Transracial Parenting and Culture Class


On Saturday, February 21st at 10:00am, MLJ Adoptions will host a Transracial Parenting seminar and cultural training education for families who wish to parent children from our programs in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burkina Faso. Families who are adopting from Haiti through MLJ Adoptions may also attend this training in order to help meet their international pre-educational requirements. The seminar will conclude at noon.

Rod Smith and his son, Thulani, will be presenting. Mr. Smith was raised in Durban, South Africa and is an acclaimed newspaper columnist, family therapist, international public speaker, former Indianapolis pastDSC_0337-001or, and most importantly, an adoptive parent of two boys. Educated at Butler University, Mr. Smith has assisted numerous people in navigating difficult relationships and parenting challenges. His “You & Me” newspaper column has been published every week day in South Africa for 13 years. He also wrote a column in The Indianapolis Star for several years. While speaking last summer in South Africa and Swaziland, two of the 30 countries in which he has presented, Thulani spontaneously joined him in his presentation to tell the moving story of his adoption. Since then, they have been co-presenters and educators.

Rod and Thulani will provide you with first-hand knowledge of their culture and way of life so you can better understand how the environment, customs, traditions, foods, and family life of your child’s birth country affects them. They will help prepare you to successfully parent your child once he or she comes home and discuss the all-important and realistic issues that surface with Transracial Parenting and the child’s adjustment to life in the United States. If time permits, they will be available for questions from the audience as well.

The Transracial Parenting and Culture Class is part of MLJ Adoptions’ Celebrate Africa Weekend. We invite you to learn more about international adoption by attending Friday’s Initial Information Seminar and Affording Adoption Seminar. Saturday’s class will be followed by our Annual Africa Party which will have crafts, food and entertainment!

To attend the Transracial Parenting and Culture Class on February 21st or any of our Celebrate Africa Weekend events, please RSVP here or contact us if you have further questions. Seating is limited for the class.

Karlene Edgemon works as MLJ Adoptions’ Director of Social Services. Throughout her 25 year social services career, Karlene has been able to watch adoption transform the lives of children and she is always brainstorming new ways to support adoptive families before, during and after their adoption.