

The Archibald Project: A Visual Approach To Adoption (Nick and Whitney Runyon, The 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!

Breakout Session Four (2:30pm – 3:30pm, Saturday):

How SCOTUS and ICWA Impact Your Adoption (Adoptive Parents vs. Baby Girl, Biological Father and the Cherokee Nation) (Trey Ingram, Attorney, T4A Board Member) – On April 16, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument in the heartbreaking story of Adoptive Parents versus Baby Girl, Biological Father and the Cherokee Nation. The Supreme Court’s decision is expected later this summer. Regardless of which party you find yourself in more agreement with, it is undeniable that the story involves a level of tragedy that no parent (biological or adoptive) should ever experience or endure. Accordingly, the case has captured the hearts and attention of the adoptive community and tribal communities across our country and will have a profound impact on many adoptions yet to come. This workshop will analyze the Court’s ruling (which has yet to issue) and help you understand it’s potential impact on for your adoption.

Life Coaching (Mike Hazlewood, Orphan Care Alliance) - The Life Coaching session consists of an up-to-date look at the statistics for aging out both nationally and for the state of Kentucky. We look at “the why” behind the numbers, and in a fun way, we look at breaking out of our “stereotype” thinking in a picture game called Perceptions. Our focus is on joining the young person where they are, journeying with them through the transitional process, and jousting when needed after we have earned their trust. We spend the core of our time in this session focusing on the Join, Journey, Joust training and welcome group interaction.

Made in Whose Image? Is Your Family Ruling Out a “Special Needs” Adoption for the Right Reasons? (Salem Richards, Sister Haiti| UgandaMama) – International adoption has changed dramatically in recent years. A number of sending countries have either closed their doors to adoption completely or restricted which children can be adopted. As a result, families who request “healthy infants” are often waiting years just for these babies to be born. While they wait, thousands of other children languish in institutions, often becoming too old at age 4 or 5 to ever be adopted. Each year, scores of these “older” special needs orphans are transferred to harsh adult mental institutions where they will spend the rest of their lives. At the same time, many in the Church are realizing that God has called us to embrace and adopt not only “they that are whole,” but also they that are not. More and more, ordinary believing parents are flourishing joyfully in these roles they once feared. Come weigh your ideas of what it means to parent a special needs child, and consider the Master’s still-urgent cry to bring “the maimed, the lame and the blind” into His house.

Learn more about this year’s conference.


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