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Crossroads of America Adoption Conference {reflections}

September 16, 2012

I was so honored to be invited to speak at the Crossroads of America Adoption Conference in Indianapolis, IN on September 15. Brooke Randolph, LMHC, Director of Adoption Preparation and Support Services at MLJ Adoptions graciously extended an invitation and I eagerly accepted. Heading to the Midwest in the fall is a pleasure I am not often afforded. Growing up in Michigan, I crave that crisp fall air that we sometimes see for one day in December…maybe…here in Austin, TX. Mid-September isn’t exactly time for changing colors or falling leaves, but I certainly enjoyed that mid-50 degree morning!

Being the conference chair for the Adoption Knowledge Affiliates conference in Austin, TX, I was eager to see how another small adoption conference is pulled off. The Crossroads conference was mature, professional, and absolutely full of great information. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of my time in Indianapolis- except maybe those hours in the airport trying to get home on a flight delayed over two hours J! The MLJ Adoptions headquarters, Arch at Chatham, is a beautiful historic building in downtown Indianapolis that provided a perfect venue for the conference. The staff at MLJ Adoptions was inviting and accommodating, making photocopies at the last hour and ensuring all of my travel plans went off without a hitch (well, except that two hour delay- but I suspect there wasn’t much they could do about that!). The caliber of speakers at this day-long event was really impressive, with adoption experts in from all over the country.

Presenting at a conference means that it’s difficult to take in all the workshops and presentations, but I was able to sit in a fascinating session on open international adoption. Amber from American-Family shared the story of finding her daughter’s birthfamily in China and building an ongoing relationship with people she now considers extended family. I remember reading about the day her daughter met her birthfamily in China and blogged about it way back then, so I was excited to hear her speak. (As an aside, it’s really funny how the internet helps us “meet” people online and we end up feeling a little star struck when we meet our favorite bloggers or friends from social media…or at least, I end up feeling a little star struck!). I took some notes from her session and want to devote an entire blog post to this idea of open international adoption- but I’m blogging from the plane and I packed my conference materials in my checked luggage!

I presented two workshops- Attaching After Adoption and Behaviors in Adopted Children. Both workshops were 50 minutes- which I found extremely challenging…mostly because I have difficulty being succinct! Both workshops seemed to go well and I hope conference attendees learned at least one new, helpful piece of information in each session.

If you live in the Midwest and can make it to Indianapolis next fall, PLEASE consider attending this conference. MLJ Adoptions clearly values providing ethical adoption services with an emphasis on education for adoptive parents- something that is not always easy to find in an adoption agency.

Thank you MLJ Adoptions, Brooke Randolph, and the Crossroads of American Adoption Conference for everything you do for adoptive families.




Robyn Gobbel, LCSW is a child and family therapist in Austin, Texas specializing in adoption, trauma, and attachment counseling.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 16, 2012 8:23 am

    Well, *I* took away some great therapy ideas from your session. One attendee made a point to thank me for inviting you, saying that you were the most helpful session of the conference for him. I can’t wait to read your post on open international adoption!

    • September 16, 2012 8:45 am

      Brooke- Thank you for that feedback! If one person felt that way, then I’ll call the day a personal success. The conference was really amazing and I was constantly making mental notes on things to incorporate into the Adoption Knowledge Affiliates conference here in Austin. THANK YOU for having me!

  2. October 8, 2012 7:26 pm

    It was great to have you, Robyn! You helped to make the conference that much more meaningful for so many. hank you for coming and sharing.
    Judy 🙂

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