Meet the speakers for this year’s conference. Each one brings a unique perspective and years of experience, both in ministry and at home. We hope that you will be blessed by their participation in this year’s event.
David & Jayne Schooler
Dr. David and Jayne Schooler began the journey into the world of foster care and adoption in 1978, with a simple question by a youth in their church. “Would you become my foster parents?” They answered yes and that changed the direction of their lives.
David has served in the pastoral and counseling ministry for over 40 years. Much of his current focus is on working with adults who have a lifetime impact of early childhood trauma. Both David and Jayne are recognized nationally and internationally as speakers/trainers in the field of trauma, adoption and foster care, and emotionally healthy spirituality. They are the primary authors of Back2Back Ministries, Trauma Competent Caregiving nine module training curriculum, which has been translated into 7 languages and has reached over 58 countries.
Jayne is the author/co-author of eight books in the field of child welfare including Wounded Children, Healing Homes: How Traumatized Children Impact Adoptive and Foster Parents and Parenting in Transracial Adoption. Serving now full time with Back2Back Ministries their international work takes them regularly to India, Nigeria, Mexico, and Haiti. David and Jayne are parents by birth and adoption and grandparents of four.
Bringing a child into the adoptive or foster home impacts not only the parents but the biological and other permanent children as well. Due to the stress and challenges of integrating a child into the family, the needs of the biological children can be inadvertently overlooked. This workshop address five major impacts parents need to know about when adding children to their family. It will offer strategies to help families meet the emotional needs of all within the home.
When should a child be told he is adopted? How much of his past should I tell him? What about the really hard stuff, does he really need to know? These questions and more will be answered in this interactive workshop on talking to your child about his past. It is grounded in a simple biblical phrase: The truth shall make you free
Ryan North and his wife Kayla have 6 children, 4 who were adopted from foster care. They spent 10 years as foster parents and have learned many of the things they share with families and churches in the trenches. During their time they as foster parents, they had 30 placements; some short-term, some long-term, and some permanent.
Ryan is the co-founder and CEO of One Big Happy Home and is considered an expert on childhood trauma and its impacts on adults and children. He serves as the President of Tapestry, a non-profit that supports and equips local churches and families with the tools and resources to wrap around and bring hope and healing to adoptive and foster parents, children, and their families. He is the former Executive Director of Empowered to Connect, and as Lead Trainers for Empowered to Connect, the Norths have trained close to 100 Empowered to Connect Parent Training Couples in North America.
One Big Happy Home exists to equip and support churches and families so that they can create environments where children feel safe, secure, and loved. The Norths have developed training for churches, schools, and parents educating them on trauma, its impacts, and how it informs behavior. They believe that empathy and compassion are foundational to reaching hurting people and have spent years helping people think differently about the at-risk population of children.
You can hear him on The Empowered Parent Podcast and read his writing on Empowered to Connect, the Today Show Parenting team, and at One Big Happy Home.
The North’s live in Dallas, TX with their 6 children and 2 dogs, Snowcone and Elvis.
As parents, we should never ask our kids to do the anything that we ourselves are not willing to do, especially in the realm of personal healing. It is easy to focus on their hurts and histories while not dealing with our own. While that feels and looks good because we are focused on our kids and what they need, the truth of the matter is that unless we lead them by showing them how to work through their histories they will never heal the way we need them to.
Conflict in relationships happens at the intersection of two people’s histories. Our homes become more peaceful and restorative when we are willing to deal with our hurts and hangups. We can’t truly show others what healing looks like if we are not on a journey of healing ourselves.
Come and learn why coming to terms with your past is such an important part of working with vulnerable children.
Cindy is the co-founder and Executive Director of HALO Project. HALO (Healing, Attachment, Loving Outreach) Project is a 10-week intensive intervention program for foster and adoptive families in need. HALO collaborates with occupational therapists, mental health clinicians, psychologists, speech pathologists and medical professionals to meet the diverse needs of this population. HALO Project is committed to gathering research data to contribute to the body of evidence that supports best practices on trauma informed care.
In an effort to better serve families struggling with attachment issues, Cindy completed the TCU Institute of Child Development’s professional training program of the Trust-Based Relational Intervention Model (TBRI ®) developed by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross. Since her completion of the TBRI ® training, Cindy has conducted numerous trainings to clinicians as well as foster parent groups and has been invited to assist the Institute of Child Development as a mentor at their week long trainings. In addition, Cindy created the HALO Project, which is based on TBRI®. More information about HALO Project can be found at www.haloprojectokc.org.
In collaboration with Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross, Cindy has published a series of children books based upon the valuable lessons on TBRI ®, including Baby Owl Lost Her Whoo and It’s Tough to Be Gentle: A Dragon’s Tale, The Redo Roo, The Penguin and the Fine Looking Fish, and Doggie Doesn’t Know No. These books are sold on Amazon.com and the proceeds are donated to HALO Project and the Institute of Child Development.
In addition to being trained in TBRI®, Cindy has received specialty training in the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT), Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Seeking Safety, Trauma Recovery and Empowerment Model (TREM), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Theraplay® (including the Marschak Interaction Method (MIM), and Circle of Security™. Cindy has experience treating a wide variety of issues including child abuse and neglect, trauma, anxiety, eating disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder and Addiction.
Cindy graduated with honors from Arizona State University with her Master’s in Social Work in 1999. Cindy is licensed by the Oklahoma State Board of Licensed Social Workers as well as the Oklahoma Board of Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors.
Chris Turner is the host of The Empowered Parent Podcast. He and his wife, Kelly, have three boys, two of whom are adopted. Chris and Kelly are Empowered to Connect Parent Trainers, and Chris has traveled to Rwanda, the homeland of one of their sons, to work with orphans there using TBRI methods. He loves all things Star Wars, especially Boba Fett, and has successfully immersed his boys in the franchise. He is the host of The Big Fat Geek Podcast.
Andrew & Angela Holland
Angela Holland is a United States Air Force veteran, mom of 4 children, Empowered to Connect trainer, author, and co-founder of Hope Fort Worth. Her two youngest have special needs and her youngest son, Ethan, was adopted 3 years ago from China. In 2015, Angela and her husband co-founded Hope Fort Worth, a non-profit orphan care ministry in Fort Worth, Texas, whose goal is to equip the local church to care for vulnerable and orphaned children in the community. Angela Holland also co-founded Trained to Trust, a ministry that helps individuals recognize that their story matters and God is at work in their life, training them to trust Him.
After her son, Ryan was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, Angela was inspired to author a book, I Like Storms: 22 Stories of Faith.
Angela’s life message is:
That often when we suffer hardships, it is like we are looking at the back of a canvas. We only see the lines and the blotchy paint, but if we would only turn it around we would see a Beautiful Picture.
Her desire is to bring awareness, compassion, and understanding for foster, adoptive and special needs children by building a bridge of hope through her personal stories and education.
In 2005, Andrew was hired as the Children’s Pastor at HighRidge Church Ft. Worth. During his 13-years at HighRidge, he held numerous positions including Executive Pastor, Men’s Pastor and most recently, Orphan Care Director.
In 2015, Andrew founded Hope Fort Worth. Hope Fort Worth exists to mobilize churches in the Fort Worth area to make a difference in the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children. It is Hope Fort Worth’s mission to partner with local resources, the government, and local churches to serve children in the foster care system. “The time is now to mobilize and care for the kids that are in foster care and to care for the kids who need to be adopted, right here in our community.”
Torrey & Nikki Carrol
Paul & Diane Anderson
Paul and Diane began their adoption journey in 2001 when they brought Alex home from St. Petersburg, Russia at the age of 21 months. In 2007, they added to their family by adopting their daughter Mandy from Guatemala at the age of 7 months. Paul and Diane have a passion for encouraging, teaching and supporting adoptive and foster parents in the challenging journey that they face. They are Empowered to Connect Parent Trainers and are a part of the Tapestry teaching team.
Our children have come to us with a deep sense of loss, and we need to help them and even walk them through the process of grieving that loss. In addition, as they encounter losses moving forward, it can bring back up that sense of loss and re-trigger big emotions. How do we help them make sense of and process those emotions?
Kristin Mathis, OTR, and her husband Chris are parents to five amazing kiddos ages 4 -16 (domestic adoption, international toddler adoption, and foster care adoption). Kristin’s background is in child development with a masters degree in occupational therapy. She has worked for ECI and is currently doing home health. Kristin completed professional training in TBRI (Practicioner and Educator) at TCU and her passion for foster and adopted children leads her to find practical ways to encourage health and healing for these wonderful families. She loves brain research, iced tea, and Mexican food. Her days are full of re-dos (mainly for her), problem-solving and laundry (NOT in that order)
Sensory Differences are a significant issue for most of our kids. Many are hypersensitive, many are seekers, a lot are under-responsive and some are all of the above. Come join us for a quick overview of Sensory Processing and how it can be seen in you and your children. We’ll talk about it, compare with others and have a “hands on lab” to really help us understand the struggle for many of our kids. You’ll also have the opportunity to experience some practical solutions and leave with new resources to help your children thrive.
Kayla J.W. Marnach
Mother to two grown daughters and three kitties, she and her husband have had a lifetime of volunteering and working with children. As a writer, Kayla has a passion for her mission to empower children and educate adults through speaking and writing. Her company, YANA Press is founded on the principle of letting others know You Are Not Alone. Working with TBRI® trained therapists and counselors she has created brain-based tools to help caregivers navigate the sometimes-tumultuous trials of parenting. When she’s not writing, reading, spending time with her kiddos and kitties, or traveling with her husband, you can find her playing FreeCell.
We all want our children to know appropriate body boundaries and sexual abuse prevention methods, display self-regulation, and practice life values, but teaching them can be daunting. Yet, it doesn’t have to be. With the proper tools, these discussions can begin and be maintained as normal conversations when you are equipped with the proper knowledge and easy-to-apply strategies. Come learn proven stress-free methods of starting these difficult conversations with confidence so you can become your child’s best advocate.