In a world that is centered on speed and convenience, we want to offer high quality and deeply meaningful training opportunities that will help equip families for adoption and serve all kinds of adoptive and foster families. Training should be more than just recieving information; it is connecting with others and allowing stories, relationships, experiences, as well as information to encourage and equip us for the adventure of adoption.
The Sparrow Fund seeks to hold training events regularly. We look to partner with other organizations and adoption professionals to offer valuable tools and information as well as provide opportunities to connect with other families.
We are able to offer training and support to families at a very low cost because of the support of others. Through varied levels of sponsorships, we are able to fund our training programs as well as promote businesses who support adoption and adoptive families. If you are interested in sponsoring an upcoming event, please contact us to learn more.
The team supporting The Sparrow Fund count it a privilege to speak to small or large groups to both encourage and challenge parents. Team members have presented at various events including the Cecil County Foster Care Association, the Northeast Adoption Summit, the MidAtlantic Orphan Care Coalition Summit, women’s events for audiences both within and outside the adoption community, and various conferences and retreats. While we are always expanding what we are able to offer, previously presented content has included the following:
Connecting While Correcting (for a general audience or within the adoption community) – Kelly Raudenbush (based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
As we prepared for adoption, our “buffet” approach to parenting and correcting our children was challenged. We realized that the principles we were learning with regards to parenting a child from a hard place were principles we wanted to apply with all of our children. God designed us to be in relationship. And, it is our job as parents to parent forward rather than parent only for today, focusing on relationship rather than behavior. Hear a little bit about the whys and a few practical tools for focusing on relationship as you correct the children in your care.
The Most Effective Parenting Tool Isn’t a Tool (for a general audience or within the adoption community) – Kelly Raudenbush
There are days when we wish someone simply gave us a manual to do this parenting thing well. There’s something comforting about having a manual in front of us, as if we do A, B, and C we will get D, E, and F. But, following some “silver-bullet” method or program only gives an illusion of guaranteed results. Kelly shares how she learned to be free from the quest for the perfect parenting life and value relationship instead and the only perfect parenting model which comes from the One who created us to need each other so that we could experience joy in relationship and best see our need for Him.
It Takes A Village of Two – Mark & Kelly Raudenbush
Intentional parenting of kids from hard places is not easy. All the traditional methods of correction we know have to be reconsidered. As we set out to meet the unique needs of each of our children, it’s imperative that moms and dads approach correction as a team. Mark and Kelly will provide a little bit of why and how and give an opportunity for couples to wrestle through some real life application for their own families.
Story Keeping – Mark & Kelly Raudenbush
We have a responsibility as parents to both guard and celebrate our children’s stories. We are also the best ones to train them to be their own story keepers, teaching them to use wisdom in handling hard questions from both children and adults and giving them tools that both protect and respect themselves and others. In this presentation, parents will be encouraged in their story keeping and trained in a few practical ways to empower their children in the same.
Bearing With One Another in Love (for a general audience or within the adoption community) – Mark & Kelly Raudenbush
We are two different people with two different agendas. Sometimes, those agendas are aligned and all is well with the world. But, most of the time, we find that we aren’t totally in sync, and conflict in varying degrees results. In this workshop, Mark and Kelly Raudenbush guide couples to consider what Ephesians 4 has to say about marriage and handling conflict. And, they coach couples through a tool they’ve found, both professionally and personally, to move people towards deeper understanding and closer partnership as they handle conflict specifically.
Connecting as Husbands and Wives Together Called (for a general audience or within the adoption community) – Mark & Kelly Raudenbush
Parenting is no easy thing. It’s a task that requires a large part of our personal resources, especially as we seek to meet the needs of our children with hard starts. As we pour ourselves out to connect with our kids, so often even the best partners in parenting find that we can fall away from the practice of connecting with each other. In this workshop, Mark and Kelly will remind couples that nurturing our foundational relationships individually with Christ and with our spouse can help us best nurture our children and share one new way that we as husbands and wives and fathers and mothers can do it in the midst of our inevitable busyness.
Where Are My Green Pastures? – Stephanie Smit (based in Holland, Michigan)
If the Lord is your Shepherd, shouldn’t you be enjoying some green pastures? Perhaps you feel like your adoption journey has felt much more like the valley of the shadow of death than green pastures. Maybe He walked you through the “valley of the shadow of death” in your adoption process; but, now that you are home, you are still waiting for some “green pastures.” By adjusting our understanding of the green pastures David was writing about, we will gain a better understanding of how God provides for His people. Whether you are still waiting to complete your adoption or have been home “in the trenches” for many years, find encouragement by getting new perspective on the promises of Psalm 23.
Return to Joy – Stephanie Smit
We all are bombarded by the world’s false messages on a daily basis. Disapproving voices of some friends and family who don’t support or understand our call to adopt may be drowning out a call that once seemed so clear. Negative emotions, nagging fears, and realities of daily life may leave us feeling stuck and overwhelmed. The lies of the enemy pollute our thoughts, choking out the life-giving truth of God’s Word, often becoming the only voice we listen to. Intentionally focusing on God’s True Words helps our families discern the lies of this world, strengthen our identity in Him, and return to joy. Whether your family is particularly struggling in this area or not, this breakout will give you practical tools to guide you and to use with your children to guide them in time with God and help them return to joy.
Please contact us if you are interested in having a team member from The Sparrow Fund speak at your event.