The spring of 2010 seems to be a major time of growth for me.  I’ve been doing so much in terms of making life changes and setting goals and actually following through!  I’m sort of really proud of myself. 

My committment to working out and running has yielded some lovely changes in my body and thus my confidence level.  I bought a few new pieces of clothing last week and literally jumped up and down and clapped in the fitting room (I know!  When does THAT ever happen???), when I fit comfortably into a pair of pants two sizes smaller than I wore before!  TWO SIZES SMALLER!!!  Yee-haw!

One amazing event in my 2010 spring was attending Summit VI put on by the Christian Alliance for Orphans.  It’s two days, intensely scheduled,  information-packed, emotion-overload conference on orphan care.  The program encompassed foster care, adoption, and global orphan care.  The conference is basically two days of learning about a topic that I am intensely passionate about.  I’ll post more on the conference later, because frankly, there’s a lot of stuff that touched me, that I feel God opened my eyes to, and I sort of feel like I’m on the precipice of something big here.

The experience was made even better because of the people who came with me.  A fellow adoptive mom, Shonah, a couple from our church (also adoptive parents), and a friend of Shonah’s who is only 18, and yet totally on fire for taking care of the world’s orphans. 

Shonah and I met at a Chicagoland gathering of families who had either already adopted, or were currently adopting, through our agency, Adoption Advocates International.  At the time of the gathering, she and her husband were in process to adopt, as were we.  They had two biological children, a boy and girl, pretty close in age to our own biological children.  Other than some wildly inaccurate assumptions I had made about her (I’ll tell ya about that later if you’d like to know, Shonah!  heehee!), we had a great time talking and exchanged emails.  We kept in touch throughout the process and when we were in Ethiopia bringing home Myles, we got to meet and spend some time with their little guy, who happened to be in the same room as our Myles.  Small world.

Anywho….I guess it would be a “well, duh” sort of statement if I said that spending four days with someone sure does allow people to get to know each other on a whole other level.  I feel like that’s what happend with Shonah & I.  I can’t speak for her, but I am so blessed by this woman whom I have the honor to call sister and friend.  She shares this passion I have for caring for the fatherless, and even if we didn’t click personality-wise, we would still be connected just through this passion alone.  But the bonus is we do click!  We had so many moments of hysterical laughter, the kind that gives you an ab workout and causes you to have to catch your breath.  We shared tears.  Oh so many many tears.  Like, ridiculous amounts.  But it was mostly me.  Shonah said that sometimes I was crying enough for both of us and that’s why she wasn’t crying.  I think I’m just an emotional basketcase sometimes.  We shared time of prayer together, sharing what God seemed to be speaking to our hearts – oh yeah, and more tears.  We shared the experience of worship and fellowship with our brothers and sisters.  So suffice it to say, it was a wonderful experience – and I feel like I’m saying the word “experience” a lot…oh well.   🙂 

I guess my ramblings come down to this.  The conference was awesome, but the bonus blessing was getting to know Shonah better and deepening a friendship.  I feel like that sort of connection is so rare, and frankly, really difficult to find and sustain as a woman and mother to young kids.  So thank you Shonah, for coming to Summit with me, and for all the laughter, tears, prayer and shared committment to speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves.  You have made my life richer!