One of the most beautiful experiences for a family involved in orphan care can be to foster or adopt a child (or children) in need of a family. And sadly, one of the most difficult experiences for a mother is to be isolated by the intense and specific needs of children who come from hard places. Because Birmingham has such a rich orphan care culture, a few other moms and I have felt a tremendous burden to reach out and find a way to serve the mothers of Birmingham by providing them a time and space to rest, relax, and be encouraged in their daily lives as adoptive and foster mothers.
The Unfailing Love Retreat will take place in September at Ross Bridge Resort in the Birmingham area. What we love about Ross Bridge is that it is a luxurious place to spoil our mamas who are reluctant to pamper themselves (enough to FEEL like you're a world away), yet is well within easy access to our regular lives so that our attendees don't have to spend much time traveling to and from the retreat.
This year will feature Traci Newell as our keynote speaker, who is (in our opinion) God's gift to hurting adoptive and foster mamas. Traci has such a powerful ability to encourage and entertain our mothers in a way that speaks to their souls and nurtures our spirits. She is real, and we cherish her authenticity while also appreciating the way she directs moms to the God who loves us and our children.
Breakout sessions will include practical tools for today such as Ethnic Haircare (beginner/basic haircare and advanced/styling), Foster Care Boot Camp: Lingo and Logistics, Navigating School, and Sibling Issues-addressing the unique sibling relationship that comes with foster care or adoption. They will also provide our mamas with some wisdom for tomorrow on topics such as Discussing Adoption with Your Child, Loving Birth Parents (foster and adoptive), and Honoring Your Child's Heritage. All of our speakers are experts in their field and/or are actual adoptive or foster mothers. They have all been through the hard stuff and we are so grateful for their willingness to share their experiences and mentor those foster and adoptive moms coming along behind them.
We know that this retreat has and will be a real blessing to many mothers involved in caring for children through adoption or foster care. We want to be their cheerleaders so that they can return home to their families refreshed and armed with solid information on being the cheerleaders for their loved ones. Check out the Unfailing Love Retreat today, and share with any adoptive or foster moms you know!