Yesterday I returned home from probably one of the most wonderful weekends I have ever had in my life! I, along with around 250 adopting mommas, attending a retreat called Created for Care. Words really can’t tell how amazing this weekend was to me, and I am still processing all of the information I heard, and God is continuing to bless my heart with all of the wonderful ladies I met. It was such an amazing feeling to be worshipping and fellowshipping with SO many like-minded women. I think it is safe to say that anyone you may mention the “orphan crisis” to would have a feeling of sadness, but these women, along with their families, have a passion to do something about it. We heard from many wonderful adopting moms who have adopted 6, 7, 8 or even more children. They shared their struggles as well as their victories in what the Lord has brought them through. We watched an intense documentary on the “street children” of Uganda and how they are literally dumped off at a virtual prison and left there with no basic needs because they are deemed “unlovable” or “difficult”. I mean, seriously, talk about me doing the “ugly cry”. I will share more stories on here as I process through them, but my heart is so full right now that it is hard to try and think of putting it all into words.
The details of the retreat were unbelievable. The centerpieces at each table on both nights were SO cute. I am so sad that I didn’t get a picture of my centerpiece from Friday night because it had the Ethiopian flag along with a little homemade cloth black baby doll. Our nametags had the picture of the flag from the country that we were all adopting from. The speakers were incredible. God’s presence was almost palpable in that ballroom. I am so thankful that I got to be there. It was a little surreal because I got to meet so many women whose blog I read, but had obviously never met them in real life. As my friend, Alison, said it was like meeting all of your best friends that you’ve never met!
If we look a little tired it was because we were up until around 2 am talking! Lenora and Jill are both adopting from Serbia. It was such a blessing to get to travel and room with these two!
Me and Alison – I was so excited to get to meet Alison in person. She was the first adopting mom I emailed about adopting. She has been so encouraging! Such a precious woman of the Lord!
Me and Amy – She has the CUTEST little boy from Ethiopia named Elijah. Seriously, I could eat him up!
Me and Kelli Jo – Lord, have mercy, I love this girl. She was so sweet and funny! She has 3 little boys, and now she is finally getting her little girl from Ethiopia!
Me and Courtney – She is adopting from Ethiopia as well.
Me and Andrea – She is the one that God used to put this whole thing together!!! What an incredible job she did, and I am so thankful that she was obedient to do what the Lord asked her to do so all of us mommas could be blessed this weekend! She has a baby boy from Ethiopia, Isaac, that I got to see this weekend too. So precious!
This was Saturday night at dinner – All of us in the picture are All God’s Children families. There were more there, but we did the best we could getting everyone in a picture! I love to see the community among this group of women.
Me, Lenora and Jill Saturday night at dinner. I even won 2 door prizes!!!! I never win anything, so I was SO excited! I won a beautiful necklace and earring set as well as the DVD of the session on African Hair Care that I had attended since Lord knows I am going to need that!!!! Sweet Lucy Lane’s momma, Kristi, did that session, so I was so excited to get to attend it. And speaking of Lucy Lane..
SHE WAS THERE!!! I really had to keep myself from just running up to her and squeezing her to death. I was so excited to see her and get to meet Kristi. Their video is what inspired us so much and broke our hearts for Ethiopia. I had to have my picture with her, and thankfully Kristi didn’t think I was crazy…at least I hope she didn’t!!
I had so much fun at the retreat, but I can’t tell you how excited I was to get home and love one my two babies!!! I missed them so much, but it was such a wonderful weekend of renewal and refreshment for me as a mom. The Lord really taught me this weekend to have an eternal perspective for my family…not just focus on the daily grind. There is so much more! I also missed Michael so much. I am so gracious to God for giving me a husband that is like-minded. What a blessing to be on this journey with him. He is such a great Daddy, and I knew these two sweet girls were in great hands with him.
I’m sure you will be hearing more about the retreat in posts to come. There were so many people that I met that I wished I had pictures with, but we were all running our mouths so much that sometimes we forgot to take pictures!