LOST SON?
A Child's Journey of Hope, Search, Discovery and Healing



SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS


The author has addressed two International Advocates for Children (IAC) World Conferences in 2004 & 2005 in Atlanta & Boston. The author in May 2007, addressed the 1st World Conference for Children Without Parental Care sponsored by World Initiative for Children in The Hague, Netherlands...photos and a recap of the this event has not been prepared as yet.

WORLD CONFERENCES


The following is a sample of the speaking engagements the author participated in during the past few years other than the World Conferences.



In late August 2004 I did a presentation before a local book club at Barnes & Noble bookstore. The club meets the fourth Thursday each month giving authors an opportunity to share their work. As with all my presentations; I closed with a question/answer period. I am always amazed, despite my attempt to answer questions that might arise during my presentation, the questions that still do arise when I am finished.


In late October 2004, I sent a letter to the editor of the Bay City Times. This is where my maternal great grandparents settled after coming from Poland. I shared the synopsis from my book and further stated I was doing genealogical research on some thirty families that married into my family.

I received a note from the president of the Bay County Genealogical Society providing me information I had been searching for and also an invitation to speak before the genealogical society on Wednesday evening November 10, 2004.

I graciously accepted the invitation.

Due the to the president putting an announcement of my speaking the in the Bay City Times the day prior, a larger than usual attendance was present that evening. The audience was quite emtional during the presentation and responsive when I opened things up for questions.

One person indicated afterwards that "it was the best presentation they ever had."



On March 20, 2005, the author spoke before the PFLAG (Parent, Friends of Lesbians & Gays) of the Tri-Cities (Bay City, Midland and Saginaw, MI).


Author spoke before the Cass City area Historical & Genealogy Societies on April 18, 2005 at the Rawson Memorial Library. The Societies and Library placed this on their web site, sent out over 1,000 newsletters and included an article in their local newspaper inviting the community to attend.

RAWSON LIBRARY PUBLICITY



On May 23, 2005, The Shiawassee County (Owasso, MI) Department of Human Services (formerly Family Independance Agency) invited the author to speak before their Foster Parent Appreciation Dinner. The author did an hour presentation which concluded with a special tribute to those who chose to be foster parents. The presentation was well received by both the foster parents as well as the workers of the department.


On February 22, 2006, the author was requested to do a presentation by the Bay County Department of Human Services for foster/adoptive/kinship parents as part of a training session. This was followed by a panel discussion with other former foster youth. One staff worker said it was the best training presentation they had ever participated in.


On May 3, 2006, the author was requested to be the keynote speaker by the Family Resource Support Group of Battle Creek, MI, in conjunction with their commemoration of May as National Foster Care Month. The presentation was held in the rotunda of the Michigan State Capital. There were numerous foster/adoptive/kinship parents, foster and adoptive youth as well as some Michigan State Senators and Representatives. It was one of the very few events in the state of Michigan to commemorate this special month.


On May 8, 2006, at the author's request, a presentation was made before the Midland, MI City Council. It had been requested that the City Council formally proclaim May as "Foster Care Month" in the city of Midland. After the presentation was given the City Council did approve the requested proclamation and it was presented to the author. The proclamation was presented by the author to the Midland County Foster & Adoptive Network of which he is an active member.


There have been a number of other presentations made. Those included on this page is just a sampling of presentations made by the author in addition to his presentations before two World Conferences sponsered by International Advocates for Children & World Initiative for Orphans.





REVIEWS OF PRESENTATIONS:


Lawrence P. Adams' presentations recounts his heartbreaking journey from the day he was born and given up for adoption by his 19-year-old unwed mother to numerous foster care placements as a child to graduation day from Boys Town in Nebraska at age 18.

Adamsí describes how the Michigan state foster care system failed him numerous times from missed opportunities for adoption with a loving family to placement in an abusive household. Through Adamsí story, we learn how broken and fractured the foster care system is in the United States, and how miraculously, Adams survived this unsettling childhood managing to find salvation at Boys Town at age 11. During his seven years in this new home, he learned he could amount to something in this world and make a difference. We watch as his feelings of worthlessness dissipate as he finds redemption in participating in such group activities as choir and the debate team.

During the second half of his presentation Adamsí adult life as he struggles with relationships, his health, and his career. His search for his birth mother and family leads him down a long, heartbreaking but necessary path as he grapples with finding his identity and heritage.

In the end, Adamsí reveals that what is important in life is not so much how we started out in life or what it even looked like in the middle, but what we have become and what we have done with what we have been given. Adams is a testament to this basic tenet and shows that true compassion and integrity is born from within.

I have heard him speak twice, including our International Conference last October. His presentations are heart wrenching, moving and inspirational to anyone who listens with an open mind and open heart.
MARISA SALCINES, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, IAC (International Advocates for Children)

As an adoption professional who heard him speak at the International Advocates for Children's International Conference in Atlanta this past fall, I witnessed a presentation that moves mountains.

Mr. Doek, from the Netherlands who is Chairman of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, was profoundly moved by his words, and I believe that it will have an enormous impact on UN policy and UNICEF over the coming years.

My colleagues and myself all viewed his wonderful story of success and inspiration. I refer to their impact time and again when reflecting on life-changing moments in my recent history and career. His real world perspective is invaluable to policy change. His contributions are enormously valuable in changing the world for the better. He is the very right messenger with the very right message. His story is very important and worthwhile to share with policy makers and potential adoptive families everywhere.
Debbie Spivack, Reaching Out thru International Adoption.

Mr. Adams has ALL of the credentials to do this work, including a testimony, experiential and clinical competency, a burning passion, tenacity and guts! Remember, social homeostasis, en trophy, gravity and momentum, are all working against him. People do not want to be told the truth. People resist change. People always avoid pain and do not wanted to be confronted. The work is tough...he is attempting to change city hall, right a history wrong and unbury children the system has left to decompose under mounds of bureaucracy and paperwork. Society does not want him to expose them or face the terrible odor of the decay they have caused! We all desperately need his voice.
Dr. Kenneth Brown, LMFT, Hope for Families

Adams'is blessed with the skill of being able to take life challenges to speak and also gracefully put them on paper for future generations to read. Someday another child, in the same situations he lived through, will read his book or hear him speak; it will inspire another great leader to keep trying and to not give up. It could be today, tomorrow, or ten years after you have gone. Regardless of when, it will be there when it is needed.

In Mr. Adams, I see a man that is so dedicated to his beliefs that he has given up all monetary values to try to save the children the world has forgotten. I see him as a man that has already triumphed over horrible life circumstances, who has found a way to share his experiences in a positive manner. I see a man that needs to be listened to.
Pamela Wooldridge, private citizen working to create a non profit to assist families in preventing the need for foster care

I am also a survivor of child abuse. I read "Lost Son" by Lawrence Adams and have also heard him speak.

Although we grew up in different parts of the country and under different circumstances it amazes me that we went through the same things. Many of our feelings and thoughts were the same. We moved the same way in "Paper Bags" and lived day to day never knowing when we would wake to and be going somewhere else to live. Life for a child in the foster care system is the same for all of us no matter where we live. The saddest thing of all even after over 50 years the children of today in the "system" sound the same as Larry and I did over 50 years ago. After 50 years nothing has changed .........how sad is that?????

Here is a man who has found his voice while so many remain voiceless. Read his work, hear him speak; you will be moved and inspired to create conditions for children within the system who only dream about it today.
Jeanne Fowler, Executive Director, Big Families of Michigan

As you hear his story you realize that it's not just a story about his life as a youngster, it's about how people treat other people and how there should be some kind of check to make sure everyone is alright. He reminds you that every state's foster care system needs an overhaul, and it makes you remember about stories in the newspaper and on television about children who have been literally LOST in the system. Here is a person who is standing on the wall, willing, able, and wanting to protect all our children.

I was telling everyone about this man and his work. Who should read his book or hear him speak? Every parent, anyone who works with the public, teachers, social workers, police, you can't help but remember how you felt when you were the ages he talks, you remember how innocent you were, it will make you want to join his fight to make "in the best interest of the child" a reality.

This is serious work, by a serious person who has made it out, he is a success. Who knows, maybe some little boy or girl who isn't sure about his own future could learn about the trials and how Larry came out triumphant, it could give someone hope. I continue to hope and pray that Larry is on the news and in more newspapers, and is invited to speak so much that he becomes a household name, so that kids will hear about this man who is working on their behalf.
Chris Bartholomew, Evangelist

I would like to take this time to thank, on behalf of the entire group here at the Foundation, Mr. Larry Adams, one of our newest members and published author of a wonderful book of his life in the foster system here in Michigan. "Lost Son? A Bastard Child's Journey of Hope, Search, discovery, and Healing."

Larry recently attended the rally and gave a talk of his life at the luncheon afterwards. Throughout the presentation there were visible gasps and groans as he explained his plight as a child of the system. It was a bittersweet story with his success story which shows how you can survive and make a life in spite of horrible experiences as a child.

I hope all who truly care about children will have the opportunity to meet and hear this man. He has dedicated himself to help the cause of reform as his life's work and passion. We need to get behind this man and do what we can to help him bring this fight to the attention of the general public.
Nancy Lockhurst, President, Foundation for Children's Rights


My presentations are inspirational and motivational to any audience. The story directly speaks about the need for foster care and adoption system reform, as well as meeting and overcoming life's challenges. Due to my own search for and reunion with my birth family, the process for adoptees and birth parents searching and what one might expect at a reunion or relationship building can also be speech topic.

I am available to speak before organizations or companies for expenses and a negotiable speaker's fee. I am also available for television, radio or telephone interviews.

Please feel free to contact me directly via E-mail (larry@larrya.us) if you are interested in arranging to schedule a speaking engagement for your organization or company.



Used copies of "LOST SON?" only may be ordered through Amazon.com, B&N.com and other major online book retailers since as of August 1, 2007, book is no longer being published.

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