Empowered to Connect

About the ETC Contributors

Karyn Purvis, PhD.

Photo of Karyn Purvis, PhD.

Michael & Amy Monroe

Michael and Amy Monroe are the proud parents of four children, each of whom were adopted. Together they founded Tapestry, the adoption and foster care ministry of Irving Bible Church. Since 2005, Tapestry has grown to serve thousands of families and their children through a wide variety of educational events, training, support groups, financial assistance and community outreach. Michael and Amy have had the privilege of personally providing support and counsel to countless couples and singles in the adoption and foster care process. They are also active leaders in the growing movement among Christian churches in America committed to serving orphans through adoption, foster care and global orphan care ministry. In 2010, they co-authored with Dr. Purvis Created To Connect: A Christian’s Guide to The Connected Child, a study guide companion to The Connected Child. Over 50,000 print copies of the study guide have been distributed, and it is widely used by churches ministries and support groups to help educate and encourage parents.

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Ryan & Kayla North

Ryan and Kayla North have six children through birth and foster care adoptions. They began their foster care journey in 2004 and welcomed close to thirty foster children into their home. Although their home is closed to foster care, they continue to support those who are walking this journey.

Ryan is the Executive Director of Tapestry, the Adoption and Foster Care Ministry of Irving Bible Church in the Dallas area. Tapestry serves to connect families in community, equip them for the journey, and encourage them along the way. In his capacity as the Executive Director of Tapestry, Ryan leads Empowered to Connect.

Kayla left the classroom, after a decade of teaching third grade, to stay home with their six children, five of whom she home schools. She oversees all ETC Parent Trainers and leads Tapestry’s crisis intervention efforts.

They are Empowered to Connect Parent Trainers, Trainer of Trainers, and write about the blessings and challenges of their parenting journey at One Big Happy Home and The Ryan Blog and contribute to both Empowered to Connect and the Tapestry blogs.

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Colleen Derksen

Colleen and her husband Brian live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and are adoptive parents to three children — ages 4, 5, and 6. They are extremely grateful for all they have learned from Empowered to Connect as they didn’t have a clue what they were getting into when they adopted their babies from foster care. Colleen and Brian are involved with their church’s adoption and foster care ministry — It Takes a Village — and are passionate about equipping other parents so they can bring hope and healing to their families. They are Empowered to Connect Parent Trainers and they enjoy sharing the joys and challenges of their parenting journey so that others can be encouraged. Their deepest desire is to bring glory to God as they seek to honour Him in their parenting.

Photo of the Derksen Family

Lisa Qualls

Lisa Qualls and her husband Russ have eleven amazing children ranging in age from 25 to five, who came to them by both birth and adoption. Their adoption journey is marked by many joys as well challenges of trauma and attachment. They are passionate about adoption, orphan care, street children, and children living with HIV. Lisa writes the blog, One Thankful Mom where she explores issues related to adoption and family life. She also serves with From HIV to Home. Together Russ and Lisa serve on the Board of Until Then.

Photo of Qualls Family

Becky Metcalfe

Becky, along with her husband, Rich, and their six amazing children are living the adoption journey as an answer to years of prayer. Adopting an older child and living the miracle that is him is a profound privilege given to the Metcalfes by a gracious God. Becky and Rich are Empowered to Connect Parent Trainers, and their family also enjoy various opportunities to be involved in orphan advocacy at their church and through Lifesong For Orphans, where Rich is involved in full-time ministry.

Photo of Metcalfe Family

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