"Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope" (Romans 15:4).
These are some of the words that I would use to describe my weekend.
It was worth the 4 hour drive up north on my own, to enjoy amazing Christian fellowship with 4 other adoptive/foster moms! The "Created for Care" mini retreat for adoptive/foster moms was so inspiring and encouraging.
We spent time sharing, praying, listening to Scripture, and listening to inspiring speakers such as Beth Guckenberger (whose website is entitled, "Living with Reckless Faith"!!).
I gleaned so much from this retreat such as:
"God's looking for faithfulness and availability"
"Bask in God's story for our lives"
"We are a part of a Kingdom of Priests"
"Never give up hope, there is no limitation what He can do in our lives"
"When a calling doesn't make sense to anyone else, it doesn't matter, you just need to obey"
"He has a plan for each child that He chose for our families"
"Find firm footing (in God's truths), and we will be women of peace"
"Relationships are more important that rules"
"Adoptive moms don't need to finish sentences"
"A message to Dads: your presence matters"
"The foundation for understanding healthy adoptions is understanding the impact of trauma"
"Give more praise about a child's character than their performance"
"We need to change first (as parents) to see Him differently in order to change"
In addition to learning that and other things such as neurotransmitters, different attachment styles, etc., I was reminded that being in a hard place is good. God has a plan for our lives, even in the hard places. God will pick us up. He draws near to us. He doesn't promise to take away the difficulties in our lives, but rather He promises to help us through them. He is faithful to His promises. All the time!!
Continuing to give thanks...
-being open and vulnerable and willing to share with others and encourage others
-celebrating their great-grandson
-how they love it when he plays with them
-having lunch today with an old, dear friend from high school
-how Paul managed the weekend so well with the children
-celebrating grandparents day at school on Friday
-our son's birthday and that someone else we know has met him in the orphanage
-being lifted up! Thank-you, Jesus.