Foster & Adoption Pre-Service Training

Adoption Through Foster Care, Preparing for Adoption / Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Probably the easiest part of this journey is finished – the pre-service training. We were happy to have been able to complete all the pre-service classes in two weekends instead of attending over the course of several weeks.

Our classes included Theraputic Parenting (1-3), Cultural Competency, Adoption Training, Medications, CPR & First Aid.

My favorite part was learning about TCU’s “child whisperer,” Dr. Karyn Purvis. Her research regarding child development is amazing, and she gives wonderful advice and practical techniques for families who work with “children from hard places” as she calls it. One thing that makes most potential adoptive/foster families nervous is dealing with unknown behaviors that children from hard places might exhibit. I appreciated watching Dr. Purvis’s videos because it gives so much hope and helps put my mind at ease. These children need to be loved. They need consistency and patience. They need to know that their caregivers are going to be in for the long haul, but there is a PRACTICAL approach and INCREDIBLE rewards in store. Most of the time, negative behaviors are simply adverse effects of the difficulties these children have experienced that many of us can’t relate to in the slightest. Dr. Purvis is honest and thorough in her explanation of neurological and developmental issues, effects of trauma, and strategic interventions needed to bring hope and healing to these children.

We were required to purchase her therapeutic parenting intervention DVD set called, Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI), but I’m so glad we had it. This is a great “go-to” resource. I would HIGHLY recommend this resource as well as her book, The Connected Child: Bringing Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family.

AND – a revelation I had during this training…. I wonder if God sees me like this – a child acting out due to past hurts and traumas. I’m SOO glad God didn’t and doesn’t choose to give up on me when I act out. I truly don’t mean to, but it just happens – anger, frustration, deep sadness. But, God sees our heart. He knows what we CAN be, in Him. God is the perfect father who patiently and lovingly works with me until I experience the healing and knowledge I need to walk out my life in confidence. This is what adoption is all about!

Check out the TBRI video trailer here – Trust Based Relational Intervention.

Dr. Purvis also has a wonderful website with other resources and videos called Empowered to Connect.


A quick YouTube or Google search will show you numerous resources she has available.

Since writing this post, Dr. Purvis has gone to be with the Lord. We are all so grateful for her leadership and work with children from hard places and know that her research and legacy will be far reaching.

Empowered to Connect hosts a conference each year. We attended this conference and found it to be incredibly helpful and inspiring. Check out more here – Empowered to Connect Conference.

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