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Extended Family and Friends Seminar Reviews

Sofie, my family and I enjoyed your “family and friends” seminar so much. We all waked away with a better understanding of international adoption. You made my family have a better understanding of what my husband and I have gone through as well as helping them become informed about “adoption”. I loved the slide shows and the speakers were great. I would recommend this seminar for all the family and friends of those who are in the process of adopting. They will definitely be grateful for the knowledge they walk away with. Thank you so much for taking the time and for helping each of us with the chance to get our family and friends more involved. It was truly awesome!     

Lori Grossi – Prospective adopting mom

As a prospective grandfather of a child from Africa, my wife and I were terrified about what our daughter and son-in-law were getting into. Sofie’s seminar led us through a great understanding about adoption - it was very thorough, and covered many perspectives and aspects about adoption. We now understand how to be supportive to our children, and what they are going through, and will go through. Sofie is an excellent speaker, and she left us feeling comfortable & re-assured, with a new outlook. This truly was an excellent seminar.   

Ben Lewiki – Grandfather in waiting

When my brother asked me to come to a seminar on adoption, I was not sure what to expect. He and his wife had told us that they were going to adopt, and that they were going to have an “open adoption”. Our family was very worried for them and what this means. My parents and I absolutely loved the seminar, as did my two children. We didn’t know, how much we didn’t know. We now “get it”, and we learned so many new and valuable things. We loved the guest speakers, both the adoptee and the grandmother, and Sofie was an amazing presenter. Definitely well worth it.   

June Cheung – Soon to be aunt through adoption

We had the great pleasure of attending a very informative and helpful seminar given by Sofie Stergianis. It was geared to family and friends of couples that are involved in the adoption process. The seminar educated and enlightened us as to the subtleties involved in both the process of adoption and the initial months following. It made us aware of the issues related to both the adoptive parents and the adopted child that we would not have otherwise considered. The seminar was not only informative but also enjoyable and the personal experiences described in the seminar by Sofie and the two guest speakers created a sense of comfort and excitement in the process. The break time was a great opportunity to browse through the photo albums and books available. We would definitely recommend this seminar to all friends and family of potential adoptive couples. With thanks,

Andrea and Peter Kline - “Ecstatic” Adoptive grandparents

In the spring, my husband and I, along with 7 family members, attended Sofie's "Adoption Seminar for Extended Family and Friends". Some of our family members came enthusiastically, while others were a little reluctant, but by the end of the session we all came away with good information and a better understanding of what adoption means for couples, extended family, and most importantly the adopted child. Sofie is a very professional and engaging presenter. It was easier for my husband and I to let Sofie explain the process of adoption and respond to the tough questions or concerns that family members have. Sofie provided all of us with valuable information and tips that will make the "welcome to our family" go more smoothly. The knowledge Sofie provides about the world of adoption helped our family feel more at ease. Our parents, who are not from a generation of adoptees, came away from the seminar feeling excited for my husband and I. Since attending, they have been more supportive about our decision and we feel that we will be better parents because of it.  

Melissa & Brad Quinn – Adopting parents

Sofie, your Family and Friends seminar was incredibly organized and well presented. As a single parent, it was so important to have my family be part of learning more about adoption. A huge thank-you for helping them understand more about positive adoption language, and how to talk to my daughter regarding adoption. I am so grateful that you offered this seminar - thanks so much Sofie.          

Elaine Bealley – Adoptive parent of a 2 year old

This was an excellent seminar, which was very well presented and organized. Our attention was maintained throughout. We particularly found useful the specific tips about what to say and do, building a positive mind set, understanding the child’s perspective, and the guest speakers. Thank you so much for all we learned!

Irene and John Medcof
Adoptive grandparents to-be

Great presentation Sofie – we really enjoyed it. You provided us with valuable knowledge on a variety of adoption topics that will enable us to support our daughter and son-in-law as they become a “Forever Family”. Learning about positive adoption language will help answer the difficult questions that may be asked. The slide presentation of the orphanages, the speakers who spoke from their hearts and your “words of wisdom” was really worth the trip down from Ottawa. Thank you.

Lois Longley – Nanny (as well as Grandad & Aunt to be)

Sofie, your presentation dispels myths about adoption and elevates adoption as a positive and hopeful way to create a family. Your seminar was practical and answered the important questions that extended families have about building a family through adoption. What we found most useful was:

  • the variety of topics
  • the powerpoint slides
  • the realistic examples

We can hardly wait to meet our grandchild and to be part of his/her forever family. Keep up the great work!!

Wayne & Nancy Jane Johnson - Soon-to-be grandparents

I thought this was so well done. Loved the speakers, Sofie’s expertise, and the whole webinar was super smooth. Made us even more excited to become an aunt and uncle through adoption!

I like the pace that Sofie kept throughout the seminar. It was well structured and she did a great job maintaining my attention throughout the seminar. It was very informative and brought things to my attention that I never thought about. Even something as simple as teaching us about "positive adoption language" was great to know. I also enjoyed Sofie's anecdotes. It really added a personal touch to the whole experience. A great and informative experience overall!

Emma & Chris Jennings (Prospective Aunt and Uncle)

My sister and her husband adopted a sweet baby girl and they have an open adoption. I took the Family and Friends adoption webinar to better understand open adoption, but I ended up learning so much more. The zoom seminar itself was very well done. It was private so you only saw and heard Sofie and the guest speakers. The participation was to the point, and it was nice to see the many different people/relationships and countries/cities who were partaking. It was four hours exactly but it didn't feel that way, it flowed very nicely with breaks in between. You were able to ask questions through a Q & A platform on zoom, which were answered throughout the different segments of the webinar.

The information was incredibly helpful and Sofie and the guest speakers were interesting to listen to, and their stories were so heartwarming. Even though I was there to learn about open adoption, I learned so much more about many different kinds of adoptions and the experiences adoptive parents, as well as adopted children, go through. The information about how to be open and honest, but keeping your privacy and boundaries, is even helpful for your everyday life and relationships outside of adoption.

I am very pleased I took this seminar and definitely recommend anyone who is part of, or friends of an adoptive family, to take it. Thank you so much to Sofie and the guest speakers. It is so incredible to be a part of something so open, so inclusive and so loving.

Aimee Ray (Aunt through adoption)

Our families attended the Extended Friends and Family webinar and absolutely loved it! They were so appreciative to have this seminar as a foundation from which they could talk to us, and ask questions about adoption. As hopeful adoptive parents, we are excited that they had an opportunity to learn a portion of what we learned during PRIDE training. This was a good start to talking through the more sensitive topics relating to boundaries, and we'll undoubtedly be referring back to this information in the months and years ahead. Sofie is a great presenter, explains topics well and keeps the presentations interesting. We will definitely be recommending this seminar to more family and friends!! Thank you!

Priyanka R. & Chris L. (Prospective Adoptive Parents)

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