I've been using this phrase to try to convince people in my life that I am not just on an emotional high. ;) I'm not kidding when I say Amy and I came home from our conference FIRED UP about creating a retreat for adoptive moms in the Northwest. We are two fairly proactive women, and we kinda love planning events. The train is on the tracks, people! Last weekend was kind of like a camp high, but it was also amazingly educational, encouraging, refreshing and empowering. I've FELT better about my role as a mother (to all three of my kids) this week, and I've consciously been making better decisions, especially regarding my interaction with my littlest babe. It's a GOOD THING. I think our motivation is more than emotion. I truly think God stirred us up for a reason. So many times I see needs around me and think "I wish there was something I could do." Well, this time, there is a need and there IS something I can do!
As the days unfolded, Amy and I were averaging about 30 calls/emails/texts a day as we prayed and processed through a name and a theme verse and location and mission for our new ministry idea. There were some surprises: what if someone in Mexico or Scotland already had the name and url we wanted? Do we want a more rustic, camp-like retreat that is cheaper, or a nicer, hotel-like retreat that is more expensive? Should we plan for 30 or 130? How do we honor the ministry we were inspired by, without seeming like we are ripping them off?
We were encouraged and uplifted by so many of you, offered assistance by dozens, helped by super savvy tech experts and a graphic designer, and contacted by all members of the adoption triad (birth moms, adoptees, adoptive parents) saying they would be interested in being involved. Several people said "I know ___________ would love to come to this."
This week we are touring 2 locations and praying fervently about how, where and when this first retreat will take place. We're waiting until we have some more concrete details to reveal what we've been working on, but you better believe we're gonna promote the heck out of it when we're ready. :)
Several people have contacted me asking how they can help. Right now you can pray for us, pray for God to open and close doors as He shows us the path to take. Pray that this endeavor is ALWAYS for His glory and fame. Pray that He will guide us. There are hundreds of tiny decisions to make, and several big ones. Pray for the adoptive and foster moms who could benefit from this type of ministry, that they will have the family and financial support to attend.
We've discovered we will need a bit of seed money. The main thing we need right now is a deposit on a location: $500-$1000, depending on the site. We're brainstorming some ideas on a fundraiser to get some cash on hand for this, as neither of us (in different stages of adoption payments) has it on hand. This is not as high of a priority as, say, when I was crying out to you all in vulnerability and asking for you to help us bring our son home. (Have I mentioned? You did?! You DID bring our son home?! A fact that is never, EVER lost on me.) It is not urgent. But if this is something on your heart and you wish to donate, I put a paypal button up on the top right that is connected to a separate account specifically for this retreat ministry.
You can talk to adoptive and foster moms you know in Oregon and Washington! Tell them about the crazy girls who want to spoil them for a weekend and send them back better wives and moms. Tell them you'll have more info soon!
You can think/brainstorm about tangible ways you could bless these mamas. Do you have a connection to get little gifts we could give them? Could you come one night at the retreat when we have a time of prayer and intercession? Do you make a fabulous snack or treat that you want to bring and add to their special time away? Could you come on our first day there and help them feel welcome and find their rooms? I'm sure we'll have many more needs present themselves, and I completely rejoice that I feel like I can bring these needs to my village!
So that's the scoop for now. Thanks for those who have inquired and shared our excitement! We will keep you posted. I promise.