"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
- James 1:27
3A - Aboriginal Adoption by Amanda Preston
With more than 50% of children in foster care being Aboriginal, there is a huge need for adoptive and foster parents who are interested in adopting a child with Aboriginal heritage. Permanency of an Aboriginal child can look different and can include adoption, guardianship, custody and more. Find out the various routes in this workshop and a history of the Aboriginal people and why knowing their past is vital in moving forward in their future. This workshop will also introduce the importance of Aboriginal culture in permanency planning and how Christians can embrace it from a Christian perspective.
3B - Developing Resiliency and Running the Race when Life Gets Weary: A Primer for Adoptive and Foster Parents by Harold Park
The journey of adoption and foster care can be challenging, complex and may bring unexpected adversity. This workshop will help overwhelmed, discouraged parents (and future parents) look at the area of resilience and how to develop a resilient spirit - to keep running when feeling weary, and to keep your eye on the goal even in the darkest moments. Practical principles for developing parental resilience will be covered to help you to stay engaged with passion and perseverance. This session will share insights from ongoing research from Harold’s doctoral thesis in the area of parental resilience of adoptive parents.
3C - What Every Prospective Parent Needs to Know about Adopting an Older Child by Andrea ChatwinAndrea will walk parents through the key differences in adopting older children (school age and older). The unique mindset required for this parenting journey must embrace a balance of both realism and believing in miracles. A child with a history of attachment losses needs parental responses that respect their history and the impact it has had on the developing brain and belief systems. This workshop will specifically address what parents need to know in order to successfully parent an older adoptee and the practical adjustments they need to be prepared for. From her work with adoptive and foster families over the past ten years Andrea will talk about ‘what no one told me before I adopted an older child’ so that prospective adoptive parents are able to make informed and realistic decisions when considering adoption. 3D - How to Mobilize Your Church for Adoption & Foster Care by Jason KovacsThis session will explore how you can mobilize your church for adoption and foster care in ways that are gospel-driven and not manipulative. We will discuss how to create a culture vs ministry, the common challenges in mobilizing your church, and practical things anyone can do to care for children as well as more involved ways to engage your church.