I stayed at my friend, Alison's house on Thursday night. She was so, so sweet to let someone she had never met in real life stay in her home. I just love our AGCI family! I rode with Alison and the rest of the sweet Mississippi girls to Atlanta. It was a blast! I was able to meet Jenni and Katie, two fun AGCI moms who are waiting for their babies in Ethiopia. They all made me feel so at home and I am so thankful I was able to ride with them. I am praying though, that next year I have at least one north Louisiana mama to join me at the retreat.
It was so much fun to finally meet some of the women who I already felt like I knew. Kelly Jo and Alison were two of the girls I first "met" in the adoption blog world. Don't you love all of the adoption/orphan care t-shirts?
I was so glad to finally meet Leigh! She is just a couple of spots ahead of me on the girls and siblings list. It would be so awesome if we were able to travel to Ethiopia together. It was so amazing to meet women who's children will share a home and maybe even a bedroom with our Mia Grace. God is just so good!
Here is a pic of just some of the AGCI moms who attended the retreat. I feel so blessed that I was able to attend. It was an incredible thing to worship the Lord with 249 other moms who have a heart for the Lord and His sweet children.
When I first signed up for the retreat last fall, I was just so excited about getting away for a weekend and connecting with other moms who share my heart. As the retreat got closer I really wanted and needed to hear from the Lord. I needed confirmation that we were on the right path. I think it is a testimony of how much the Lord cares for each one of us, because He knew when I signed up in October, how much I would need this in February. I was able to hear from the Lord clearly. I even got to go on a Date with God. It was an incredible experience that I will never forget. On Friday night our first speaker, Susan Hillis, gave her testimony and spoke truth into the lives of all the mamas there. I seriously wish this woman was my next door neighbor! She has 8 adopted children from Russia and 2 biological children. Yes, that is 10 kids. Anyway, one of her sons from Russia was with her and he told her on the way to the retreat that God laid on his heart something that He wanted all the moms to hear. He said, "God wanted us to know there was a light at the end of the tunnel." I know it sounds so simple, but it really touched my heart and the tears started streaming down my face. I so needed to hear that. I was reminded that God loves me, He loves our daughter, and He has a plan for our lives.
I did not get much sleep last weekend. I had too much fun talking with my awesome roommates, Abby and Jennifer, but I did come home feeling refreshed and renewed. Justin told me when I got home that I seemed so happy. I just felt and still feel so full of Joy. The Lord filled me up this weekend and I pray that I will continue to cling to Him and that He will continue to meet me right where I am. I am so excited to watch my friends bring their children home this year and to see the Lord's plan unfold. I met a sweet girl, Gini, who left for Ethiopia on Sunday, the day the retreat ended. She is now in Ethiopia falling in love with her beautiful daughter. I am so thrilled for her!
I can't wait to go back to the retreat next year and see what God did in the lives of these wonderful ladies. I am so thankful that sweet Andrea said yes when God put it on her heart to plan and host Created for Care.