Conference Speakers

 Keynote Speaker

Stacie Stark-Wamsteeker
Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication
Associate Degree in Law Enforcement
Associate Degree in Public Relations


Stacie is a successful product of the Adoption Process. She entered into the Indiana Court system when she was 4 ½ years old. During that time, her biological parents gave up parental right and she was placed into the foster care system and up for adoption. She eventually went through 22 different foster homes, with two being potential adoptions, and then ended up going to a boarding school. She graduated from the boarding school in 2001, never having been adopted. 

After graduating from high school, Stacie went on to serve four years in the United Stated Navy, serving two terms in Afghanistan fighting in the war on terrorism. After serving in the military and spending time doing the Lord’s work, she met her husband, Anthony, in 2008. 

Stacie and her husband married in 2009. In 2010, they had their son, Joshua. That is when her family decided that they were going to legally adopt her. Stacie was 29 years old when she was no longer an orphan. 

Stacie went to Lake Superior State University where she graduated with a degree in Communication with honors. She lives in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada and has been married for 10 years. She has two children, a little boy, Joshua (9) and a little girl, Miriam (6). She currently works as a 911 Dispatcher for the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service. 


Breakout Session One


Session 1  9:50 am-10:50 am

Jessica Evans, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Certificate of Non-Profit Executive Leadership from IU School of Philanthropy.

 

Trafficking

In 2011, she founded the non-profit, Purchased. Since then, Jessica has educated thousands of Hoosiers on the issue and established programs to serve survivors of trafficking and their families in Central Indiana. Jessica is a certified and seasoned facilitator of the nationally recognized My Life My Choice curriculum, a member of the Indiana Protection of Abused and Trafficked Humans Task Force. 

Human Trafficking happens in our state, our community, and our neighborhoods.  How to keep those at risk safe from predators. 


Camie Schuiteman, M.A. | Family Resources Specialist

MLJ Adoptions, International

 Wounded Children, Healing Homes – the Impact on Adoptive Parents

We will take an honest look at the impact of adoption on adoptive parents. It’s a challenging experience, and quite often adoptive parents find themselves in a struggle because their expectations for them and their children are not realistic. As we take off the rose-colored glasses of the adoption dream, we will discuss the warning signs of chronic stress on parents, who is at risk, and tools to stay emotionally healthy.

 

Lesley Barton, MA, ATR, CCLS, DT 

 Art Therapy

Art is a language children understand. During this session, Lesley, a registered art therapist, will discuss the benefits of art therapy with children who have experienced grief, trauma and attachment issues.   This will be an interactive session- you will leave with hands on activities to help the child in your life process his/her experiences in a safe and healthy manner. 


 Angela Walls, Licensed Mental Health Counselor 

  The Effects of Neglect

A discussion about the effects of Neglect on children. In this presentation we will cover many different areas from how it changes their development, their emotional regulation skills, attachment to others, and behavior. We will look at ways families/guardians can help the children adjust and learn how to overcome the negative effects of this type of abuse.



Breakout Session Two


Session 2  11:00 am- 12:00 pm

Jessica Evans, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Certificate of Non-Profit Executive Leadership from IU School of Philanthropy.

 Trafficking

In 2011, she founded the non-profit, Purchased. Since then, Jessica has educated thousands of Hoosiers on the issue and established programs to serve survivors of trafficking and their families in Central Indiana. Jessica is a certified and seasoned facilitator of the nationally recognized My Life My Choice curriculum, a member of the Indiana Protection of Abused and Trafficked Humans Task Force. 

Human Trafficking happens in our state, our community, and our neighborhoods.  How to keep those at risk safe from predators. 

 

Dr. Katti J. Sneed PhD, LCSW, MSW, LCAC

Director of the Social Work Program, Indiana Wesleyan University - Marion Residential 

 Removed

 A Guided discussion of the video Removed.  Stepping into the shoes of a child and gaining insight and perspective in the removal process and emotions that come with losing your family.  



Rev. Rob Barton, M. Div. and Shawn Light

 Bio/foster parent discussion- Rob Barton and Shawn Light

This session will be a discussion between two dads-a bio dad (Shawn) and a foster dad (Rob).  Shawn’s life is an amazing story of redemption and recovery by the grace of God. Rob and Shawn met nearly 9 years ago when Shawn’s newborn daughter was placed in Rob and Lesley Barton’s home until she was 9 months of age.  Rob immensely loves knowing that Shawn’s little girl still knows him as Daddy Rob. Rob and Shawn’s journey is an amazing testament to God and His ability to redeem even the most difficult of situations. Join them for a frank conversation. We will focus on the heart of a tremendous dad whose child was part of the foster care system and the foster family who grew to love them dearly.  Let’s take a look at what was beneficial, difficult, and how God worked through it all!


Dr. Mike Severe, Ph.D. Educational Studies ; A M.A. that focuses on spiritual formation from Wheaton and a Youth ministry, Bible and Theology B.S. from Multnomah University.

 Growing Kids in Wisdom: AKA Creative Discipline Without Losing your Mind

Avoid the power struggle, stress, and nagging.  This session will explore practical and proven techniques to help children become emotionally, morally, and socially healthy. Children can problem solve, gain wisdom and grow in character even as we embrace our mistakes as parents

 

Jay Horan, Director of Community Engagement:

Jay Horan has been a social justice educator for the past 8 years receiving multiple hours of training from Crossroads Antiracism and Organizing and The People’s Institute.  She received her B.A. in Marketing and Business Creation from Marian University and joined Peace Learning Center’s team shortly after graduating in 2010. 

Natalie Spriggs, Director of Program Management:

Natalie Spriggs has spent the last 12 years in the non-profit sector directing youth programming. She has her degrees in Early Childhood Education and Child Development.  She holds certifications in Civic Reflection and Dialogue and Mental Health First Aid.

 What’s hidden within?

Implicit bias is something we all have.  This session examines what it is and how it differs from overt bias.  Through self-reflection and exploration participants will see how bias plays out in-real time and the effect it can have on our ability to build authentic relationships. 



John Stark is a License Mental Health Counselor, Certified in TF-CBT and TAC (Training for Adoption Competency)

Let the Process begin!

Join as we explore different expectations families bring into an adoption.  Over years of working and listening to adoptive children and parents, there are common expectations and dreams that go unidentified and cause a lot of pain and heartache. It is amazing the relief families find when these expectations are identified and set in their proper perspective for both parent and child.


Breakout Session Three



Session 3      1:00 pm-2:00 pm

 Catherine Jantzen, Licensed Mental Health Counselor with C Jantzen & Associates

Good Grief!

Grief is often thought of as an emotion tied only to death. But grief actually comes as a result of many life experiences – and is connected to any loss or transition in our lives, and in the lives of our children or foster children.  This workshop will help the participant understand and navigate grief, not as a problem to be solved, but as a journey to be taken.


David Henry MEd and Rev. Michele Henry ME, M.Min

 The Great Reunion! When kids are reconnected with bio family and the blessings that can follow.

David and Michele will share their journey of adoption from foster care and bio family reunification.   They have had the opportunity to bless and be blessed by the bio family of their adopted children. They offer a candid conversation filled with laughter and truth about their journey.


Elizabeth Dyson, MSW University of New England, 

  Elizabeth is a Licensed Social Worker in the state of Indiana with her Masters in Social Work from the University of     New England. She received her Bachelors in Social Work from Indiana Wesleyan University, and she is working toward her clinical license. Her social work experience spans from mental health home based services with families to     cross cultural ministries and international development. Her passion is to help adults, children and families find hope and healing and reach their fullest potential. She has been with the counseling center since 2013. Elizabeth is married     with four small children.

 AREAS OF EXPERTISE: Children | Family | Teenagers | Trauma

 RAD What is it and How to deal with it.  

Helping those understand RAD.  Giving those who are living with it ways to manage the complications and chaos it might bring.

 

Jay Horan, Director of Community Engagement:

Jay Horan has been a social justice educator for the past 8 years receiving multiple hours of training from Crossroads Antiracism and Organizing and The People’s Institute.  She received her B.A. in Marketing and Business Creation from Marian University and joined Peace Learning Center’s team shortly after graduating in 2010. 

Natalie Spriggs, Director of Program Management:

Natalie Spriggs has spent the last 12 years in the non-profit sector directing youth programming. She has her degrees in Early Childhood Education and Child Development.  She holds certifications in Civic Reflection and Dialogue and Mental Health First Aid.

What’s hidden within?

Implicit bias is something we all have.  This session examines what it is and how it differs from overt bias.  Through self-reflection and exploration participants will see how bias plays out in-real time and the effect it can have on our ability to build authentic relationships. 


 Lori McDivitt, B.S. Education

Redeeming the Story   

Each of us has a story and that story connects us to others.  The story is filled with words and those words are important. Children from hard places have many stories, many that may not make sense. They long for a story filled with hope.  Let’s talk together about the words we use and how the story can be redeemed. 


Dr. Katti J. Sneed PhD, LCSW, MSW, LCAC

Director of the Social Work Program

Indiana Wesleyan University - Marion Residential 

 Trauma and the Brain- NOT AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME

Recent research on the developing brain has shown that trauma disrupts normal brain activity.  These children are often treated utilizing traditional cognitive behavioral techniques which are ineffective because they do not address the underlying brain neurotransmitter levels.   This workshop with educate the audience on very basic brain development. Followed by a discussion on how long-term and acute trauma adversely affects brain development in children. In addition, clinical techniques will be introduced to assist practitioners in working with trauma exposed children. 





Breakout Session Four


Session 4   2:10 pm-3:10 pm

 

Catherine Jantzen, Licensed Mental Health Counselor

C Jantzen & Associates

Good Grief!

Grief is often thought of as an emotion tied only to death. But grief actually comes as a result of many life experiences – and is connected to any loss or transition in our lives, and in the lives of our children or foster children.  This workshop will help the participant understand and navigate grief, not as a problem to be solved, but as a journey to be taken.


Dr. Mike Severe, Ph.D. Educational Studies; A M.A. that focuses on spiritual formation from Wheaton and a Youth ministry, Bible and Theology B.S. from Multnomah University.

 The Adolescent Journey: Five ways to walk with your teen

Parenting an adolescent is a whole new challenge. Being a teenager is a whole new challenge. You can walk with your teen through this important time. Researcher, foster parent and professor, Mike Severe will walk you through a series of strategies and practical examples that will allow you to navigate the changes and needs of the teens in your home.

 

Amy Eberlee, RN  

 Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Drug addiction is an epidemic. Unfortunately, the best place for the baby may not be with family. Instead, it may be with you! It takes a very special person to take on this challenge. This session will discuss common behaviors that you may see in a baby going through with draw , comfort measures that may help, self-care, and the next step.



Sarah Harmeyer, B.S.Ed., Mild Intervention K-12

 Is it ADHD or a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder? Diagnosing and parenting a child with FASD

Does this sound like your child? He doesn’t seem to “get it” even though he has heard the house rule a million times and can repeat it when asked. He seems to go from happy to aggressive instantaneously. He acts half his chronological age and can’t tell the difference between reality and pretend. It seems like lying and stealing and manipulations are an everyday part of his life. He is so unpredictable you have to watch him like a hawk. He might have an FASD. Parenting this kiddo is HARD. I get it. Let’s chat about keeping your cool and helping you kid.

 

Latrese Moffitt

President / CEO, V.O.I.C.E.  LLC ,Professional Development for Inclusive Excellence,Leadership & Diversity Facilitator and Trainer

  Delayed not Denied

An adoption reunification story after 52 years, with the help of Ancestry DNA. Her journey led to the reunion of her birth mother, 3 half sisters and a half brother. She will discuss the challenges of birthright, expectations, disillusionment of lies and falsehoods from personal and agency information and how if can affect the adoptee in the reunion process. She will share the actual first encounters just months ago and the demanding emotional journey of true identity and feeling whole and complete. This session  will engage in small group discussions looking as case studies of adoption reunion outcomes; how to prepare, process and prosper through this exciting yet challenging life changing experience. All while keeping her eyes fixed on God.

 

 Rebecca Barnard, M.M., MT-BC

  Learning through music

 Looking for new techniques to try or just interested in learning how music assists with learning?  This session explores how music can help in cognitive, social, emotional, communication and motor domains as well as how it can be used with daily living skills.  Session attendees will leave with ideas about how to use music in their own children or students.