HCAF’s Webinars 2022

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.

April 14, 2022 @ 7:00 p.m. MST via Zoom

Register Here for this Webinar 

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

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.”

April 6, 2022 @ 7:00 p.m. MST via Zoom

Register Here for this Webinar 

“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.

March 30, 2022 @ 7:00 p.m. MST via Zoom

Register Here for this Webinar 

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! 

February 23, 2022 @ 7:00 p.m. MST via Zoom 

Contact us at hcaf@heritagecamps.org if you’d like a recording of this webinar.