This is a guest post from our good friend Ryan North. He is the Executive Director of Tapestry, the Adoption & Foster Care Ministry of Irving Bible Church in Dallas, Texas. As Executive Director of Tapestry, Ryan also leads Empowered to Connect. He frequently writes and speaks on connected parenting and ministry leadership. Read his blog here
and connect with him on Facebook here
Parenting is tricky in general. But parenting children from traumatic places is tricky on an entirely different level. It often leaves you exhausted and bewildered. How can you be successful when it takes so much out of you?
I was invited to speak at the Florida Foster/Adoptive Parent Association Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida last weekend. It is always a special privilege to share with families who are in the trenches. I love meeting them, hearing their stories, and being able to share information and experiences that can help them on their journey of hope and healing. I find it easy to be vulnerable with like minded people. I feel like I want to open up to them, honestly, it’s very therapeutic. Perhaps that is what I ultimately like about having the opportunity to speak at events like this one.
It’s easy to find yourself at a hopeless point on the foster and adoptive journey. You wonder, “How did I get here?” Soon, that wondering can turn into, “Will I ever find hope?” We believe you can.
It’s late but I’m finally on a flight home after an incredible weekend in New York City. I’ve just spent the day interacting with an amazing adoptive parent community in Brooklyn. I’m inspired as I listen to their stories, hear their hearts, and see their smiles. I can’t help but feel grateful to be a part of this special day. I love this crowd. They’re my crowd. They’re my people. I’ve seen hundreds of faces today, but one I can’t seem to get out of my mind. One mom, who desperately longs for a positive relationship with the child she adopted years ago.
If you’re a foster or adoptive parent, there’s one conference happening this year you simply cannot miss. It’s called The Refresh Conference. Check out the video below to learn more…
“These are my people!”
For two years I’ve been a part of Refresh. And for two years, those words have crossed my heart, and my lips each time the conference kicks off. There’s no other way to explain my experience than this…. I feel at home. As comfortable as if I were hanging out in my own living room…pajama pants and all (kidding). I can breathe at Refresh. I can hurt openly without anyone looking down on me, or judging me. I can share my deepest wounds as an adoptive parent, and everyone around me nods.
They get it. More than that, they offer hope for anyone who is weary or worn out from the journey of foster care and adoption. If that’s you, let me be clear…. you simply CANNOT miss The Refresh Conference this coming fall and winter. You read that right… fall AND winter. There are now two great locations to choose from. Click below to find out more…
Get the scoop on Refresh Chicago
Get the scoop on Refresh Seattle