Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

re·treat - noun - \ri-ˈtrēt\

Addendum: I really should have clarified in this post that I am talking about my feelings and experience with international adoption - specifically with regard to situations like those our adopted children came from, involving parents who relinquished their children due to poverty, which is an entirely different scenario than foster adoption. Sorry for any misunderstanding! ~Thank you! :)

re·treat - noun - \ri-ˈtrēt\

1) The act of gathering a group of generous, kind hearted, compassionate women who are deeply devoted to the cause of providing for orphans, to refresh, learn from one another, be encouraged, to replenish strength and courage and renewed commitment for the worthwhile pursuit of endeavoring to ensure that ALL children are properly cared for, because we know, to the very depth of our souls, that each and every single child is worthy.

Ok, the above definition of retreat *may be* slightly improvised. But you get the idea...

Last night I attended a planning meeting for the upcoming Embracing Orphans Retreat. It got me really excited for a couple reasons. Not the least of which is the notion that other forms of orphan care will be discussed, in addition to adoption. Plus, portions of the retreat will address the less pretty, although no less redemptive, aspects of adoption. (This is where my speaking bit comes in. On the not so flattering parts. Fitting, yes? ☺) It is important. I truly believe that or I wouldn't be willing to air all my dirty laundry!

Permission to speak frankly?

I have never attended an adoption conference. Like, um...ever.

I was scheduled to go to one in Austin a couple years ago, bought my plane ticket and everything, and I backed out at the last minute. Because I just couldn't sit with a bunch of people and pretend to be Together 4 Adoption. It had been one year since welcoming M&F into our home and I was still reeling, residing in the darkest, haziest, most guilt laden place I have ever personally dwelled. I was not in a place I could rally around the subject of adoption and enthusiastically cheer for its merits.

Nor am I there now. Not exactly. I have learned too much, seen too much, struggled too much, watched my adopted children carry their suffering and pain and identity loss and confusion right along with their joy and happiness too much, to not hold deeply conflicting, heavily contradicting emotions about adoption. And that's perfectly ok.

It  is an immensely complicated, not at all black and white, muddled and difficult issue to sort through. While adoption can certainly be a limitless blessing for all parties and that aspect is not at all to be minimized or overlooked, what we, as mothers, would want most is a world where adoption is unnecessary. There is a rightful, respectable place for it and clearly a tremendous need, but it is never Plan A. Children losing their parents just wreaks too much havoc on their tender hearts for it to be ideal. Parents losing their children wreaks too much havoc on their tender hearts for it to be ideal. It is an act of making do in a broken world.

What I am whole heartedly for is coming together to embrace orphans, in whatever form that takes. It is our responsibility and our duty and our privilege and our ability to do so. Let us inspire one another. Let us spur one another on toward good works. Let us stir up the gifts within us and utilize them well in service. Let us be encouraged and reminded that our labor is not in vain, that we are not alone in our triumphs and our failures, that mercy is fresh with the dawn of each new day. Let us love one another and display a vivid example of unabashed generosity toward the fatherless.

It will be a grand time. I so hope you will join me.

*The very  palatable schedule, theme of the event, as well as speaker topics and break out sessions will be on the website soon. Stay tuned!!
**I would also like to work on some fundraising ideas to help offset costs for some of you, friends!

No comments:

Blog Archive