so almost a month ago now, we boarded a plane for Atlanta and attended the Together for Adoption conference. In short, it was fantastic. Very informative, encouraging and eye-opening all at once. The plenary sessions were deeply theological (sometimes a little too much so for my poor brain) and beneficial. The breakout sessions were practical and plentiful – I wish only that I’d be able to clone ourselves so we could have attended more of them. Kyle and I took the divide and conquer approach so we could get as much information as possible in the time we were given.
I went to sessions on attachment & attachment styles, trans-racial adoption, HIV & orphans, and fundraising/financial helps for adoptive families. Kyle addressed some of the things he learned on his blog. And Noel Piper’s main session on “What I wish I knew…” was so real, honest and helpful. I love that woman and I don’t even “know” her. 🙂
We came home with a suitcase full of great resources, and packets from agencies. Meanwhile, our brains were full of information and our hearts full of a new awareness of how much we don’t know about orphans, adoption or any of this adventure on which we’re about to embark.
I feel like one of the main takeaways for me was how much better it would be to prevent orphans from happening in the first place. Next best is empowering communities and villages to care for their own orphans so a child can remain with their people in their culture. The next option is in-country adoption – another family in that country bringing a child into their fold. International adoption ranks low on the list. We also came to the conclusio we do not want to be placed on a waiting list for a “healthy” child. There are too many kids with minor illnesses/medical issues that can be cared for with a competent medical system to wait for a “perfect” kid.
So what’s next? We’re in the process of choosing an agency with a program for the country from which we’d like to bring a child home. We’re definitely hoping for an infant-toddler boy from an African country. We have an appointment with an agency here in MN next week and if that doesn’t work out, we’ll interview/apply with a different one in another state (which means we’ll have to do a home study here in MN with a MN agency).
If you wish to pray for us, I’d be grateful. Pray that God leads us to an ethical, reliable program with great in-country practices and a waiting boy that needs a family. Pray that we are able to negotiate these uncharted waters for our family with a minimum of complications. We are excited and confident that He who began this good work in our hearts will have His way.