2017 Conference – Parenting Through Adoption

Parenting Through Adoption 2017
Wheaton College* – Wheaton, IL
Saturday, March 4, 2017


Registration is now live!  Register today at our Conference Registration Page!


CAFFA is pleased to announce that registration is now open for our 23rd full day Parenting Through Adoption Conference! We have an exciting lineup of Speakers, Exhibitors, and Sponsors. Our day will also feature numerous workshops for pre-adoptive, foster, waiting, and experienced parents, as well as for Adoption Professionals. As always, we will offer shopping from Fair Trade vendors and an Exhibitor Hall to make sure you leave with a headful of information and an armload of resources!

Great news! We have been approved for 6 hours of Illinois foster care license / training for prospective parents, and 6 CEU education hours for adoption professionals seeking Social Worker credits.

Finally, anyone involved with adoption is welcome to attend, regardless of CAFFA membership.

The deadline for all registrations is February 19, 2017. Space is limited and filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Fee includes breakfast, lunch buffet, access to all conference areas, and certificates of attendance for those requesting documentation for foster care license renewal hours. 

We hope to see you there!


We are thrilled to introduce you to our Keynote Speaker for our event!  We will kick off our conference with “Raising a Family Through the Lens of Adoption,” featuring inspiring, thought provoking real-life stories from Carrie Goldman.

About Carrie Goldman

Carrie Goldman is an award-winning author and speaker, having written for The New York Times, CNN, Psychology Today, Huffington Post, Brain Child Magazine, Adoption.net, Babble, Alternet, and more. She has made appearances on NPR, BBC, MSNBC, CNN Headline News, Fox, HLN, HuffPost Live and Mondays with Marlo, along with countless other media outlets. In addition to her expertise in bullying dynamics, Carrie writes one of the nation’s premier adoption blogs, Portrait of an Adoption, which has followers in more than 45 countries. Her acclaimed children’s book, Jazzy’s Quest: Adopted and Amazing, came out in June of 2015.  Her latest book, Jazzy's Quest: What Matters Most (Volume 2) was just released in November 2016.

Carrie received her B.S. from Northwestern University and her M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management. She is also an award-winning artist, and her oil paintings have been featured in galleries and juried shows across the country. She lives in Illinois with her husband and three young daughters, where they all enjoy reading, gardening, eating chocolate, and playing outside as a family.

We believe Carrie will offer an educational and moving presentation that is not to be missed!


CAFFA is grateful to announce our partnership with the following individuals and organizations. Their generous contributions have made this conference possible and have enabled CAFFA to underwrite portions of our conference costs. A very heartfelt THANK YOU to each of our sponsors!

Platinum Sponsors

Chicago Area Families for Adoption

Chicago Area Families for Adoption


Gold Sponsors

Adoption Center of Illinois at Family Resource CenterEverlasting Adoptions

Adoption Center of Illinois at Family Resource Center

Everlasting Adoptions


Gillespie Law Group, LLCHolt-Sunny Ridge

Gillespie Law Group, LLC

Holt-Sunny Ridge


House Calls CounselingLutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois (LCFS)

House Calls Counseling

Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois (LCFS)


Silver Sponsors

Calo ProgramsLaw Office of Denise Patton

Calo Programs

Law Office of Denise Patton


RG Adoption ConsultingSheila A. Maloney Attorney at Law

RG Adoption Consulting

Sheila A. Maloney Attorney at Law


Shelley B. Ballard P.C., Attorney at Law

Shelley B. Ballard P.C., Attorney at Law


Bronze Sponsors

The Adoption ConsultancyLaw Offices of Sally Wildman

The Adoption Consultancy

Law Offices of Sally Wildman


If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Conference Sponsor, please click here: Sponsor Registration.


We are pleased to offer an exciting array of topics, ranging from pre-adoptive and waiting parent information, to parenting concerns for new and “experienced” parents, to topics well-suited for Adoption Professionals.  Our Conference showcases speakers from a wide variety of organizations and backgrounds - many local, and others from across state lines - all with impressive credentials. 

Following the Keynote Address, the day will be broken up into five time slots, during which several workshops will run concurrently in each session.



CAFFA is pleased to announce that the following organizations will be exhibiting their goods and/or services, which will include agencies and attorneys, as well as services and products for waiting, pre-, and post-adoptive families.

Adoption Center of Illinois at Family Resource Center The Arlington Center Bethany Christian Services Blossom Inspirations

CAFFA Camp Kupugani at Camp White Eagle Camp Pride Korea

Carrie Goldman Author Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago Center for Law and Social Work

Childrens Home Society Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota The Cradle Empty Arms, Open Hearts

Everlasting Adoptions Families with Children from China (FCC) Chicago Chapter Foresters Financial Services Inc

Gillespie Law Group, LLC Heart Gallery of America Holt-Sunny Ridge

Hope Reins Equine Counseling Hopefully Parents House Calls Counseling Individual & Family Connection, Inc.

Kaleidoscope Culture Camp Law Office of Denise Patton Lifebook by plumleaf

The Light and Leadership Initiative Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois (LCFS) Magic Tree Bookstore

Matthew Cordell Our Chosen Child RG Adoption Consulting

The Russian Gift Shop Sara Kahn Wool, Esq., LLC Family Mediation and Law St. Marys Services

Styles 4 Kidz University of Chicago Adoption Center Walk for Adoption Chicago

Y'Abal Handicrafts

If you are interested in learning more about becoming an exhibitor, click here: Exhibitor Registration.



Coffee, tea, and rolls will be served to all participants.

If you are looking for a bigger breakfast, here are a couple options (please remember to allow enough time to get to Wheaton College and register on time):

Egg'lectic Café

Open at 6am
145 North Hale Street, Wheaton, IL
(630) 690-9001 ‎ · egglecticcafe.net
0.5 mi West of Wheaton College Campus

Egg Harbor Cafe

Open at 6:30am
208 South Hale Street, Wheaton, IL
(630) 221-0206 ‎ · eggharborcafe.com
0.6 mi SW of Wheaton College Campus


Box lunches will be provided to each conference guest.  Each box lunch includes an apple, individual bag of chips, dessert bar, napkin-wrapped utensils, condiments, and bottle of water.  Beginning mid-morning, soda will also be available.

  • Caesar Salad Wrap:  romaine lettuce, tomatoes and shredded parmesan cheese with caesar dressing, wrapped in a flour tortilla
  • Caesar Salad Wrap with Grilled Chicken:  romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, tomatoes and shredded parmesan cheese with caesar dressing, wrapped in a flour tortilla
  • Smoked Ham and Swiss Sandwich:  Served on a pretzel roll with mixed greens
  • Roast Beef Sandwich: served on marbled rye with caramelized red onion jam, shredded romaine, roasted tomato and cheddar cheese
  • Classic Chopped Salad: chopped Iceberg and Romaine lettuce with gorgonzola cheese, green onions, bacon crumbles, diced tomato, ditalini pasta and croutons, served with red pepper vinaigrette
  • Classic Chopped Salad (without bacon): chopped Iceberg and Romaine lettuce with gorgonzola cheese, green onions, diced tomato, ditalini pasta and croutons, served with red pepper vinaigrette


We have made arrangements with the Holiday Inn and Suites in Carol Stream to offer guests of the CAFFA conference special rates and complimentary shuttle service to and from the conference.  These block rates are available until February 15, 2017.

Holiday Inn & Suites

150 S. Gary Avenue

Carol Stream, IL 60188

Ask for : Chicago Area Families for Adoption
Group Code:  CAF

To make your reservation, either book on line or by phone, and indicate the Group Code to receive your special rate:

Standard Double Bed: $92.00
King 2 Room Suite: $122.00

Call 630-665-3000 or visit www.holidayinn.com/chi-carol (enter dates staying then enter group code).

Shuttle:  The morning of the conference, the hotel shuttle will depart the hotel lobby at 7:00 am to take you to Wheaton College (Barrows Auditorium). The hotel shuttle will return to the college at 4:45 pm to bring you back to the hotel.



This conference is not a function of Wheaton College - all inquiries regarding this event should be directed to CAFFA only - thank you.

Please provide a current email address when filling out your registration form. Important updates regarding the conference will be sent via email. Your email address will be used by CAFFA only and not shared with anyone else.

Partial refunds will be considered on a case by case basis through February 14, 2017. Beginning February 15, all conference fees are non-refundable.

No audio or videotaping.

No infants or children please.

This conference website will be continuously updated with any informational changes, as well as updates to our Sponsor and Exhibitor listings.