HCAF Webinars

2024 WEBINARS

 

What I Wish I Knew

February 29, 2024 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

At our camps, we have our Signature Programs, ‘Who I Am’ for Middle Schoolers, and ‘Courageous Conversations’ for our High Schoolers, but we know that the subjects discussed in these workshops don’t just come up at camp.  Join us, along with other Middle and High School parents as we come together with Fran Campbell and Taryn Johnson to talk Adoption, Identity, and Race. We will also review what some of our tween & teens shared that they wish they knew when they were younger, and address how parents can continue to have healthy, identity development conversations all-year round.

REGISTER HERE FOR THIS WEBINAR BY NOON ON FEBRUARY 29TH

HeART Talks Revisited 

January 25, 2024 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom – Postponed until further notice

HeART Talks™ has been a staple within our programming since 1995 and now we are expanding it! HeART Talks incorporates age-appropriate art interventions that facilitate conversation among children about their experiences of being adopted and raised in transracial homes. These art activities, developed for each age group of children, were designed with an understanding of the developmental stages of adoption awareness.

We invite Elementary School parents to join us as we discuss and follow-up on how Adoption and identity have come up at home or school since camp. We understand that Adoption is intrinsically tied to an Adoptee’s identity and  that these conversations don’t just come up at camp or briefly after. It can happen year-round!

Join us, along with Gracie Bueno, LPC, Art Therapist, and our HeART Talks Facilitator, to discuss our original Signature Program as we talk more about how to support Adoption and Identity discussions with Preschool through 5th grade adoptees year-round. 

REGISTER HERE FOR THIS WEBINAR BY NOON ON JANUARY 25TH

2023 WEBINAR RECORDINGS NOW AVAILABLE 

Contact us at hcaf@heritagecamps.org to obtain the recordings.

Ancestral Lineage Healing

October 24, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

Cultures around the world have cultivated relationships with their ancestors for millennia by honoring, respecting, and making sure one’s ancestors are well and healthy. These practices are still accessible today and are an abundant source of healing for adoption wounds by cultivating a deep sense of belonging to both biological and adoptive families, even when the biological family is unknown.  Join two Ancestral Healing Practitioners, adoptee Kimiko Kawabori and adoptive parent Kari Grady Grossman, to learn what Ancestral Healing is and how adoptive families can gain insights and deeper connection to each other and to the ghosts in room – the biological family living in our DNA.

Learn about this ritual based care to:

  • Develop a relationship with your Ancestors
  • Address intergenerational trauma
  • Heal family patterns
  • Embody the blessings of your People

Presenter Bios:

Kimiko Kawabori was born in Hilo, HI and adopted by two third generation Japanese Americans in Seattle. Having experimented with all kinds of methods to soothe her adoptee wound, she found Ancestral Healing alleviated her grief and anger and helped transform it into a deep sense of understanding and purpose.  Now as an Ancestral Healing Practitioner, she is passionate about helping adoptees connect with the unconditional support from their ancestors.

Kari Grady Grossman is a parent of two adult adoptees.  After many years working in media and international humanitarian aide, the parenting journey brought her to Ancestral Healing to help address debilitating anxiety, depression, and compulsive behaviors in her children that other therapeutic resources could not resolve.  Oddly enough, it was through healing with her own people that the beautiful healing for her children began to flow from their people. She trained as an Ancestral Healing Practitioner to help adoptive families fill in the gaps where pain is stuck.

REGISTER HERE FOR THIS WEBINAR BY NOON ON OCTOBER 24TH

Self Care for the Holidays – Visioning the Fun, Getting Out Ahead of the Stress

NOTE: THIS WEBINAR HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO NOVEMBER 16, 2023! WATCH FOR DETAILS SOON! 

November 16, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

Please join us for an interactive workshop on how to have more fun and less stress this holiday season! We will use a series of four questions to gain insight into our own individual expectations and fears that may be triggered by the upcoming holidays. Please bring a pen and paper to jot down insights and ideas as they come up. We will get a chance to talk to each other in Zoom rooms both to socialize a bit as well as come up with a strategy for enjoying these next few months as 2023 comes to a close. There will also be plenty of time at the end for questions and answers. We hope to see you there!

PRESENTER BIO: Asha Swaroop, MD is a Family Medicine Physician based in Southern California. She is a single mother to two children adopted from India, who are now teenagers. Her daughter came home at age 18 months, and her son came home at age 4 yo. With her background in yoga, meditation, and breathwork, she utilizes these skills to help clients deeply connect with themselves and their kids together as they navigate life at work, school, and home.  

 REGISTER HERE FOR THIS WEBINAR BY NOON ON NOVEMBER 16.

Adoption and Addiction: Two Perspectives, One Family’s Health

September 26, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

In this webinar, Laura X. Williams, Chinese American Adoptee and Licensed Addiction Counselor, aims to provide insight into the nuanced relationship between addiction and adoptee mental health. According to the 2023 National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, Substance Use Disorder [as defined by the DSM-V (2013)] affect over 20 million Americans aged 12 and over. 1 A study in Sweden (2016) found 4.5% of adopted individuals had problems with drug abuse, compared with 2.9% of the general population and, adoptees had about twice the risk of drug abuse if either their biological full or half-sibling had a drug abuse problem. 2 This suggests that both environment and biological family history can influence a child’s likelihood of future drug use. 3 Participants are invited to learn about models of addiction, themes in the adoptee experience (both domestic/international), and apply new lenses towards adoptive family health. Webinar registrants including adoptees, adoptive parents, partners of adoptees, children of adoptees, etc. ages 18 and older and encouraged to attend.

Professionally, Laura X. Williams is a Marriage and Family Therapist, Addiction Counselor, and Sex Therapist. Personally, she is a Chinese American Intercountry Transracial Adoptee who believes in the power and magic of community! She has been involved with Heritage Camps since 2019 and during the rest of the year, enjoys movies, jazz concerts, and playing trombone. Laura also organizes with a local adult Asian identifying social group called Asian Vibes in Denver.

 THIS WEBINAR RECORDING IS NOW AVAILABLE. PLEASE CONTACT US AT HCAF@HERITAGECAMPS.ORG IF YOU ARE INTERESTED.

2022-2023 HCAF Webinar Recordings Available Contact us for Information:

hcaf@heritagecamps.org

Leveling Up!

Explore Launching and Transitioning Adult Adoptees While Continuing to Build Healthy and Strong Family Relationships!

Foster and adoptive families are unique and moving into the adult years with an adoptee is no exception. Dr. Christina Reese and Elaine Shenk have worked with adoptive families for almost 30 combined years and have been parenting adoptees for over 40 combined years. Dr. Christina Reese is an author, presenter and therapist specializing in attachment, adoption and trauma. Elaine Shenk is the director of Bethany Christian Services for Central Pennsylvania and works with families pre and post adoption. They share their experiences and what they have learned along this journey, with humor, compassion and practical take aways.

Adoptees, because of their attachment trauma, have a harder time trusting and resting in supportive relationships. For years, families have been working on building relationships that are strong and steady. Launching into adulthood, those relationships can become shaky and begin to crumble.

Avoid attachment ruptures by learning ways to provide the support that the adoptee needs. Understand how trauma changes the brain and what challenges the adoptee may face in the launching process. TBRI principles that we used in childhood are still relevant in the young adult years-learn how to keep applying them in this developmental stage.

RECORDING AVAILABLE.

Mental Health Factors & LGBQT+ Youth 

LGBTQ+ youth and young adults are one of the fastest growing demographics nationwide. Increased representation,  along with access to social media as both consumers and creators, are allowing many more young people to explore and assert their identities, and often find community, earlier than in past generations. However, the mental health crisis in our country is impacting LGBTQ+ youth at rates significantly higher than their heterosexual and cisgender peers. We know that even just one affirming adult in an LGBTQ+ youth’s life can significantly reduce the risk of suicide, depression, anxiety, disordered eating, and loneliness/isolation.

This presentation is designed to help participants understand the mental health disparities and overarching risk factors facing LGBTQ+ youth. We will explore mindsets, strategies, and protective factors that can create more LGBTQ-affirming environments in all facets of young people’s lives,  leading to increased mental health and wellbeing, more positive relationships with family and community, and more successful transitions into adulthood. Participants will also be invited to share their own reflections, victories, and challenges associated with mentoring and supporting LGBTQ+ youth. 

Presenter Bio:

Brad Barfield (he/him) is Vice President with Envision:You, and as a queer person in recovery himself, is passionate about creating culturally responsive and affirming resources for the LGBTQ+ community focused on mental health and substance use. At Envision:You, he oversees programming for queer and questioning youth, LGBTQ+ folks living in rural Colorado, DEI initiatives, and all grant efforts. Brad holds a Masters of Business Administration from George Washington University, and a Bachelors of Engineering from Vanderbilt University. 

RECORDING AVAILABLE

Understanding Adoption and Attachment for Fulfilling Relationships – recording available

This webinar will be a dual approach of a fact-based Ukraine briefing (what is happening and why exactly), followed by a hands-on guide to helping a

We invite you to a conversation about how attachment plays out for families touched by adoption. How does the need for attachment affect an adoptee’s relations with friends, peers, family, life partners, and co-workers?  With a holistic lens we will explore attachment theory in conjunction with lifespan development. Participates are encouraged to deepen their own self-awareness of attachment and learn about the role attachment plays in an adoptive family. It is intended for participants to leave this session with a sense of knowing how to build healthy relationships over time.

At the end of this webinar, we will give participants the opportunity to voice what areas regarding adoptees and their relationships they want to explore in more depth for the follow-up session.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Presenter Bio:

Laura X. Williams is a Chinese American Adoptee who works as a therapist with couples and families in the Denver area. She graduated from Goucher College with a Masters in Cultural Sustainability and completed a post-masters certificate program in Marriage & Family Therapy at Denver Family Institute. Learning about love and attachment has been a key point in her own healing process as an intercountry, transracial adoptee. Now, Laura embraces the therapy room as a place to encourage and create a new way of being with each other and with ourselves.

RECORDING AVAILABLE

 

Navigating the War in Ukraine for Adopted Children

This webinar will be a dual approach of a fact-based Ukraine briefing (what is happening and why exactly), followed by a hands-on guide to helping adoptees understand and deal with the on-going crisis in Ukraine.

Presenter Bios:

Kelly A. Raftery KellyARaftery@gmail.com 702-845-2056 Kelly A. Raftery is a Russia Area Specialist, Linguist and Author based in Colorado. Kelly worked and lived in the countries of the former Soviet Union and counts among her accomplishments: opening St. Petersburg’s first full-service western style supermarket, Moscow’s first self-service laundromat and facilitating the first international franchise agreement in Central Asia. Kelly provided Cabinet level support for a bilateral (US Russia) commission and won the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Under Secretary’s award for Innovation during her time in Washington, DC. Kelly taught Russian language and pop culture at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and has contributed to several publications, including “A Stone Lives On” from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Kelly’s life-long interest with the Soviet Union and its successor states began with Russian classes in high school and has never waned. She crossed the Iron Curtain at Checkpoint Charlie and has many stories of living in post-collapsed Russia and Central Asia. Kelly extensively lectures, teaches, and consults on this area of the world to a wide variety of organizations and companies.

Katie Bell has been an adoptive parent since 2005.  She worked for four years helping families stay together and not enter or reenter foster care.  In that role, she became a TBRI practitioner and trained parents and professionals in a trauma-informed caregiving system.   Katie will be discussing how to talk to children about hard things, how to separate identity from politics, and how to support children as they process the war.  She will also talk about behaviors that may be signs of processing and how to manage big emotions.  Parent-to-parent, Katie will help you navigate these feeling arising in our kids and will also be able to talk with teens/young adults who join the webinar.

RECORDING AVAILABLE

“Transracial Parenting: A Refresher for Today on How to Talk about Race & Racism” – recording avilable

Dr. Wirta-Leiker’s Description: Update your parenting toolbox and refresh your skills navigating the tough conversations about race and racism with your transracial adoptee of color. We’ll cover developmentally appropriate language, the do’s and do not’s of being an ally-caregiver, and strategies for responding to racism.

Bio: Dr. Chaitra Wirta-Leiker is a licensed psychologist, international/transracial adoptee & adoptive parent specializing in providing mental health support for adoption, trauma & racial identity work through her private practice in Denver, Colorado. She is a frequent speaker & trainer at adoption agencies, camps, including many for HCAF,  & conferences throughout the U.S. & is the author of “The Adoptee Self-Reflection Journal.”

RECORDING AVAILABLE

“Now What ?” What to do when you think your child may need help . . .forever” – recording avilable

It is a common story for some adoptive families.  They knew their child had struggles, maybe even a diagnosis, but thought with enough love, support and time, they’d be “OK”.  As our children hit their teen years, it may become apparent that they will need some sort of assistance throughout their lifetime.  What supports are available? How does one access them? Who will help them when we cannot and what are we in for financially?  What do we do with their 529 college fund now? Is an ABLE Account a good strategy? Learn what is necessary to plan for your child’s lifetime and the impact that may have on your own planning.

Melissa J. Lang, CLU, ChSNC is a financial advisor and Chartered Special Needs Consultant.  She has been helping families plan for their future for over 25 years.  Melissa is an adoptive parent of two young adults adopted at about one year of age from Russia and Ukraine.  Her daughter, now 21, has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

RECORDING AVAILABLE

Melissa J. Lang is a registered representative of and offers securities, investment advisory and financial planning services through MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC.OSJ 4600 S. Ulster St. #1200,Denver CO 80237. (303)692.8183. Special Needs Planning Partners is not an affiliate or subsidiary of MML Investors Services, LLC, or its affiliated companies.

 

The Element of Surprise – recording available

Please join us for a webinar with the hosts from Tough Love: Adoptees’ Perspectives on Relationships. This panel will shed light on some of the reasons why it seems out of nowhere your adoptee “turns” on you. We will discuss some subtle cues to look for and how to support your adoptee when dealing with these intense emotions. We love to make these webinars as interactive as possible so please come with questions and curiosity! Lauren, Deontae and Glenna hope to see you there! 

RECORDING AVAILABLE

Self Care for the Holidays – Visioning the Fun, Getting Out Ahead of the Stress

NOTE: THIS WEBINAR HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR NOVEMBER 16, 2023! WATCH FOR DETAILS SOON! 

November 16, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

Please join us for an interactive workshop on how to have more fun and less stress this holiday season! We will use a series of four questions to gain insight into our own individual expectations and fears that may be triggered by the upcoming holidays. Please bring a pen and paper to jot down insights and ideas as they come up. We will get a chance to talk to each other in Zoom rooms both to socialize a bit as well as come up with a strategy for enjoying these next few months as 2023 comes to a close. There will also be plenty of time at the end for questions and answers. We hope to see you there!

PRESENTER BIO: Asha Swaroop, MD is a Family Medicine Physician based in Southern California. She is a single mother to two children adopted from India, who are now teenagers. Her daughter came home at age 18 months, and her son came home at age 4 yo. With her background in yoga, meditation, and breathwork, she utilizes these skills to help clients deeply connect with themselves and their kids together as they navigate life at work, school, and home.  

 REGISTER HERE FOR THIS WEBINAR BY NOON ON NOVEMBER 16.

Ancestral Lineage Healing

October 24, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

Cultures around the world have cultivated relationships with their ancestors for millennia by honoring, respecting, and making sure one’s ancestors are well and healthy. These practices are still accessible today and are an abundant source of healing for adoption wounds by cultivating a deep sense of belonging to both biological and adoptive families, even when the biological family is unknown.  Join two Ancestral Healing Practitioners, adoptee Kimiko Kawabori and adoptive parent Kari Grady Grossman, to learn what Ancestral Healing is and how adoptive families can gain insights and deeper connection to each other and to the ghosts in room – the biological family living in our DNA.

Learn about this ritual based care to:

  • Develop a relationship with your Ancestors
  • Address intergenerational trauma
  • Heal family patterns
  • Embody the blessings of your People

Presenter Bios:

Kimiko Kawabori was born in Hilo, HI and adopted by two third generation Japanese Americans in Seattle. Having experimented with all kinds of methods to soothe her adoptee wound, she found Ancestral Healing alleviated her grief and anger and helped transform it into a deep sense of understanding and purpose.  Now as an Ancestral Healing Practitioner, she is passionate about helping adoptees connect with the unconditional support from their ancestors.

Kari Grady Grossman is a parent of two adult adoptees.  After many years working in media and international humanitarian aide, the parenting journey brought her to Ancestral Healing to help address debilitating anxiety, depression, and compulsive behaviors in her children that other therapeutic resources could not resolve.  Oddly enough, it was through healing with her own people that the beautiful healing for her children began to flow from their people. She trained as an Ancestral Healing Practitioner to help adoptive families fill in the gaps where pain is stuck.

REGISTER HERE FOR THIS WEBINAR BY NOON ON OCTOBER 24TH

Self Care for the Holidays – Visioning the Fun, Getting Out Ahead of the Stress

NOTE: THIS WEBINAR HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO NOVEMBER 16, 2023! WATCH FOR DETAILS SOON! 

November 16, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

Please join us for an interactive workshop on how to have more fun and less stress this holiday season! We will use a series of four questions to gain insight into our own individual expectations and fears that may be triggered by the upcoming holidays. Please bring a pen and paper to jot down insights and ideas as they come up. We will get a chance to talk to each other in Zoom rooms both to socialize a bit as well as come up with a strategy for enjoying these next few months as 2023 comes to a close. There will also be plenty of time at the end for questions and answers. We hope to see you there!

PRESENTER BIO: Asha Swaroop, MD is a Family Medicine Physician based in Southern California. She is a single mother to two children adopted from India, who are now teenagers. Her daughter came home at age 18 months, and her son came home at age 4 yo. With her background in yoga, meditation, and breathwork, she utilizes these skills to help clients deeply connect with themselves and their kids together as they navigate life at work, school, and home.  

 REGISTER HERE FOR THIS WEBINAR BY NOON ON NOVEMBER 16.

Adoption and Addiction: Two Perspectives, One Family’s Health

September 26, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

In this webinar, Laura X. Williams, Chinese American Adoptee and Licensed Addiction Counselor, aims to provide insight into the nuanced relationship between addiction and adoptee mental health. According to the 2023 National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, Substance Use Disorder [as defined by the DSM-V (2013)] affect over 20 million Americans aged 12 and over. 1 A study in Sweden (2016) found 4.5% of adopted individuals had problems with drug abuse, compared with 2.9% of the general population and, adoptees had about twice the risk of drug abuse if either their biological full or half-sibling had a drug abuse problem. 2 This suggests that both environment and biological family history can influence a child’s likelihood of future drug use. 3 Participants are invited to learn about models of addiction, themes in the adoptee experience (both domestic/international), and apply new lenses towards adoptive family health. Webinar registrants including adoptees, adoptive parents, partners of adoptees, children of adoptees, etc. ages 18 and older and encouraged to attend.

Professionally, Laura X. Williams is a Marriage and Family Therapist, Addiction Counselor, and Sex Therapist. Personally, she is a Chinese American Intercountry Transracial Adoptee who believes in the power and magic of community! She has been involved with Heritage Camps since 2019 and during the rest of the year, enjoys movies, jazz concerts, and playing trombone. Laura also organizes with a local adult Asian identifying social group called Asian Vibes in Denver.

 THIS WEBINAR RECORDING IS NOW AVAILABLE. PLEASE CONTACT US AT HCAF@HERITAGECAMPS.ORG IF YOU ARE INTERESTED.

2022-2023 HCAF Webinar Recordings Available Contact us for Information:

hcaf@heritagecamps.org

Leveling Up!

Explore Launching and Transitioning Adult Adoptees While Continuing to Build Healthy and Strong Family Relationships!

Foster and adoptive families are unique and moving into the adult years with an adoptee is no exception. Dr. Christina Reese and Elaine Shenk have worked with adoptive families for almost 30 combined years and have been parenting adoptees for over 40 combined years. Dr. Christina Reese is an author, presenter and therapist specializing in attachment, adoption and trauma. Elaine Shenk is the director of Bethany Christian Services for Central Pennsylvania and works with families pre and post adoption. They share their experiences and what they have learned along this journey, with humor, compassion and practical take aways.

Adoptees, because of their attachment trauma, have a harder time trusting and resting in supportive relationships. For years, families have been working on building relationships that are strong and steady. Launching into adulthood, those relationships can become shaky and begin to crumble.

Avoid attachment ruptures by learning ways to provide the support that the adoptee needs. Understand how trauma changes the brain and what challenges the adoptee may face in the launching process. TBRI principles that we used in childhood are still relevant in the young adult years-learn how to keep applying them in this developmental stage.

RECORDING AVAILABLE.

Mental Health Factors & LGBQT+ Youth 

LGBTQ+ youth and young adults are one of the fastest growing demographics nationwide. Increased representation,  along with access to social media as both consumers and creators, are allowing many more young people to explore and assert their identities, and often find community, earlier than in past generations. However, the mental health crisis in our country is impacting LGBTQ+ youth at rates significantly higher than their heterosexual and cisgender peers. We know that even just one affirming adult in an LGBTQ+ youth’s life can significantly reduce the risk of suicide, depression, anxiety, disordered eating, and loneliness/isolation.

This presentation is designed to help participants understand the mental health disparities and overarching risk factors facing LGBTQ+ youth. We will explore mindsets, strategies, and protective factors that can create more LGBTQ-affirming environments in all facets of young people’s lives,  leading to increased mental health and wellbeing, more positive relationships with family and community, and more successful transitions into adulthood. Participants will also be invited to share their own reflections, victories, and challenges associated with mentoring and supporting LGBTQ+ youth. 

Presenter Bio:

Brad Barfield (he/him) is Vice President with Envision:You, and as a queer person in recovery himself, is passionate about creating culturally responsive and affirming resources for the LGBTQ+ community focused on mental health and substance use. At Envision:You, he oversees programming for queer and questioning youth, LGBTQ+ folks living in rural Colorado, DEI initiatives, and all grant efforts. Brad holds a Masters of Business Administration from George Washington University, and a Bachelors of Engineering from Vanderbilt University. 

RECORDING AVAILABLE

Understanding Adoption and Attachment for Fulfilling Relationships – recording available

This webinar will be a dual approach of a fact-based Ukraine briefing (what is happening and why exactly), followed by a hands-on guide to helping a

We invite you to a conversation about how attachment plays out for families touched by adoption. How does the need for attachment affect an adoptee’s relations with friends, peers, family, life partners, and co-workers?  With a holistic lens we will explore attachment theory in conjunction with lifespan development. Participates are encouraged to deepen their own self-awareness of attachment and learn about the role attachment plays in an adoptive family. It is intended for participants to leave this session with a sense of knowing how to build healthy relationships over time.

At the end of this webinar, we will give participants the opportunity to voice what areas regarding adoptees and their relationships they want to explore in more depth for the follow-up session.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Presenter Bio:

Laura X. Williams is a Chinese American Adoptee who works as a therapist with couples and families in the Denver area. She graduated from Goucher College with a Masters in Cultural Sustainability and completed a post-masters certificate program in Marriage & Family Therapy at Denver Family Institute. Learning about love and attachment has been a key point in her own healing process as an intercountry, transracial adoptee. Now, Laura embraces the therapy room as a place to encourage and create a new way of being with each other and with ourselves.

RECORDING AVAILABLE

 

Navigating the War in Ukraine for Adopted Children

This webinar will be a dual approach of a fact-based Ukraine briefing (what is happening and why exactly), followed by a hands-on guide to helping adoptees understand and deal with the on-going crisis in Ukraine.

Presenter Bios:

Kelly A. Raftery KellyARaftery@gmail.com 702-845-2056 Kelly A. Raftery is a Russia Area Specialist, Linguist and Author based in Colorado. Kelly worked and lived in the countries of the former Soviet Union and counts among her accomplishments: opening St. Petersburg’s first full-service western style supermarket, Moscow’s first self-service laundromat and facilitating the first international franchise agreement in Central Asia. Kelly provided Cabinet level support for a bilateral (US Russia) commission and won the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Under Secretary’s award for Innovation during her time in Washington, DC. Kelly taught Russian language and pop culture at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and has contributed to several publications, including “A Stone Lives On” from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Kelly’s life-long interest with the Soviet Union and its successor states began with Russian classes in high school and has never waned. She crossed the Iron Curtain at Checkpoint Charlie and has many stories of living in post-collapsed Russia and Central Asia. Kelly extensively lectures, teaches, and consults on this area of the world to a wide variety of organizations and companies.

Katie Bell has been an adoptive parent since 2005.  She worked for four years helping families stay together and not enter or reenter foster care.  In that role, she became a TBRI practitioner and trained parents and professionals in a trauma-informed caregiving system.   Katie will be discussing how to talk to children about hard things, how to separate identity from politics, and how to support children as they process the war.  She will also talk about behaviors that may be signs of processing and how to manage big emotions.  Parent-to-parent, Katie will help you navigate these feeling arising in our kids and will also be able to talk with teens/young adults who join the webinar.

RECORDING AVAILABLE

“Transracial Parenting: A Refresher for Today on How to Talk about Race & Racism” – recording avilable

Dr. Wirta-Leiker’s Description: Update your parenting toolbox and refresh your skills navigating the tough conversations about race and racism with your transracial adoptee of color. We’ll cover developmentally appropriate language, the do’s and do not’s of being an ally-caregiver, and strategies for responding to racism.

Bio: Dr. Chaitra Wirta-Leiker is a licensed psychologist, international/transracial adoptee & adoptive parent specializing in providing mental health support for adoption, trauma & racial identity work through her private practice in Denver, Colorado. She is a frequent speaker & trainer at adoption agencies, camps, including many for HCAF,  & conferences throughout the U.S. & is the author of “The Adoptee Self-Reflection Journal.”

RECORDING AVAILABLE

“Now What ?” What to do when you think your child may need help . . .forever” – recording avilable

It is a common story for some adoptive families.  They knew their child had struggles, maybe even a diagnosis, but thought with enough love, support and time, they’d be “OK”.  As our children hit their teen years, it may become apparent that they will need some sort of assistance throughout their lifetime.  What supports are available? How does one access them? Who will help them when we cannot and what are we in for financially?  What do we do with their 529 college fund now? Is an ABLE Account a good strategy? Learn what is necessary to plan for your child’s lifetime and the impact that may have on your own planning.

Melissa J. Lang, CLU, ChSNC is a financial advisor and Chartered Special Needs Consultant.  She has been helping families plan for their future for over 25 years.  Melissa is an adoptive parent of two young adults adopted at about one year of age from Russia and Ukraine.  Her daughter, now 21, has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

RECORDING AVAILABLE

Melissa J. Lang is a registered representative of and offers securities, investment advisory and financial planning services through MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC.OSJ 4600 S. Ulster St. #1200,Denver CO 80237. (303)692.8183. Special Needs Planning Partners is not an affiliate or subsidiary of MML Investors Services, LLC, or its affiliated companies.

 

The Element of Surprise – recording available

Please join us for a webinar with the hosts from Tough Love: Adoptees’ Perspectives on Relationships. This panel will shed light on some of the reasons why it seems out of nowhere your adoptee “turns” on you. We will discuss some subtle cues to look for and how to support your adoptee when dealing with these intense emotions. We love to make these webinars as interactive as possible so please come with questions and curiosity! Lauren, Deontae and Glenna hope to see you there! 

RECORDING AVAILABLE

Self Care for the Holidays – Visioning the Fun, Getting Out Ahead of the Stress

NOTE: THIS WEBINAR HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR NOVEMBER 16, 2023! WATCH FOR DETAILS SOON! 

November 16, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

Please join us for an interactive workshop on how to have more fun and less stress this holiday season! We will use a series of four questions to gain insight into our own individual expectations and fears that may be triggered by the upcoming holidays. Please bring a pen and paper to jot down insights and ideas as they come up. We will get a chance to talk to each other in Zoom rooms both to socialize a bit as well as come up with a strategy for enjoying these next few months as 2023 comes to a close. There will also be plenty of time at the end for questions and answers. We hope to see you there!

PRESENTER BIO: Asha Swaroop, MD is a Family Medicine Physician based in Southern California. She is a single mother to two children adopted from India, who are now teenagers. Her daughter came home at age 18 months, and her son came home at age 4 yo. With her background in yoga, meditation, and breathwork, she utilizes these skills to help clients deeply connect with themselves and their kids together as they navigate life at work, school, and home.  

 REGISTER HERE FOR THIS WEBINAR BY NOON ON NOVEMBER 16.

Ancestral Lineage Healing

October 24, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

Cultures around the world have cultivated relationships with their ancestors for millennia by honoring, respecting, and making sure one’s ancestors are well and healthy. These practices are still accessible today and are an abundant source of healing for adoption wounds by cultivating a deep sense of belonging to both biological and adoptive families, even when the biological family is unknown.  Join two Ancestral Healing Practitioners, adoptee Kimiko Kawabori and adoptive parent Kari Grady Grossman, to learn what Ancestral Healing is and how adoptive families can gain insights and deeper connection to each other and to the ghosts in room – the biological family living in our DNA.   

Learn about this ritual based care to: 

  • Develop a relationship with your Ancestors
  • Address intergenerational trauma
  • Heal family patterns 
  • Embody the blessings of your People

Presenter Bios:

Kimiko Kawabori was born in Hilo, HI and adopted by two third generation Japanese Americans in Seattle. Having experimented with all kinds of methods to soothe her adoptee wound, she found Ancestral Healing alleviated her grief and anger and helped transform it into a deep sense of understanding and purpose.  Now as an Ancestral Healing Practitioner, she is passionate about helping adoptees connect with the unconditional support from their ancestors.

Kari Grady Grossman is a parent of two adult adoptees.  After many years working in media and international humanitarian aide, the parenting journey brought her to Ancestral Healing to help address debilitating anxiety, depression, and compulsive behaviors in her children that other therapeutic resources could not resolve.  Oddly enough, it was through healing with her own people that the beautiful healing for her children began to flow from their people. She trained as an Ancestral Healing Practitioner to help adoptive families fill in the gaps where pain is stuck. 

REGISTER HERE FOR THIS WEBINAR BY NOON ON OCTOBER 24TH

Self Care for the Holidays – Visioning the Fun, Getting Out Ahead of the Stress

NOTE: THIS WEBINAR HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO NOVEMBER 16, 2023! WATCH FOR DETAILS SOON! 

November 16, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

Please join us for an interactive workshop on how to have more fun and less stress this holiday season! We will use a series of four questions to gain insight into our own individual expectations and fears that may be triggered by the upcoming holidays. Please bring a pen and paper to jot down insights and ideas as they come up. We will get a chance to talk to each other in Zoom rooms both to socialize a bit as well as come up with a strategy for enjoying these next few months as 2023 comes to a close. There will also be plenty of time at the end for questions and answers. We hope to see you there!

PRESENTER BIO: Asha Swaroop, MD is a Family Medicine Physician based in Southern California. She is a single mother to two children adopted from India, who are now teenagers. Her daughter came home at age 18 months, and her son came home at age 4 yo. With her background in yoga, meditation, and breathwork, she utilizes these skills to help clients deeply connect with themselves and their kids together as they navigate life at work, school, and home.  

 REGISTER HERE FOR THIS WEBINAR BY NOON ON NOVEMBER 16.

 Adoption and Addiction: Two Perspectives, One Family’s Health

September 26, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

In this webinar, Laura X. Williams, Chinese American Adoptee and Licensed Addiction Counselor, aims to provide insight into the nuanced relationship between addiction and adoptee mental health. According to the 2023 National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, Substance Use Disorder [as defined by the DSM-V (2013)] affect over 20 million Americans aged 12 and over. 1 A study in Sweden (2016) found 4.5% of adopted individuals had problems with drug abuse, compared with 2.9% of the general population and, adoptees had about twice the risk of drug abuse if either their biological full or half-sibling had a drug abuse problem. 2 This suggests that both environment and biological family history can influence a child’s likelihood of future drug use. 3 Participants are invited to learn about models of addiction, themes in the adoptee experience (both domestic/international), and apply new lenses towards adoptive family health. Webinar registrants including adoptees, adoptive parents, partners of adoptees, children of adoptees, etc. ages 18 and older and encouraged to attend.

Professionally, Laura X. Williams is a Marriage and Family Therapist, Addiction Counselor, and Sex Therapist. Personally, she is a Chinese American Intercountry Transracial Adoptee who believes in the power and magic of community! She has been involved with Heritage Camps since 2019 and during the rest of the year, enjoys movies, jazz concerts, and playing trombone. Laura also organizes with a local adult Asian identifying social group called Asian Vibes in Denver.

 THIS WEBINAR RECORDING IS NOW AVAILABLE. PLEASE CONTACT US AT HCAF@HERITAGECAMPS.ORG IF YOU ARE INTERESTED.

2022-2023 HCAF Webinar Recordings Available Contact us for Information:

hcaf@heritagecamps.org

Leveling Up!

Explore Launching and Transitioning Adult Adoptees While Continuing to Build Healthy and Strong Family Relationships!

Foster and adoptive families are unique and moving into the adult years with an adoptee is no exception. Dr. Christina Reese and Elaine Shenk have worked with adoptive families for almost 30 combined years and have been parenting adoptees for over 40 combined years. Dr. Christina Reese is an author, presenter and therapist specializing in attachment, adoption and trauma. Elaine Shenk is the director of Bethany Christian Services for Central Pennsylvania and works with families pre and post adoption. They share their experiences and what they have learned along this journey, with humor, compassion and practical take aways.

Adoptees, because of their attachment trauma, have a harder time trusting and resting in supportive relationships. For years, families have been working on building relationships that are strong and steady. Launching into adulthood, those relationships can become shaky and begin to crumble.

Avoid attachment ruptures by learning ways to provide the support that the adoptee needs. Understand how trauma changes the brain and what challenges the adoptee may face in the launching process. TBRI principles that we used in childhood are still relevant in the young adult years-learn how to keep applying them in this developmental stage.

RECORDING AVAILABLE.

Mental Health Factors & LGBQT+ Youth 

LGBTQ+ youth and young adults are one of the fastest growing demographics nationwide. Increased representation,  along with access to social media as both consumers and creators, are allowing many more young people to explore and assert their identities, and often find community, earlier than in past generations. However, the mental health crisis in our country is impacting LGBTQ+ youth at rates significantly higher than their heterosexual and cisgender peers. We know that even just one affirming adult in an LGBTQ+ youth’s life can significantly reduce the risk of suicide, depression, anxiety, disordered eating, and loneliness/isolation.

This presentation is designed to help participants understand the mental health disparities and overarching risk factors facing LGBTQ+ youth. We will explore mindsets, strategies, and protective factors that can create more LGBTQ-affirming environments in all facets of young people’s lives,  leading to increased mental health and wellbeing, more positive relationships with family and community, and more successful transitions into adulthood. Participants will also be invited to share their own reflections, victories, and challenges associated with mentoring and supporting LGBTQ+ youth. 

Presenter Bio:

Brad Barfield (he/him) is Vice President with Envision:You, and as a queer person in recovery himself, is passionate about creating culturally responsive and affirming resources for the LGBTQ+ community focused on mental health and substance use. At Envision:You, he oversees programming for queer and questioning youth, LGBTQ+ folks living in rural Colorado, DEI initiatives, and all grant efforts. Brad holds a Masters of Business Administration from George Washington University, and a Bachelors of Engineering from Vanderbilt University. 

RECORDING AVAILABLE

Understanding Adoption and Attachment for Fulfilling Relationships – recording available

This webinar will be a dual approach of a fact-based Ukraine briefing (what is happening and why exactly), followed by a hands-on guide to helping a

We invite you to a conversation about how attachment plays out for families touched by adoption. How does the need for attachment affect an adoptee’s relations with friends, peers, family, life partners, and co-workers?  With a holistic lens we will explore attachment theory in conjunction with lifespan development. Participates are encouraged to deepen their own self-awareness of attachment and learn about the role attachment plays in an adoptive family. It is intended for participants to leave this session with a sense of knowing how to build healthy relationships over time.

 At the end of this webinar, we will give participants the opportunity to voice what areas regarding adoptees and their relationships they want to explore in more depth for the follow-up session.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Presenter Bio:

Laura X. Williams is a Chinese American Adoptee who works as a therapist with couples and families in the Denver area. She graduated from Goucher College with a Masters in Cultural Sustainability and completed a post-masters certificate program in Marriage & Family Therapy at Denver Family Institute. Learning about love and attachment has been a key point in her own healing process as an intercountry, transracial adoptee. Now, Laura embraces the therapy room as a place to encourage and create a new way of being with each other and with ourselves.

RECORDING AVAILABLE

 

Navigating the War in Ukraine for Adopted Children

This webinar will be a dual approach of a fact-based Ukraine briefing (what is happening and why exactly), followed by a hands-on guide to helping adoptees understand and deal with the on-going crisis in Ukraine.

Presenter Bios:

Kelly A. Raftery KellyARaftery@gmail.com 702-845-2056 Kelly A. Raftery is a Russia Area Specialist, Linguist and Author based in Colorado. Kelly worked and lived in the countries of the former Soviet Union and counts among her accomplishments: opening St. Petersburg’s first full-service western style supermarket, Moscow’s first self-service laundromat and facilitating the first international franchise agreement in Central Asia. Kelly provided Cabinet level support for a bilateral (US Russia) commission and won the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Under Secretary’s award for Innovation during her time in Washington, DC. Kelly taught Russian language and pop culture at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and has contributed to several publications, including “A Stone Lives On” from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Kelly’s life-long interest with the Soviet Union and its successor states began with Russian classes in high school and has never waned. She crossed the Iron Curtain at Checkpoint Charlie and has many stories of living in post-collapsed Russia and Central Asia. Kelly extensively lectures, teaches, and consults on this area of the world to a wide variety of organizations and companies.

Katie Bell has been an adoptive parent since 2005.  She worked for four years helping families stay together and not enter or reenter foster care.  In that role, she became a TBRI practitioner and trained parents and professionals in a trauma-informed caregiving system.   Katie will be discussing how to talk to children about hard things, how to separate identity from politics, and how to support children as they process the war.  She will also talk about behaviors that may be signs of processing and how to manage big emotions.  Parent-to-parent, Katie will help you navigate these feeling arising in our kids and will also be able to talk with teens/young adults who join the webinar.

RECORDING AVAILABLE

“Transracial Parenting: A Refresher for Today on How to Talk about Race & Racism” – recording avilable

Dr. Wirta-Leiker’s Description: Update your parenting toolbox and refresh your skills navigating the tough conversations about race and racism with your transracial adoptee of color. We’ll cover developmentally appropriate language, the do’s and do not’s of being an ally-caregiver, and strategies for responding to racism.

Bio: Dr. Chaitra Wirta-Leiker is a licensed psychologist, international/transracial adoptee & adoptive parent specializing in providing mental health support for adoption, trauma & racial identity work through her private practice in Denver, Colorado. She is a frequent speaker & trainer at adoption agencies, camps, including many for HCAF,  & conferences throughout the U.S. & is the author of “The Adoptee Self-Reflection Journal.”

RECORDING AVAILABLE

“Now What ?” What to do when you think your child may need help . . .forever” – recording avilable

It is a common story for some adoptive families.  They knew their child had struggles, maybe even a diagnosis, but thought with enough love, support and time, they’d be “OK”.  As our children hit their teen years, it may become apparent that they will need some sort of assistance throughout their lifetime.  What supports are available? How does one access them? Who will help them when we cannot and what are we in for financially?  What do we do with their 529 college fund now? Is an ABLE Account a good strategy? Learn what is necessary to plan for your child’s lifetime and the impact that may have on your own planning.

Melissa J. Lang, CLU, ChSNC is a financial advisor and Chartered Special Needs Consultant.  She has been helping families plan for their future for over 25 years.  Melissa is an adoptive parent of two young adults adopted at about one year of age from Russia and Ukraine.  Her daughter, now 21, has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

RECORDING AVAILABLE

Melissa J. Lang is a registered representative of and offers securities, investment advisory and financial planning services through MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC.OSJ 4600 S. Ulster St. #1200,Denver CO 80237. (303)692.8183. Special Needs Planning Partners is not an affiliate or subsidiary of MML Investors Services, LLC, or its affiliated companies.

 

The Element of Surprise – recording available

Please join us for a webinar with the hosts from Tough Love: Adoptees’ Perspectives on Relationships. This panel will shed light on some of the reasons why it seems out of nowhere your adoptee “turns” on you. We will discuss some subtle cues to look for and how to support your adoptee when dealing with these intense emotions. We love to make these webinars as interactive as possible so please come with questions and curiosity! Lauren, Deontae and Glenna hope to see you there! 

RECORDING AVAILABLE

Self Care for the Holidays – Visioning the Fun, Getting Out Ahead of the Stress

NOTE: THIS WEBINAR HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR NOVEMBER 16, 2023! WATCH FOR DETAILS SOON! 

November 16, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

Please join us for an interactive workshop on how to have more fun and less stress this holiday season! We will use a series of four questions to gain insight into our own individual expectations and fears that may be triggered by the upcoming holidays. Please bring a pen and paper to jot down insights and ideas as they come up. We will get a chance to talk to each other in Zoom rooms both to socialize a bit as well as come up with a strategy for enjoying these next few months as 2023 comes to a close. There will also be plenty of time at the end for questions and answers. We hope to see you there!

PRESENTER BIO: Asha Swaroop, MD is a Family Medicine Physician based in Southern California. She is a single mother to two children adopted from India, who are now teenagers. Her daughter came home at age 18 months, and her son came home at age 4 yo. With her background in yoga, meditation, and breathwork, she utilizes these skills to help clients deeply connect with themselves and their kids together as they navigate life at work, school, and home.  

 REGISTER HERE FOR THIS WEBINAR BY NOON ON NOVEMBER 16.

Ancestral Lineage Healing

October 24, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

Cultures around the world have cultivated relationships with their ancestors for millennia by honoring, respecting, and making sure one’s ancestors are well and healthy. These practices are still accessible today and are an abundant source of healing for adoption wounds by cultivating a deep sense of belonging to both biological and adoptive families, even when the biological family is unknown.  Join two Ancestral Healing Practitioners, adoptee Kimiko Kawabori and adoptive parent Kari Grady Grossman, to learn what Ancestral Healing is and how adoptive families can gain insights and deeper connection to each other and to the ghosts in room – the biological family living in our DNA.   

Learn about this ritual based care to: 

  • Develop a relationship with your Ancestors
  • Address intergenerational trauma
  • Heal family patterns 
  • Embody the blessings of your People

Presenter Bios:

Kimiko Kawabori was born in Hilo, HI and adopted by two third generation Japanese Americans in Seattle. Having experimented with all kinds of methods to soothe her adoptee wound, she found Ancestral Healing alleviated her grief and anger and helped transform it into a deep sense of understanding and purpose.  Now as an Ancestral Healing Practitioner, she is passionate about helping adoptees connect with the unconditional support from their ancestors.

Kari Grady Grossman is a parent of two adult adoptees.  After many years working in media and international humanitarian aide, the parenting journey brought her to Ancestral Healing to help address debilitating anxiety, depression, and compulsive behaviors in her children that other therapeutic resources could not resolve.  Oddly enough, it was through healing with her own people that the beautiful healing for her children began to flow from their people. She trained as an Ancestral Healing Practitioner to help adoptive families fill in the gaps where pain is stuck. 

REGISTER HERE FOR THIS WEBINAR BY NOON ON OCTOBER 24TH

Self Care for the Holidays – Visioning the Fun, Getting Out Ahead of the Stress

NOTE: THIS WEBINAR HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO NOVEMBER 16, 2023! WATCH FOR DETAILS SOON! 

November 16, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

Please join us for an interactive workshop on how to have more fun and less stress this holiday season! We will use a series of four questions to gain insight into our own individual expectations and fears that may be triggered by the upcoming holidays. Please bring a pen and paper to jot down insights and ideas as they come up. We will get a chance to talk to each other in Zoom rooms both to socialize a bit as well as come up with a strategy for enjoying these next few months as 2023 comes to a close. There will also be plenty of time at the end for questions and answers. We hope to see you there!

PRESENTER BIO: Asha Swaroop, MD is a Family Medicine Physician based in Southern California. She is a single mother to two children adopted from India, who are now teenagers. Her daughter came home at age 18 months, and her son came home at age 4 yo. With her background in yoga, meditation, and breathwork, she utilizes these skills to help clients deeply connect with themselves and their kids together as they navigate life at work, school, and home.  

 REGISTER HERE FOR THIS WEBINAR BY NOON ON NOVEMBER 16.

 Adoption and Addiction: Two Perspectives, One Family’s Health

September 26, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

In this webinar, Laura X. Williams, Chinese American Adoptee and Licensed Addiction Counselor, aims to provide insight into the nuanced relationship between addiction and adoptee mental health. According to the 2023 National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, Substance Use Disorder [as defined by the DSM-V (2013)] affect over 20 million Americans aged 12 and over. 1 A study in Sweden (2016) found 4.5% of adopted individuals had problems with drug abuse, compared with 2.9% of the general population and, adoptees had about twice the risk of drug abuse if either their biological full or half-sibling had a drug abuse problem. 2 This suggests that both environment and biological family history can influence a child’s likelihood of future drug use. 3 Participants are invited to learn about models of addiction, themes in the adoptee experience (both domestic/international), and apply new lenses towards adoptive family health. Webinar registrants including adoptees, adoptive parents, partners of adoptees, children of adoptees, etc. ages 18 and older and encouraged to attend.

Professionally, Laura X. Williams is a Marriage and Family Therapist, Addiction Counselor, and Sex Therapist. Personally, she is a Chinese American Intercountry Transracial Adoptee who believes in the power and magic of community! She has been involved with Heritage Camps since 2019 and during the rest of the year, enjoys movies, jazz concerts, and playing trombone. Laura also organizes with a local adult Asian identifying social group called Asian Vibes in Denver.

 THIS WEBINAR RECORDING IS NOW AVAILABLE. PLEASE CONTACT US AT HCAF@HERITAGECAMPS.ORG IF YOU ARE INTERESTED.

2022-2023 HCAF Webinar Recordings Available Contact us for Information:

hcaf@heritagecamps.org

Leveling Up!

Explore Launching and Transitioning Adult Adoptees While Continuing to Build Healthy and Strong Family Relationships!

Foster and adoptive families are unique and moving into the adult years with an adoptee is no exception. Dr. Christina Reese and Elaine Shenk have worked with adoptive families for almost 30 combined years and have been parenting adoptees for over 40 combined years. Dr. Christina Reese is an author, presenter and therapist specializing in attachment, adoption and trauma. Elaine Shenk is the director of Bethany Christian Services for Central Pennsylvania and works with families pre and post adoption. They share their experiences and what they have learned along this journey, with humor, compassion and practical take aways.

Adoptees, because of their attachment trauma, have a harder time trusting and resting in supportive relationships. For years, families have been working on building relationships that are strong and steady. Launching into adulthood, those relationships can become shaky and begin to crumble.

Avoid attachment ruptures by learning ways to provide the support that the adoptee needs. Understand how trauma changes the brain and what challenges the adoptee may face in the launching process. TBRI principles that we used in childhood are still relevant in the young adult years-learn how to keep applying them in this developmental stage.

RECORDING AVAILABLE.

Mental Health Factors & LGBQT+ Youth 

LGBTQ+ youth and young adults are one of the fastest growing demographics nationwide. Increased representation,  along with access to social media as both consumers and creators, are allowing many more young people to explore and assert their identities, and often find community, earlier than in past generations. However, the mental health crisis in our country is impacting LGBTQ+ youth at rates significantly higher than their heterosexual and cisgender peers. We know that even just one affirming adult in an LGBTQ+ youth’s life can significantly reduce the risk of suicide, depression, anxiety, disordered eating, and loneliness/isolation.

This presentation is designed to help participants understand the mental health disparities and overarching risk factors facing LGBTQ+ youth. We will explore mindsets, strategies, and protective factors that can create more LGBTQ-affirming environments in all facets of young people’s lives,  leading to increased mental health and wellbeing, more positive relationships with family and community, and more successful transitions into adulthood. Participants will also be invited to share their own reflections, victories, and challenges associated with mentoring and supporting LGBTQ+ youth. 

Presenter Bio:

Brad Barfield (he/him) is Vice President with Envision:You, and as a queer person in recovery himself, is passionate about creating culturally responsive and affirming resources for the LGBTQ+ community focused on mental health and substance use. At Envision:You, he oversees programming for queer and questioning youth, LGBTQ+ folks living in rural Colorado, DEI initiatives, and all grant efforts. Brad holds a Masters of Business Administration from George Washington University, and a Bachelors of Engineering from Vanderbilt University. 

RECORDING AVAILABLE

Understanding Adoption and Attachment for Fulfilling Relationships – recording available

This webinar will be a dual approach of a fact-based Ukraine briefing (what is happening and why exactly), followed by a hands-on guide to helping a

We invite you to a conversation about how attachment plays out for families touched by adoption. How does the need for attachment affect an adoptee’s relations with friends, peers, family, life partners, and co-workers?  With a holistic lens we will explore attachment theory in conjunction with lifespan development. Participates are encouraged to deepen their own self-awareness of attachment and learn about the role attachment plays in an adoptive family. It is intended for participants to leave this session with a sense of knowing how to build healthy relationships over time.

 At the end of this webinar, we will give participants the opportunity to voice what areas regarding adoptees and their relationships they want to explore in more depth for the follow-up session.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Presenter Bio:

Laura X. Williams is a Chinese American Adoptee who works as a therapist with couples and families in the Denver area. She graduated from Goucher College with a Masters in Cultural Sustainability and completed a post-masters certificate program in Marriage & Family Therapy at Denver Family Institute. Learning about love and attachment has been a key point in her own healing process as an intercountry, transracial adoptee. Now, Laura embraces the therapy room as a place to encourage and create a new way of being with each other and with ourselves.

RECORDING AVAILABLE

 

Navigating the War in Ukraine for Adopted Children

This webinar will be a dual approach of a fact-based Ukraine briefing (what is happening and why exactly), followed by a hands-on guide to helping adoptees understand and deal with the on-going crisis in Ukraine.

Presenter Bios:

Kelly A. Raftery KellyARaftery@gmail.com 702-845-2056 Kelly A. Raftery is a Russia Area Specialist, Linguist and Author based in Colorado. Kelly worked and lived in the countries of the former Soviet Union and counts among her accomplishments: opening St. Petersburg’s first full-service western style supermarket, Moscow’s first self-service laundromat and facilitating the first international franchise agreement in Central Asia. Kelly provided Cabinet level support for a bilateral (US Russia) commission and won the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Under Secretary’s award for Innovation during her time in Washington, DC. Kelly taught Russian language and pop culture at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and has contributed to several publications, including “A Stone Lives On” from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Kelly’s life-long interest with the Soviet Union and its successor states began with Russian classes in high school and has never waned. She crossed the Iron Curtain at Checkpoint Charlie and has many stories of living in post-collapsed Russia and Central Asia. Kelly extensively lectures, teaches, and consults on this area of the world to a wide variety of organizations and companies.

Katie Bell has been an adoptive parent since 2005.  She worked for four years helping families stay together and not enter or reenter foster care.  In that role, she became a TBRI practitioner and trained parents and professionals in a trauma-informed caregiving system.   Katie will be discussing how to talk to children about hard things, how to separate identity from politics, and how to support children as they process the war.  She will also talk about behaviors that may be signs of processing and how to manage big emotions.  Parent-to-parent, Katie will help you navigate these feeling arising in our kids and will also be able to talk with teens/young adults who join the webinar.

RECORDING AVAILABLE

“Transracial Parenting: A Refresher for Today on How to Talk about Race & Racism” – recording avilable

Dr. Wirta-Leiker’s Description: Update your parenting toolbox and refresh your skills navigating the tough conversations about race and racism with your transracial adoptee of color. We’ll cover developmentally appropriate language, the do’s and do not’s of being an ally-caregiver, and strategies for responding to racism.

Bio: Dr. Chaitra Wirta-Leiker is a licensed psychologist, international/transracial adoptee & adoptive parent specializing in providing mental health support for adoption, trauma & racial identity work through her private practice in Denver, Colorado. She is a frequent speaker & trainer at adoption agencies, camps, including many for HCAF,  & conferences throughout the U.S. & is the author of “The Adoptee Self-Reflection Journal.”

RECORDING AVAILABLE

“Now What ?” What to do when you think your child may need help . . .forever” – recording avilable

It is a common story for some adoptive families.  They knew their child had struggles, maybe even a diagnosis, but thought with enough love, support and time, they’d be “OK”.  As our children hit their teen years, it may become apparent that they will need some sort of assistance throughout their lifetime.  What supports are available? How does one access them? Who will help them when we cannot and what are we in for financially?  What do we do with their 529 college fund now? Is an ABLE Account a good strategy? Learn what is necessary to plan for your child’s lifetime and the impact that may have on your own planning.

Melissa J. Lang, CLU, ChSNC is a financial advisor and Chartered Special Needs Consultant.  She has been helping families plan for their future for over 25 years.  Melissa is an adoptive parent of two young adults adopted at about one year of age from Russia and Ukraine.  Her daughter, now 21, has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

RECORDING AVAILABLE

Melissa J. Lang is a registered representative of and offers securities, investment advisory and financial planning services through MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC.OSJ 4600 S. Ulster St. #1200,Denver CO 80237. (303)692.8183. Special Needs Planning Partners is not an affiliate or subsidiary of MML Investors Services, LLC, or its affiliated companies.

 

The Element of Surprise – recording available

Please join us for a webinar with the hosts from Tough Love: Adoptees’ Perspectives on Relationships. This panel will shed light on some of the reasons why it seems out of nowhere your adoptee “turns” on you. We will discuss some subtle cues to look for and how to support your adoptee when dealing with these intense emotions. We love to make these webinars as interactive as possible so please come with questions and curiosity! Lauren, Deontae and Glenna hope to see you there! 

RECORDING AVAILABLE

Self Care for the Holidays – Visioning the Fun, Getting Out Ahead of the Stress

NOTE: THIS WEBINAR HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR NOVEMBER 16, 2023! WATCH FOR DETAILS SOON! 

November 16, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

Please join us for an interactive workshop on how to have more fun and less stress this holiday season! We will use a series of four questions to gain insight into our own individual expectations and fears that may be triggered by the upcoming holidays. Please bring a pen and paper to jot down insights and ideas as they come up. We will get a chance to talk to each other in Zoom rooms both to socialize a bit as well as come up with a strategy for enjoying these next few months as 2023 comes to a close. There will also be plenty of time at the end for questions and answers. We hope to see you there!

PRESENTER BIO: Asha Swaroop, MD is a Family Medicine Physician based in Southern California. She is a single mother to two children adopted from India, who are now teenagers. Her daughter came home at age 18 months, and her son came home at age 4 yo. With her background in yoga, meditation, and breathwork, she utilizes these skills to help clients deeply connect with themselves and their kids together as they navigate life at work, school, and home.  

 REGISTER HERE FOR THIS WEBINAR BY NOON ON NOVEMBER 16.

Ancestral Lineage Healing

October 24, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

Cultures around the world have cultivated relationships with their ancestors for millennia by honoring, respecting, and making sure one’s ancestors are well and healthy. These practices are still accessible today and are an abundant source of healing for adoption wounds by cultivating a deep sense of belonging to both biological and adoptive families, even when the biological family is unknown.  Join two Ancestral Healing Practitioners, adoptee Kimiko Kawabori and adoptive parent Kari Grady Grossman, to learn what Ancestral Healing is and how adoptive families can gain insights and deeper connection to each other and to the ghosts in room – the biological family living in our DNA.   

Learn about this ritual based care to: 

  • Develop a relationship with your Ancestors
  • Address intergenerational trauma
  • Heal family patterns 
  • Embody the blessings of your People

Presenter Bios:

Kimiko Kawabori was born in Hilo, HI and adopted by two third generation Japanese Americans in Seattle. Having experimented with all kinds of methods to soothe her adoptee wound, she found Ancestral Healing alleviated her grief and anger and helped transform it into a deep sense of understanding and purpose.  Now as an Ancestral Healing Practitioner, she is passionate about helping adoptees connect with the unconditional support from their ancestors.

Kari Grady Grossman is a parent of two adult adoptees.  After many years working in media and international humanitarian aide, the parenting journey brought her to Ancestral Healing to help address debilitating anxiety, depression, and compulsive behaviors in her children that other therapeutic resources could not resolve.  Oddly enough, it was through healing with her own people that the beautiful healing for her children began to flow from their people. She trained as an Ancestral Healing Practitioner to help adoptive families fill in the gaps where pain is stuck. 

REGISTER HERE FOR THIS WEBINAR BY NOON ON OCTOBER 24TH

Self Care for the Holidays – Visioning the Fun, Getting Out Ahead of the Stress

NOTE: THIS WEBINAR HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO NOVEMBER 16, 2023! WATCH FOR DETAILS SOON! 

November 16, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

Please join us for an interactive workshop on how to have more fun and less stress this holiday season! We will use a series of four questions to gain insight into our own individual expectations and fears that may be triggered by the upcoming holidays. Please bring a pen and paper to jot down insights and ideas as they come up. We will get a chance to talk to each other in Zoom rooms both to socialize a bit as well as come up with a strategy for enjoying these next few months as 2023 comes to a close. There will also be plenty of time at the end for questions and answers. We hope to see you there!

PRESENTER BIO: Asha Swaroop, MD is a Family Medicine Physician based in Southern California. She is a single mother to two children adopted from India, who are now teenagers. Her daughter came home at age 18 months, and her son came home at age 4 yo. With her background in yoga, meditation, and breathwork, she utilizes these skills to help clients deeply connect with themselves and their kids together as they navigate life at work, school, and home.  

 REGISTER HERE FOR THIS WEBINAR BY NOON ON NOVEMBER 16.

 Adoption and Addiction: Two Perspectives, One Family’s Health

September 26, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

In this webinar, Laura X. Williams, Chinese American Adoptee and Licensed Addiction Counselor, aims to provide insight into the nuanced relationship between addiction and adoptee mental health. According to the 2023 National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, Substance Use Disorder [as defined by the DSM-V (2013)] affect over 20 million Americans aged 12 and over. 1 A study in Sweden (2016) found 4.5% of adopted individuals had problems with drug abuse, compared with 2.9% of the general population and, adoptees had about twice the risk of drug abuse if either their biological full or half-sibling had a drug abuse problem. 2 This suggests that both environment and biological family history can influence a child’s likelihood of future drug use. 3 Participants are invited to learn about models of addiction, themes in the adoptee experience (both domestic/international), and apply new lenses towards adoptive family health. Webinar registrants including adoptees, adoptive parents, partners of adoptees, children of adoptees, etc. ages 18 and older and encouraged to attend.

Professionally, Laura X. Williams is a Marriage and Family Therapist, Addiction Counselor, and Sex Therapist. Personally, she is a Chinese American Intercountry Transracial Adoptee who believes in the power and magic of community! She has been involved with Heritage Camps since 2019 and during the rest of the year, enjoys movies, jazz concerts, and playing trombone. Laura also organizes with a local adult Asian identifying social group called Asian Vibes in Denver.

 THIS WEBINAR RECORDING IS NOW AVAILABLE. PLEASE CONTACT US AT HCAF@HERITAGECAMPS.ORG IF YOU ARE INTERESTED.

2022-2023 HCAF Webinar Recordings Available Contact us for Information:

hcaf@heritagecamps.org

Leveling Up!

Explore Launching and Transitioning Adult Adoptees While Continuing to Build Healthy and Strong Family Relationships!

Foster and adoptive families are unique and moving into the adult years with an adoptee is no exception. Dr. Christina Reese and Elaine Shenk have worked with adoptive families for almost 30 combined years and have been parenting adoptees for over 40 combined years. Dr. Christina Reese is an author, presenter and therapist specializing in attachment, adoption and trauma. Elaine Shenk is the director of Bethany Christian Services for Central Pennsylvania and works with families pre and post adoption. They share their experiences and what they have learned along this journey, with humor, compassion and practical take aways.

Adoptees, because of their attachment trauma, have a harder time trusting and resting in supportive relationships. For years, families have been working on building relationships that are strong and steady. Launching into adulthood, those relationships can become shaky and begin to crumble.

Avoid attachment ruptures by learning ways to provide the support that the adoptee needs. Understand how trauma changes the brain and what challenges the adoptee may face in the launching process. TBRI principles that we used in childhood are still relevant in the young adult years-learn how to keep applying them in this developmental stage.

RECORDING AVAILABLE.

Mental Health Factors & LGBQT+ Youth 

LGBTQ+ youth and young adults are one of the fastest growing demographics nationwide. Increased representation,  along with access to social media as both consumers and creators, are allowing many more young people to explore and assert their identities, and often find community, earlier than in past generations. However, the mental health crisis in our country is impacting LGBTQ+ youth at rates significantly higher than their heterosexual and cisgender peers. We know that even just one affirming adult in an LGBTQ+ youth’s life can significantly reduce the risk of suicide, depression, anxiety, disordered eating, and loneliness/isolation.

This presentation is designed to help participants understand the mental health disparities and overarching risk factors facing LGBTQ+ youth. We will explore mindsets, strategies, and protective factors that can create more LGBTQ-affirming environments in all facets of young people’s lives,  leading to increased mental health and wellbeing, more positive relationships with family and community, and more successful transitions into adulthood. Participants will also be invited to share their own reflections, victories, and challenges associated with mentoring and supporting LGBTQ+ youth. 

Presenter Bio:

Brad Barfield (he/him) is Vice President with Envision:You, and as a queer person in recovery himself, is passionate about creating culturally responsive and affirming resources for the LGBTQ+ community focused on mental health and substance use. At Envision:You, he oversees programming for queer and questioning youth, LGBTQ+ folks living in rural Colorado, DEI initiatives, and all grant efforts. Brad holds a Masters of Business Administration from George Washington University, and a Bachelors of Engineering from Vanderbilt University. 

RECORDING AVAILABLE

Understanding Adoption and Attachment for Fulfilling Relationships – recording available

This webinar will be a dual approach of a fact-based Ukraine briefing (what is happening and why exactly), followed by a hands-on guide to helping a

We invite you to a conversation about how attachment plays out for families touched by adoption. How does the need for attachment affect an adoptee’s relations with friends, peers, family, life partners, and co-workers?  With a holistic lens we will explore attachment theory in conjunction with lifespan development. Participates are encouraged to deepen their own self-awareness of attachment and learn about the role attachment plays in an adoptive family. It is intended for participants to leave this session with a sense of knowing how to build healthy relationships over time.

 At the end of this webinar, we will give participants the opportunity to voice what areas regarding adoptees and their relationships they want to explore in more depth for the follow-up session.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Presenter Bio:

Laura X. Williams is a Chinese American Adoptee who works as a therapist with couples and families in the Denver area. She graduated from Goucher College with a Masters in Cultural Sustainability and completed a post-masters certificate program in Marriage & Family Therapy at Denver Family Institute. Learning about love and attachment has been a key point in her own healing process as an intercountry, transracial adoptee. Now, Laura embraces the therapy room as a place to encourage and create a new way of being with each other and with ourselves.

RECORDING AVAILABLE

 

Navigating the War in Ukraine for Adopted Children

This webinar will be a dual approach of a fact-based Ukraine briefing (what is happening and why exactly), followed by a hands-on guide to helping adoptees understand and deal with the on-going crisis in Ukraine.

Presenter Bios:

Kelly A. Raftery KellyARaftery@gmail.com 702-845-2056 Kelly A. Raftery is a Russia Area Specialist, Linguist and Author based in Colorado. Kelly worked and lived in the countries of the former Soviet Union and counts among her accomplishments: opening St. Petersburg’s first full-service western style supermarket, Moscow’s first self-service laundromat and facilitating the first international franchise agreement in Central Asia. Kelly provided Cabinet level support for a bilateral (US Russia) commission and won the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Under Secretary’s award for Innovation during her time in Washington, DC. Kelly taught Russian language and pop culture at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and has contributed to several publications, including “A Stone Lives On” from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Kelly’s life-long interest with the Soviet Union and its successor states began with Russian classes in high school and has never waned. She crossed the Iron Curtain at Checkpoint Charlie and has many stories of living in post-collapsed Russia and Central Asia. Kelly extensively lectures, teaches, and consults on this area of the world to a wide variety of organizations and companies.

Katie Bell has been an adoptive parent since 2005.  She worked for four years helping families stay together and not enter or reenter foster care.  In that role, she became a TBRI practitioner and trained parents and professionals in a trauma-informed caregiving system.   Katie will be discussing how to talk to children about hard things, how to separate identity from politics, and how to support children as they process the war.  She will also talk about behaviors that may be signs of processing and how to manage big emotions.  Parent-to-parent, Katie will help you navigate these feeling arising in our kids and will also be able to talk with teens/young adults who join the webinar.

RECORDING AVAILABLE

“Transracial Parenting: A Refresher for Today on How to Talk about Race & Racism” – recording avilable

Dr. Wirta-Leiker’s Description: Update your parenting toolbox and refresh your skills navigating the tough conversations about race and racism with your transracial adoptee of color. We’ll cover developmentally appropriate language, the do’s and do not’s of being an ally-caregiver, and strategies for responding to racism.

Bio: Dr. Chaitra Wirta-Leiker is a licensed psychologist, international/transracial adoptee & adoptive parent specializing in providing mental health support for adoption, trauma & racial identity work through her private practice in Denver, Colorado. She is a frequent speaker & trainer at adoption agencies, camps, including many for HCAF,  & conferences throughout the U.S. & is the author of “The Adoptee Self-Reflection Journal.”

RECORDING AVAILABLE

“Now What ?” What to do when you think your child may need help . . .forever” – recording avilable

It is a common story for some adoptive families.  They knew their child had struggles, maybe even a diagnosis, but thought with enough love, support and time, they’d be “OK”.  As our children hit their teen years, it may become apparent that they will need some sort of assistance throughout their lifetime.  What supports are available? How does one access them? Who will help them when we cannot and what are we in for financially?  What do we do with their 529 college fund now? Is an ABLE Account a good strategy? Learn what is necessary to plan for your child’s lifetime and the impact that may have on your own planning.

Melissa J. Lang, CLU, ChSNC is a financial advisor and Chartered Special Needs Consultant.  She has been helping families plan for their future for over 25 years.  Melissa is an adoptive parent of two young adults adopted at about one year of age from Russia and Ukraine.  Her daughter, now 21, has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

RECORDING AVAILABLE

Melissa J. Lang is a registered representative of and offers securities, investment advisory and financial planning services through MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC.OSJ 4600 S. Ulster St. #1200,Denver CO 80237. (303)692.8183. Special Needs Planning Partners is not an affiliate or subsidiary of MML Investors Services, LLC, or its affiliated companies.

 

The Element of Surprise – recording available

Please join us for a webinar with the hosts from Tough Love: Adoptees’ Perspectives on Relationships. This panel will shed light on some of the reasons why it seems out of nowhere your adoptee “turns” on you. We will discuss some subtle cues to look for and how to support your adoptee when dealing with these intense emotions. We love to make these webinars as interactive as possible so please come with questions and curiosity! Lauren, Deontae and Glenna hope to see you there! 

RECORDING AVAILABLE

Self Care for the Holidays – Visioning the Fun, Getting Out Ahead of the Stress

NOTE: THIS WEBINAR HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR NOVEMBER 16, 2023! WATCH FOR DETAILS SOON! 

November 16, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

Please join us for an interactive workshop on how to have more fun and less stress this holiday season! We will use a series of four questions to gain insight into our own individual expectations and fears that may be triggered by the upcoming holidays. Please bring a pen and paper to jot down insights and ideas as they come up. We will get a chance to talk to each other in Zoom rooms both to socialize a bit as well as come up with a strategy for enjoying these next few months as 2023 comes to a close. There will also be plenty of time at the end for questions and answers. We hope to see you there!

PRESENTER BIO: Asha Swaroop, MD is a Family Medicine Physician based in Southern California. She is a single mother to two children adopted from India, who are now teenagers. Her daughter came home at age 18 months, and her son came home at age 4 yo. With her background in yoga, meditation, and breathwork, she utilizes these skills to help clients deeply connect with themselves and their kids together as they navigate life at work, school, and home.  

 REGISTER HERE FOR THIS WEBINAR BY NOON ON NOVEMBER 16.

Ancestral Lineage Healing

October 24, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

Cultures around the world have cultivated relationships with their ancestors for millennia by honoring, respecting, and making sure one’s ancestors are well and healthy. These practices are still accessible today and are an abundant source of healing for adoption wounds by cultivating a deep sense of belonging to both biological and adoptive families, even when the biological family is unknown.  Join two Ancestral Healing Practitioners, adoptee Kimiko Kawabori and adoptive parent Kari Grady Grossman, to learn what Ancestral Healing is and how adoptive families can gain insights and deeper connection to each other and to the ghosts in room – the biological family living in our DNA.   

Learn about this ritual based care to: 

  • Develop a relationship with your Ancestors
  • Address intergenerational trauma
  • Heal family patterns 
  • Embody the blessings of your People

Presenter Bios:

Kimiko Kawabori was born in Hilo, HI and adopted by two third generation Japanese Americans in Seattle. Having experimented with all kinds of methods to soothe her adoptee wound, she found Ancestral Healing alleviated her grief and anger and helped transform it into a deep sense of understanding and purpose.  Now as an Ancestral Healing Practitioner, she is passionate about helping adoptees connect with the unconditional support from their ancestors.

Kari Grady Grossman is a parent of two adult adoptees.  After many years working in media and international humanitarian aide, the parenting journey brought her to Ancestral Healing to help address debilitating anxiety, depression, and compulsive behaviors in her children that other therapeutic resources could not resolve.  Oddly enough, it was through healing with her own people that the beautiful healing for her children began to flow from their people. She trained as an Ancestral Healing Practitioner to help adoptive families fill in the gaps where pain is stuck. 

REGISTER HERE FOR THIS WEBINAR BY NOON ON OCTOBER 24TH

Self Care for the Holidays – Visioning the Fun, Getting Out Ahead of the Stress

NOTE: THIS WEBINAR HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO NOVEMBER 16, 2023! WATCH FOR DETAILS SOON! 

November 16, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

Please join us for an interactive workshop on how to have more fun and less stress this holiday season! We will use a series of four questions to gain insight into our own individual expectations and fears that may be triggered by the upcoming holidays. Please bring a pen and paper to jot down insights and ideas as they come up. We will get a chance to talk to each other in Zoom rooms both to socialize a bit as well as come up with a strategy for enjoying these next few months as 2023 comes to a close. There will also be plenty of time at the end for questions and answers. We hope to see you there!

PRESENTER BIO: Asha Swaroop, MD is a Family Medicine Physician based in Southern California. She is a single mother to two children adopted from India, who are now teenagers. Her daughter came home at age 18 months, and her son came home at age 4 yo. With her background in yoga, meditation, and breathwork, she utilizes these skills to help clients deeply connect with themselves and their kids together as they navigate life at work, school, and home.  

 REGISTER HERE FOR THIS WEBINAR BY NOON ON NOVEMBER 16.

 Adoption and Addiction: Two Perspectives, One Family’s Health

September 26, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

In this webinar, Laura X. Williams, Chinese American Adoptee and Licensed Addiction Counselor, aims to provide insight into the nuanced relationship between addiction and adoptee mental health. According to the 2023 National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, Substance Use Disorder [as defined by the DSM-V (2013)] affect over 20 million Americans aged 12 and over. 1 A study in Sweden (2016) found 4.5% of adopted individuals had problems with drug abuse, compared with 2.9% of the general population and, adoptees had about twice the risk of drug abuse if either their biological full or half-sibling had a drug abuse problem. 2 This suggests that both environment and biological family history can influence a child’s likelihood of future drug use. 3 Participants are invited to learn about models of addiction, themes in the adoptee experience (both domestic/international), and apply new lenses towards adoptive family health. Webinar registrants including adoptees, adoptive parents, partners of adoptees, children of adoptees, etc. ages 18 and older and encouraged to attend.

Professionally, Laura X. Williams is a Marriage and Family Therapist, Addiction Counselor, and Sex Therapist. Personally, she is a Chinese American Intercountry Transracial Adoptee who believes in the power and magic of community! She has been involved with Heritage Camps since 2019 and during the rest of the year, enjoys movies, jazz concerts, and playing trombone. Laura also organizes with a local adult Asian identifying social group called Asian Vibes in Denver.

 THIS WEBINAR RECORDING IS NOW AVAILABLE. PLEASE CONTACT US AT HCAF@HERITAGECAMPS.ORG IF YOU ARE INTERESTED.

2022-2023 HCAF Webinar Recordings Available Contact us for Information:

hcaf@heritagecamps.org

Leveling Up!

Explore Launching and Transitioning Adult Adoptees While Continuing to Build Healthy and Strong Family Relationships!

Foster and adoptive families are unique and moving into the adult years with an adoptee is no exception. Dr. Christina Reese and Elaine Shenk have worked with adoptive families for almost 30 combined years and have been parenting adoptees for over 40 combined years. Dr. Christina Reese is an author, presenter and therapist specializing in attachment, adoption and trauma. Elaine Shenk is the director of Bethany Christian Services for Central Pennsylvania and works with families pre and post adoption. They share their experiences and what they have learned along this journey, with humor, compassion and practical take aways.

Adoptees, because of their attachment trauma, have a harder time trusting and resting in supportive relationships. For years, families have been working on building relationships that are strong and steady. Launching into adulthood, those relationships can become shaky and begin to crumble.

Avoid attachment ruptures by learning ways to provide the support that the adoptee needs. Understand how trauma changes the brain and what challenges the adoptee may face in the launching process. TBRI principles that we used in childhood are still relevant in the young adult years-learn how to keep applying them in this developmental stage.

RECORDING AVAILABLE.

Mental Health Factors & LGBQT+ Youth 

LGBTQ+ youth and young adults are one of the fastest growing demographics nationwide. Increased representation,  along with access to social media as both consumers and creators, are allowing many more young people to explore and assert their identities, and often find community, earlier than in past generations. However, the mental health crisis in our country is impacting LGBTQ+ youth at rates significantly higher than their heterosexual and cisgender peers. We know that even just one affirming adult in an LGBTQ+ youth’s life can significantly reduce the risk of suicide, depression, anxiety, disordered eating, and loneliness/isolation.

This presentation is designed to help participants understand the mental health disparities and overarching risk factors facing LGBTQ+ youth. We will explore mindsets, strategies, and protective factors that can create more LGBTQ-affirming environments in all facets of young people’s lives,  leading to increased mental health and wellbeing, more positive relationships with family and community, and more successful transitions into adulthood. Participants will also be invited to share their own reflections, victories, and challenges associated with mentoring and supporting LGBTQ+ youth. 

Presenter Bio:

Brad Barfield (he/him) is Vice President with Envision:You, and as a queer person in recovery himself, is passionate about creating culturally responsive and affirming resources for the LGBTQ+ community focused on mental health and substance use. At Envision:You, he oversees programming for queer and questioning youth, LGBTQ+ folks living in rural Colorado, DEI initiatives, and all grant efforts. Brad holds a Masters of Business Administration from George Washington University, and a Bachelors of Engineering from Vanderbilt University. 

RECORDING AVAILABLE

Understanding Adoption and Attachment for Fulfilling Relationships – recording available

This webinar will be a dual approach of a fact-based Ukraine briefing (what is happening and why exactly), followed by a hands-on guide to helping a

We invite you to a conversation about how attachment plays out for families touched by adoption. How does the need for attachment affect an adoptee’s relations with friends, peers, family, life partners, and co-workers?  With a holistic lens we will explore attachment theory in conjunction with lifespan development. Participates are encouraged to deepen their own self-awareness of attachment and learn about the role attachment plays in an adoptive family. It is intended for participants to leave this session with a sense of knowing how to build healthy relationships over time.

 At the end of this webinar, we will give participants the opportunity to voice what areas regarding adoptees and their relationships they want to explore in more depth for the follow-up session.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Presenter Bio:

Laura X. Williams is a Chinese American Adoptee who works as a therapist with couples and families in the Denver area. She graduated from Goucher College with a Masters in Cultural Sustainability and completed a post-masters certificate program in Marriage & Family Therapy at Denver Family Institute. Learning about love and attachment has been a key point in her own healing process as an intercountry, transracial adoptee. Now, Laura embraces the therapy room as a place to encourage and create a new way of being with each other and with ourselves.

RECORDING AVAILABLE

 

Navigating the War in Ukraine for Adopted Children

This webinar will be a dual approach of a fact-based Ukraine briefing (what is happening and why exactly), followed by a hands-on guide to helping adoptees understand and deal with the on-going crisis in Ukraine.

Presenter Bios:

Kelly A. Raftery KellyARaftery@gmail.com 702-845-2056 Kelly A. Raftery is a Russia Area Specialist, Linguist and Author based in Colorado. Kelly worked and lived in the countries of the former Soviet Union and counts among her accomplishments: opening St. Petersburg’s first full-service western style supermarket, Moscow’s first self-service laundromat and facilitating the first international franchise agreement in Central Asia. Kelly provided Cabinet level support for a bilateral (US Russia) commission and won the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Under Secretary’s award for Innovation during her time in Washington, DC. Kelly taught Russian language and pop culture at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and has contributed to several publications, including “A Stone Lives On” from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Kelly’s life-long interest with the Soviet Union and its successor states began with Russian classes in high school and has never waned. She crossed the Iron Curtain at Checkpoint Charlie and has many stories of living in post-collapsed Russia and Central Asia. Kelly extensively lectures, teaches, and consults on this area of the world to a wide variety of organizations and companies.

Katie Bell has been an adoptive parent since 2005.  She worked for four years helping families stay together and not enter or reenter foster care.  In that role, she became a TBRI practitioner and trained parents and professionals in a trauma-informed caregiving system.   Katie will be discussing how to talk to children about hard things, how to separate identity from politics, and how to support children as they process the war.  She will also talk about behaviors that may be signs of processing and how to manage big emotions.  Parent-to-parent, Katie will help you navigate these feeling arising in our kids and will also be able to talk with teens/young adults who join the webinar.

RECORDING AVAILABLE

“Transracial Parenting: A Refresher for Today on How to Talk about Race & Racism” – recording avilable

Dr. Wirta-Leiker’s Description: Update your parenting toolbox and refresh your skills navigating the tough conversations about race and racism with your transracial adoptee of color. We’ll cover developmentally appropriate language, the do’s and do not’s of being an ally-caregiver, and strategies for responding to racism.

Bio: Dr. Chaitra Wirta-Leiker is a licensed psychologist, international/transracial adoptee & adoptive parent specializing in providing mental health support for adoption, trauma & racial identity work through her private practice in Denver, Colorado. She is a frequent speaker & trainer at adoption agencies, camps, including many for HCAF,  & conferences throughout the U.S. & is the author of “The Adoptee Self-Reflection Journal.”

RECORDING AVAILABLE

“Now What ?” What to do when you think your child may need help . . .forever” – recording avilable

It is a common story for some adoptive families.  They knew their child had struggles, maybe even a diagnosis, but thought with enough love, support and time, they’d be “OK”.  As our children hit their teen years, it may become apparent that they will need some sort of assistance throughout their lifetime.  What supports are available? How does one access them? Who will help them when we cannot and what are we in for financially?  What do we do with their 529 college fund now? Is an ABLE Account a good strategy? Learn what is necessary to plan for your child’s lifetime and the impact that may have on your own planning.

Melissa J. Lang, CLU, ChSNC is a financial advisor and Chartered Special Needs Consultant.  She has been helping families plan for their future for over 25 years.  Melissa is an adoptive parent of two young adults adopted at about one year of age from Russia and Ukraine.  Her daughter, now 21, has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

RECORDING AVAILABLE

Melissa J. Lang is a registered representative of and offers securities, investment advisory and financial planning services through MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC.OSJ 4600 S. Ulster St. #1200,Denver CO 80237. (303)692.8183. Special Needs Planning Partners is not an affiliate or subsidiary of MML Investors Services, LLC, or its affiliated companies.

 

The Element of Surprise – recording available

Please join us for a webinar with the hosts from Tough Love: Adoptees’ Perspectives on Relationships. This panel will shed light on some of the reasons why it seems out of nowhere your adoptee “turns” on you. We will discuss some subtle cues to look for and how to support your adoptee when dealing with these intense emotions. We love to make these webinars as interactive as possible so please come with questions and curiosity! Lauren, Deontae and Glenna hope to see you there! 

RECORDING AVAILABLE

Self Care for the Holidays – Visioning the Fun, Getting Out Ahead of the Stress

NOTE: THIS WEBINAR HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR NOVEMBER 16, 2023! WATCH FOR DETAILS SOON! 

November 16, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

Please join us for an interactive workshop on how to have more fun and less stress this holiday season! We will use a series of four questions to gain insight into our own individual expectations and fears that may be triggered by the upcoming holidays. Please bring a pen and paper to jot down insights and ideas as they come up. We will get a chance to talk to each other in Zoom rooms both to socialize a bit as well as come up with a strategy for enjoying these next few months as 2023 comes to a close. There will also be plenty of time at the end for questions and answers. We hope to see you there!

PRESENTER BIO: Asha Swaroop, MD is a Family Medicine Physician based in Southern California. She is a single mother to two children adopted from India, who are now teenagers. Her daughter came home at age 18 months, and her son came home at age 4 yo. With her background in yoga, meditation, and breathwork, she utilizes these skills to help clients deeply connect with themselves and their kids together as they navigate life at work, school, and home.  

 REGISTER HERE FOR THIS WEBINAR BY NOON ON NOVEMBER 16.

Ancestral Lineage Healing

October 24, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

Cultures around the world have cultivated relationships with their ancestors for millennia by honoring, respecting, and making sure one’s ancestors are well and healthy. These practices are still accessible today and are an abundant source of healing for adoption wounds by cultivating a deep sense of belonging to both biological and adoptive families, even when the biological family is unknown.  Join two Ancestral Healing Practitioners, adoptee Kimiko Kawabori and adoptive parent Kari Grady Grossman, to learn what Ancestral Healing is and how adoptive families can gain insights and deeper connection to each other and to the ghosts in room – the biological family living in our DNA.   

Learn about this ritual based care to: 

  • Develop a relationship with your Ancestors
  • Address intergenerational trauma
  • Heal family patterns 
  • Embody the blessings of your People

Presenter Bios:

Kimiko Kawabori was born in Hilo, HI and adopted by two third generation Japanese Americans in Seattle. Having experimented with all kinds of methods to soothe her adoptee wound, she found Ancestral Healing alleviated her grief and anger and helped transform it into a deep sense of understanding and purpose.  Now as an Ancestral Healing Practitioner, she is passionate about helping adoptees connect with the unconditional support from their ancestors.

Kari Grady Grossman is a parent of two adult adoptees.  After many years working in media and international humanitarian aide, the parenting journey brought her to Ancestral Healing to help address debilitating anxiety, depression, and compulsive behaviors in her children that other therapeutic resources could not resolve.  Oddly enough, it was through healing with her own people that the beautiful healing for her children began to flow from their people. She trained as an Ancestral Healing Practitioner to help adoptive families fill in the gaps where pain is stuck. 

REGISTER HERE FOR THIS WEBINAR BY NOON ON OCTOBER 24TH

Self Care for the Holidays – Visioning the Fun, Getting Out Ahead of the Stress

NOTE: THIS WEBINAR HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO NOVEMBER 16, 2023! WATCH FOR DETAILS SOON! 

November 16, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

Please join us for an interactive workshop on how to have more fun and less stress this holiday season! We will use a series of four questions to gain insight into our own individual expectations and fears that may be triggered by the upcoming holidays. Please bring a pen and paper to jot down insights and ideas as they come up. We will get a chance to talk to each other in Zoom rooms both to socialize a bit as well as come up with a strategy for enjoying these next few months as 2023 comes to a close. There will also be plenty of time at the end for questions and answers. We hope to see you there!

PRESENTER BIO: Asha Swaroop, MD is a Family Medicine Physician based in Southern California. She is a single mother to two children adopted from India, who are now teenagers. Her daughter came home at age 18 months, and her son came home at age 4 yo. With her background in yoga, meditation, and breathwork, she utilizes these skills to help clients deeply connect with themselves and their kids together as they navigate life at work, school, and home.  

 REGISTER HERE FOR THIS WEBINAR BY NOON ON NOVEMBER 16.

 Adoption and Addiction: Two Perspectives, One Family’s Health

September 26, 2023 @  7PM Mountain Standard Time via Zoom

In this webinar, Laura X. Williams, Chinese American Adoptee and Licensed Addiction Counselor, aims to provide insight into the nuanced relationship between addiction and adoptee mental health. According to the 2023 National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, Substance Use Disorder [as defined by the DSM-V (2013)] affect over 20 million Americans aged 12 and over. 1 A study in Sweden (2016) found 4.5% of adopted individuals had problems with drug abuse, compared with 2.9% of the general population and, adoptees had about twice the risk of drug abuse if either their biological full or half-sibling had a drug abuse problem. 2 This suggests that both environment and biological family history can influence a child’s likelihood of future drug use. 3 Participants are invited to learn about models of addiction, themes in the adoptee experience (both domestic/international), and apply new lenses towards adoptive family health. Webinar registrants including adoptees, adoptive parents, partners of adoptees, children of adoptees, etc. ages 18 and older and encouraged to attend.

Professionally, Laura X. Williams is a Marriage and Family Therapist, Addiction Counselor, and Sex Therapist. Personally, she is a Chinese American Intercountry Transracial Adoptee who believes in the power and magic of community! She has been involved with Heritage Camps since 2019 and during the rest of the year, enjoys movies, jazz concerts, and playing trombone. Laura also organizes with a local adult Asian identifying social group called Asian Vibes in Denver.

 THIS WEBINAR RECORDING IS NOW AVAILABLE. PLEASE CONTACT US AT HCAF@HERITAGECAMPS.ORG IF YOU ARE INTERESTED.

2022-2023 HCAF Webinar Recordings Available Contact us for Information:

hcaf@heritagecamps.org

Leveling Up!

Explore Launching and Transitioning Adult Adoptees While Continuing to Build Healthy and Strong Family Relationships!

Foster and adoptive families are unique and moving into the adult years with an adoptee is no exception. Dr. Christina Reese and Elaine Shenk have worked with adoptive families for almost 30 combined years and have been parenting adoptees for over 40 combined years. Dr. Christina Reese is an author, presenter and therapist specializing in attachment, adoption and trauma. Elaine Shenk is the director of Bethany Christian Services for Central Pennsylvania and works with families pre and post adoption. They share their experiences and what they have learned along this journey, with humor, compassion and practical take aways.

Adoptees, because of their attachment trauma, have a harder time trusting and resting in supportive relationships. For years, families have been working on building relationships that are strong and steady. Launching into adulthood, those relationships can become shaky and begin to crumble.

Avoid attachment ruptures by learning ways to provide the support that the adoptee needs. Understand how trauma changes the brain and what challenges the adoptee may face in the launching process. TBRI principles that we used in childhood are still relevant in the young adult years-learn how to keep applying them in this developmental stage.

RECORDING AVAILABLE.

Mental Health Factors & LGBQT+ Youth 

LGBTQ+ youth and young adults are one of the fastest growing demographics nationwide. Increased representation,  along with access to social media as both consumers and creators, are allowing many more young people to explore and assert their identities, and often find community, earlier than in past generations. However, the mental health crisis in our country is impacting LGBTQ+ youth at rates significantly higher than their heterosexual and cisgender peers. We know that even just one affirming adult in an LGBTQ+ youth’s life can significantly reduce the risk of suicide, depression, anxiety, disordered eating, and loneliness/isolation.

This presentation is designed to help participants understand the mental health disparities and overarching risk factors facing LGBTQ+ youth. We will explore mindsets, strategies, and protective factors that can create more LGBTQ-affirming environments in all facets of young people’s lives,  leading to increased mental health and wellbeing, more positive relationships with family and community, and more successful transitions into adulthood. Participants will also be invited to share their own reflections, victories, and challenges associated with mentoring and supporting LGBTQ+ youth. 

Presenter Bio:

Brad Barfield (he/him) is Vice President with Envision:You, and as a queer person in recovery himself, is passionate about creating culturally responsive and affirming resources for the LGBTQ+ community focused on mental health and substance use. At Envision:You, he oversees programming for queer and questioning youth, LGBTQ+ folks living in rural Colorado, DEI initiatives, and all grant efforts. Brad holds a Masters of Business Administration from George Washington University, and a Bachelors of Engineering from Vanderbilt University. 

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Understanding Adoption and Attachment for Fulfilling Relationships – recording available

This webinar will be a dual approach of a fact-based Ukraine briefing (what is happening and why exactly), followed by a hands-on guide to helping a

We invite you to a conversation about how attachment plays out for families touched by adoption. How does the need for attachment affect an adoptee’s relations with friends, peers, family, life partners, and co-workers?  With a holistic lens we will explore attachment theory in conjunction with lifespan development. Participates are encouraged to deepen their own self-awareness of attachment and learn about the role attachment plays in an adoptive family. It is intended for participants to leave this session with a sense of knowing how to build healthy relationships over time.

 At the end of this webinar, we will give participants the opportunity to voice what areas regarding adoptees and their relationships they want to explore in more depth for the follow-up session.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Presenter Bio:

Laura X. Williams is a Chinese American Adoptee who works as a therapist with couples and families in the Denver area. She graduated from Goucher College with a Masters in Cultural Sustainability and completed a post-masters certificate program in Marriage & Family Therapy at Denver Family Institute. Learning about love and attachment has been a key point in her own healing process as an intercountry, transracial adoptee. Now, Laura embraces the therapy room as a place to encourage and create a new way of being with each other and with ourselves.

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Navigating the War in Ukraine for Adopted Children

This webinar will be a dual approach of a fact-based Ukraine briefing (what is happening and why exactly), followed by a hands-on guide to helping adoptees understand and deal with the on-going crisis in Ukraine.

Presenter Bios:

Kelly A. Raftery KellyARaftery@gmail.com 702-845-2056 Kelly A. Raftery is a Russia Area Specialist, Linguist and Author based in Colorado. Kelly worked and lived in the countries of the former Soviet Union and counts among her accomplishments: opening St. Petersburg’s first full-service western style supermarket, Moscow’s first self-service laundromat and facilitating the first international franchise agreement in Central Asia. Kelly provided Cabinet level support for a bilateral (US Russia) commission and won the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Under Secretary’s award for Innovation during her time in Washington, DC. Kelly taught Russian language and pop culture at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and has contributed to several publications, including “A Stone Lives On” from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Kelly’s life-long interest with the Soviet Union and its successor states began with Russian classes in high school and has never waned. She crossed the Iron Curtain at Checkpoint Charlie and has many stories of living in post-collapsed Russia and Central Asia. Kelly extensively lectures, teaches, and consults on this area of the world to a wide variety of organizations and companies.

Katie Bell has been an adoptive parent since 2005.  She worked for four years helping families stay together and not enter or reenter foster care.  In that role, she became a TBRI practitioner and trained parents and professionals in a trauma-informed caregiving system.   Katie will be discussing how to talk to children about hard things, how to separate identity from politics, and how to support children as they process the war.  She will also talk about behaviors that may be signs of processing and how to manage big emotions.  Parent-to-parent, Katie will help you navigate these feeling arising in our kids and will also be able to talk with teens/young adults who join the webinar.

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“Transracial Parenting: A Refresher for Today on How to Talk about Race & Racism” – recording avilable

Dr. Wirta-Leiker’s Description: Update your parenting toolbox and refresh your skills navigating the tough conversations about race and racism with your transracial adoptee of color. We’ll cover developmentally appropriate language, the do’s and do not’s of being an ally-caregiver, and strategies for responding to racism.

Bio: Dr. Chaitra Wirta-Leiker is a licensed psychologist, international/transracial adoptee & adoptive parent specializing in providing mental health support for adoption, trauma & racial identity work through her private practice in Denver, Colorado. She is a frequent speaker & trainer at adoption agencies, camps, including many for HCAF,  & conferences throughout the U.S. & is the author of “The Adoptee Self-Reflection Journal.”

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“Now What ?” What to do when you think your child may need help . . .forever” – recording avilable

It is a common story for some adoptive families.  They knew their child had struggles, maybe even a diagnosis, but thought with enough love, support and time, they’d be “OK”.  As our children hit their teen years, it may become apparent that they will need some sort of assistance throughout their lifetime.  What supports are available? How does one access them? Who will help them when we cannot and what are we in for financially?  What do we do with their 529 college fund now? Is an ABLE Account a good strategy? Learn what is necessary to plan for your child’s lifetime and the impact that may have on your own planning.

Melissa J. Lang, CLU, ChSNC is a financial advisor and Chartered Special Needs Consultant.  She has been helping families plan for their future for over 25 years.  Melissa is an adoptive parent of two young adults adopted at about one year of age from Russia and Ukraine.  Her daughter, now 21, has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

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Melissa J. Lang is a registered representative of and offers securities, investment advisory and financial planning services through MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC.OSJ 4600 S. Ulster St. #1200,Denver CO 80237. (303)692.8183. Special Needs Planning Partners is not an affiliate or subsidiary of MML Investors Services, LLC, or its affiliated companies.

 

The Element of Surprise – recording available

Please join us for a webinar with the hosts from Tough Love: Adoptees’ Perspectives on Relationships. This panel will shed light on some of the reasons why it seems out of nowhere your adoptee “turns” on you. We will discuss some subtle cues to look for and how to support your adoptee when dealing with these intense emotions. We love to make these webinars as interactive as possible so please come with questions and curiosity! Lauren, Deontae and Glenna hope to see you there! 

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