Monday, April 11, 2011

ETC 2011

My girlfriends and I (of course I'm the one on your far RIGHT--not left, which I originally wrote, and I promise I DO know my right from my left!--with the horrible posture--classic me), minus sweet Angela, who make up the volunteer staff of From HIV to Home.  Love these ladies!

 Friday and Saturday I was able to get away for the 2011 Empowered to Connect conference.  Held down in Littleton, so not far from here.

Time spent hearing from Karyn Purvis about parenting children from trauma, and about the incredible research she has done.  Lunches and dinners spent laughing and chatting with friends (thanks to our lovely friends Mike and Amy, Kevin was even able to join me and some other couples at Buca di Beppo Friday night!)  Meeting new people, including some blog readers.  Fun!

Though we do have two adopted children, we don't really parent therapeutically.  Our sons attached well and, for the most part, thrive.  That being said, there is still so much to be gained by attending one of these conferences.  Such timely reminders about the fact that, no matter how well our children are doing, they DO come from the hard places.  Their brains DO work differently as a result.  There ARE ways I should be proactively seeking to connect with them and, most of all, I need to maintain a compassionate heart towards all of my children.  I need to give out more yes's than no's. 

I have to tell you that I was so emotionally and socially drained by the end of the weekend.  After dinner with friends Saturday night, I met Kevin and the kids at a church wine and cheese party , and immediately realized that I was pretty much too tired and spent to be there!  So much to process and think through and just some really heavy stuff, as I'm sure you can imagine.  Our world is a horribly broken place.  But, there is hope.

Anyway, if you ever get the chance to attend any sort of talk by Karyn Purvis, especially an entire conference headlined by her, I highly encourage you to go!  (But I must warn you that if you attend with good friends, you might just get the giggles during a particular session, where tears are streaming down your face and your shoulders are shaking because you're holding it all in and you realize it's a good thing you're sitting near the back.  Oh dear.  And I feel the need to mention that the friends in the above photo were not necessarily the ones involved in the laugh-fest.)

I also realized this weekend that it's, um, a good thing we're bringing Mary Lu to Ethiopia with us.  I missed that little bug SO MUCH.  Soooooooooo very much.  I was so sad having to say goodbye to her sweet face and wispy bedhead both mornings!  She is just way too sweet.

Good to be getting back into our routine, but it was sure great to get away too!

We leave for Ethiopia a week from today.  Oh my.  Time to switch gears!


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