Event Description


Being a part of a Multi-Racial family can create different struggles than other types of family demographics. Join other adoptive families virtually at Barker's new group- Expert Advice on Raising Happy Multi-Racial Adoptive Families a series of six monthly sessions starting on Wednesday, September 22, from 7 PM to 8:30 PM ET. This group provides a safe space to help adoptive families share their unique experiences, ask questions and engage with other multi-racial families. This group will include guest speakers and open dialogue.

Register Now!

This six-part series will be recorded and available to registrants to watch at their convenience if you cannot make a live session. 

More About This Event

During these six sessions, parents will be able to explore core concepts of multi-racial adoptive families: Ambiguous loss, grief, a panel of adoptees discussing grief and loss or video series for discussion, connecting grief and loss with mastery and control, a panel of adoptees from multiracial families & their experience with mastery and control. Hearing the voices of other adult adopted persons that are a part of multiracial families through panel discussions. Each session will have a special guest speaker sharing their stories of growing up being a part of a multi-racial adoption family.  

Sessions and Adoption Expert Facilitator

All sessions are held virtually between 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM ET

Dates: September 22, October 6, October 18, November 3, December 1, and December 15

Fee: $280 for all six sessions 

Session 1- September 22

Denise Defoe.pngAdoption Expert Facilitator: Denise Defoe

Born in San Diego, Denise Defoe has lived in Maryland for most of her life.  She is a Licensed Social Worker serving as a Psychotherapist. Denise obtained her Bachelors of Social Work degree from Oakwood University in 2003. After college, Denise matriculated at the University of Alabama and earned her Master's Degree in Social Work in 2004.  

Her crowning achievement to date has been the completion and release of her autobiography, They Chose Me: An Adoption Story, released in June 2019. This book chronicles her journey as an adoptee. The readers are taken on a decades-long odyssey filled with a variety of emotions stemming from her sense of abandonment. From grief, anger, and resentment, Denise was able to come to a place of acceptance, forgiveness, and peace. She can now speak about this journey and serve as a consultant and advocate for adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents. Sharing her story has empowered others to stand strong within their own story.

Her greatest personal joy and fulfillment come from her life as a wife and mother. She is married to Dr. David I. Defoe, and together they are the proud parents of their daughter Dayna Imara.  

Session 2 - October 6

Isaac Etter.pngAdoption Expert Facilitator: Isaac Etter

Isaac Etter is an activist and social entrepreneur. Isaac was transracially adopted at the age of two. He is a transracial adoption and racial bias consultant at Etter Consulting. Isaac has used his story of being adopted and growing up in a white world to curate deep conversations about race in America. With his unique insight on racial tensions between the white and black communities, they have been able to curate impactful conversations where everyone learns to value each other and their experience while learning about systemic racism, privilege, and their role in it.

Session 3 - October 18

Nabina .png

Adoption Expert Facilitator: Dr. Nabina Liebow

Nabina Liebow is a transracial, international adoptee. Nabina works at American University as Director of the College of Arts & Sciences’ Leadership and Ethical Development Program. In that role, she seeks to make ethics education accessible to students from all backgrounds. Her academic research is focused on the intersection of ethics and race. She earned her BA from Carleton College in 2011 and her Ph.D. in Philosophy from Georgetown University in 2017. Nabina’s personal history and identity as a transracial, international adoptee, experience as an educator, and professional background in race and ethics situate her to provide unique workshops on pressing and important ethical questions brought up by transracial and international adoption. With her workshops, Nabina hopes to provide participants with tools for thinking through the complexities of transracial and international adoption to inspire best practices.

Session 4 - November 3

Nabina (1).pngAdoption Expert Facilitator: Maria Gregorski 

Maria Gregorski is an adult adoptee from Guatemala. She is an adoptee advocate and co-founder of Adoptees with Guatemalan Roots. Maria puts on informative experienced-based events with her adoptive mother for parents and guardians. These events help adoptive families better understand the journey of adoption.


Session 5 - December 1

Kristen R.pngAdoption Expert Facilitator: Kristen Reighard

Kristen Reighard is a Nationally Certified Counselor who has worked with Barker for almost 10 years. She facilitates Barker’s monthly Adult Adoptee Discussion Group and co-facilitates Barker’s adopted kids’ groups and Barker's Annual Teen Connections event. Kristen is both a counselor and an adoptee. She was adopted as a baby from Seoul, South Korea. She is the mother of a 2-year-old boy and has been married for 6 years.

Session 6 - December 15 

Katie Kade.pngAdoption Expert Facilitator: Katie Kade

Katie is a proud transracial adoptee who was reared in Effingham, Illinois, a small rural farming town in central Illinois, and in a large multiracial family (including twelve brothers and sisters- ten of whom are adopted. Katie graduated in 2012 from Eastern Illinois University and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science; to complement her degree and expand her knowledge base, she minored in sociology and pre-law studies. During her undergraduate studies, she completed two legal internships- one of which focused on victim/witness advocacy in the Coles County Court System. Katie is currently working on her MSW at Shippensburg University. For her graduate-level research assignments, she loves to analyze and investigate racial disproportionality and disparity in the child welfare system, transracial adoptions, and adoption disruption and dissolution. After she graduates, she would like to pursue her Ph. D. in Social Policy (with a concentration in Children, Youth, and Families) and hopes to one day collaborate with legislators on policies that can help address issues in the child welfare system, such as racial disproportionality and disparities, and fair access to adequate legal representation for indigent parents involved in dependency cases.

Katie has extensive work experience in the child welfare system and victim services. She recently worked at a local civil law firm, where she served as a case manager and victim advocate for hundreds of sexual abuse survivors involved in the Boy Scouts of America. In Katie’s free time, she loves to spend time with her friends, write, read, learn history, travel to historical sites, shop, and listen to a panoply of music, podcasts, and audiobooks.

Event Type: 
Educational Workshops
Audience Type: 
Prospective Parent Project Wait No Longer-Older Child Adoption from Foster CareProspective Parent International AdoptionProspective Parent Domestic AdoptionAdoptive Parent

Date and Location

Event Date: 
Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Time Zone: 

Event Contact

Imani Mahdi

Registration Information

Registration is required?: 
Registration is Open?: