Monday, March 31, 2014

Royal Family Kids Camp: Chicago Marathon


Please Join Royal Family KIDS

Team Lake Cook

for the

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

October 12, 2014

In Lake and Cook Counties, approximately 5,500 children reside in foster care, relative care, group homes or in institutional settings because they have been abused, neglected and abandoned.  We invite you to add even deeper and more significant meaning to your Chicago Marathon experience by joining Royal Family KIDS Team Lake Cook and help to make lasting memories of joy for these precious children.
  • Immense gratification as you bless local children who have suffered abuse, neglect or abandonment with a tangible opportunity to attend Royal Family KIDS Camp (#187) of Lake & Cook Counties and be matched with a RFK Mentor while becoming of member of Royal Family KIDS Club Lake Cook (#045).
  • A GUARANTEED entry in the 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.  (Learn more about guaranteed and non-guaranteed lottery selected entries.)
  • A customizable web page to provide your friends, family, neighbors, colleagues and social media network a simplified way to donate and show their support of you.
  • Ongoing training support.
  • Teamwear for training and for race day.
  • Reimbursement of registration fee at $1,500 fundraising level; and other ongoing fundraising incentives.
  • Complimentary pre-race dinner.
  • RFK race day cheer section and post-race RFK reception.

  • Complete and submit the Royal Family KIDS Team Lake Cook Commitment
  • Complete the web-based registration (between March 19 and April 7) and submit the registration fee of $185.00.
  • Achieve a fundraising minimum of $1,000.
  • Provide a current credit card number and information as a personal guarantee for fundraising.
  • Complete fundraising by October 6, 2014.  At that time, Royal Family KIDS will charge the credit card on file for the remainder of the fundraising balance.
  • Personally pick-up your entry bib and other event day materials at the Health & Fitness Expo prior to race day.
  • Adhere to all Event Rules.

Upon acceptance to Royal Family KIDS Team Lake Cook, team members will sign a Team Commitment acknowledging their acceptance of all policies and rules established by the Bank of America Chicago Marathon as well as to the RFK Team Lake Cook commitments as outlined above.

Upon acceptance to Royal Family KIDS Team Lake Cook, team members are required to complete the web-based registration which will be available between March 19 (12 p.m.) and April 7 (12 p.m.), 2014.

Recruiting for RFK Team Lake Cook is now underway! If your heart is calling you to be a HOPE GIVER by building into the lives of local abused, neglected and abandoned children and you want to join our compassionate team, please contact Stacie Campbell, RFK Team Lake Cook Leader at

Learn more about Royal Family KIDS
- See more at:

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Webinar: Homeland Tours

Where You Once Called Home
 Insights into Homeland Tours
 If you're considering, or planning, a trip to your child's (or your own) birth country, many factors other than just travel influence how the trip goes. 
Hear directly from adopted persons and parents who have taken homeland tours. They will share their personal experiences and feelings from preparation to the lasting impact of the their homeland travels.
To help parents or adopted persons plan their journey, our panel will discuss:
  • What is the right age to travel?
  • Preparing the adopted person for the experiences and situations they may encounter
  • Preparing yourself (as parent, spouse, or friend) to support the adopted person through their feelings while on the trip
  • Travel tips
  • Finding the right persons to help the adopted person, and other family members, organize and take full advantage of the experiences and memories they bring back home. 

Register Here!
Joint Council | (703) 535-8045 | |
117 South Saint Asaph Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Monday, March 24, 2014

Safe Families Leadership Training - Social Movements

Safe Families for Children is a grassroots movement of the Church to care for the most vulnerable people group in our society. We will be holding a special Social Movements and Organizing Training on April 28th and 29th in the Chicago area for those interested in taking on a leadership role in Safe Families. Click here for more information.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Adoption Terminology

This list is not an effort to be politically correct, but an effort to add sensitivity to the already emotionally-charged process of adoption for all members of the adoption triangle.

Correct/Accurate Adoption Terminology*

Real Parent/natural parent
Real mom/real dad
Adoptive parent/adoptive mom/adoptive dad
Adopted child/own child
My child
Giving away/relinquishing/putting up for adoption/put up
Making an adoption plan
Keeping the baby
Deciding to parent
Foster child
Child in foster care
Waiting or child in need of a family
Child of their own (very offensive)
Birth child
Foreign adoption
International adoption
Is adopted
WAS adopted
Adopted OUT
Made an adoption plan
Real (blood) relative
Birth relative
Sexually assaulted or sexually abused
Physically abused
Adopted OUT OF the foster care system
Adopted through or from the foster care system
Normal child
Typically developing child

*Adapted from National Council for Adoption

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Forgotten Initiative: Supporting the Foster Care Community

14-03 MM email

"If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday."  Isaiah 58:10

The Forgotten Initiative, Lifesong's foster care ministry, exists to bring joy and purpose to local foster care communities through mentorship, service projects and family support organized by local TFI Advocates. With a holistic approach they reach out not only to foster children, but also agency workers, foster parents and vulnerable adults. Read along to learn more...

JOURNEY BAGS {For Children Entering Care}

The Forgotten Initiative (TFI) has many different ways to get involved. One is creating "Journey Bags" for local foster care agency to ultimately reach foster kids in your community.

What exactly is a Journey Bag? Children often come into foster care with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Journey Bags are backpacks filled with personal items for kids to have when they are abruptly taken out of their homes.

Listen in to the impact of Journey Bags...

"Last night at midnight, three precious little beauties showed up on my doorstep. They each had with them a blanket, a stuffed animal, and a book bag, their Journey Bags. I kept waiting for more, anything more, but nothing came. The investigator told me this was all they had. 

Our 5-year-old came with shoes so worn, they had to be thrown away. One of our two-year-olds had no shoes, the other had two left shoes. When I asked about getting anything out of the home, the investigator said it wasn't possible. The kids had nothing. There worldly possessions consisted of Journey Bags. As I stared at those bags, I began to cry. What if no one took the time to fill those bags and deliver them? What would our children have then? Absolutely nothing. Nothing to claim as their own, nothing to protect or cherish. Thank you for all you do. Thank you for my kiddos Journey Bags." 

--Heather, foster mom For more information or to get involved with TFI visit

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Award Winning Film on Adoption

"Palms" is the story of a foster child in search of a forever family who is holding his heart in the palm of their hands. Winner of the 2013 International Family Film Festival - short drama category, Palms has been shown to various organizations, churches, and families to bring awareness to the plight of children and their experiences in foster care and adoption. Music selections were generously donated by various musical artists such as Moby, David Helping, John Torres, and Bela Fleck.

The story is a personal reflection of the filmmaker and his wife who adopted a little boy through DCFS (Department of Children and Family Services) in Los Angeles, CA . It was through their personal experiences that brought this small film to light.

The film stars Nathaniel Potvin from "Twist of Faith", Zondra Wilson, Regina Bryant, Jason Woods, and Steve Ward. Palms was written, produced, and directed by award winning filmmaker Deep Williams.

For more information visit

Monday, March 17, 2014

Willow Creek 5K Run/Walk for Orphans


April 12, 2014 ● South Barrington

April 5, 2014 * Huntley & North Shore

USATF Certified

Providing schooling opportunities for AIDS orphans in Zambia

Willow Creek's 5K Run takes place on the last weekend of Celebration of Hope 2014, Willow Creek's annual compassion campaign.


Be Part of the Solution

All proceeds from the race go toward providing school scholarships for orphans impacted by HIV/AIDS in Zambia, Africa. These scholarships will allow them to attend school for a full year.

Race Details

  • Register by Monday, April 7 to receive a free t-shirt.
  • Race is capped at 4,000 participants.
  • Walkers/strollers welcome.
  • Frequently Asked Questions

 For more information & to register, click HERE.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

What is CAFO 2014 Summit?

What do recent Summit speakers have to say about the CAFO2014 Summit?  Hear from David Platt, Francis Chan, Kay Warren, and Steven Curtis Chapman!

The Christian Alliance for Orphans’ CAFO2014 Summit inspires and equips Christians to care for orphans with wisdom-guided love. Now in its 10th year, CAFO2014 has become the national hub for what Christianity Today called, “the burgeoning Christian orphan care movement.” Last year’s conference drew 2,500 foster and adoptive parents, orphan advocates, pastors and leaders from 49 states and 25+ countries. Together, we explore effective foster care, adoption, family preservation and global orphan ministry. CAFO2014 will include unforgettable plenary sessions with top national and global speakers, stirring music, more than 100 workshops, and an array of one-of-a-kind experiences you won’t find anywhere else. Join both laypeople and leaders from across America and around the world at Willow Creek Community Church on May 1-2 in Chicago, IL!

For more information or to register, click HERE.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Safe Families Host Training

Calling prospective Safe Families!
You're invited to a live, accelerated, comprehensive training session for Safe Families on Saturday, March 29 from 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. at South Park Church (1330 S. Courtland Ave., Park Ridge, IL).
This training session is an alternative to online training designed to equip you to welcome a child into your home and move you through the training process. The comprehensive training session includes everything you need to become a certified Safe Family Host, all in one place.

Register today for this free training session. Childcare is available for children under 11 years of age. Questions? Contact Tom by email
For more information on Safe Families for Children visit

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

IJM Advocacy Summit

Raise your voice to Congress and help bring freedom to families trapped in slavery and violence around the world.

Use this day to change their everyday.

June 9-10, 2014
Washington, DC
Register today—Limited space available.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Monthly Gathering Focuses on Children in Foster Care

The Vulnerable Children's Ministry
Invites you to our monthly gathering
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Willow Creek Community Church
67 E. Algonquin Road, So. Barrington, IL
5:30 Dinner together (Atrium: look for the tables with our signs)
7:00 Worship service (Lakeside Auditorium)
7:30 Workshop (room B204/206)
Please register for the workshop at
(You will need to create a user name & password that you can use each month.)
Approximately 14,000 children in Illinois live in foster care homes.  God calls the Church to care for these children, who, through no fault of their own, have been placed in foster care due to neglect, abuse and/or abandonment at the hands of one or both of their biological parents.  Come and learn more about their lives and their circumstances and discover some creative and fun ways that we can show them the love of Christ, through Royal Family KIDS.  You’ll hear true and powerful stories about hope and healing that occurs when a child learns that they are loved and treasured. This is a great opportunity for those who are looking for ways to serve vulnerable children, but are not able to adopt or foster.  Whether you’re looking to get involved or just learn more about vulnerable children in our community, we encourage you to come, learn and be inspired!
Childcare is available with Midweek for Kids (ages 0-grade 5)
For questions, contact Sara Brunsting at

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Human Services Conference


 Human Services Conference

Shining the Light on Under-Served Communities

Friday, April 4, 2014
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Harper College
Wojcik Conference Center
1200 West Algonquin Road, Palatine, Illinois

Sessions, roundtables, panels, a resource fair and luncheon keynote on “Compassion Fatigue”, featuring Mary Jo Barrett, will address relevant resources and interventions for under-served communities. Mary Jo Barrett is a nationally recognized author, educator and trauma therapist.
Join practitioners, educators, students and leaders for professional development on current human services and human rights issues, relevant resources, and best practices for serving our communities.

Session topics include:
  • Human Services across the Lifespan
  • Identity Development of the Human Services Practitioner
  • Multicultural Competencies and Interventions
  • Local and International Human Rights Issues
  • Best Practices for Changing Communities
Conference fee:
  • $69 for general public
  • $49 for students
All participants receive a certificate for .6 CEs; CEUs for LCSW, LCPC and ICDVP are provided by the WINGS Program. 
Coordinated by the Human Services Program, Human Services Student Club and Continuing Education Business Solutions of Harper College.

Register Now:
General public:  Register now!
Third party billing: call 847.925.6300.
Students: Call 847.925.6300 or register online through the MyHarper student portal using CRN 50851.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

New Book: Wish You Happy Forever

Meet Jenny Bowen, Founder and CEO of Half the Sky Foundation,
and author of a new book, "Wish You Happy Forever"
Friday, March 28, 20147:00 PMTHE BOOK CELLAR
4736-38 N. Lincoln Ave,  Chicago, IL 60625

About the Author
Jenny Bowen, a former screenwriter and filmmaker, is the founder and CEO of Half the Sky Foundation, an organization dedicated to reimagining care for orphaned Chinese children. Bowen received the American Chamber of Commerce's Women of Influence Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2007 and the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2008.

In the summer of 1998, Jenny Bowen looked out her kitchen window onto her garden, and her life changed forever. Her three-year-old daughter Maya, whom she and her husband had adopted months earlier from an orphanage in China, had transformed from a vacant-eyed, sickly little girl into a joyous being thriving in an environment where she knew she was loved. Watching her daughter play, Bowen was overcome with the desire to help the orphaned children she couldn't bring home. And that's when Half the Sky Foundation was born.

Wish You Happy Forever tells the story of China's momentous progress in its treatment of orphaned and abandoned children. When Bowen began Half the Sky in 1998 determined to bring a caring adult into the life of every orphaned child, it seemed impossible that China would allow a foreigner to work inside government orphanages, let alone try to bring meaningful change. Inevitably, the pathway to collaboration was fraught with challenges: Bowen had to find ways to lead her organization past closed doors and naysayers, bureaucratic roadblocks and reluctant government officials, as well as natural disasters and flustered board members to realize her vision for a loving, more nurturing approach to child welfare in China. But despite the oceans and ideas that divide us, in the end, all of us want only good for our children. Now the Chinese government not only trusts but partners with Half the Sky to make life better for the children in its care.

To this day, Bowen is the only Westerner working with the Chinese government to transform its entire child welfare system from the inside, and Half the Sky, with fifty-two children's centers throughout the country, has helped more than a hundred thousand children. Bowen's beautifully written memoir, Wish You Happy Forever, teaches us that saving a child's life can transcend language and cultural barriers, and that, above all else, a determined dreamer with a loving presence speaks at the greatest volume.

For more information visit

Monday, March 3, 2014

CAFO Summit Registration is Open!

Thursday & Friday, May 1-2 2014

Hosted by: Willow Creek Community Church,
South Barrington, IL
The Christian Alliance for Orphans’ CAFO2014 Summit inspires and equips Christians to care for orphans and vulnerable children with wisdom-guided love. Now in its 10th year, CAFO2014 has become the national hub for what Christianity Today called, “the burgeoning Christian orphan care movement.”

Last year’s conference drew 2,500 foster and adoptive parents, orphan advocates, social workers, pastors and leaders from 49 states and 25+ countries. Together, we explore effective foster care, adoption, family preservation and global orphan ministry.

The Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) 2014 Summit registration is now open!  
If you would like to volunteer for the summit and attend for free or reduced price, go to

The Summit will take place at Willow Creek Community Church in So. Barrington on Thursday and Friday, May 1-2, 2014 There are also Pre-Incentive workshops on April 30th.
Speakers include:
  • Dr. Karyn Purvis, The Hope Connection
  • Jedd Medefind, Christian Alliance for Orphans
  • Gary Smalley, Best-Selling Author and Speaker
  • Wess Stafford, former President of Compassion International
  • Tyrone Flowers, Fellow of Georgetown University Public Policy Institute Center for Juvenile Justice Reform
  • and many others!
With Musical Guests: Andrew Peterson, Sara Groves and others!

Get the early bird rate now until March 31st - see

Hague Credits for pre-adoptive families and CEU credits for social workers are available. (


Sunday, March 2, 2014

"Empowered to Connect" Training

Empowered To Connect Parent Training
Connect Course has arrived in Chicagoland!
Classes starting in April for
Adoptive, Foster & Safe Families Parents!
The ETC Parent Training class is limited to no more than 10 couples/singles so that we can ensure that the class does not become too large and inhibit the designed participation and interaction.  We will accept participants on a 'first come first serve' basis.  Class dates: Thursdays  6:30 – 8:30pm  April 10 -  June 5 (in ElkGrove /Schaumburg area)
If you want to participate in the Spring 2014 training, please reply by March 22nd to

To view videos on ETC and Children from Hard Places, visit

Empowered To Connect (ETC) Parent Training is an interactive learning experience designed specifically for adoptive and foster parents. The ETC Parent Training was developed by Michael & Amy Monroe (from Empowered To Connect) and relies heavily on the Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®) model developed by Dr. Karyn Purvis and her colleagues at the TCU Institute of Child Development ( 

The material covered in the training is based upon the Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®) model developed by Dr. Karyn Purvis and her colleagues at the TCU Institute of Child Development. In many ways, TBRI is the formalization of what Dr. Purvis originally presented in her 2007 book, The Connected Child.  In addition, we incorporate other resources into the training that are consistent with TBRI. A complete list of the resources used for the training is available.

Please keep in mind that we do require that married couples attend the training together, and we ask that all participants commit to attend the entire training. Singles are also welcome, but we do ask that they make an effort to identify someone from their support team (i.e., a parent, friend, etc.) and encourage them to attend/train with them.  We understand that occasionally unforeseen circumstances will require a parent to miss a class, but we ask that you make every possible effort to attend all of the classes as the material is designed to build on itself and therefore an understanding of all the material is critically important. 

In addition, we want to make you aware that there will be weekly homework assignments that you will be required to complete[ and turn in].  These homework assignments are critically important aspects of the overall training and learning process.  We are fully aware that these requirements make the ETC Parent Training a very significant commitment on your part, but we believe you will agree that the commitment and investment required will be completely worth it in the end.

The fee for the entire training (including all required resources) is $225 per family. There is no cost for a single's support team member to attend.  Please know that we have worked diligently to keep the cost of this training to a bare minimum, and this fee goes solely to cover the actual costs of the required resources and materials.  Neither the trainers or ETC receive any compensation from this training -- other than the satisfaction of sharing these principles and strategies to help more families. [If you simply cannot afford the fee for the training, please let us know as a limited amount of financial assistance is available.]

ETC Parent training is offered several times each year by Steve and Cheryl Pickett for families in the Chicagoland area. For more information about the training visit, or contact Cheryl Pickett at