Child Wellbeing Project
Event Registration

Connect. Expect. Reflect: Bringing Adoptive Families Together
7TH Annual Post Adoption Conference

November 13, 2021

9:00 a.m. — 3:00 p.m.

  • 9:00am - 9:10am: Welcome-Karen Harrington-Catawba County DSS Director
  • 9:10am- 10:40am: 1st Speakers - The Carroll's - The Couple Check-Up: Keeping Relationships Strong in the Adoption and Fostering Journey
  • 10:40am - 11:00am: Break/door prizes
  • 11:00am - 12:30pm: Panel session facilitated by Kim Stevens - Transracial Adoptee & Parent Panel
  • 12:30pm -1:00 pm: Lunch
  • 1:00pm - 2:30pm: 3rd Speaker-Barb Clark - Just Keep Swimming: Thriving in the Midst of Grief and Loss
  • 2:30pm - 3:00pm: Wrap up & Surveys/Door Prizes (will try to be done by 2:45pm)
Denise Goodman

Partners in life and work, parents, and licensed psychotherapists. Torrey and Nikki Carroll believe in the redemptive power of relationships. They have championed the cause for more than a decade by walking alongside individuals, couples and family systems as they heal and grow.

The Carrolls are national trainers and speakers, and have extensive experience collaborating with non-profit organizations, agencies, schools and community ambassadors to develop programming that revitalizes and enriches individuals and family systems. Their specializations include marriage and family therapy, crisis intervention, trauma, and adoption-sensitive therapy, including parenting skills within the adoption triad, and transracial adoption issues. Their clinical experience extends to working with individuals of all ages navigating the experiences of life.

Nikki and Torrey are founding Board members of Relationships First™ and Safe Conversations® Master Trainers. They have been featured in a number of publications and news media including Success Magazine, WFAA’s Daybreak, and CBS’s Plugged Into DFW, and co-hosted the Safe Conversations® Practice and Share DVD alongside Imago relationship therapy co-creators.

Before becoming Licensed Professional Counselors, Nikki and Torrey successfully managed a 20-year career within corporate America. Nikki holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Baylor University, a Master of Arts degree in Professional Counseling, and a Master of Arts Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Amberton University. Torrey holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from The University of Texas at Dallas, a Master of Arts degree in Professional Counseling, and a Master of Arts Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Amberton University.

The Carrolls have been married for twenty-one years. Their journey has been filled with rich experiences that have varied from softly spoken messages, to loud and obnoxious life lessons on how to manage and maintain a healthy marriage. The Carrolls reside in a suburb of Dallas and call it an honor to be the parents of two ‘wonder-filled’ children. As a husband, wife, and parents of two, they bring extensive life experience and a heart for supporting and walking with families in the adoption and foster care community.

The Couple Check-Up: Keeping Relationships Strong in the Adoption and Fostering Journey

Before the adoption and fostering journey, we are often coached and trained on numerous ways to prepare for the child. However, preparing a relationship for the adoption dynamic is rarely discussed. Co-piloting through the multilayered haze of trauma, adoption, and special needs can become exhausting and paralyzing to a couple. The stress and pressure of effective parenting can highlight relational stress fractures. So what can couples do to ensure their partnership remains strong?

Led by a husband and wife, licensed professional counselor team, who are also adoptive parents, this session explores how to cultivate connection and increase relational elasticity, while caring for children from traumatic pasts. This is a candid training regarding the turbulence of communication, conflict resolution, intimacy, and relationships as they intersect with caring for children with trauma histories. Speakers will coach on ways couples can learn how to build on strengths, creatively address differences, and work together for the best interests of their relationship, which in turn is the best present we can ever give to children who desperately need a safe environment to heal and grow.

Isolation is the number-one problem facing couples. Training will uncover the threats of isolation and take a deep-dive into the relational stressors that can occur throughout the adoption and fostering journey. Training will lay the foundation and underscore the importance of having intentional strategies in place to strengthen the potential for success for couples who choose the road of fostering and adoption.


Time: 11:00AM-12:30PM Kim Stevens - Transracial Adoptee & Parent Panel

Kim Stevens will moderate a panel with 2 transracial adoptees and one adoptive parent.

Kim is a program manager at North American Council on Adoptable Children, where she works on a number of projects that support foster, adoptive, guardianship, and kinship children and families. Her duties include legislative and family advocacy, policy analysis and recommendations, curriculum development, training and capacity building, technical assistance for support and advocacy organizations, and youth empowerment activities. She also contributes to and assists in editing NACAC’s quarterly Adoptalk newsletter on a regular basis.

Transracial Adoptee & Parent Panel

Hear from the true experts – transracial adult adoptees and parents. We will have a discussion about what their families did right, as well as what they would want to see for children today. Come get advice from a group of amazing people who have lived this.

Time: 1:00PM-2:30PM Barb Clark- Title: Just Keep Swimming: Thriving in the Midst of Grief and Loss
Ed Morales

Barb Clark is a parent who has made a ton of mistakes and has lived to tell. She is now passionate about sharing her mistakes with other parents and professionals to make their journey smoother than hers was. Through humor and real life experiences, she shares information about how trauma impacts children’s brains, and how to move away from consequence based strategies and instead use strategies that promote relationship and attachment building. She has a particular passion for educating others on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, trauma informed parenting strategies and parent support networks which she does through her position at the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) as well as through her work as an FASD Consultant.

Just Keep Swimming: Thriving in the Midst of Grief and Loss

While there is beauty in loving and caring for children in an adoptive, foster or kinship family, there are also various levels of grief and loss. We feel emptiness when a child moves on to another placement or is reunified, sadness when we see how trauma experiences have impacted their lives, and grief when we realize our kids' developmental differences might not allow for typical development. It is important to figure out ways to work through grief and loss without getting stuck in the seaweed. We must learn to "just keep swimming."

If you have questions or need additional information please contact
Debra Katz at 828-695-6908 or