Jodi Jackson Tucker is the wife and partner in life of her husband Jerry and the
mama of nine world changers. Her adoption experience includes domestic, international
and foster care. Jodi serves as the International Director of Orphan Sunday, which
reaches families for children in over 80 nations. She is also the founder of Pharaoh's
Daughters, an online marketplace serving widows and orphans. Jodi and her daughter
Agnes are the authors of "Fasten Your Sweet Belt: 10 Things You Need to Know About Older
Child Adoption." Jodi believes adoptive mamas are the most powerful group known to man
and loves to flow in that power!
Rebecca Peeler met her husband as he was completing a single-parent adoption of
a 15 year old girl. Since then, together, they adopted a 10 year old son. Last year,
they completed the adoptopn of a 5 year old girl with a rare chromosome disorder and
Rebecca adopted Mikel's daughter who is now 25. In those short 10 years, they have
also fostered over 25 children and have had numerous emergency short term placements.
Rebecca has been particularly blessed to have many newborns to mother and they are
currently loving on two foster sweeties ages 2 and 3. In addition to raising an active,
ever-changing family, Rebecca volunteers helping other foster families and children's
groups in the York County Area. She is very involved in the York County Foster Parent,
having served as president and board member.
Crystal Simpson has over 20 years of Child Welfare Experience, 16 of those
with Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services. Ms. Simpson has been
employed in the areas of Work First Employment Services, Permanency Planning,
and currently she is a Licensing and Placement Social Worker. In her current
position she recruits and licenses foster/adoptive homes. Crystal has a BA
from Hampton University.
Paula Curtin is employed with the South Carolina Department of Social Services
in York County. She has her BS from The University of Georgia and her MS from Georgia
State University. Mrs. Curtin has been employed in the social services field for over
fifteen years. Her first position was at The Division of Family and Children Services
in Atlanta, Georgia as an Adoption Specialist. Upon moving to Charlotte, North
Carolina, she worked at Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services in Permanency
Planning. In her current position at SCDSS, Mrs. Curtin works with prospective foster
families as an Initial Foster Home Licensing Specialist. She works closely with the
applicants while conducting extensive background investigations and completes detailed
home studies in order to make professional determinations regarding licensure. Mrs.
Curtin currently lives in Charlotte with her husband and three rescue dogs.
Nichole Gause, MSW, LCSW has served in child welfare for the past 15 years.
She earned her Bachelors of Arts degree from Winthrop University and her Masters
of Social Work from University of South Carolina. Her professional experience
includes providing counseling and case management services for clients who are
either at-risk youth, chronically ill, developmentally disabled, dealing with
depression, and experiencing relationship issues. Gause is a North Carolina
certified trainer and has provided workshops for professionals, parents and
Sabrina Clark, LAPSW is a Policy & Practice Model Supervisor with Mecklenburg County DSS,
where her primary responsibilities include providing direct supervision to a team of social
workers responsible for bringing county-level child welfare policy and practice into alignment,
as well as providing training to agency staff and stakeholders around this endeavor. Sabrina
is certified to teach several curricula designed to meet the needs of foster and adoptive parents
including Trauma Informed Partnering for Safety and Permanence - Model Approach to Partnerships
in Parenting (TIPS-MAPP), and Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma. Since 2001,
Sabrina has worked with children and families in a variety of programs at county and state-level
government agencies and non-profit mental health organizations. Since obtaining her MSW in 2010,
she has been employed in roles that have allowed her to develop and present training tools and
curricula for various members of the child-serving community including, but not limited to, the
following: child welfare workers and supervisors, school social workers, law enforcement, juvenile
probation officers, attorneys, mental health professionals, early childhood professionals,
emergency shelter staff, Bachelor and Masters-level students from programs leading to child-serving
professions, and both staff and volunteers representing the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) and Court
Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) programs.
Leslie Jurado is wife to Jimmy and mother to their four children Isabel, Jay, Sara and Natalie.
Jimmy and Leslie have been married for 17 years and met at Winthrop University where she received
a Bachelor’s degree in Biology in 1997. Leslie received her Masters degree in Occupational
Therapy from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2000. Her primary area of practice
has been pediatrics. Even as child, God lit a fire in her heart to care about orphans and
“the least of these.” It wasn’t until the terminal diagnosis and the long illness of their
oldest child Isabel that Leslie truly became a devoted Christ follower. The Jurados adopted
from Colombia, South America in 2005 and 2009 respectively. Eight years after first adopting,
Leslie stumbled upon the answer to her children’s behavioral and academic struggles: Fetal Alcohol
Spectrum Disorders. Once receiving a diagnosis, Leslie realized that she had been parenting her
children with inappropriate expectations and the assumption that their brains worked like hers.
She is now passionate about advocating for individuals living with the effects of prenatal alcohol
exposure, as well as educating parents and teachers on compassionate and effective strategies based
on the neurobehavioral approach. On April 4, 2017 Isabel Jurado was healed of Sanfilippo Syndrome.
She continues to be Leslie’s inspiration to live for Christ.
Megan Clark is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPCA) working part-time
at Hope Garden Counseling Center in Charlotte. She is a TBRI (Trust-Based Relational
Intervention) trained practitioner and enjoys specializing in adoptive families and
special needs families. She and her husband, Billy, are parents to three children,
one through adoption. Megan is passionate about helping individuals and families thrive.
She knows firsthand just how drastically adoption can change a family, for better or for
worse. It is her deepest desire that adoptive families would learn how to thrive despite
the unique challenges they often face. She believes there is always hope - for every
family and for every child.
Kristina Franklin, MACC, LPC, LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist as well
as a Licensed Professional Counselor. She specializes in working with couples to improve
communication skills, resolve conflict and rebuild marriages after an affair. Her unique
and extensive experience is in working with law-enforcement officers, rescue workers,
military personnel and their families. Kristina works with anxiety and panic disorders
as well as grief and loss. She is also comfortable helping people work through cancer.
She has degrees in both counseling and theology.
Susan has been married to her husband, Dave, for 26 years and God has blessed them with 3 children. They
have 2 biological, David (23), Jonathan (20) and one adopted daughter, Jessica (7.) Susan also was adopted
domestically at one month of age.
In 2004, Susan experienced great tragedy, the day after her adoptive father passed away, she had a
devastating miscarriage and stroke. BUT GOD provided emotional and spiritual healing by bringing joyful Jessica
into their family. The long adoption process was definitely worth it when God brought Jessica halfway around the
world from India to join her forever family in Fort Mill, SC.
An adoptee herself, God has shown Susan adoption from both sides. Using adoption research and her own personal
experiences as an adoptee, Susan’s session will equip adoptive parents with the tools to more effectively understand
and nurture adoptive children along their life journeys. This breakout session will help parents recognize adoptive
children’s grief, loss and shame and share strategies for transitioning towards confidence, hope and love. Susan’s
personal testimony parallels many of the findings from the adoption literature, especially from one of her favorites,
Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew, by Sherrie Eldridge. Attend this session to come away
better equipped to guide and nurture your adopted child in love through the challenges unique to adopted children.