Class Schedule
Class Descriptions
Private Classes
Parent Coaching
About Us

Hello, and welcome to Red Thread Learning, LLC, a parenting resource for families, based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Red Thread’s mission is to provide support for parents so they can create and sustain healthy, thriving families.

The path through parenthood can bring unpredicted bumps and turns. Some people decide to choose a non-traditional way of forming a family, such as adoption or foster care. Sometimes parents discover that a child has an unexpected special need or exhibits extreme behavior problems. Sometimes parents feel overwhelmed and stressed out. It is important to know that you are not alone; others have walked a similar path and have gotten through it.

One purpose of Red Thread Learning is to allow adoptive parents to connect with each other as they expand their families. Going through an adoption process is often tedious and isolating; these classes enable families to complete state-required education while connecting to other parents. The pre-adoption series of classes meets all of the core curricula requirements of the State of Wisconsin.

Other classes include topics of interest to families with older children. We discuss issues of positive parenting, sibling rivalry, grief and loss, transracial parenting, school-age issues, and creating lifebooks.  Families with children of all ages (and those expecting children) are welcome to attend classes and share ideas and experiences with other families.

I also provide coaching and support for parents whose children are exhibiting challenging behaviors. Behavior problems in kids are stressful for the entire family. Unfortunately, run-of-the-mill parenting techniques don’t always work for out-of-the-box kids. Parents come together in my classes and support groups to learn about strategies that work, and I also meet individually with parents who want one-on-one support. Together we can find techniques that can help in healing your child and family.

The State of Wisconsin requires 18 hours of training for pre-adoptive parents before they have a child placed in their home. The Pre-Adoption Series of classes enables families to meet the state's requirements. While these topics meet requirements for pre-adoptive families, the classes are open to all families, and many families with older children find the discussions useful. Seminars include:

  • Promoting Attachment
  • Grief & Loss in Adoptive and Foster Families
  • Positive Parenting
  • Nature & Nurture - factors affecting your child before coming home
  • Transracial Parenting
  • Talking With Your Child About Adoption

As children grow older, parents face new and different challenges. To support families in this life stage, I offer classes on:

  • Trust-Based Parenting (Managing Challenging Behaviors)
  • Parenting In the Present:  Mindfulness Strategies for Parents
  • Adoption, Foster Care and the Schools
  • Lifebooks for Adoptive and Foster Families
  • Handling Sibling Rivalry
  • Grief & Loss in Adoptive & Foster Families
  • Transracial Parenting

I offer coaching sessions to support parents experiencing challenging behaviors at home. Over my years of adoption work, I intensively studied attachment issues and therapeutic parenting approaches.  Also, one of my children has struggled with attachment-related issues, so I have personal experience with the chaos and challenges that can result.  I welcome the opportunity to share my knowledge with families.

See the page on Parent Coaching for more details.

The parent support groups are currently on hold. If you might be interested in participating in a group, please email me and I can direct you to local resources, or we can see if I have enough other families interested to start one up again.

Classes are offered in evenings and weekends to accommodate families' busy schedules.  For the current offerings and fees, please check the Class Schedule.

Most classes are held in a facility on the west side of Madison, WI.

For families who are unable to attend the scheduled classes, Private Consultations are available. 

If you are not located in the Madison area and would like me to lead a class in your location, please contact me.  I am glad to offer a seminar on any topic at your location as long as there is a minimum of 6 participants.  Travel surcharge may apply depending on the distance from Madison.  Contact me if you would like to schedule a class. 

According to Chinese legend, an invisible red thread connects us with each person who is destined to play an important part in our lives. For adoptive families, this red thread connects children not only to their birth families, but also to their adoptive parents and siblings.

Lori DuRussel, M.S., is an adoptive mom and has worked in the adoption field for over 10 years.  She was the Education and Outreach Coordinator for a child placement agency and designed the current curriculum to meet the State of Wisconsin's requirements.  She has extensively studied trauma-informed therapies, and in 2013 she completed training in Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®). She believes that families come in all shapes and sizes, and she is excited to help new parents navigate the adoption maze.  Lori has a master's degree in educational psychology (cognitive science), with a focus on adult education and learning.

Her main responsibility for the last 15 years has been as mom to her four children (two adopted internationally, two born into her family).  By far this is the most challenging, sometimes frustrating, and gratifying job that she's ever held.  She is honored to be able to share her experiences with other families through Red Thread Learning.

For more information, call me (Lori DuRussel) at 608-345-8217, or email me at lori@redthreadlearning.com. I look forward to hearing from you!