Providing Foundations for Parenting Children from Hard Places
Families Are Forever and Nightlight Christian Adoptions have teamed up to provide essential training based on Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI), a therapeutic model that trains parents to provide effective support and treatment for children who come from a place most likely very different from your own. You’ll gain knowledge that many who have gone before you have discovered about welcoming a child from a ‘hard place’ into your home and family. We’ll also strengthen your family’s foundation so that as a parent, you have the tools and knowledge needed to best meet your child’s needs.
This phase totals 18 hours and satisfies Hague pre-adoptive training requirements.
Preparing for the Journey of Adoption
In this class, we’ll explore Dr. Karyn Purvis’s 7 Insights and 7 Gifts that you can give to your adoptive child. We draw heavily from Dr. Purvis’s and her colleague, Dr. David Cross’s work throughout this program and their words will inspire you for the journey ahead. This video introduces the challenges of adoption and the ways you can empower your child to trust and heal.
Introduction to Trust-Based Relational Intervention™
This class lays the foundation for most of the Trust-Based Relational Intervention™ (TBRI) teachings of this entire program. Much of the information that we’ll examine will be drawn from this material.
Children’s Needs and Intercountry Adoption
In this class, we’ll go a little more in-depth into intercountry adoption processes. No matter what country you’ve chosen to adopt from it’s probably quite different from your own place and family of origin! We’ll respond to common questions from parents—including what your child is most likely experiencing in their foster home or institutional living situation, cultural differences and similarities as well as the laws and adoption processes from a country new to you in many ways. We’ll use this course as a foundation and then fill you in on many more specifics as your adoption journey continues.
Understanding Children’s Development
The mystery of how your child becomes the small person you will meet some day begins with their developing brain and body—how does this development affect their emotional and behavioral make up? In this course, we’ll learn from the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development’s “Children from Hard Places and the Brain.” This video covers topics such as institutionalization and development and challenges parents to think about what it means to come from a hard place. This teaching will start your exploration of what we hope will be a life-long desire to learn just ‘how and why’ children are who they are and how we as parents can be an enormous part of their healing. We’ll cover how the brain develops, the impact of trauma and institutionalization and how you can help change your child’s brain development through attachment.
Common Medical Conditions
You’ve most likely said ‘yes’ to a child with a potential medical condition. In this course, you’ll be challenged to think about your understanding of special needs and learn more about how to consider whether or not you are prepared to adopt a child with a medical challenge. We’ll cover some common medical conditions and we’ll do our best to provide answers to how you’ll parent a child with special needs. You’ll also hear from families who are parenting a child with a special need and how their life has changed. We’ll leave you with some resources to explore as you consider how to make these very important decisions.
In this class, we will look at what healthy attachment looks like and how your attachment style as a parent can ease your relationship with a new child. Understanding attachment is an important part of every relationship—this video will give you the insights needed to start your own voyage of personal discovery as well as give you practical tools for purposeful connection with your child.
The more you know about how to engage your child in the ‘attachment dance’ the more healing you’ll be able to bring and the more peace there will be in your home. This course offers some tools for engaging with a child from a hard place. We’ll also learn about incorporating mindfulness about where your child has come from, where he or she is developmentally, and how to gauge your interaction for healing.
Transracial Adoption: Building Cultural Awareness
If your child is coming from a country where everyone looks different than what you see when you look in the mirror, then there will be ‘blending’ needed. Yes, we are all the same on the inside, but learning to acknowledge, celebrate, and understand cultural differences will be a life-long journey for your family. Take some steps with this course in deepening your sensitivity and opening your heart for those who are different from you. In this course, we’ll also explore transracial adoption from the point of view of both adoptive parents and transracial adoptees.
Additional Training Electives
These single-topic stand-alone classes are designed to take a deeper dive into topics that many families want to learn more about, or need some extra assistance with.
New Kids in the House: Siblings and Family Integration
Adoption impacts each individual in the family differently. Adding a new family member, and all of the likes, dislikes, passions, and personality that come along with them, can throw the groove off of even the most flexible of families.
1.5 Hours • $45
Enroll in Class 301
When Your Adopted Child Comes With a Past, Not a Pacifier
Bonding with a teenager or an older child who has spent time in a home, a foster home, and/or an institution unprepared to meet their needs comes with its own set of challenges. Welcoming an older child into a forever family or a child that’s beginning to question their adoption can require a whole new list of best practices for parents.
2 Hours • $60
Enroll in Class 302
Empowering, Connecting, Correcting – I
This course provides the practical examples and role-playing needed for parents to learn how to empower a child to physically and emotionally attune to a loving caregiver. You’ll come away with the tools and encouragement needed to connect with your child in a meaningful, healthy way, while also learning strategies to help a child course-correct when things get hard.
2 Hours • $60
Enroll in Class 303.1
Empowering, Connecting, Correcting – II
This course continues the practical examples and role-playing needed for parents to learn how to empower a child to physically and emotionally attune to a loving caregiver.
2 Hours • $60
Enroll in Class 303.2
Facilitating Behavioral Change
Discover the science behind the behaviors of vulnerable children. Dr. Purvis provides dozens of examples of strategies to deal with the behaviors of children from hard places—all while showing a different side of her usual college professor self! It’s a joy to watch Dr. Purvis bring order, security, and contentment into tough situations with children.
2 Hours • $60
Enroll in Class 304
Family Mission Statement
A wise person once said, “if you aim at nothing you’ll hit it every time!” In this interactive for-the-whole-family class, you’ll have the chance to hear from each other, brainstorm, be creative, and build on what makes your family special. Together, you’ll find a purpose each family member understands and an overall direction that you can head toward together. By the end, you’ll have created a working Family Mission statement together!
2 Hours • $60
Enroll in Class 305
Racial Makeup of Families & Identity of Adopted Children
Families adopting children with ethnicities different from their own face unique challenges in family life, community, and culture. Your child’s experience will be different from your own—and there must be space for them to express those experiences and feelings. This course will help families discover ways to honor their child’s birth culture as well as the community that they’ve brought their child “home” to join.
2 Hours • $60
Enroll in Class 306
Safety and Children with Sexualized Behaviors
Sometimes children from hard places have had almost unspeakable experiences that loving parents can’t even imagine. To bring healing, we must fiercely and unashamedly come alongside our children. In this course we’ll address topics of safety for every family member, how the symptoms of sexual abuse often present in children of all ages, and steps toward health for the wounded child.
1.5 Hours • $45
Enroll in Class 307
Although every child’s development is unique, children who come to us from challenging backgrounds take ‘unique’ to a whole new level. As parents we want to empower these children holistically – to facilitate growth in mind, body and spirit – so they can reach their full potential. This course will provide a deeper understanding of child development, examining potential emotional triggers that will help you better meet your child’s needs as they grow.
2.5 Hours • $75
Enroll in Class 308
Exploring the Realities of Transracial Adoption
AGCI is partnering with Be The Bridge in the important conversation surrounding the topic of transracial adoption. Be The Bridge is a faith-based organization that believes in truth-telling, humility, respect, confession, grace, and justice. The vision of Be The Bridge is for people and organizations to gain awareness and respond to the racial brokenness and systemic injustice in the world and that people are no longer conditioned by a racialized society but grounded in the truth where all are equipped to flourish. This course will allow you to step into an intentional study of race, adoption and culture.
6 Hours • $90
Enroll in Class 309
Talking to Kids about Race and Racism
Family should be the place where children feel precious and beloved. It’s also the place where their identity is nurtured and strengthened. When everyone in the family doesn’t ‘match’ we have the unique opportunity of learning and growing together and then championing the differences. What you say, and often more importantly, what you don’t say as parents will be foundational to the identity your child takes into their teens, young adulthood, and the rest of their life. This course will help you guide the thinking, reading, and conversation for your whole family.
3 Hours • $90
Enroll in Class 311