Tapestry Conference

October 18-19, 2019

Speakers

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.

Tara Vanderwoude
Social Worker. Advocate. Educator

Tara Vanderwoude

www.taravanderwoude.com
Social Worker. Advocate. Educator

Speaking nationwide at conferences, support groups, culture camps, churches, and schools, social worker Tara VanderWoude educates and consults on the complexities of adoption, identity, and race. As a transracial adoptee, she has both experienced and studied the realities of adoption and has had countless conversations with other adoption professionals and with fellow adopted persons and their families.

For several years, Tara worked as a social worker at a large adoption agency, educating and guiding families throughout the preparation phase to post-adoption periods of their adoption processes. It was during these years when she recognized the significant need for lifelong post-adoption education and ongoing support for every member of the adoption community.

Tara also sits on the Board of Directors for Korean Focus – Indiana, is a founding member of a local adoption education group, has traveled regularly to South Korea as a volunteer for an adoption homeland travel organization, and regularly volunteers time with adopted children and their families.

Tara holds a Bachelor of Social Work Degree, and in addition to her work in the adoption field, she works as an Assistant Dean of Students at a lower school with students of diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds. Prior to her professional work in the adoption field, she worked as a Medical Social Worker at a large hospital, in-home Family Assessment and Resource Specialist for Healthy Families of Indiana, and Care Manager Supervisor for a multi-county Area Agency on Aging.

Living in the Midwest with her husband and kids, Tara enjoys conversations with friends, reading with her kids, traveling, and continual learning. She believes vulnerability, connection, and humor are lifelong essentials. Find out more about her work at www.taravanderwoude.com.

Complexities of Being an Adoptee
Despite common narratives that cast adoption as all good or all bad, adoption is neither and brings countless complexities for adoptees who are navigating experiences and feelings that their non-adopted peers and parents have not faced.
Complexities of Being an Adoptee
Tara Vanderwoude
Social Worker. Advocate. Educator

Despite common narratives that cast adoption as all good or all bad, adoption is neither and brings countless complexities for adoptees who are navigating experiences and feelings that their non-adopted peers and parents have not faced.  Having multiple “real” parents, knowing no one who shares their genetics, and feeling expected to be grateful for growing up in their current family necessitate understanding and empathy from their adoptive parents.  Add in the complexities of birthdays, conflicting emotions about adoption, and beyond, and it’s evident that adoption is indeed lifelong. Social Worker Tara VanderWoude, an adoptee and an adoptive parent, will share how adoption weaves throughout an adoptee’s identity and how best to support an adoptee through these nuanced realities.

-
Back
Transracial Adoption: Discussing the Complexity and Supporting Adoptees Who Live It
Through sharing research on adoptee racial identity, attendees will examine perspectives on race and adoption while being challenged to abandon the idea of colorblindness in exchange for being color aware.
Transracial Adoption: Discussing the Complexity and Supporting Adoptees Who Live It
Tara Vanderwoude
Social Worker. Advocate. Educator

Through sharing research on adoptee racial identity, attendees will examine perspectives on race and adoption while being challenged to abandon the idea of colorblindness in exchange for being color aware. Implicit bias, privilege, and intent versus impact will also be discussed, and attendees will learn about the realities for children of color who are raised in while families and communities. Transarcially adopted social worker Tara VanderWoude, who is also an adoptive parent, will leave attendees with practical tools and concepts to support an adoptee’s racial identity and will also better understand their responsibility in supporting adoptees who are on a journey of regularly processing race, adoption, and belonging.

-
Back
Embracing Adoption's Inherent Loss + Grief: Knowing and Loving Adoptees
Few people enjoy talking about loss and grief — it is complicated, painful, and nuanced enough that often we just don’t know what to say or do to support someone who has experienced tough things.
Embracing Adoption's Inherent Loss + Grief: Knowing and Loving Adoptees
Tara Vanderwoude
Social Worker. Advocate. Educator

Few people enjoy talking about loss and grief — it is complicated, painful, and nuanced enough that often we just don’t know what to say or do to support someone who has experienced tough things. Because loss precedes adoption, it is woven throughout an adopted person’s story, leaving an adopted person with the lifelong task of making sense of the losses that may surface throughout the years. As parents, professionals, church leaders, and those who love them, it is vital that we become aware and comfortable with loss and grief in order to demonstrate understanding and empathy. Learn about the various losses experienced by each member of the adoption constellation, triggers for loss, and how ambiguous loss best describes the losses within adoption. Social Worker Tara VanderWoude, an adoptee and an adoptive parent, will also share how parents can talk with their children about adoption loss, creating a safe place where curiosity and big feelings are expected and accepted. For we know that when those who love adoptees can see the complexities within adoption, that the adopted person may truly feel most known and loved.

-
Back
-
Back
Cindy Lee
The HALO Project

Cindy Lee

Co-Founder and Executive Director
The HALO Project

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.

-
Back
Ryan North
One Big Happy Home

Ryan North

Co-Founder
One Big Happy Home

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.

Nurturing Care
The primary casualty of trauma is the brain. Every other negative outcome is because our brains have been impacted by abuse (physical, emotional, sexual), neglect (physical, emotional), and other adverse experiences.
Nurturing Care
Ryan North
One Big Happy Home

The primary casualty of trauma is the brain. Every other negative outcome is because our brains have been impacted by abuse (physical, emotional, sexual), neglect (physical, emotional), and other adverse experiences. These experiences cause the brain to get miswired and it is only through nurturing care, patience, and the presence of a caring, available caregiver that we can change the wiring of the brain and profound levels of healing can occur. We will show parents how to incorporate fun activities that build trust such as feeding, role play, and games into a family nurture group in order to foster better connection and begin to rewire the brain for healing. 

-
Back
-
Back
Kayla North
Tapestry

Kayla North

executive director
Tapestry

Kayla North and her husband Ryan 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.

The Norths are co-founders of One Big Happy Home and are considered experts on childhood trauma and its impacts on adults and children. 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.

As Lead Trainers for Empowered to Connect they trained close to 100 Empowered to Connect Parent Training Couples in North America.

Kayla is the Executive Directory of Tapestry Family Ministry, 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.

Kayla is a Trauma-Competent Caregiver and a TBRI Practitioner. She speaks at churches, conferences, and retreats nationwide.

You can hear Kayla on The Empowered Parent Podcast and read her writing on Empowered to Connect,  the Today Show Parenting team, and at One Big Happy Home.

Nurturing Care
The primary casualty of trauma is the brain. Every other negative outcome is because our brains have been impacted by abuse (physical, emotional, sexual), neglect (physical, emotional), and other adverse experiences.
Nurturing Care
Kayla North
Tapestry

The primary casualty of trauma is the brain. Every other negative outcome is because our brains have been impacted by abuse (physical, emotional, sexual), neglect (physical, emotional), and other adverse experiences. These experiences cause the brain to get miswired and it is only through nurturing care, patience, and the presence of a caring, available caregiver that we can change the wiring of the brain and profound levels of healing can occur. We will show parents how to incorporate fun activities that build trust such as feeding, role play, and games into a family nurture group in order to foster better connection and begin to rewire the brain for healing. 

-
Back
Bringing Support to YOUR church
As adoptive, foster, and kinship families we all need a place to find authentic community.
Bringing Support to YOUR church
Kayla North
Tapestry

As adoptive, foster, and kinship families we all need a place to find authentic community. A place where we can share the struggles and joys we are facing each day, with others on the same journey. That is why we created Tapestry’s Community Gathering Project. This unique support community connects families to a supportive church that will provide a safe place to connect with other families. 

Is your church looking to support adoptive and foster families in your community? Do you have an existing ministry and need a better model for your support? Come hear more about how your church can partner with Tapestry to provide this type of support in your community.

-
Back
-
Back
Chris Turner
The Empowered Parent Podcast

Chris Turner

Conference Emcee
The Empowered Parent Podcast

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. Chris is a Trauma Competent Caregiver trainer and has traveled to Rwanda, the homeland of one of his 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, and co-hosts and produces the Sneaky Good Podcast.

Play with Purpose for Dads
Oftentimes, it can be hard for dads to just play with their kids. Maybe we didn’t have the best childhoods ourselves, maybe it’s been so long since we have played that we’ve forgotten how.
Play with Purpose for Dads
Chris Turner
The Empowered Parent Podcast

Oftentimes, it can be hard for dads to just play with their kids. Maybe we didn’t have the best childhoods ourselves, maybe it’s been so long since we have played that we’ve forgotten how. Add kids from hard places into the mix, and something that should be simple becomes more complex. Yet the disarming nature of play in various forms is crucial for connection with our children. Chris and Jake will offer encouragement and practical examples to help dads map out and jump into play with their kids.

-
Back
-
Back
Mary Wells
Conference Emcee

Mary Wells

Adoptive Mom
Conference Emcee

Mary Wells is a wife, mother, and a child of the King. Her family fostered for 6 years where they learned that only by relying on Christ and His strength were they able to keep saying “Yes”. She and her husband, Colin, have 5 children by birth and adoption.

Mary served as a public school teacher and children’s ministry director prior to joining Embrace. She’s had the privilege of working with foster families since 2015. She is an Empowered to Connect parent trainer and loves meeting with individuals, families, and churches to help inspire and encourage them to take a stand for vulnerable children in the community.

-
Back
Ross & Staci King
Ross King Music

Ross & Staci King

Singer/Songwriter
Ross King Music

Ross and Staci King have been married since 1998, and have been making music together even longer than that. They met in 1997 when they were both a part of the Breakaway Ministries worship team at Texas A&M. They quickly fell in love and got married as soon as possible. In the 20-plus years they’ve been together, they planted a church, adopted 4 kids, traveled the country leading worship and doing concerts, and had plenty of adventures.

They currently live just south of Nashville, TN where Staci home schools their children and Ross continues his career writing songs, producing music in his studio, and leading worship. They still love singing together, and do so as often as they can. They feel called to help regular people have honest conversations about real things. 

Things that I'm Afraid Of
Ross King is an experienced singer, songwriting, and worship leader. But he is also a regular person who has faced significant trauma and trial in his life, including a very real and prolonged struggle with depression and anxiety, following the drowning death of his father.
Things that I'm Afraid Of
Ross & Staci King
Ross King Music

Ross King is an experienced singer, songwriting, and worship leader. But he is also a regular person who has faced significant trauma and trial in his life, including a very real and prolonged struggle with depression and anxiety, following the drowning death of his father. Now he is ready to speak, and sing honestly, about that emotional health battle.

Ross will use a combination of real life stories, powerful scripture, disarming humor, and uniquely honest and well – crafted songs to get you thinking and talking about emotional health. Whether you are struggling with depression and anxiety, or you want to better understand your kids, you won’t want to miss this breakout!

-
Back
-
Back
Whitney Bunker
City Without Orphans

Whitney Bunker

co-founder and executive director
City Without Orphans

Whitney Bunker is a former social worker as well a foster/adoptive mother who is passionate about foster care and adoption. Together with her husband Daniel, Whitney launched City Without Orphans, a nonprofit that works collectively with government entities, faith-based organizations, and individual families to change the lives of the vulnerable children of our community. Their goal: to see their community equipped to care for vulnerable children.

Attachment Triggers: The Honest Truth About What We Bring to the Parent-Child Relationship
As parents who bring in children from hard places into your family, you constantly have in mind what these children may be dealing with in their journey to you.
Attachment Triggers: The Honest Truth About What We Bring to the Parent-Child Relationship
Whitney Bunker
City Without Orphans

As parents who bring in children from hard places into your family, you constantly have in mind what these children may be dealing with in their journey to you. The emphasis is often on preparing for the child, but what about you? What do we bring to the table? What happens when you as a unique parent, with your own attachment style and history, collide with theirs? For some, this can lead to triggers and barriers along the way. Come hear honest dialogue from a foster/adoptive mom and orphan care leader, with real stories and encouraging research to help us move forward as parents together.

-
Back
-
Back
Lori Fangue
CK Family Services

Lori Fangue

Clinical Liason, LPC
CK Family Services

Lori’s passion for vulnerable children began in 1988 while watching heart-wrenching images of abandoned children in Romanian orphanages broadcasted over a news program. Since that life-changing memory, her path has brought her across the world with a mission to advocate for those whose voices are not heard. Lori graduated from the University of North Texas with an Applied Arts and Sciences degree in 2002 with a triple major in psychology, sociology, and criminal justice. She later went on to pursue a Master’s Degree in Biblical Counseling from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2005. From 2006 to 2012, Lori partnered with various ministries to provide seminars and training related to complex developmental traumas in orphanages in Romania, Russia, Africa, and India. She finally found her way to CK Family Services in June 2012 as a case manager. Since then Lori has had the opportunity to work within many programs at CK Family Services such as Foster Care, Matched Adoption, Post-Adoption, Behavioral Health, and Treatment Foster Care. Her roles include Parent Trainer, TBRI Educator, Curriculum Developer, Clinical Liaison and Therapist. Lori is a dedicated wife and bonus-mom to an amazing husband and three beautiful children, two daughters and a son.

Understanding Challenging Behaviors
Behaviors such as explosive meltdowns, defiance, and non-compliance can leave parents and professionals baffled and looking for solutions.
Understanding Challenging Behaviors
Lori Fangue
CK Family Services

Behaviors such as explosive meltdowns, defiance, and non-compliance can leave parents and professionals baffled and looking for solutions. In this session we will look at brain development in relation to the child’s chronological age as well as trauma histories. Parents and professionals will gain a clear understanding behind these challenging behaviors and learn practical techniques to help strengthen connection and promote their child’s healing.

-
Back
-
Back
Torrey & Nikki Carroll
The TNC Psychotherapy Group, PLLC

Torrey & Nikki Carroll

Co-founders and Psychotherapists
The TNC Psychotherapy Group, PLLC

Nikki and Torrey Carroll believe in the redemptive power of relationships. They have championed the cause for more than a decade by walking alongside marriages and families as they heal and grow. As adoptive parents and psychotherapists, they also understand and respect both the pressures involved in building a family, coupled with the unique gifts and learning experiences that the adoption dynamic brings.

The Carrolls are frequent speakers at conferences and have extensive experience collaborating with agencies, faith-based organizations and community ambassadors to develop programming and ministries that revitalize and enrich individuals, marriages and family systems. Their training and specialization include marriage and family therapy, crisis intervention, trauma care, and adoption-sensitive therapy including parenting skills within the adoption triad and transracial adoption issues.

Nikki and Torrey are founding Board members of Relationships First™ and Safe Conversations® Master Trainers. They have been featured in a number of publications and news media including Success Magazine, WFAA’s Daybreak, and CBS’s Plugged into DFW, and co-hosted the Safe Conversations® Practice and Share DVD alongside Imago relationship therapy co-creators.

Prior to becoming psychotherapists, Nikki and Torrey successfully managed a 20-year career within corporate America. Nikki holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Baylor University, a Master of Arts degree in Professional Counseling and a Master of Arts Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Amberton University. Torrey holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from The University of Texas at Dallas, a Master of Arts degree in Professional Counseling, and a Master of Arts Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Amberton University.

The Carrolls have been married for nineteen years. Their journey has been filled with rich experiences that have varied from softly spoken messages, to loud and obnoxious life lessons on how to manage and maintain a healthy marriage. The Carrolls reside in a suburb of Dallas and call it an honor to be the parents of two ‘wonder-filled’ children. As a husband, wife, and parents of two, they bring extensive life experience and a heart for supporting and serving families in the adoption community.

Shoulder to Shoulder: Building Strong Transracial Adoptive Families
The decision to adopt across racial/cultural lines is a lifelong commitment to exploring matters of race, confronting racism in all its forms and constantly developing new skills and aptitudes.
Shoulder to Shoulder: Building Strong Transracial Adoptive Families
Torrey & Nikki Carroll
The TNC Psychotherapy Group, PLLC
The decision to adopt across racial/cultural lines is a lifelong commitment to exploring matters of race, confronting racism in all its forms and constantly developing new skills and aptitudes. Transracial Adoptions are increasing in the U.S. With the creative work by and for adult Transracial Adoptees, this phenomenon is shining a light on the unique challenges of raising children of color in homes different from their culture or origin. This session will help participants gain a deeper understanding of the responsibility of parenting transracially, increase awareness about the difference between intent and impact, and develop strategies for identifying and curbing micro-aggressions. This talk will not support a “color-blind” but rather a “color-affirming” approach and provide developmentally sensitive tools and resources to create a sense of hope as we continue in our parenting journey.
-
Back
-
Back
Andrew Holland
Hope Fort Worth

Andrew Holland

President and Founder
Hope Fort Worth
In 2005, Andrew was hired as the Children’s Pastor at HighRidge Church Ft. Worth. During his 11-year stent at HighRidge, he has held numerous positions including Executive Pastor, Men’s Pastor and most recently, Orphan Care Director.
He currently sits on the board of Beloved, a transitional care home for orphans in Ethiopia, and is the president of Hope Fort Worth.
In 2015, he founded Hope Fort Worth which exists to mobilize churches in Tarrant County and beyond to make a difference in the lives of orphans and vulnerable children. It is Hope Fort Worth’s mission to partner with local resources, the government, and local churches to serve orphaned and vulnerable children.
“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.”
Great Expectations
When starting the journey of fostering and adoption, we may often carry expectations that are unrealistic and may cause ourselves and our children to carry a burden that God never intended us to carry.
Great Expectations
Andrew Holland
Hope Fort Worth

When starting the journey of fostering and adoption, we may often carry expectations that are unrealistic and may cause ourselves and our children to carry a burden that God never intended us to carry. These expectations can be exhibited by our families, church culture, yourself, your community and the world at large. We have expectations for others. They have expectations for us. We have “hopes and dreams” for our children covered in expectations. It causes us to lie to ourselves and others about reality. Fostering and adopting is about as “real” as it gets, and when its reality hits us in the face, we might wonder, “Where did I go wrong? Where did they go wrong? Where did my children go wrong?” We may feel defeated and then turn to God, asking, ”Where did you go wrong? Why aren’t you helping me?” Andrew will share his story of how his “great expectations” failed him. Even further, he will share how God helped him to learn from his mistakes and serve children better

When starting the journey of fostering and adoption, we may often carry expectations that are unrealistic and may cause ourselves and our children to carry a burden that God never intended us to carry. These expectations can be exhibited by our families, church culture, yourself, your community and the world at large.

We have expectations for others. They have expectations for us. We have “hopes and dreams” for our children covered in expectations.

It causes us to lie to ourselves and others about reality.

Fostering and adopting is about as “real” as it gets, and when its reality hits us in the face, we might wonder, “Where did I go wrong? Where did they go wrong? Where did my children go wrong?” We may feel defeated and then turn to God, asking, ”Where did you go wrong? Why aren’t you helping me?”

Andrew will share his story of how his “great expectations” failed him. Even further, he will share how God helped him to learn from his mistakes and serve children better.

-
Back
-
Back
Angela Holland
Hope Fort Worth

Angela Holland

Vice President and Co-founder
Hope Fort Worth

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 has special needs and her youngest son, Ethan, was adopted 2 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.

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.

Anger Management
Everyday we are faced with many emotions. We often feel sadness, joy, disgust, surprise, trust, distrust, and anger. Anger can be an emotion that is misused, misunderstood, displaced, often dismissed and seen as a negative emotion.
Anger Management
Angela Holland
Hope Fort Worth

Everyday we are faced with many emotions. We often feel sadness, joy, disgust, surprise, trust, distrust, and anger. Anger can be an emotion that is misused, misunderstood, displaced, often dismissed and seen as a negative emotion. Anger can be a good emotion, if used properly. Anger is an emotion felt because of injustice and unmet needs. Anger could have been one of the first emotions you felt when you grew in knowledge of the plight of children from hard places. It also might have been the emotion that caused you to champion the cause and fight for justice for children.

Serving children in the child welfare world can open up many doors of opportunity to be angry. You might feel anger towards the bio parents, anger towards the broken system, frustration towards a caseworker, discontentment due to slow growth and development of the child or children you are caring for and “Yes” you can even be angry at yourself for many reasons.

In this breakout session, you will learn the true meaning of anger, what it is rooted in, the Biblical perspective, how to be intentional when you feel angry, how to catch negative emotions and uses of anger, and hope for the future that when you are overwhelmed with feelings of anger that it will not rule your mind and heart. You will leave with practical steps to processing anger properly and face the emotion of anger with faith and courage.

-
Back
-
Back
Stacy Wright
Stacy's Sensory Solutions

Stacy Wright

Owner
Stacy's Sensory Solutions
-
Back
Kristin Mathis
Occupational Therapist

Kristin Mathis

Occupational Therapist

Kristin Mathis, OTR, and her husband Chris are parents to five amazing kiddos ages 8 -20 (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 as an OT in ECI and pediatric home health.

She is currently directing an early childhood program. Kristin completed professional training in TBRI (Practitioner 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).

-
Back
Alan & Deb Jones
Parent Intervention & Training, LLC

Alan & Deb Jones

Founders and Owners
Parent Intervention & Training, LLC

Debra Delulio Jones, M Ed, is a wife, mother, grandmother, educator, writer, and speaker. She has a Master of Education degree from Texas Woman’s University, specializing in Language and Learning Disabilities. Her work includes over thirty years of experience working with special needs children and those who work with children and adolescents whether in a parent training opportunity, a professional development for educators, a home, a church, or other volunteer event.

Debra is the author of God, Are You Nice or Mean? Trusting God . . . After the Orphanage. In 2013, this mother, educator, and parent trainer, was honored to share her family’s continuing story of healing with members of Congress in Washington, DC at the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s roundtable discussion.

For years, Debra and her husband, Alan, felt overwhelmed and ill-equipped to manage the maladaptive and disruptive behavior of their internationally adopted son, Dane. Through a treasured relationship with their mentor, the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, and an ongoing partnership with researchers at the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, their family has overcome tremendous obstacles.

As a mentor of the TCU Institute, Deb has taught Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®) and assisted professionals going through their Practitioner Training. She is the founder and owner of Parent Intervention & Training, LLC. She offers presentations, workshops, and keynote addresses to help struggling parents and professionals who work with children who have experienced early harm.

Alan has a BS in political science from Mary Hardin-Baylor College and a Social Studies Composite Certification. He served in Texas public schools for nearly three decades as an Advanced Placement Government/Economics teacher. Since his retirement in 2012, he joined Deb in training both parents and educators. He is a TBRI® Practitioner with the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development and has compassion for parents, educators, and administrators who have found traditional discipline strategies lacking for youth who have experienced early harm.

The Joneses offer intensive in-home parent training in this trust-based, brain-based model and teach helpful brain integration strategies for building healthier neural pathways. Deb and Alan live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Both enjoy traveling, reading, all things doggies, and spending time with their family and friends.

You may connect with Deb on her Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/parentintervention/ or email debjonesconsulting@gmail.com. As a passionate advocate for hurting kids and parents, Deb doesn’t promise to make kids normal for she defines “normal” as a setting on her dryer!

 

Trust-Based Parenting: Overview of TBRI® Connecting, Empowering, & Correcting Principles
Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®) helped these pioneers in connected parenting overcome tremendous obstacles with their internationally adopted son who suffers from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
Trust-Based Parenting: Overview of TBRI® Connecting, Empowering, & Correcting Principles
Alan & Deb Jones
Parent Intervention & Training, LLC

Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®) helped these pioneers in connected parenting overcome tremendous obstacles with their internationally adopted son who suffers from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Parents who are new to connected parenting or need a refresher course will learn the risk factors that can lead to challenging behaviors, developmental delays, or dysregulated emotional states in their children.

Come find out how to apply Connecting, Empowering, and Correcting Principles to reach deep levels of healing in your relationship with your child or teen that can result in improved language, brain processing, and behavior so you may have more peace in your home.

-
Back
-
Back
Jake Schornick
Entrusted Houston

Jake Schornick

President
Entrusted Houston

Jacob has been a foster parent for four years and has been part of numerous trainings and support groups. He taught Middle School and Community College English classes, and has led various Bible Study groups through churches such as Bayou City Fellowship and Mosaic Community Church.

Play with Purpose for Dads
Oftentimes, it can be hard for dads to just play with their kids. Maybe we didn’t have the best childhoods ourselves, maybe it’s been so long since we have played that we’ve forgotten how.
Play with Purpose for Dads
Jake Schornick
Entrusted Houston

Oftentimes, it can be hard for dads to just play with their kids. Maybe we didn’t have the best childhoods ourselves, maybe it’s been so long since we have played that we’ve forgotten how. Add kids from hard places into the mix, and something that should be simple becomes more complex. Yet the disarming nature of play in various forms is crucial for connection with our children. Chris and Jake will offer encouragement and practical examples to help dads map out and jump into play with their kids.

-
Back
-
Back
Dr. Kris Kittle & Dr. Kelly Reed
Authors & Educators

Dr. Kris Kittle & Dr. Kelly Reed

AdoptionSurvival.com
Authors & Educators

Dr. Kris Kittle, PhD, has adopted two children—an infant and a teenager. She teaches leadership communication at a local university. She has served as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate).

Dr. Kelly Reed, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S, is a child and family therapist and former research coordinator at the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development. She provides psychological and educational assessments as well as supervises counseling interns.

They coauthored the book, “Wisdom from Adoptive Families: Joys and Challenges of Older Child Adoption.” They blog at AdoptionSurvival.com.

Creating Your Support Network
The adoption and foster care journey can be challenging, especially if you don’t have a support system.
Creating Your Support Network
Dr. Kris Kittle & Dr. Kelly Reed
Authors & Educators

The adoption and foster care journey can be challenging, especially if you don’t have a support system. This session will highlight the importance of getting the support you need to parent your children well. We will discuss the kinds of support you need to seek out, provide tips on how to identify your needs, as well as how to communicate your needs to family and friends. Whether you are just starting your adoption or foster care journey, or you are a seasoned parent looking for ways to increase your support, this session is for you.

-
Back
-
Back
Shannon Pugh
Arise Special Needs Ministry

Shannon Pugh

Director
Arise Special Needs Ministry

Shannon Pugh is the director of Arise Special Needs Ministry at Irving Bible Church, which she has been leading since 2012. Prior to working at IBC, she taught special education for 9 years in public schools. But her love for individuals with special needs began as a teenager, when she began volunteering at SEEK camp – a summer camp for adults with special needs. The people there changed her forever, and it’s still her favorite week of the year!


God has developed in Shannon a strong conviction that all people are made in the image of God and have gifts, talents and a purpose. Her heart’s desire is to elevate and advocate for the marginalized and oppressed, and to exhort the Church to welcome, include and value all people. She also collects selfies with animals, and enjoys reading, playing video games, and singing karaoke!

Needles in Haystacks - Finding Resources for Your Child with Special Needs
When your child is diagnosed with a developmental delay, neurological difference or emotional disturbance, it can be overwhelming.
Needles in Haystacks - Finding Resources for Your Child with Special Needs
Shannon Pugh
Arise Special Needs Ministry

When your child is diagnosed with a developmental delay, neurological difference or emotional disturbance, it can be overwhelming. It’s almost like you are transported to a different country where you don’t know the language and have no idea where to go to get help. You are not alone! There are lots of resources out there if you know where to look! In this workshop, we’ll talk about where to find help with the education system, benefits, waivers, respite care, and more. You will leave encouraged and equipped to find the resources you need!

-
Back
-
Back
Katherine Leath
Playworks Counseling

Katherine Leath

LPC
Playworks Counseling

Katherine’s passion is helping children and families who are struggling to connect, communicate, and relate find more meaningful and enjoyable relationships during the brief formative years when family is the greatest source of support. She specializes in not only helping to provide a safe, secure environment for children to understand and process their feelings and experiences, but in supporting families with resources, education, and training so parents can feel better supported and equipped to handle the often emotional roller coaster of growing-up.

Katherine’s love for helping families find connection and engagement has lead her to focus on a specialty of helping children who struggle with attachment, developmental, and even complex trauma. Often children who have been adopted. Not only helping children to heal from the painful, often neurological effects of trauma, but equipping parents with resources, information, and tools to engage, regulate, and nurture their beloved child on their blessed journey.

Building Bridges: Advocating for Your Child Within the School Setting
One of the hardest parts of having children that are not developing or behaving typically, is working with outside organizations and programs to meet your child’s needs.
Building Bridges: Advocating for Your Child Within the School Setting
Katherine Leath
Playworks Counseling

One of the hardest parts of having children that are not developing or behaving typically, is working with outside organizations and programs to meet your child’s needs. Often one of the most difficult organizations to work with are schools.

In Part 1 of this presentation, we will discuss what your child’s rights are as a student and how to go about advocating for those rights. We will look at what a 504 Plan is vs Special Education IEP, along with time frames for testing and who should be involved at the school level. You will leave this presentation with an understanding of the vocabulary that often intimidates parents, the procedures, and what to say and how to say it so your school can listen.

In Part 2, we will dive into helpful recommendations for accommodations for kids with special behavioral needs and how to assist children in learning and utilizing self-regulation at home and at in social situations.
Participants can attend either or both parts of the presentation.

-
Back
-
Back
Steffanie Strawbridge
Five Points Counseling, PLLC

Steffanie Strawbridge

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Five Points Counseling, PLLC

Steffanie is a native Texan, born and raised in Fort Worth. She has spent most
of her professional life working with kids in schools. Currently she works full-
time for Fort Worth ISD in the Special Education Department and part time
doing private practice work. Her focus in private practice is working with
children and families dealing with trauma. Steffanie enjoys working with a
variety of different type of clients, but adoptive families have a special place in
her heart and in her practice.

Building Bridges: Advocating for Your Child Within the School Setting
One of the hardest parts of having children that are not developing or behaving typically, is working with outside organizations and programs to meet your child’s needs.
Building Bridges: Advocating for Your Child Within the School Setting
Steffanie Strawbridge
Five Points Counseling, PLLC

One of the hardest parts of having children that are not developing or behaving typically, is working with outside organizations and programs to meet your child’s needs. Often one of the most difficult organizations to work with are schools.

In Part 1 of this presentation, we will discuss what your child’s rights are as a student and how to go about advocating for those rights. We will look at what a 504 Plan is vs Special Education IEP, along with time frames for testing and who should be involved at the school level. You will leave this presentation with an understanding of the vocabulary that often intimidates parents, the procedures, and what to say and how to say it so your school can listen.

In Part 2, we will dive into helpful recommendations for accommodations for kids with special behavioral needs and how to assist children in learning and utilizing self-regulation at home and at in social situations.
Participants can attend either or both parts of the presentation.

-
Back
-
Back
Scott & Sarah Watters
Arms of Hope

Scott & Sarah Watters

TBRI® Practitioners
Arms of Hope

Scott and Sarah began their parenting journey in 2007 when they became house-parents with Arms of Hope, at the Boles Children’s Home residential childcare facility in Quinlan, TX. With little care-giving experiences prior to their journey, they quickly found themselves caring for eight boys from hard places, ages 5-17. Fortunately, Scott and Sarah were soon introduced to Trust Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®) and the work of TCU Institute of Child Development, later renamed the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development (KPICD).

Scott and Sarah continued their parenting journey in 2009 when they adopted Megan, Levi, and Maggie, a sibling group ages 16, 13, and 7. In order to empower connection with their children, Scott and Sarah resigned their house-parenting positions with Arms of Hope. Fortunately, Scott was offered an administrative position within the residential organization while Sarah focused on parenting Megan, Levi, and Maggie.

In 2011, Scott returned to school, eventually earning a bachelor’s degree in 2013 and a master’s degree in Counseling in 2016. Currently, he serves as a Program Therapist for Arms of Hope, providing therapeutic services to children, teens, and young adults who have experienced trauma. Scott has also continued a relationship with the KPICD, becoming a TBRI® Practitioner in 2009. He currently serves at therapeutic camps, facilitates parent and professional training, and assists in research with the KPICD. Sarah became a TBRI® Practitioner in 2018 and has recently returned to school to study neuro-psychology.

Scott and Sarah still live at the Boles Children’s Home Campus with Maggie (now 17). They enjoy travel, games, and movies with their family. They especially enjoy being “Nana” and “Pops” to Megan’s 4 year old daughter, Lillie. Scott and Sarah believe that maintaining balance and recognizing their own and their children’s preciousness has made their journey more manageable and full of hope for healing. Through candid conversation and sharing their story, Scott and Sarah seek to provide hope for healing for other families as well.

Navigating Big Emotions
Unchecked, big emotions can trigger temper tantrums, melt-downs, and shut-downs in children and adults.
Navigating Big Emotions
Scott & Sarah Watters
Arms of Hope

Unchecked, big emotions can trigger temper tantrums, melt-downs, and shut-downs in children and adults. Big emotions can be especially scary when complex trauma histories are involved. In order to prevent blow-ups, many families avoid strong feelings rather than dealing with them.


Scott and Sarah Watters share their personal stories of navigating big emotions with their adopted children and the families from hard places that they serve. They draw on their faith and experiences to demystify big feelings and provide practical tools to help bring healing.

-
Back
-
Back