The Conference for Adoptive and Foster Moms gave me the chance to meet and connect with 500 other women in the same season of life as myself. What a group of women!
This group consisted off Mothers who have adopted both Domestically as well as internationally, who are currently or have fostered children, and even women who are simply PRAYING about Adoption...
Let's just say I bet some dossiers were started after leaving this conference!
Hearts were opened, tears were cried (oh BOY were they cried!), faith was restored and visions were made more clear.
Oh how I needed this.
During our adoption process, thanks to modern day technology, I was able to connect with women all over the country that were also in the process of adopting children from China. Bonds were formed and before we knew it, we felt like far-await Sisters. We have rallied with each other, cheered each other on from afar as we each traveled that big ole Ocean to meet our babies..
We have also cried with each other as we met attachment and binding struggles along the way.
Well....give us all the opportunity to actually MEET face to face..hug each other's necks and chat....
We were there!!!
We all stayed up until midnight the night that Registration for the conference opened up. We grabbed our spots, secured the dates..and began marking the days off of our calendars.
This conference was amazing! There were breakout sessions that you signed up for individually, depending on what you wanted to really "focus" on for the weekend. There were group speakers who tore at our hearts, and opened our eyes even more to the Orphan spirit. They fed us, emotionally and spiritually...so that when it was time to leave, we were renewed...
While I took away more than words can describe from this conference, I will share with you what resonated the most with me.. The words came from a speaker at the conference during one of the "ask the panel" sessions.
Earlier that weekend, I had shared with one of the ladies, how, now that Mia is home and settled, my thoughts drift to the future. Her future. I begin to worry about the questions that will come (because we all know they will!). I have lately, longed to connect with an adult Asian woman who has been adopted, herself. I long to talk with her. To ask her what her thoughts are on being an adoptee...and what she wishes her Aadoptive parents would tell her.
God must have heard my desires....
Because that's exactly who he put on the panel!
I got the pleasure of hearing the amazing words from Carissa Woodwyk who was adopted from Korea as an infant. She wept as she read us the letter she once wrote to her Adoptive mother. What she WISHES she had been told. While she admits that years ago when her adoption took place, many details were left unknown; she admitted that she wished her Adoptive Mother would have told her what she DID know...and most importantly..(and this is what brought the tears..). That she would have just held her while she cried and said those 3 words...."I don't know"
Don't be afraid to simply say..."I don't know..."
This meant more to her than anything. It meant nothing was being swept under the rug. Details weren't being avoided. Sometimes you just don't have the details...and that's ok...
After returning home from the conference, I sent Carissa an email, telling her exactly what that story meant to me. How I needed to hear those words; that perspective; and how much her emotions touched me. She was so kind to send me the sweetest reply....
We also got to hear 3 sessions by the AMAZING Beth Guckenberger, founder of BacktoBack Ministries. Oh, her stories.... I could have listened to her for hours..and hours. One if the first things I did upon returning home, was to order her book. She is truly a remarkable woman, with a huge heart for the Fatherless.
I loved as she spoke to us about trying to find the unforced rhythm of Grace.
Definitely something I need more if in my life. More Grace for my children. More Grace for my marriage. More Grace for my friends.
More Grace for MYSELF.
I will take so many things away from that weekend...and look forward to next year...where I'm sure there will be new challenges and advice I long to hear.
Until next year, ladies...,.