Thank you for joining us for the
Refresh Conference 2019!

Refresh is an annual women’s conference designed to create community for those caring

for the modern-day orphan according to the heart of the Father.

Registration opens

Early Bird Pricing is available for the first 25 registrants.

Featured Speakers

Michelle Vernon

Click Picture for Bio

Rob Mitchell

Click Picture for Bio

Ruth McWhite

Click Picture for Bio

Breakout Sessions

TECH AND TEENS

February 15, 2020

Speakers: Pat Gillen, Kayleigh Mayfield

Teenagers today are growing up with access to information and technology that we as parents never experienced. How do we help our kids navigate healthy and responsible attitudes towards technology while encouraging their growing independence? Come learn how to start the conversation with your teens as well as some practical tips to create safeguards and accountability with technology in your home.

—————————————

HELPING OTHERS HEAR

February 15, 2020

Speaker: Kim Coggins

Children have big stories to tell – sometimes happy ones, sometimes hard ones. It’s important that the adults in their lives are able to hear well and respond in ways that build connection and avoid shame. In this breakout session learn positive responses that you and other important people in your children’s lives can use to help them feel heard even when sharing hard things. You will leave with helpful resources that are easy to share with other important people in your children’s lives.

—————————————

CARING FOR THE SIBLING DYNAMIC

February 15, 2020

Speakers: Lauren White, Johnathan Carlisle, Eleanor Weldie, Isabel Weldie

A strong concern in the minds of most potential foster and adoptive parents is the effect that this journey will have on their biological children. Come join in this conversation with our four experienced bio-siblings who have grown up in the world of the modern day orphan. You will hear from the perspective of adult bio-siblings and those still in the home. Be prepared with any questions you may have.

—————————————

FOSTER CARE 101

February 15, 2020

Speaker: Sharon Betts

There are often many questions swirling around the decision to become a foster parent. Most of us become concerned with the unknown – so this is a chance for you to learn about the process, what a typical experience looks like for a foster mom, and all you need to know to begin the journey to forever impacting a child’s life – and yours!

—————————————

ATTACHMENT PARENTING

February 15, 2020

Speaker: Tony Perdomo

Parenting children dealing with trauma is overwhelming, and it can be very difficult to find resources to help in your parenting journey. Come hear from licensed therapist Tony Perdomo who has extensive experience counseling children with RAD about the unique challenges in creating attachment with children from hard places.

—————————————

RAISING KIDS OF COLOR IN A WHITE CENTERED CULTURE: HOW OUR CULTURAL IDENTITY IS FORMED

February 15, 2020

Speaker: Tara Nalley and Rhoda L. Norton

We will discuss raising our black and brown children to be culturally fluent in a white-dominant culture and family. We will also discuss transcending the racism and discrimination they will face, and talk about celebrating their skin color, beauty, and advantages of being who they are!

—————————————

HELPING YOUR CHILD SUCCEED

February 15, 2020

Speaker: Rob Mitchell

Practical Do’s and Don’ts to help former orphans, foster care kids, and “Castaway Kids” succeed. Kids like us don’t trust that there are adults who will love them and not throw them “back” into “the system”, we don’t really believe we are worth loving, we don’t believe we can succeed in life, and we don’t expect our new caregiver to actually treat us not love us as their own kids. Hear from former foster kid, Rob Mitchell, as he shares real-life advice and encouragement.

—————————————

HOW TO START AN ORPHAN CARE MINISTRY IN YOUR CHURCH

 

February 15, 2020

Speaker: Michelle Vernon

More and more congregants are being called to adoption, foster care, and other aspects of orphan and vulnerable child care. Could your church be ready to launch an orphan care ministry?  Join us to talk about where to begin, how to integrate orphan care into existing areas of church ministry and ways to personalize it for your community.

GUARDING YOUR MARRIAGE ON THE FOSTER CARE JOURNEY

February 15, 2020

Speakers: VanderPloegs and Timmons

Foster Care presents unique challenges to marriage. How we respond to these challenges— whether we support & encourage or isolate & judge our spouses— will make all the difference in a marriage relationship while fostering. This breakout group is filled with both spiritual encouragement & practical practices, along with a q+a time.

——————————————-

YOU JUST GOTTA BE IN THE WORD!

February 15, 2020

Speaker: Ruth McWhite

I honestly have NO wisdom apart from the Word of God. I DAILY have to gather the truths that He has so graciously laid out for us. It is a choice! It requires discipline, but it is SO WORTH it! Deuteronomy 32:47 says: “These words are your LIFE!” Because I believe that, I began committing these words to memory 17 years ago. It has been the sweetest journey. I would LOVE to share with you all of the secrets I’ve learned along the way and encourage you to join me in the journey!

——————————————-

MOMMY PANEL

February 15, 2020

Speakers: Christy Irons, Lori Shervey, Corletta Brown

Every adoptive and foster mama has a different story to share. Join us for a light-hearted session as we interact with a panel of adoptive and foster mamas and learn how their journeys are different and what they share in common. Come with your questions and be ready to laugh!

——————————————-

NAVIGATING THE TEEN YEARS

February 15, 2020

Speaker: Justin Coggins

Parenting in the teenage years brings its own unique challenges and problems to face. How do we set boundaries and communicate them? How do we enforce consequences? For this breakout, come ready with your questions on handling difficult parenting situations with your teenagers.

——————————————-

ADOPTION 101

February 15, 2020

Speaker: Betsy Tanner

If you find yourself trying to make the life-changing decision about adoption, this is a breakout focused on addressing the basics of adoption. Different topics that will be covered are the differences between foster to adopt, domestic, infant and international adoption; the need for a dossier; determining the best option for your family, and ideas surrounding fundraising for the expense of adoption. This breakout will lead you in a discussion that will answer the basics of fostering and adoption.

——————————————-

ATTACHMENT PARENTING

February 15, 2020

Speaker: Tony Perdomo

Parenting children dealing with trauma is overwhelming, and it can be very difficult to find resources to help in your parenting journey. Come hear from licensed therapist Tony Perdomo who has extensive experience counseling children with RAD about the unique challenges in creating attachment with children from hard places.

——————————————-

HOLISTIC HEALTH CARE FOR KIDS

February 15, 2020

Speaker: Kristi Williams

The health of our children can be a source of worry and concern for all mothers. At this breakout, you will learn some ways to be proactive about your children’s health and wellness from tips on good nutrition to resources you can reach out to with questions and concerns. Come hear from Kristi Williams of Well Within Family Practice about her passion for sharing the many paths to healing.

YOU JUST GOTTA BE IN THE WORD!

February 15, 2020

Speaker: Ruth McWhite

I honestly have NO wisdom apart from the Word of God. I DAILY have to gather the truths that He has so graciously laid out for us. It is a choice! It requires discipline, but it is SO WORTH it! Deuteronomy 32:47 says: “These words are your LIFE!” Because I believe that, I began committing these words to memory 17 years ago. It has been the sweetest journey. I would LOVE to share with you all of the secrets I’ve learned along the way and encourage you to join me in the journey!

——————————————-

IEPS, 504S, BIPS, OH MY!

February 15, 2020

Speaker: Ann Bennett

This breakout will focus on how students qualify for these services, what the services do (and do not) cover, and the parent’s role in meetings. Come with any and all questions for the Q and A at the end.

——————————————-

JULIE VALENTINE CENTER

February 15, 2020

Speaker: Elizabeth Rutland

The Julie Valentine Center is a nonprofit organization that provides free, confidential services to sexual assault and child abuse survivors and their families. Come hear from Elizabeth Rutland, a family advocate at the Julie Valentine Center, about all the services they provide, how you can access those resources, and even be a part of supporting their mission!

————————————–

ADULT ADOPTEE PANEL

February 15, 2020

Speakers: Kathleen Paladini, Mandy Mathis, Julianna Holland

The journey of adoption looks different for every individual and every family. Come hear from a panel of women who were adopted as they share their unique stories. Be prepared with any questions you may have for them!

—————————————-

EAT, SLEEP, DRINK, MOVE

February 15, 2020

Speaker: Katelyn Cobb

Learn to take care of yourself so you can take care of others. Get equipped with simple solutions for fueling your body with good nutrition, better sleep, proper hydration, and achievable exercise — because you can’t pour from an empty cup.

—————————————-

MANAGING A LARGE FAMILY

February 15, 2020

Speakers: Tammy Carlisle, Diana Thornley

This breakout session will address how large families work at large in the world and within the household. Women with first hand experience will be bringing to light the intricacies, the challenges and rewards of having a big family, and giving you the secrets and tools to managing it.

—————————————-

GUARDING YOUR MARRIAGE ON THE ADOPTION JOURNEY

February 15, 2020

Speakers: Weldies and Doziers

Marriage is hard work no matter what, and it can be a challenge to put your spouse first in the journey of parenting children from hard places. Come hear from two couples making marriage a priority in the midst of adoption. Joe and Traci Weldie have been married for 24 years and have been parenting for 23 years. They have adopted older children from African countries, including a disrupted adoption. Joe and Traci also have four biological children. Dustin and Sloan Dozier have been married for 13 years and six years ago adopted a sibling group of 3 boys from foster care after fostering for 2 years.

FAQ's

The Refresh Conference is founded BY women and is FOR women.  Our desire is to facilitate a conference that brings refreshing to the hearts of women who are walking this worthy and weighty journey of orphan care. It all began in 2012 when local adoptive mom Traci Weldie was stirred to see a foster/adoptive conference in the Upstate and invited her foster and adoptive mom friend, Tammy Carlisle, to help her make this dream a reality.  Our first conference was in January 2013 and we prayed that SOMEONE would show up – we were thrilled to have 20 women in attendance!  Now we are expecting 250 women to join us in February 2020 for our seventh annual conference!

• women considering opening their home to children • foster moms • adoptive moms • GAL’s/social workers/etc. • kinship caregivers • ministry leaders
 
We understand firsthand that this journey can feel difficult and lonely.  Our desire is for you to feel connected and reminded that you are NOT alone!  The Refresh Conference is a time for you to be refreshed, encouraged and inspired by like-minded women who understand your journey. We love this quote by C.S. Lewis, “Friendship is born at the moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.’”
At Refresh Conference, you will experience inspiring and challenging keynote speakers, relevant and practical breakout sessions, and sweet fellowship with other women who can relate with your unique lifestyle. 

The cost of the Refresh Conference is $99. We offer an “early bird” discounted rate of $75 for those who register no later than October 31st. The cost for the conference includes all general sessions, breakouts, conference materials, child care Friday night (if needed), meals, and snacks.

A continental breakfast on Saturday along with a catered lunch and dinner are provided with the cost of the conference. We also try to make sure you have all the snacks, coffee, and water you can imagine all day long!

Friday evening, February 15th

5:45 pm doors open for light desserts and childcare drop off.

6:30 – 8:30 pm Keynote session

 

Saturday, February 16th

8:00 am doors open for breakfast and registration

9:00 am Conference begins

8:30pm Conference ends – it is a full day, so if you are coming from out of town, be sure to plan to spend the night.

 

Sunday, February 17th

We would love to invite you to worship with us at First Baptist Simpsonville. Worship times are 8:45, 10:00 and 11:15. You can learn more here https://www.fbsimpsonville.org/

Yes. During registration, you will be able to indicate your need for these credit hours. Certificates will be provided at the end of the conference on Saturday for up to 10 hours of credit.

Children are welcome to attend on Friday evening. Child care is provided at no additional cost. Please register with the necessary details regarding your family by December 31st so the team can plan appropriately.

We have three main speakers as well as 12+ speakers for our breakout sessions. You can find their bios above by clicking on their pictures. 

This conference is designed for adoptive/fostering/waiting moms, for women thinking about adopting/fostering, and for women involved in these ministries at their church and communities. We also have a breakout geared to share information about ministries and organizations (both local and global) that serve the vulnerable and fatherless in our communities. Refresh is also for those who support and care for families who have adopted/fostered (grandmothers, sisters, neighbors, ministry leaders) as we offer insights into how to best love those families.

Unfortunately we will not be able to reimburse you after you register.

We are excited to offer a group discount for groups of 10+ women who want to attend Refresh. Please email us at [email protected] for more information.

Yes. Although we would LOVE for you to be there the whole weekend, we understand schedules can be busy. We do want you to have a few hours at Refresh, so we have opened up a Friday-night-only option. Friday evening is for women and their spouses and we offer childcare for those who register BEFORE February 8, 2020. Cost for Friday night only is $15/person. Attendees who need continuing education hours will receive 2 hours for Friday night.

Contact Us

Simpsonville, SC