When "One Day" becomes "Let's Do This"

In March, some friends and I started planning this retreat (which is in 12 days, by the way!), and when we set out our goal was to serve foster and adoptive moms in the Birmingham area by designing a weekend for them to receive encouragement, education, and rest all in a place of safety...as in, by and with and among those who "get" us. 

The truth is, being a part of the retreat planning team has meant more to me personally than I ever thought it would. I'm sure my three friends and fellow planners would say the same thing. We have seen God provide, we have seen seemingly insurmountable walls crumble, we have been so encouraged by the three main speakers and ten or so breakout presenters. We have been completely filled up with having a front-row seat at God's theatre of provision and sovereignty.

We set out to give, and yet we have received.

One huge benefit has been that I have learned so much about the storehouse of resources available for adoptive and foster families right here in our great city.

To name just a few...  

These folks? They're amazing. Like me, you may not have heard the stories yet, but know that the guys and girls on this list...they are changing the lives of vulnerable children every single day. Thanks to the retreat, I've met these people, emailed or talked with these people, been on the radio with these people. I've read about their experiences and their work.

And I have been completely blown away by the folks we have met from these organizations and hearing their passion for serving. I have been amazed at all they have accomplished and truly impressed by their knowledge of the different systems and research in place that enables them to do their jobs well. In many ways, I feel like I've learned a few new languages in the past few months! 

Want to help give to orphans or families in crisis but you aren't sure about adopting or fostering (and NO, those are not right for everyone)? Hook up with one of these organizations and you will easily be able to see a difference made in the lives of those right here in Birmingham who need it the most. 

One major outcome for my family has been that our "one day we'll do foster care" has been transformed into "let's do this now." Until March, all of my understanding and interest had focused on adoption...various countries, various processes, supporting families as we were able, understanding attachment. Planning this retreat has changed that for us because it has opened our eyes to the many facets of foster care and how it is possible to become involved even in the smallest ways. 

Even though we thought "adoptive family" was our niche.  

Even though we're a very active, busy family.  

Even though we already have three small children.  

Even though we both work full time.  

Even though we're in the middle of trying to sell/buy a house and move

Even though...{insert a thousand other excuses. I could go on for days. Could you?} 

And so there it is. It may sound crazy for us to take off on this particular journey at this moment in our lives...but it isn't the first crazy adventure we've felt God lead us on before.  

You know what? I hope and pray it isn't the last.  

This entire retreat experience has been life changing in more ways than I could explain, but ultimately, for my family, it has been the catalyst that took our "one day" and transformed it into "let's do this." 

12 days, people!!!