The conference on Saturday went extremely well! PTL!!! Various sources told me we had between 100-150 people attend. There were no major glitches and hey, I didn't end up in the hospital(like last year) : )
Almost as soon as the conference was over, I read the comments/suggestions left by conference attendees. I was surprised by how much feedback we received. Overwhelmingly positive things were said... mostly about how great all the speakers were and the amount of resources they acquired. In fact, the only complaint reported was that there was not enough time to go to more electives or talk with more adoptive families.... pretty good problem to have I think!
..... that they wanted MORE!
Due to a choice of only 2 electives, many opted to go to the "bigger topic" sessions like "Domestic/Foster Care", "International Adoption", "Financing an Adoption"(which I heard there was standing room only in those electives) for their 1st elective and then for their second elective they opted for a more specialized class on adoption like "Post Adoption Issues", "Adopting an Older Child", "Preparing your Family" and so forth. We felt they were all important classes and are confident that even the less attended specialized classes fulfilled their purpose!
I also felt the networking that went on at the conference was great too! I was so encouraged to see so many connecting heart to heart over a subject so dear to our Father! Oh how I pray that God will continue to work in the hearts of those that attended and He would show Himself powerful by setting multitudes of orphans in families!!
On a side note, kind of, God blessed me and opened my eyes at the conference in the session David and I taught. Which, we ALMOST said no to teaching : ) I just thought I would be too crazy the day of the conference to handle teaching an elective as well.
Anyway, we taught on emotional and spiritual readiness in the adoption process. Spouse reluctance and infertility/loss were among the topics. The Lord brought some very hurting and grieving people into our classes. In fact, the emotion was so raw in the room at times, I felt myself getting choked up often just seeing their pain.
In the end, God showed me what a ministry there is for these couples who have endured so much silent agony and felt so alone as those around them are blessed child after child. It affirmed my conviction that these precious couples have so much in common with the orphan and that God will use their trials to create beautiful stories!
I came away from the conference touched by the plight of the orphan and sobered by the pain of being childless but ABSOLUTELY filled with the HOPE that is in Christ ALONE!!!
Please keep praying for God's work to continue in the hearts of many!