October 4-5 / Louisville, KY

Hosted By Southern Seminary in partnership with the Orphan Care Alliance of Louisville

Breakouts

Since this year’s conference theme is The Story that Changes Everything for Us and the Fatherless, we have organized our breakout sessions into the following 8 story-track categories.

  1. Stories about Beginning the Adoption Journey (Pre­-Adoption)
  2. Stories from Experienced Adoptive Families (Post-Adoption)
  3. Stories from Experienced Adoptive Families with Special Needs
  4. Stories about Foster Care within Families
  5. Stories about the Orphan Crisis from Experienced Organizations
  6. Stories about Financing your Adoption Journey
  7. Stories about Developing Ministries for Adoption/Orphan Care Movement
  8. Stories about God’s Work through the Theology of Adoption

Download the PDF version of the Breakout Sessions listed according to their Story-Tracks.

Breakout Session Times

*Download the PDF of the full list of breakout session descriptions.

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

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.

Caring for Families Facing Attachment Disorders (Dr. Timothy Jones, SBTS) - If you or someone in your church has adopted an older child, you’re likely to have heard terms such as “Reactive Attachment Disorder.” So what is RAD? How can church leaders help families dealing with these issues? And how does the gospel apply in these circumstances? Dr. Timothy Paul Jones has both studied these issues and walked this road personally as a parent of multiple children diagnosed with RAD and adopted as older children.

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.

Expanding the Story: How to End the Orphan Crisis (Elizabeth Styffe, Saddleback Church) – How to grow an orphan care ministry locally and globally, getting more people out of the pews caring for orphans in ways that make a lasting difference in the life of a child. From a church who had zero orphan care ministry to one that has been in 194 countries and sent 20,000 volunteer Believers into the field, learn from the mistakes. Learn how to stop medicating the crisis and end it wherever you are.

Families in Crisis: Addressing the Unique Challenges of Struggling Adoptive Families (Dr. Jon Bergeron, Director of Hope for Orphans Family Care) – Dr. Bergeron discusses why difficulties in adoption are the norm and how early supportive intervention by the church can make all the difference. This session will provide an overview of the magnitude of challenges facing a child and a family after an adoption takes place and will discuss the need for a support network around that family that is best provided by their church family. Loving the “difficult” to love is our job as the body of Christ, and is often how we shine brightest. Churches need to actively move toward these families when times get tough and continue to love them even when things don’t seem to be working out.

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.

Getting Over Myself: By Cultivating a Blessing Life (Gerrit Scott Dawson) - Adopted into the Father’s family, we now participate in the very atmosphere of his Triune household. The overflowing characteristic of that house is life-creating, love-generating, world-welcoming blessing! Scripture tells a blessing story from Genesis to Revelation. Every day, we take part in God’s massive re-blessing project in Christ Jesus. From greeting our neighbor to adopting orphans, from finances to forgiveness, from worship to witness, we can cultivate a blessing life that invites everyone into the redeeming life of God.

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) - 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.

International Adoption (Herbie Newell, Lifeline) - Learn more about the process of international adoption and also explore how the call to adopt internationally is not about being rescued, but is ultimately a call given to those who have been rescued themselves by the grace of Almighty God. Explore ways to be missional through international adoption through simple discipleship.

Orphan Justice in the Local Church: Practical Ideas for Any Orphan Ministry  (Johnny Carr, Bethany) –  Johnny is known for his very practical sessions. This year he takes his book, Orphan Justice, and talks about building ministries that touch on a full range of issues including trafficking, poverty, HIV/AIDS, the foster system, and other issues related to caring for orphans.

Special Needs: Trading in Fear for Faith as You Consider Serving (Shelly Roberts) - Have you wondered if God might be calling you to care for those with special needs either through adoption or fostering? Does the thought of that have you scared silly? Whether you are considering special needs or already in deep, come be encouraged to trade in fear for faith as you serve.

The Benefits and Challenges of Home Based Orphan Care  (Jeremy Resmer, World Orphans) - God created children to be raised in families. This session will look at a model of caring for orphaned and vulnerable children in families within the community, as a ministry of the local church, to motivate and lead by establishing relationships, offering care and support, and mobilizing local resources. The church helps support vulnerable families and ensures that children receive wholistic care (spiritual, physical, emotional, social and mental). We will share practical steps to implement home based orphan care and discuss the benefits and challenges of caring for children in a family based setting by looking at models in Haiti and Ethiopia and exploring application in other countries.

The Interstate Adoption Maze: Navigating the ICPC (Sam McLure, The Adoption Law Firm) - Every adoption that involves bringing a child across state lines will activate the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC). The ICPC is one of the most daunting bureaucratic hurdles in an interstate adoption. Like most adoption laws and policies, the ICPC was created to help and protect children, but it can cause seemingly endless frustration. In this presentation, Sam McLure of The Adoption Law Firm will explain the nuts-and-bolts of the ICPC and give some time-saving navigational tips.

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

Adopting Transracially  and the Theology of Adoption (Vermon Pierre) –  Transracial adoption brings with it many important questions and often unforeseen challenges. How should we think about the issue of race? How might this influence (or not influence) how I raise my children and interact with other people as a transracial family? In this workshop we’ll answer these questions and more through the lens of the gospel story of our adoption by God through Jesus.

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.

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.

Becoming an Adoption-Friendly Church: 20 Ways to Look After Orphans (Paul Golden, Baptist Bible Seminary) - How does your church “look after orphans in their distress” (James 1:27)? Included in this session are insights on how you can lead your church in orphan care ministries. The session will give you some specific ideas on how to become an “adoption-friendly” church. Will you help your church become an adoption-friendly church?

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.

“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.

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.

POSITIVELY Adopting Children with HIV/AIDS  (Debra Steiner, Project Hopeful) - Considering adoption? Considering adoption of a child who has HIV/AIDS? Come to this break-out session to hear first-hand testimonials from a mom who is raising two children who have HIV. Hear what a typical day is like, ask the hard questions about healthcare, and discuss the question of whether to disclose. We welcome all of your questions! Project HOPEFUL’s mission is to educate, encourage and enable families and individuals to advocate for and adopt children with HIV/AIDS and other of the most overlooked children for adoption.

The Mega Issues: Breaking Down People’s Perception of the Orphan (Alan Hunt, World Orphans) Worldwide there are 153,000,000 orphaned children. Who are they? How did this happen? What caused it? Are the numbers increasing? What options do these children have? What are the challenges and solutions to deal with this mega issue?

The Unique Educational and Spiritual Needs of Adopted Children (Donna Thoennes and Laila Bechtle) - We all want to nurture the children God has brought to us through adoption. We’ll consider their unique needs and how we might help them flourish.

When the Story is Struggling: How We Love (Elizabeth Styffe, Saddleback Church) – Learn how ordinary people and ordinary churches can help adoptive or foster families who are struggling by using insights and tools that are innovative, church-initiatied and applicable in every culture and every context. Take away tools that will bring healing, hope and a future to families on the brink. Learn your own attachment style and practical ways to become more securely connected.

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

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!

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.

Caring for the Millions of (Un)Adopted Orphans Worldwide (Herbie Newell, Lifeline) - Less than half of 1% of the 153,000 millions orphans/vulnerable children worldwide will ever be adopted and millions of other are deemed unadoptable. Explore ways that indigenous local churches in many contexts are being equipped by American churches to care for orphans in sustainable ways.

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?

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.

How to Adopt Debt-Free (Julie Gumm) - The cost of adoption can be overwhelming and many families find themselves taking on debt to bring their kids home. Adoptive mom and author of “Adopt Without Debt: Creative Ways to Cover the Cost of Adoption,” Julie Gumm will share practical ways you can maximize your family budget, apply for grants and use creative fundraising to make your adoption dream come true without saddling your family with debt.

Moments for Moms: Seeking God’s Heart as We Nurture the Little Hearts He’s Placed in our Families (Shelly Roberts) – Shelly is well acquainted with the unique challenges and sometimes heavy burdens that adoptive and foster moms face. As a fellow adoptive/fostering mom, she understands their fears and trials, and has great compassion for their needs. In this session you’ll hear about the One who offers HOPE in the midst of it all. You will come away deeply encouraged and better equipped to care for the needs of your family.

Orphans, Missions, and the Unreached Peoples of the World (Jason Kovacs, ABBA Fund & T4A) - Is the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations and James 1:27 compatible? Yes! This breakout will explore the unfinished task of world evangelization and how the call to care for the fatherless fits into that commission.

Praising Into Christ: The Engine That Powers Our Pilgrimage (Gerrit Scott Dawson) - The neglected art of blessing God can vibrantly enhance our participation in the Triune life. Praise advances intimacy. Communion deepens as we take up our unique role in voicing all creation’s praise and enthroning the Triune God in our worship. This workshop will engage ancient and contemporary sources as we deepen our skills for entering God’s blessing story through personal and gathered worship.

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

The Story of Rwanda: Transferable Truths (Elizabeth Styffe, Saddleback Church) – How can you and your church help any country empty its orphanages and mobilize the local church? Come learn Biblical principles and receive free tools that can be taken anywhere. Learn from a country who is trying to be the first country without orphanages. Learn real strategies that are working. Take away real ways to help children remain, reunite, or regain a family of their own.

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.

When Your Heart Collides with the Heart of God (Rhonda Littleton) - Come and hear the importance of how to be equipped and empowered when God changes your story in your home, church, community, and world. Your church can be “salt and light” to your community and local government. This workshop is a resource tool if you are hoping to start an orphan care ministry or looking to help with the “next step.”

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

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.

Advocacy Through Life (Rich Metcalfe, Lifesong for Orphans) - No matter your age, financial position, or season of life – you CAN be an orphan advocate! See very different examples of real-life every day people who do incredible things to love orphans! You will take away examples that you can begin doing immediately.

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.

Disrupted Adoptions: What to Do When It is Not Working Out (Laura Beauvais-Godwin, Nightlight) This presentation and discussion will address issues that may lead up to a disrupted/dissolved adoption. Also, we will examine when it may be better for a family to allow a child to be placed in another family. In addition, the services that both the placing and receiving families may need will be discussed.

Faithfully Funding Your Adoption (Daniel LaBry, ABBA Fund) – Scriptural encouragement, practical solutions & creativity that makes you say “WOW” “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) You know in your heart that God has called you to adopt. You know His Word says He will generously provide: “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Cor 9:8) But when faced with $20K to $40K, the doubt creeps in. Come hear about practical solutions like grants, tax credits, fundraising ideas, and loans (if you still need one after trying these other solutions) — and where to find them! Please stick around until the end to participate in a spotlight of some of the most creative — and effective — fundraising ideas from other adoptive families.

Global Orphan Care through Church-to-Church Partnerships (Alan Hunt, World Orphans) – How can churches effectively respond to the orphaned and vulnerable children in their community? What is the role of the international church in developing countries with large orphan populations? What is the role of the U.S. church? How can churches work effectively together?

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.

Leading Your Church to have a Heart for Foster Care (Herbie Newell, Lifeline) - Explore methods of successful collaboration between state governments and local churches and ministry as the body of Christ unites to care for the US foster children and their birthparents. Learn more about the true goal of foster care and why it is vital that the church is engaged.

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.

Older Child Adoption: Perspectives from 3 Experienced Panelists (Karla Williams, David Henry, and Bruce Kendrick) - This panel of adoptive parents will tackle the joys and challenges of adopting an older child or teen.  They will share their mistakes and triumphs and spend most of the session taking your tough questions.  Come hear what it is really like to bring home a baby that is in puberty!  Panelists include Karla Williams, Host of Family by Design radio; David Henry, adoptive parent via foster care and internationally; Bruce Kendrick, adoptive parent and founder of Embrace Texas.

Opening the Door to Adoption by Closing the Door to Abortion Description (Michael Spielman, Abort73.com) – In America today, the battle between abortion and adoption is being won by abortion—in a landslide. The National Council for Adoption (NCFA) reports in their 2007 Factbook that for every 1,000 live births, there are 5.5 adoptions and 326.5 abortions. Though the NCFA takes no official position on abortion, they state in Factbook III that the number one barrier to adoption is the “almost exclusive focus on abortion as the preferred option when an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy occurs.” Therefore, reshaping the way culture thinks about abortion may be the single most-effective way to increase the total number of adoptions. That doesn’t mean that individual adoption ministries should change their focus, but it does mean that the collective body of Christ should be in the business of boldly, creatively, and proactively exposing the darkness of abortion. As we consider the glorious, biblical, God-exalting act of adoption, we must not forget about the monster lurking in the shadows. Publicly standing against abortion will invariably step on some toes, but so long as the church fails to speak out against the atrocity of child sacrifice, the myriad blessings of widespread adoption will never see the light of day.

The Power of Orphan Sunday: How You Can Impact Your Church…and the World (Megan Terry; Christian Alliance for Orphans) - Do you desire to grow a heart for orphans in your church, family or community? You may have no better opportunity than Orphan Sunday—this year on November 3, 2013! This workshop will prepare you to harness Orphan Sunday fully along with believers across the globe. Find easy event ideas, ready-to-use resources, practical advice and amazing stories from years past.

Walking Through the Fields of the Fatherless: Seeing with His Eyes for Special Needs (Robert and Lisa Braniff, Journey Together Ministries) - A conversation with Rob and Lisa Braniff (of Seacoast Church and Journey Together Ministries) share their own journey with one another through the processes of special needs adoption. The focus of this breakout will be to encourage by transparent conversation regarding the unknowns of special needs adoption and how the perfect love of the Father can break through to build a deeper understanding of His grace.

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.

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