Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Created for Care

This weekend I went to Created for Care, a retreat for adoptive moms.  The retreat took place in Buford, GA on Lake Lanier.  I must admit, I was both excited and nervous for the weekend. I was really looking forward to learning more, meeting moms that have already gone down the road that I hope to go down this year, and just take some time specifically hear what God is saying to me.

The retreat started Friday afternoon, so I flew out early Friday morning.  Once in Atlanta I met up with 5 other women who were going on the retreat.  I hopped in the car with complete strangers to take a 1 hr ride to the retreat.  But there is something bonding about having a heart for orphans, and I immediately felt as if I were among friends.

Carissa Woodwyk
 A quick version:. I went to great talks.  Amazing talks.  The worship? AWESOME.  The best I have experienced in YEARS! I got to spend time with an old friend.  And I got to talk with some pretty inspirational moms who have their little ones home already.  I was blessed to meet and thank Stephanie from Ni Hao Y'all, who so graciously wrote a post about the Run For the Little Flowers and really helped the run become what it was.  I met Gayly, a great mom with a great blog, and her friend Shannon, both whom supported the run too. And most importantly, I got to spend some pretty great, quality time with God.  I even got to go on a Date with God!

The Longer Version: I would love to share with you that that the retreat was all fun and laughter.  But it was not.  I have read and heard so much over the last few years and I knew adoption can be very hard.  But, after the first night, I was overcome by all the brokenness that happens that makes adoption necessary.  By the end of Friday night, I was a bit overwhelmed and saddened by it all.  And, truthfully, I woke up Saturday morning almost in tears.  I just prayed (and went for a run too).  I honestly, was not sure if I was strong enough to enter into this.  To take on the brokenness. To somehow attempt to bring some sort of restoration to the life of one little child.

Praise and Worship led by Candi Shelton

Saturday morning the worship was AWESOME, once again. And, this song just resonated with me for the rest of the retreat.  It reminded me just how BIG God is, how AWESOME, how Powerful, how Faithful.

 I then spent most of Saturday in breakout sessions with the titles:  Finding the New Normal; the first three months home and It's Not What I Expected. Not exactly the kind of talks that make you want to run right out and start the adoption process.  But, they were incredible and I truly could see the beauty in adoption.  I could see how much I would change, how much I would have to change. And how much I would have to rely on God's strength and grace to parent an adopted child. 

PJ panel
Saturday ended with more worship. YAY! And a fun Pajama Panel party where all the moms were wearing their jammies, and some of the seasoned veteran adoptive moms answered lots of fun questions.

Sunday was filled with more worship and an amazing talk based on Hagar in Genesis (incredible). 

The weekend was beautiful.  Overwhelming. Inspiring.  A gift. 

I came away from the weekend knowing that Adoption is:
- Hard
A growth journey
- Beautiful
- A calling
- The closest thing on earth to what our relationship with God is like.  He has adopted us.  We are broken, yet He is a relentless Father, always loving us, desiring us to know and feel HIS love.  Loving us through our brokenness and the brokenness that is ours because of the world we live in.

But most importantly, I came away from this retreat with the reminder that I have HIM on my side.  And that HE is faithful to the end. Over the last year, I think I lost sight of just how powerful our God is and everything about this retreat was a reminder of HIS strength and HIS power. And that HIS strength, power, and faithfulness would be with us as we seek HIM to love an adopted child.

I pray that our family gets to walk the journey of adoption this year.  And that HE may transform us through it.


  1. Katie:
    We will be praying for your family as you guys figure out exactly how God is leading you through this process.

  2. Thank you for sharing this journey, Katie! God's Will be done!

  3. I'm a Guardian Angel for two kids through Reece's Rainbow and I do it because it's something I can do to help fix the problems that necessitate adoption.

    I'm a huge fan of that song ("Whom Shall I Fear?" by Chris Tomlin). Interesting story: Two weeks ago, a police officer was shot about a quarter mile from where I live and it was the first officer killed in the line of duty EVER in my small town's police department. (Two months earlier, an animal control officer from Sacramento County was killed by someone else.) The night of the candlelight vigil for him, I was in the drive-through line getting dinner at 9 p.m. and that song came on. It was the best timing ever because there was a feeling of serious fear in town and it was a reminder that God has our back.

  4. praying for all of you this year!