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April 2021

Deborra-lee Furness Talks Family and Parenting with Amanda Purvis

Deborra-lee Furness and Amanda Purvis on Zoom Call

Deborra-lee Furness Talks Family and Parenting with Amanda Purvis

Recently we have been delighted to share with you a video conversation between our incredible Co-Founder Deborra-lee Furness and Amanda Purvis who is a Training Specialist at the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University, a leading organization striving to help children suffering from the effects of early trauma, abuse and/or neglect.

Deborra-lee and Hopeland are always keen to promote organizations who are doing great work. Deborra-lee also has a special relationship with the late Karyn Purvis who founded the Institute. Whenever we are asked for resources for parents who have adopted or otherwise want to support children we recommend Karyn Purvis’ book “The Connected Parent” which provides valuable insight that we feel is helpful to those looking to learn more about how to help a child’s life.

We found Deborra-lee and Amanda’s chat to be moving, inspirational, and a call to action for anyone who wants children from all backgrounds to have the best possible upbringing. We hope you will watch the full video in two parts on our YouTube channel – it can be a great resource for any parent and especially for adoptive parents.

Amanda opens up the talk by sharing that she has always wanted to adopt, even since she was a little girl, “I used to beg my parents to adopt, I always knew since I was a little kid that I wanted to adopt,” Amanda told us and shared that on her first date with her now husband she told him “just so you know, I’m going to adopt. Is that something you’re okay with?”

Amanda also told Deborra-lee that in her entire career working with parents on a daily basis that she’s “never met a parent who doesn’t want to be a good parent. We’re all doing the best we can with what we know and in our current circumstances.” We certainly agree – with the right support it is always best for a child to be raised in a family than not.

Amanda’s work as a Training Specialist at the Karyn Purvis Institute involves practicing their attachment based, trauma informed Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI). In the video below Amanda explains that TBRI is a “holistic intervention [which] means we look at the whole child, the whole family, the whole system.” Learn more in part 1 of our video:

We share Deborra-lee’s belief that TBRI has a positive impact on children and families and we too hope to see it available to every child in the U.S foster care system.

Deborra-lee also shares that the greatest lesson that Karyn Purvis, the creator of TBRI, taught her as a parent was the value of the time-in, not the time-out, because “when you think about it you’re shunning them, you’re pushing away the child who is already feeling abandoned.”

One other parenting lesson that Deborra-lee shares that she found she needed to flip on its head was that the old parenting books told you to let your baby cry. You can see this part of the discussion and much more in part two of the video below:

You’ll also see Deborra-lee and Amanda discuss the terrible toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on families across the country and the world. Amanda tells us that “we won’t truly understand the impact of this pandemic for years to come but we can only assume that kids who don’t feel safe at home and who don’t have safe homes are struggling in extreme ways.” Hopeland has worked throughout the pandemic to help and advocate for children without safe, loving families and will continue to do so.

There are positives to be taken from the pandemic though. Many of us have had more time at home and so more time with our children and families. Amanda shares that her family has two hours every night where everyone puts away their electronic devices and Deborra-lee told us she’s been having dance parties with her family! If we take any lesson from the pandemic it must be that we should prioritize family time and appreciate those around us.

At the end of their chat Deborra-lee tells Amanda “I love the work that you guys do” at the Karyn Purvis Institute. Remembering her friend Karyn Purvis, Deborra-lee said, “she had a heart as big as Texas and I said the same thing to her as she was passing. I said, you have my word, I will try to continue to spread the word about what you’re doing.”

You can learn more about the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University at their website.