I got back from Minneapolis Saturday afternoon. It was a great trip and a great conference. I'd love to do a more in-depth post about my time at CAFO's Summit VI, but for now I'll quickly share some highlights:
Karyn Purvis. She's amazing. My second year in a row seeing her speak and she is just incredible. Read The Connected Child if you haven't already. I think it would be great for parents whether they've adopted or not.
John Piper. Yes, John Piper. Everybody loves him but I was admittedly not a huge fan (there are some things he's said/written that I don't agree with. Which is fine. But some of it really bothered me, and people are just SO into him, and I was not.) But his message at the conference was aMAZing. Acknowledging that the outcome of our adoptions is not the point...that we walk by faith no matter what the road holds...he even acknowledged disruption. Wow. I think about his church and about the culture of adoption that they have created there. Support for adoptive families, INCLUDING families in crisis. If only we could replicate that everywhere! So yes, I gained a LOT of respect for him this past Friday. (I still think women ought to be able to be busdrivers, though.)
The Chapmans. Mary Beth shared, and Stephen Curtis Chapman played some songs and led worship. They were wonderful.
Seeing a little girl who I'd met in an orphanage over FOUR YEARS ago. When I first met this precious girl in Ethiopia, she had no family and it was uncertain whether children from this particular orphanage would find homes. BUT all that has changed. And she's amazing and sweet and spent a lot of time holding Mary Lu. Who'd have thought our paths would cross again, that she'd be holding my 6-month-old baby years later at a conference that she came to with her mom?
Finally meeting my friends Lisa and Abbey in real life! They are also on staff with From HIV to Home and are amazing women with amazing hearts. So fun to meet Abbey's mom too--who became Mary's surrogate grandma for a few days.
Lots of time with girlfriends. Jennifer and I shared a room and stayed up way too late discussing very important topics and eating Kit Kats. She put up with me and all my dumb baby gear that I was lugging through the airport, and was still nice to me when I kept dropping my wallet. (And all its contents.)
Running into wonderful friends Dori and Larry from California! What a fun surprise! Seriously, so great. What an inspiration they are.
So yes, a great trip and a great time. I'm reminded that orphan care is complex and messy but God is bigger than all of that. And He wants us to show up and do something.
To be fair there were a few lowlights too--some crackpots claiming they could cure HIV, my allergies acting up and therefore causing my right eye to be comPLETEly bloodshot, and sitting on a hot runway waiting for takeoff, only to endure yucky turbulence. Not fun. Not fun at all. Less fun for some than others.
I'll post some pictures soon!