The Ties That Bind Seminar Is Sponsored By The Following Organizations:








Keynote Speakers


KEYNOTE ADDRESS -- SATURDAY, May 19, 2018 -- 9:00 am during General Session

Donald Craig Peterson & Sons Michael and Andrew Peterson D. Craig Peterson is a child advocate and adoptive father of six children with special needs. He is an Adjunct Faculty Member at the University of Indianapolis and has been a highly popular blogger for over six years. Craig is also a forthcoming author of Adopting Faith: A Father’s Unconditional Love. Craig along with two of his sons Michael and Andrew will present the opening keynote entitled Parents Have Strengths and So Do Their Children. Raising children from hard places is no easy task, especially when challenges surface. However, those behaviors have meaning. Should parents react with emotion or should they respond with empathy? How can they maintain a trauma-informed perspective and continually add to their therapeutic parenting toolbox? How can they identify their children’s strengths and then find meaningful activities that develop self-worth and self-confidence. Craig will inspire the audience with the story of re-thinking his parenting, reducing the reliance on conse-quences and guiding each of his children along a path of success, after identifying their strengths. This will be an interac-tive presentation with personal testimony that is sure to help parents find their children's strengths as well as their own!

KEYNOTE ADDRESS -- SUNDAY, May 20, 2018 -- 12:15 pm during Closing Luncheon

Kim Stevens, is a Program Manager at The North American Council On Adoptable Children, (NACAC) where she works on a number of projects that support foster, adoptive, guardianship, and kinship children and families. In her 29 years of child welfare work, Kim has provided training and consultation on child welfare, foster care, adoption, parenting, positive youth development, advocacy and leadership, trauma and recovery, and youth permanency issues both nationally and internationally. She and her husband, Buddy have six children, four of whom were adopted as older children from the public foster care system. Kim’s Closing Keynote is entitled: The Kids Are Okay! Parenting for Best Outcomes. Working with or parenting a child with a history of trauma, neglect and loss can be an awesome job, in all meanings of the word. How we talk about and to our children has lasting effects on them, on us, on their status in the community, even on the likelihood of find-ing an adoptive family. Get renewed, recharged and refocused as you learn the power of the “reframe”. Participants will gain: 1) Awareness of how language affects the way others view our children; 2) Strategies for talking to and about your children in a positive voice to achieve maximum benefit, enjoyment and satisfaction; 3) Understanding of how labels are interpreted and misinterpreted by others; and 4) A sense of fun and humor in seeing our children through a new lens.

Other Conference Speakers

We have many excellent speakers in our program this year. Please link to our Conference Workshops in order to evaluate our speakers.



Youth/Teen Keynote Speakers

This year, we welcome motivational speaker, Keith L. Brown, “Mr. I’M POSSIBLE!” Early in his life, Keith was identified as a “Special Ed” and “At Risk” student, primarily because he was talkative, hyper, and wanted to give “all the answers;” ironically, these are the traits that make him successful today! Keith’s address to the teens, not impossible—I’M POSSIBLE. is a blueprint for overall success and significance. With a focus on life skills, academic excellence, character, and leadership, teens will leave Keith’s presentation inspired and with tangible information on how to be productive global citizens.

We are also pleased to have Nationally Certified Bullying Prevention trainer, Dr. Michael Carpenter, who will present a workshop, Understanding Why Adolescents Bully Others and How Social Emotional Skills Play a Role in Intervening! Dr. Carpenter will help teens differentiate teasing, fighting, horseplay, and hazing from bullying


Friday Night Kick-Off




Join us on Friday, May 18th at 7:00 pm in the Grand Ballroom for the Ties That Bind Kick-Off event. This will be a great time for families to mix and mingle and enjoy a special performance by award winning Magician Marc Dunston! “Magic Marc,” is a man of many talents – TV host, executive producer, author, magician, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Marc found a passion for magic at a young age. After countless hours of practice Marc was ready to take on the world with his magic tricks. Marc has performed on stages for several celebrities including Denzel Washington, Oprah Winfrey, and Wesley Snipes, and has even made an appearance on the beloved children’s television show, Sesame Street. He founded, The Magication of Education Program, which focus-es on teaching literacy to young children in the Savannah area. Marc encourages his audience to better themselves and motivates them to learn. You won’t want to miss the exciting performance or the yummy refreshments that will be served after the show!


FAMILY NIGHT CELEBRATION—Following The Yellow Brick Road To Happiness


FAMILY NIGHT CELEBRATION—Following the Yellow Brick Road to Happiness!

After an inspiring day of learning and networking on Saturday, May 19th participants will definitely want to attend our Family Night Dinner Celebration for all ages! This year we will visit the Land of Oz with Adoptive & Foster Families Following the Yellow Brick Road to Happiness! Join Dorothy and friends somewhere over the rainbow as they follow the yellow brick road into an evening of enchantment! Watch the scarecrow discover his brain, the Tin Man find his heart and the Cowardly Lion look for courage. Let them sing and dance their way right into your heart with a surprise finale that's sure to dazzle. You won’t want to miss this special show created for us by Dream Friends Entertainment who have been bringing quality entertainment to metro Atlanta for over 16 years.

Teens 14 & up will celebrate together with their own special dinner and program featuring the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient”- Keith L. Brown, “Mr. I’M POSSIBLE.” Keith was identified as a “Special Ed” and “At Risk” student, primarily because he was very talkative, hyper, and wanted to give “all the answers;” ironically, these are a few of the same traits that made him a one of the most sought after Professional Speakers on the planet. Keith’s address to the teens, Not impossible—I’M POSSIBLE is a blueprint for overall success. With a focus on life skills, academic excellence, charac-ter, and leadership, teens will leave Keith’s presentation inspired and with tangible information on how to be productive citizens.
After the show, please join us “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and let your “troubles melt like lemon drops!” Come enjoy a variety of fun-filled activities such as family photos, cooperative games, Wizard of Oz trivia, arts & crafts, music, dancing and much more! So have the courage to follow your heart and set your brain free by joining us for this exciting night celebrating our special families! You won’t want to miss this party. After all... “It’s not where you go, it’s who you meet along the way.”