As many of you know, this past week I was at the Together for Adoption Conference in Louisville, KY.  I wanted to take some time and share with you some of the biggest takeaways from this year’s conference.

Here is a picture of our booth

1.  Just Love Coffee has teamed up with America World Adoption and now offers a specific blend that is just for America World Adoption, and when you offer free coffee at your booth, more people come.  I am from Iowa, and this sounds an awful lot like, “If you build it, they will come” from the famous movie “Field of Dreams.”  So I would like to thank Just Love Coffee and America World for this amazing lesson of “If you serve it, they will come.”

2.  “Adoption is not the first day of happily ever after.”  Thank you, Dr. Jon Bergeron.

3.  One of my favorite sayings from the weekend was from Mike Reeves: “Grace is like a ‘spiritual’ Red Bull.”

4.  I have mentioned Project Hopeful before, but in a workshop led by Traci Heim, she spoke about adopting children with HIV and the issue of disclosure came up as it always does.  Who do you tell and who do you not tell?  Here is what she said that I thought was so good:  “HIV is a private issue not a secret.  Secrets bring shame.”  This is so true.

Traci Heim from Project Hopeful. Thanks for the great pose.

5.  A staggering statistic that was shared by Dr. Sharen Ford was that 60% of people in prison have spent time in Foster Care.  “There should NEVER be a child who leaves the Child Welfare System without people who will invest in them.”  Will you be one who will invest in the life of a child as they age out of our Child Welfare System.  You CAN make a difference.

6.  From Dr. Susan Hillis from the CDC (my personal favorite).  In speaking about parenting our children, she said, “We are fed (by Christ) to feed (our children), raised (by Christ) to raise (our children), and loved (by Christ) to love (our children).” 

Susan Hillis and her family