Every year, Chosen for Life Ministries holds our Choosing to Care Conference - an adoption, foster, and orphan care conference - in the Athens-Clarke/Oconee County area. Its purpose is to provide information to potential and current adoptive or foster families, as well as be a resource for local orphan care information. The conference includes:

  • small group breakout sessions led by experts in their fields

  • a discussion panel led by adult adoptees and adults from foster care

  • time to network with other families with similar interests

  • continuing education credits for foster parents

  • free childcare for attendees

  • a special message from a keynote speaker

We hope to see you at our next Choosing to Care Conference!


upcoming conference

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2020 Choosing to care Conference

Our 2020 Choosing to Care Conference will be held on Saturday, February 1st at Prince Avenue Baptist Church. Check back in the fall for registration!

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Sharen Ford

Sharen Ford, Ph.D., is a nationally-recognized child welfare consultant and the retired Manager for Permanency Services for the Colorado Department of Human Services. She currently serves as the Director for Foster Care and Adoption at Focus on the Family. She is committed to raising awareness regarding the need for every child to have a permanent family.

In the meantime, join us for our Learning to Care Workshops.

Breakout sessions will include:

  • Adoption 101 led by Jessi Williams, CFLM

  • Adoption and Signs of Love led by Nemili Johnson

  • Birth Mother Perspectives led by Chelsea Tippins, Nightlight Christian Adoptions

  • Broken Bonds: The Role of Trauma in the Child Welfare System led by Danny Stevens, Athens-Clarke County Treatment Court

  • Children Without an Identified Adoptive Resource, DFCS Region 5

  • Diversity Considerations for Transracial Adoption led by Amanda Giordano, UGA

  • Education Supports led by Ashley Downs

  • Helping You Disciple Your Adopted or Foster Teenager led by Arthur Woods, Trusting the God of the Gospel

  • Infertility and Adoption led by Traci Newell, Lifeline Children’s Services

  • In the Hands of the Master…brokenness to beauty - Let Him Use You led by Dr. Sharen Ford, Foster the Family (space is limited to 30 attendees per breakout session)

  • Life Giving Speech led by Stephen and Beth Templeton, Hope at Home

  • Maybe Days: Language of Foster Care led by Jenny Brown, UGA

  • Open Adoptions led by Juli Wisotsky

  • Post-Placement Challenges led by Whitney White, Lifeline Children’s Services

  • Supporting Biological Families led by Tracy Baird, Promise686

  • When You Get the Call led by Tom Covington, UH4C


PAST CONFERENCES

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2019 Choosing to care Conference

Our 2019 Choosing to Care Conference was held on Saturday, February 2nd, 2019 at Watkinsville First Baptist Church!

Keynote Speaker:
Tara VanderWoude

Breakout sessions included:

  • Adoption 101 (International and Domestic)

  • Adoption: A Birthparent's View

  • Breaking the Mold - Adoptees & Identity Layers

  • Creating Lifebooks for Adopted Children: Keeping Children Connected to their Stories

  • Discipline for Children from Trauma: Responding to Challenging Behaviors

  • Foster Care 101

  • Navigating the Courtroom

  • Opting Out of the Drama Cycle

  • Orphan Care and the Mission of the Church

  • Partnership Parenting with Compassion: Understanding the Families Foster Children Come From

  • Plot Twists: Redeeming Infertility and Delayed Dreams

  • Protecting Your Family from and Preparing for Abuse Allegations: The Aches and Pains of Following the Call to Foster

  • Secrets to Sustainability, Loving for the Long Haul

  • Special Needs Adoption & the Gospel

  • Transracial Adoption - It's a big deal (but not really!)

  • Working with DFCS: The Journey Through Foster Care


2018 Choosing to care Conference

Our 2018 Choosing to Care Conference was held on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at Watkinsville First Baptist Church!

Keynote Speaker:
Pam Parish
website

Breakout sessions included:

  • Adoption 101 (International and Domestic)

  • Adoption: A Birthparent's View

  • Breaking the Mold - Adoptees & Identity Layers

  • Creating Lifebooks for Adopted Children: Keeping Children Connected to their Stories

  • Discipline for Children from Trauma: Responding to Challenging Behaviors

  • Foster Care 101

  • Navigating the Courtroom

  • Opting Out of the Drama Cycle

  • Orphan Care and the Mission of the Church

  • Partnership Parenting with Compassion: Understanding the Families Foster Children Come From

  • Plot Twists: Redeeming Infertility and Delayed Dreams

  • Protecting Your Family from and Preparing for Abuse Allegations: The Aches and Pains of Following the Call to Foster

  • Secrets to Sustainability, Loving for the Long Haul

  • Special Needs Adoption & the Gospel

  • Transracial Adoption - It's a big deal (but not really!)

  • Working with DFCS: The Journey Through Foster Care


2017 Choosing to care Conference

Our 2017 Choosing to Care Conference was held on Saturday, February 4th, 2017 at Watkinsville First Baptist Church! 

Keynote Speaker: 
Jason Johnson
Jason Johnson Blog

 

Breakout sessions included:

  • Adoption 101 (International and Domestic)

  • Foster Care 101

  • Man to Man: Understanding Our Call to Lead

  • One Family's Perspectives on Multi-Generational Adoption

  • Refreshed: Finding Strength to Carry On

  • Caring Well for Adoptive and Foster Families in Your Community

  • Life-Giving Speech

  • Four Relational Germs: Risk Factors that Lead to Marital Distress

  • Trust-Based Relational Intervention Therapy (TBRI)

  • General Orphan Care


2016 CHOOSING TO CARE CONFERENCE
Our 5th Annual Adoption and Orphan Care Conference was held on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016 at Watkinsville First Baptist Church.

Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Susan Hillis
Hope at Home

Breakout sessions included:

  • Trust Based Relational Intervention / Parent Training

  • Practical Discussion with an Adult Adoptee

  • Man to Man

  • International and Domestic Adoption

  • Foster Care Partnership Parenting with Birth Parents

  • Foster Care from a Courtroom Perspective

  • Parenting with Biblical Insight

  • Stories of Redemption, International Orphan Care, and the Impact of the Church

  • Creating Life Books for Adopted Children


2015 CHOOSING TO CARE CONFERENCEOur 4th Annual Adoption and Orphan Care Conference was held on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at Watkinsville First Baptist Church. 

Keynote Speaker: 
David Wooten
Georgia State Director, Lifeline Children’s Services

Panel:
Adult Adoptees

Breakout Sessions:

  • Post Adoption Counseling

  • Orphan Care / Foster Care

  • Bringing Understanding and New Hope to Adoptive Parents

  • Man to Man

  • International Adoption

  • Domestic Adoption

  • Financially Supporting Adoption

  • Entering into Suffering


2013 CHOOSING TO CARE CONFERENCE

Our 3rd Annual Adoption and Orphan Care Conference was held on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013 at Watkinsville First Baptist Church. 

Keynote Speaker: 
Vermon Pierre
Pastor, Author of Gospel Shaped Living, Board Member of The Gospel Coalition

Panel:
General Adoption Questions

Breakout Sessions:

  • Post Adoption: I’ve adopted, now what?

  • Man-to-Man: Discussion with Fathers

  • Financially Supporting Adoption

  • Orphan Care

  • Domestic Adoption

  • International Adoption

  • Foster Care

  • New Hope: Teaching Your Child about their True “Inheritance”

  • Panel Discussion: Tough Issues About Adoption


2012 CHOOSING TO CARE CONFERENCE

Our 2nd Annual Adoption and Orphan Care Conference was held on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 at Redeemer Presbyterian Church. 

Keynote Speaker: 
Dan Cruver
President and co-founder, Together for Adoption

Panel:
General Adoption Questions

Breakout Sessions:

  • Domestic Adoption

  • International Adoption

  • Roadblocks, Red Flags, and Restoration

  • Adopting from Foster Care

  • Adoption & Infertility


2011 CHOOSING TO CARE CONFERENCE

Our 1st Annual Adoption and Orphan Care Conference was held on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011 at Redeemer Presbyterian Church. 

Keynote Speaker: 
Don Aldin
Pastor and Adoptive Parent

Panel:
Adoption experiences, resources about the adoption process, mentoring from families who have personally adopted