One of the things I love about being a parent, and about talking about parenting, is that it is the most fertile ground I know of to work out the truth of the Gospel. It’s the real “rubber meets the road” stuff of life, don’t you think? And talk about daily! Never a day goes by where Stephen and I don’t need direct access to God’s power and His life-giving words to us or to our children. For me, there is little more exciting and challenging in this life than the realities of working out my faith in the life of our family. If the good news doesn’t “work” in our homes, if it is reserved for church services, Sunday school, and the occasional outreach event or mission trip, then we are missing something–big time. What a joy it has been for us to see God’s miracle working power in the lives of our children, right in front of our eyes!
Partnering with God
It has been this desire to partner with the Father to see orphans be transformed into sons and daughters right in our homes, that has opened our ears to hear God tell us that we needed to host a conference at our church, Northlands, here in Atlanta, GA. So, ever since last fall when we spoke with our church elders, we have been planning this event, and we have been praying for you.
Some of you may have heard Dr. Susan Hillis and Jenni Means share at Created for Care in February, or attended a breakout that I led, or maybe enjoyed the Date with God that Jenni and her team made available. That weekend was a great joy for us and served to make us even more excited to have the opportunity to minister to you and your husbands. We are so thankful to God for our friendship with Andrea!
A Word From Susan Hillis:
When we began to respond to the Lord’s call to our family to adoption, we found ourselves in unchartered territory in spite of a dozen years of parenting experience. As the Lord began to pour out this adoption call for older kids to many parents in our church, it only seemed natural that a special Sunday School class be dedicated to bicultural kids and American kids who were their friends! So I ended up teaching such a class of 30 kids grades 1 to 8, for several years — the real ministry of this class was in the informal conversations of the moms and dads, accompanied by prayer and practical help, each Sunday as they would come to pick up their kids. “Have you had any challenges with discipline? What about disobedience or anger? What about how to help them with school? What about how to help faith and the Lord be real to them? etc.” It was those ‘in the hall chats’ and prayer, that often led to the greatest peace in our home and in the homes of many of those kids who were in the class. I feel excited just thinking of the Hope at Home conference at our church in September, because I think it will condense and pass along the Lord’s wisdom, gleaned through over a decade of countless hall conversations and prayer, along with deeper connections to the Lord and deeper connections to other parents with the same call.
A Time of Refreshing
Susan Hillis and I, along with others (including Andrea and Richard!) whose hearts are full with the desire to serve adoptive and foster parents, are so excited to have the opportunity to meet you and to come along side you during HOPE AT HOME 2011, here in Atlanta, GA, September 23-24.
We see HOPE AT HOME 2011 as a time of refreshing for both husbands and wives as we encounter the Father’s heart for adoptive families. We are looking to God to fill our hearts with the HOPE that fills His heart.
We invite you to come and be transformed through the Lord’s refreshment as we:
1.Learn to find daily hope through our relationship with God
2. Encounter practical approaches to parenting according to our children’s identify and purpose
3. Connect with others through ministry and prayer
Some of the topics we will cover are:
Responding to Your Adopted Child’s Tough Questions
Nurturing Your Marriage Amidst Competing Demands
Establishing Peace in Your Home: Addressing Anger in You and Your Child Fathering Your Adopted Child
Creating Unity Among Siblings in Your Adoptive Family
Transforming an Orphan Spirit into a Spirit of Adoption
Loving Your Adopted Child Through Every Stage of Their Lives
The Beauty of Transracial Adoption
We are very interested in your thoughts on these things and would love to hear your ideas on how we can best minister to you as you love your children. We have a team of people committed to praying for you, so if there is something specific you would like us to be praying about even before the conference, please email us at email@example.com.
Also, we’d love for you to visit us at our blog, where we share parenting advice, encouragement in the Lord, and stories of adoption told by both adopted and birth children from their perspective as young adults.
May your homes be FILLED WITH HOPE this day as you love each of your precious children, bringing them into the wholeness and healing that is their inheritance as a part of your family!
Beth Templeton and Susan Hills
for the HOPE AT HOME Team
P.S. A little note from Andrea: If you are an adoption family–do sign up to follow their blog! It is AMAZING! They regularly have their adopted children and even their biological kids write from their perspective! It has been so amazing to hear from them–and such an encouragement to the miraculous things the Lord does in and through our children as we follow Him on this amazing journey through growing our families through adoption. Y’all will be so blessed from everything they write! Hope some of y’all can come! We will be there!