The long-awaiting Summit debrief is finally pouring out of my brain. What a great weekend! I went to Summit with a friend of mine and her husband. We met another friend out there who used to attend our church.
Night One opened with a night of worship with the Saddleback worship team. We also had a lovely time of prayer and communion. It was the perfect way to get the conference started. Day One consisted of some opening remarks followed by two awesome sessions with Karyn Purvis. Dr. Purvis is the guru on parenting kids from hard places. Her vision, theories and techniques are not terribly complex, but they are known to work. I learned so much about brain development and child development. Dr. Purvis’ three most important tools for children – (1) eye contact; (2) physical touch, and (3) opportunities to say yes. (DH says this is what he needs as well!) I picked up a bunch of materials and am enjoying going through them.
My third breakout session was with Russell Moore. If you haven’t read Adopted for Life, you are truly missing out. Dr. Moore is theologically brilliant and uniquely missional in his preaching. He spoke on "How the Evangelical Orphan Care Movement Can Wreck Itself." He emphasized that we must not be motivated by the numbers or the need but by the Cross. A good reminder for me. He also spoke about the fact that adoption/foster care/orphan care is hard work and not pretty. My favorite quote (not exact) was: when you accept your calling from God, you will not hear a soft soundtrack but the sound of a cross being placed on your back. I think I already hear that to some extent and know that I will continue.
Night Two started with a viewing of a movie called "Faultless" about the foster care system. It was very eye-opening and heart-breaking. Praise God for people who foster children and adopt from foster care. There is such a need, especially for older children. Children of any age desperately need and want a family. Can you imagine what it’s like to age-out of foster care with no family? You are 18 years old and have no ties to any human beings. No one to call for advice. No one to support you. Most men end up in jail in their 20s and most women are on food stamps. So tragic.
Then, the headliner – Francis Chan!! What is there to say? Everything that man preaches is convicting. I love his style. He encouraged us to give thanks and pray. Amen to that.
Day Two I attended some more breakout sessions – 2 on multi-cultural families. The first was from the perspective of adoptees and was a good reminder that I need to always think about things from the childrens’ viewpoint and not from my own. The second panel was a panel of adoptive dads, and it was terrible! Suffice it to say that they should have gone to the adoptee panel.
We also heard lots of great testimonies from former foster kids and adult adoptees. Those are always my favorite stories.
A few words on Saddleback – wow!! What a church! It’s basically a small college campus complete with book store, coffee shop, two auditoriums, restaurants, and a huge childrens’ center. Rick and Kay Warren are great speakers and clearly have a heart for missions and for orphans. I greatly enjoyed listening to them, and I look forward to checking out Kay’s book – Choosing Joy.
The last night was a concert by Stephen Curtis Chapman. A very fun and uplifting end to a wonderful time.