Dr. Mark Andrews
I believe in the innate strength of family. My work is dedicated to my wife Lisa, our son Michael, and daughter Sara.
My own experience as an adoptive parent since 1994 has also reinforced my belief in the need for increased pre- and post-placement support and education for parents. Like all adoptive parents, much of my and my wife’s experience was trial and error—especially in that we had not been parents previously.
I have learned a lot over the past three decades! I have “walked the walk” of experiencing both the mountains
and valleys (and everything in-between) of the adoptive parent life.
It is my passion to pass on what I’ve learned to other adoptive and foster parents. Thus, in 2018 I concluded my time working in the mental health field to begin Adoptive Family Resources (AFR). AFR is an initiative to provide support, resources and ongoing training for adoptive and foster parents in both the pre- and post-adoptive periods.
Having worked for nearly three decades in the counseling/mental health field with many foster and adoptive families, I noticed a consistent theme and request—the need for additional/enhanced training and support in both the pre-adoption and pre-fostering period as well as in the post-adoption and fostering phases. Historically, adoption and foster agencies have provided adequate training and support prior to a child being placed in an adoptive or foster home. However, what has been requested by many parents is the additional and much needed follow-up support and post-adoptive education needed to assist them for the long haul. This fact has been reinforced to me in the real-life stories I’ve heard from parents that I coach, as well as those who attend the support groups I lead.
Along with leading Adoptive Parent Support Groups locally, on a national level, I’ve been a workshop leader at the National Adoption Conference and have worked with the Washington D.C.-based Christian Alliance for Orphans, for whom I compiled a Resource Manual for their nearly 200-agency member organization.
I am a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary where I earned a Doctor of Ministry degree with an emphasis on Youth, Family and Culture.
Well-versed in in trauma-informed care of children and adolescents, I worked as a family counselor for nearly 30 years in both public mental health and private faith based settings.
Much of my work has been with intercountry and domestic adopted children and their families.
My wife Lisa and I live in Newnan, GA,
and are the parents of two adult children, Michael and Sara, whom we adopted
from India in 1994 and 1999. As a veteran adoptive parent, I understand both the
joys and challenges of parenting in an adoptive family.
In the public mental health arena, I served as Mental Health Lead Liaison to the Department of Family and Children's Services of Clayton County, GA (metro-Atlanta area) as well as Coordinator of the Clayton Center Community Support Team, a home, school and hospital-focused support and behavioral intervention program for high risk youth and their families.
AFR BOARD MEMBERS
Blair Walker - Chair
Executive Director, Interfaith Chapel, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta
Melanie Kingston - Treasurer
Melanie Kingston Photography
Veteran Foster Care and Adoptive Parent
Kelvin Thompson - Secretary
Licensed Professional Counselor
Peachtree City, GA
Executive Director of Christian City Children and Family Programs, Union City, GA
Julie Yokum - Assistant Treasurer
Life Coach and Visionary