Monthly Meetings

All meetings are held at the Settlement Home, 1607 Colony Creek Dr, Bldg. B, Austin, TX on the third Monday of each month. Meetings begin at 7:00 p.m., followed by discussion groups for birth families, adopted people, and adoptive/prospective adoptive parents. If you have a topic that you would like to see presented at a future meeting, please let us know.  To submit a proposal to present at a monthly educational meeting click here.

Upcoming Meetings

February 15, 2016  7pm
Beyond Love  – Supportive Strategies for Building Healthy Bonds of Attachment After Adoptee Trauma

Dr. Carney Soderberg, Neurobehavioral Institute of Austin, will present information on attachment theory, clinical interventions to help children cope with post-traumatic stress, and practical suggestions to help families support adopted children with attachment-related difficulties.

Dr. Carney Soderberg, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice who specializes in providing psychological and neuropsychological assessment, psychotherapy, and consultation to children, adolescents, young adults, and families.  He works with his patients to evaluate and address a variety of issues including trauma, attachment, parent-child relationships, mood regulation, anxiety, attention, learning, and cognitive development.  He also provides forensic assessment and consultation services, and has served as an expert witness in legal cases concerning trauma, child abuse, and parent-child relationships.  Dr. Soderberg earned his doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology – Stanford University School of Medicine Consortium in Palo Alto, California.  He completed an APA-accredited pre-doctoral internship in child and adolescent clinical psychology, two years of post-doctoral training in pediatric neuropsychology, and was appointed as a Clinical Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.  Prior to entering private practice, Dr. Soderberg served for five years as a staff psychologist in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Service at Austin State Hospital.

March 21, 2016  7pm
Navigating the Uncharted Seas of Foster to Adopt

Hannah is a 17 year old local teen adopted at age 8 along with her younger sister.  She was in and out of the Texas foster care system from ages 2 to 8.  She and her parents will share the story of their journey including their joys and challenges.  In addition to her academics, playing on her high school basketball team, planning to join the Coast Guard, and working at Sonic, Hannah has developed and would like to implement a mentoring program called Pier to Pier which she will present as well.  Join us for an interactive presentation and discussion with Hannah and her family where they will welcome questions about their experiences as adoptees and adoptive parents.

April 18, 2016  7pm
Jeffrey Togman documentary “We’re Not Blood”

Adopted at birth, filmmaker Jeff Togman doesn’t know who he is – literally.  But when Jeff’s own children are born, it unleashes feelings of abandonment he never knew he had, and compels him to search for his biological parents.   In We’re Not Blood, the personal quickly becomes political, as Jeff finds himself in the middle of a nationwide legal battle that has sealed the birth records of most adopted people, including his own. Jeff recruits a team of friends and experts to help him track down his birth parents. Their desperate search for clues up and down the east coast leads them to rap-star DMC, an abandoned Catskills resort, the New Jersey State Legislature, the streets of Miami Beach, and the coke-dealing, police-fleeing attorney who handled Jeff’s adoption.  Complicating matters, Jeff feels that even asking his mother about his biological parents would be an act of betrayal. His mother, brother, and uncle remind him of the special love his long-deceased adoptive father Hal had for him. As the case grows ever more complex, Jeff realizes that his search is about much more than finding his biological parents, even as he closes in on the woman who might be his mother.   A feature-length nonfiction film, We’re Not Blood combines personal documentary with story-driven verite to produce a suspenseful tale that tackles universal questions of identity, family, and memory, and wrestles with the most basic of human rights – the right to know who you are.   (Warning, adult language in film) Watch the trailer here.

Past Meetings:

January 2015 – What You Need to Know About Adoption Evaluations (Formerly Home Studies) by Laura L. Johnson, ATR-BC, LPC, LCPAA and attorney, Jennifer Cochran

November 2015 – Annual Conference “Finding the We Between You and Me”

October 2015 – Adoptee Sibling Legislation

September 2015 – The “Honeymoon Period” in Open Adoption Relationships by Erin Smith

August 2015 – The Lifelong Impact of Reunions

July 2015 - ‘An Adoptee Roared’ and ‘Four Birthmothers’  Jean Strauss Documentaries

June 2015 – Trauma Doesn’t Tell Time by Robyn Gobbel, LCSW

May 2015- The Nature of Grief and Loss and How We Can Learn from It by Candyce Ossefort-Russell, LPC-S

April 2015 – Supporting Adoptees in Their Journey of Self Acceptance

March 2015 – Genetic Genealogy with Randy Whited

February 2015 – Book Sharing

January 2015 – A Simple Piece of Paper Documentary by Jean Strauss

November 2014 – November 7-8, 2014 Annual Conference with Leslie Pate Mackinnon, L.C.S.W.

October 2014 - October 20, 2014 ”Making Sense of Sensory Processing Issues-What You Need to Know” Tammy Santoro

September, 2014 - September 15, 2014 “What’s it Like to Have Biological Siblings Who Grow Up in a Separate Home?” Panel of Presenters

August 2014 – August 18, 2014 “Doing Their Best When Out of Your Nest; Helping Adopted and Foster Teens Prepare for Adult Living” with Janet Legler Luft LMSW

July 2014 – July 21, 2014 “What I Thought I Knew About Adoption as a Mental Health Professional of 40 Years And What I Have Come to Learn as an Adoptive Parent of 14 Years ” with Suzi McCoy

June 2014 – June 16, 2014 “Adoptee Rights to Their Records & Access to their Original Birth Certificates” with Shirley Dodson and Connie Gray

May 2014 – May 19, 2014 “Healthy Openness in Adoption” with Michelle Crawford, LPC

April 2014 – March  21, 2014 “Closure Ducumentary”

March 2014 – March  17, 2014 “Let’s Make a Lifebook…A Mini Workshop with Glitter, Glue and Guidance from the Adoption Guru” with Janie Cravens, LCSW

February 2014 – February  20, 2014 “Human Connections:  They Power of Play” with Suzette Lamb, LPC-S

January 2014 – January 20, 2014 “Authenticity, Identity and the Adopted Individual” with Doug Feldt

November 2013 – November 8-9, 2013 AKA Conference “Chapters in Adoption:  Telling Our Stories” with Keynote Speaker Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP

October 2013 – September 21, 2013 “Birthmother Stories” with Janet Mulcahy and Sheri Williams

September 2013 – September 16, 2013 “Back to the Books”  Roundtable Book Review

August 2013 – August 19, 2013 “Race and Adoption” Panel with Families with Children from China

July 2013 – July 15, 2013 Lecture Video – Adoption & Addiction:  Remembered not Recalled by Paul Sunderland

June 2013 – June 17, 2013 “The Father’s Perspective” A Panel of Adoptive Fathers

May 2013 – May 20, 2013 Unlocking the Heart of Adoption

April 2013 – April 15, 2013 “Greatest Lessons Learned/Greatest Lessons Needed” (with extended discussion group time)

March 2013 – March 18, 2013 “Trust-Based Relational Intervention:  How To Empower, Correct, and Connect With Your Adoptive Child” by Katie Ludtke, MA, LMFT-A

February 2013 – February 18, 2013 “Martha McCutchan’s Adoption Story” by Martha McCutchan and Family

January 2013 – January 21, 2013 “Changed by Adoption:  Stories from the Adoption Triad” by Janie McMahan

November 2012 – November 2-3, 2012, AKA Annual Conference with Keynote Speaker, Sherry Eldridge

October 2012 – October 15, 2012 “Openness in Adoption Panel”  by Patricia Cody, PhD, MSW and a panel of adoptive parents representing the various paths to adoptions (private adoption, international adoption and adoption of children from foster care)

September 2012 – September 17, 2013 “Openness in Adoption” by Patricia Cody, PhD, MSW

August 2012 – August 20, 2012  “The Myth of the Five Stages of Grief & the New Science of Loss” presented by Suzi McCoy, M.S., LPC

July 2012 – July 16, 2012 “Teenage Adoption” presented by Sally Fussell, LCSW.

June 2012 – June 18, 2012 “A Birth Father’s Story” presented by the birth father (a member).

May 2012 – May 21, 2012 “The Hero’s Journey from the Primal Wound to Wholeness: The Development of the Self in Adoptees” presented by Michelle Bohls, LMFT.

April 2012 – April 16, 2012 “How to Talk about the Hard Truths of Adoption” presented by Robyn Gobbel, LCSW

March 2012 – March 19, 2012 Viewing and discussion of the movie First Person Plural.

February 2012 – February 20, 2012 “Nature vs Nurture” with Kathryn Paige Harden.

January 2012 – January 16, 2012 “20 Years With AKA – How Does AKA Serve the Core Issues of the Triad?” presented by a panel of AKA members