LAAS 2020 Annual Retreat

Workshops & Keynote

10:15am Workshops



Grief and Loss  - A Journey of Healing

Kari will share about her personal journey of grief and loss through infertility, miscarriage and adoption.  She will share how it’s so important to work through grief after loss, and how that led her to the start of the non-profit called Patiently Waiting.  She will also share some tools and resources she has learned through her personal experience from leading support groups for adoption and infertility for nearly 15 years.

Understanding attachment and what Reactive Attachment Disorder means

Children from trauma frequently have attachment issues, including Reactive Attachment Disorder, and struggle to form healthy bonds and relationships. Both from her perspective as an adoptive mother and school psychologist, Sarah will share her personal and professional journey of understanding children and teens who appear emotionally and socially withdrawn. This session is for both understanding and for the worn-down mom who feels like they are hugging a porcupine.




Understanding Executive Skill Deficits

There’s nothing more frustrating than watching your bright and talented children struggle with everyday tasks like finishing homework or simply following instructions at home or at school. Your “smart but scattered” child might also have trouble coping with disappointment or managing anger. Great news – there is a lot that we can do as parents to help our children.  The latest research in child development shows that many kids who have the brain and heart to succeed lack crucial “executive skills”--the fundamental habits of mind required for getting organized, staying focused, and controlling impulses and emotions.  In this session, learn about key executive skills that are critical to your child’s success at home, school, and in life!



When Love is not Enough…An Introduction to Trauma and Its Impact

It’s common for expectant moms entering the world of foster care and adoption to believe that love will be enough. But what happens when it’s not? What happens when the impacts of trauma rear their heads and we’re not prepared!?  This session will dive into the ways that early life experiences impact the brains, bodies, behaviors and belief systems of our children. Together we’ll learn about different types of trauma, explore the way our brains were designed to be wired, and be introduced to the structural changes that can happen when children experience early neglect, abuse or other trauma. Understanding the impact of adverse experiences on your children’s lives will help lay the foundation for parenting them from a place of love and understanding. 

2:30pm Workshops



Transracial adoption and cultural diversity

In this breakout session we will explore why race matters in transracial adoption and the importance of learning about our children’s birth culture. For many families, race is a daily conversation, for others this conversation may be new.  Join us for an open conservation as we explore different ways we can talk about race and the emotions we as parents and our many children experience. Discussion will be tailored to those in attendance.

Healing Trees of Hope

Come walk through an interactive faith-based process of reflecting on your strengths and your support with tree art.  We will be drawing, but you don’t have to be a gifted artist to enjoy. This interactive workshop will take you through a series of questions that help you pause and reflect,  and you will leave with a visual reminder of what your  strengths are and how to build your resiliency as an adoptive mom. 



Understanding Self-Regulation Deficits

There’s nothing more devastating than watching your child have a  “meltdown,” “freak out,”  or “lose it” over big or little things.  Research shows that self-regulation is a universal skill set that is directly related to success in every major area of functioning. In this session,  learn about the 3 areas of self-regulation (physical regulation, emotional regulation, and cognitive regulation) and how to help your child keep calm and not “flip their lid”!



Trauma Informed Parenting Strategies

So now what? You know about this thing called trauma, you can now understand how it changes the brain and you see its impact in the daily life of your family. What do you do about it? This session will look briefly at different parenting styles, help you understand the characteristics of trauma competent caregiving, introduce strategies to build connection and touch on responding to challenging behaviors. With a focus on proactive parenting, you will walk away empowered to respond to the true needs underlying your children’s outward behaviors.


Sarah Coumbe-Guida

Taming the Tongue in Your Marriage: Healing through Humor, Humility, and Hope

Through large group activities, Sarah will help us to process verbal and nonverbal communication in marriage. In her personal stories and reflections, she will be sharing how God's Word, and the use of community can help build hope. We will learn how to reset, prioritize the Lord and marriage, and the power of communication. This journey of healing will benefit you as a mom, a wife, a friend, and allow you to heal and grow.

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