So we went to the Empowered to Connect conference last weekend – and apart from the 9 hours there and the 9 hours back, it was wonderful. Wonderful.
The girls (all three) hung out with Brian’s sister Jennifer while we were at the conference. I was sure we were going to totally stress her out and ruin her weekend, but the girls did great and had a really good time. In fact, on the way home Sylvia insisted that we turn around to go back to Aunt Jennifwews, and the following morning woke up crying for her. I’d say that Aunt Jennifwew is well loved.
We also got to hang out with friends who we met at Horn Creek last year during foster and adoptive family camp. It was great to see them (how did we not take any pictures???) and to catch up. (We’re both going back this year. It’s great too. Check it out.)
It was also wonderful to, for a whole weekend, be surrounded by other foster and adoptive parents who understand the experience. Brian and I don’t really have a community of foster or adoptive parents here at all (which we are always hoping to change!) and so it was great to be with a lot of other people with the same heart.
Anyway, on to the conference.
If you are a foster parent or an adoptive parent, and you’ve never heard Karyn Purvis speak – do anything in your power short of sell your home to do so. She is incredible. She is so full of wisdom, not afraid to tell it like it is, and is funny to boot.
Actually if you are even considering adopting, I would really, very highly, I’ll pay for you to go, recommend that you attend one of these conferences first. She is very straight forward, not to scare you off (although she might), but so that you go into this huge decision with your eyes open, armed and ready with the tools you will need. Go. Really. Go.
They covered so many things. Sensory Processing Disorder. Brain Development. Neurochemistry. Fear. Co-Regulation. Straight forward ideas to put into practice.
One of the things that I love about The Connected Child, and the conference, is that they give a very thorough background on why our children behave the way they do. It’s so important to understand where these behaviors are coming from to really be able to understand why you should parent them a specific way.
They also had a couple of adoptive mothers share their stories which is always moving, and gives so much hope.
I have a list of books that were recommended throughout the conference that I thought I’d share. I haven’t read any of these, but I assume they’re good stuff.
Wounded Children, Healing Homes by Jayne E. Schooler
Anatomy of the Soul by Curt Thompson
I Love You Rituals by Becky Bailey
Parenting from the Inside Out by Daniel Siegel
Attaching in Adoption by Deborah Gray (She has several on attachment)
by Leslie Leyland Fields
It’ll take me a while to get through these, but looking forward to them for sure.
I just want all foster and adoptive parents to have this information. Typical parenting strategies are not for these broken little hearts that join our families. Brian and I have decided to go back to the conference every year, just for a refresher.