(Johnston) 2021 Hope Adoption Conference

(Johnston) 2021 Hope Adoption Conference

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Date(s) - Saturday, November 13, 2021
9:45 am - 4:00 pm

Northpoint Church


9:45 – 10:45 a.m. 

Setting Our Children up for Success
Pandemic. Racism. Stress. Unknowns. Past trauma. So much is wreaking havoc on our children’s brains and bodies lately. Let’s talk about how these things are impacting our children and why they are struggling because of it (and let’s be honest, ourselves too). I am eager to be with you all to share with you how stress and trauma impact the brain and body AND practical ways we can help our kids release stress and resolve trauma so it doesn’t continue to wreak havoc in our lives.
(Darcie Van Voorst, Trainer and Consultant)

Choosing to Thrive
Is trauma wearing you down? Are you struggling to give your children what they need because you find yourself on empty, with little to nothing to give? As trauma parents and parents of jewels with special needs and medical needs, our time is often consumed by the needs of our jewels. Choosing to thrive is a passion for our presenter Maria, who lives it out every single day.
(Maria Hansen-Quine, MSW)

Infertility: Beauty in the Brokenness
Many couples have their path in life shattered by infertility, miscarriage, or infant loss. Learn how to find hope in the midst of tackling the difficult questions and circumstances that come with these battles. Join Diana Christiansen of Beauty Amidst the Ashes as she shares her personal story and offers encouragement and hope for this painful journey.
(Diana Christiansen, RN, Adoptive Mom, Beauty Amidst the Ashes)

Foster Care – The Other Side
This breakout is meant for teens who are in, or have been in, the foster system. The purpose of this breakout is to help current or former foster kids understand the unique challenges they will face in adulthood.
(Shaq Hardy, Student Pastor & Former Foster Youth)

Infant Adoption: The Players In The Drama. The Experience – The Process – The Law
Based on the Iowans For Adoption Power Point Presentation titled “EXPERIENCING ADOPTION,” this is the journey through an infant adoption as experienced by each of the players: The Birth Parents; The Infant; The Adopting Parents; The Adoption Services Provider; and the Attorneys. All the decisions and interactions, the legal rights, and many events that happen between the major figures in an adoption, all described through the framework of the law. This is how adoption happens.
(Diana Baltimore, Executive Director of the National Center for Adoption and Iowans for Adoption and William Pearce, M.A., Founder of Adoption Associates of Iowa)

11 a.m. to noon

Setting Ourselves up for Success
Parenting children from hard places will likely be the most challenging thing we will ever do in our lives. Left unchecked, the stress and overwhelm can overtake us. Come join as we explore not only what happens as a result of this ongoing stress, but also what we can do about it. Often, we as parents focus on how to help our children heal; in this session, we will explore ways to help ourselves heal. I will be sharing from both my personal journey of healing from the stress of raising our adopted children but also will be sharing from my professional journey of helping others heal from trauma. I am humbled at the opportunity to explore this with you, and pray it is the beginning of your own healing journey. 

(Darcie Van Voorst, Trainer and Consultant)

How to Practically and Intentionally Build Attachment
What do you do when handed two jewels (kids) at the same time who don’t know each other or you, one of whom is repelled by you, while the other intensely watches your every move. Add on that both of them speak another language, have significant medical needs, including spina bifida and cancer. You roll up your sleeves with every TBRI trauma parenting strategy you know, ensuring you and your spouse are on the same page.
(Maria Hansen-Quine, MSW)

How to Choose an Adoption Agency
This session will be about how to choose an adoption agency, things to consider when looking at agencies, and what questions to ask when choosing an agency. We will show you which resources are available to learn about agencies and what questions to ask families who have adopted from the agency you are considering.
(Sarah Hofland, New Horizons Adoption Agency)

Comforting Others in Their Affliction
This breakout is for anyone who desires to learn how to use their life experiences to comfort kids dealing with trauma.
(Shaq Hardy, Student Pastor and Former Foster Youth)

Foster Care and Adoption: Through the Eyes of a Former Foster Youth and Adoptee
Foster care can be a traumatic time for the child. Peggy gives an honest look into her life as a heavily labeled foster youth with the system and the hopeless cycle of being transferred from home to home. She also speaks on the key things that led her from a path of brokenness to a future full of hope. From bonding and identity to unconditional love. Peggy vulnerably shares what it was like to live through the foster system.
(Peggy Porter, Development Coordinator, Beauty Amidst the Ashes)

12:30 p.m.: Seminars Available During the Lunch Period
Those attending seminars during the lunch period will get their lunch to go.

The Adoption Tax Credit Works
The Adoption Tax Credit is one of the most misunderstood credits in the IRS code and we will help you understand it in this session. We will explain how the Adoption Tax Credit works, when to apply for it, and the dollars amounts of the credit. There will be a PowerPoint presentation, then a question and answer time allotted. We have been blessed by adoption and want to help as many families as possible. (Becky Wilmoth, Adoption Tax Credit Specialist and Enrolled Agent for Bills Tax Service)

Navigating Open Adoption
Join birth mother Dominique White as she discusses the “why” behind open adoption and acknowledges the fears adoptive parents and birth parents experience. She also shares the five major lessons she has learned going from a closed to an open adoption.
(Dominique White, Birth Mother and Speaker)

3 – 4 p.m. 

Trauma, the Brain, and Child Development
Children in foster care, as well as those adopted, have experienced trauma. Learn how early trauma and toxic stress affect development, as well as how to promote healthier reaction to stress in children exposed to trauma.
(Michelle Ewest, D.O., F.A.A.P.)

Foster Care 101
Learn the basics about foster care including the need for foster parents, recent statistics, and the demographics of children and youth in foster care. Find out about the general qualifications and the process for becoming a licensed foster parent in the state of Iowa. Also hear about some of the challenges these foster children face. General information about foster care to adoption will be covered in this informative seminar.
(Emily Easton, BA Human Services, Training Coordinator/Recruiter – Four Oaks Family Connections Foster Care/Adoption Program)

Creating a Home that Celebrates Diversity
The children God brings us are incredible gifts, who come with their own unique diversity. Learning the diversity of our new jewels is a steep learning curve for us as adoptive/foster parents. Unexpectedly, we find ourselves having conversations around special needs, race, culture, and identity (including adoption identity). Our call as adoptive parents is to be intentional with these conversations, while simultaneously creating a home environment that celebrates the beautiful diversity of our new family. Come and engage in a conversation around diversity where the following three questions will be answered: 

1. What diversity is
2. Why diversity should matter to me as an adoptive/foster parent
3. What I can do to implement diversity at home
(Maria Hansen-Quine, MSW, CSC)

Adoption and Foster Care Panel
Join and engage with adoptive parents, adoptees, and birth mothers as they share and respond to your questions.

Funding Your Adoption
To provide information on resources to help families fund their adoption.
(JT Olson, Both Hands)

Don’t Go At It Alone
We were never meant to do this (or anything) alone. We were created and designed for relationship. Tangible ways to wrap around families and accepting the wrap around.
(Mandy Litzke, Safe Harbor Orphan Care Ministries)

This training has been approved for 1 to 6 hours of resource parent training credit, depending on how many sessions individuals are attending and if you are able to provide proof of attendance at each training session. 

This training costs $30. Register here. 

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