Last week I had the pleasure of going with the Student Ministry team to Atlanta to attend the Orange conference. Why its called Orange...two big influences in a child's life: church (red) and home (yellow). Alone, these two work hard to ensure that every child has a better future. But when they are combined (orange), the home and the church will have a greater impact. The team at Orange has done so much research for each stage of a child's life - which I love that a faith base organization makes research a huge part of their strategy when it comes to helping train leaders in children lives. In my many years in youth ministry, I have been to a number of conferences - this by far was my favorite of all. They are focused in on relationship over anything else which I value a lot.
Why am I telling you all about the conference? Well, as I was walking to one of the break-outs, I noticed a booth with a photo that looked really familiar to me. Realizing I recognized the photo from an email that I had gotten...from Adopt Together - our adoption fund raising website! The couples who where in front of the booth to talk to folks, shared with me they had used Adopt Together for their child and then said... do you want to met the founders? Of course I do! Sue was introduced to me and she was so glad to met me (as someone who already uses Adopt Together) and asked how fund raising was going. I told her that we had raised $21k out of our $25k. All of them just gave big eyes at me and celebrated us raising so much, which was so very cool. Sue's husband, Hank, happened to walk by a few minutes into her and I talking. I told him I stopped by because I recognized the photo on the banner to the photo in the email I received the day before. He told me he sent that email in a coffee shop. Which I knew this about Adopt Together, but it is a like a 5 person operation and they are sprinkled all over the country. It was cool that they were at Orange because they mainly do word of mouth (which is how we had heard about Adopt Together). So it was a crazy random happen stance (many cool points to you if you know that reference) for me to even met Hank and Sue in person. To be able to thank the people who have helped in our adoption process in such a huge way was especially neat. The story of how Adopt Together came to be is very cool too (how many times can I say cool? It was so cool).
As far as a personal update goes, we're doing well! The guest room is still a guest room with a giant pile of generous gifts of baby items. Hope to get it painted soon and the nursery to start taking shape. This Sunday is Mother's Day... which has been a tricky day. Im so thankful that I don't fear going to church, as its always been a safe place for me on Mother's Day. They celebrate Mother's so well but always make sure to mention those who long to be Mother's too. If you know of people in your life who you know Mother's Day could be hard for... reach out to them on Sunday. You might not know what to say and we might not know what to say, but knowing people care, means the world. My hope is that Sunday I can celebrate all the wonderful Moms I know in my life and remember those who Sunday maybe hard for. It's a perfect day to practice holding joy and sorrow in the same hand.