Why go to an adoption conference?

Why go?

John and I first became adoptive parents in 1998.  I have gone to quite a few adoption conferences over the years since then. But somehow we’d never managed to get to one together— until this past weekend, that is, when we were able to go to the Refresh conference in Seattle. At least half a dozen times during the weekend, John said, “We should have done this years ago!”  And it wasn’t only the hours of uninterrupted time together that made him say that. 😉

One of the things John most enjoyed was the reminder that there are many, many families out there very similar to ours.  I tend to be aware of that because of my involvement in the online adoption community.  But in his typical world, it’s a lot more common for folks to shake their heads over how many kids we have, and act like they’ve never seen such craziness.  It can get a little wearisome.  But this weekend we had some really nice chances to connect with families similar to ours, families that understand our joys and challenges because they have similar ones of their own.

So, in no particular order, here are a few reasons to consider taking your husband to an adoption conference.

  1. To learn from adoption experts, and to be reminded of what you’ve learned in the past.
  2. To gain perspective about the challenges you’re facing in your home.
  3.  To meet families like your own, encouraging and being encouraged as you visit.
  4. To have some good adoption-related discussions with your spouse, sparked by what you’re learning.
  5. To be able to problem-solve in the future from a similar knowledge base.
  6. To eat sushi, curry, or whatever else your (kid-free) hearts desire.
  7. To have TIME ALONE with your husband!
  8. Did I mention TIME ALONE with your husband?? 🙂


  1. My husband and I are attending Summit (in Chicago) together this year! I’ve attended Summit a couple times and I’m excited to share the experience together. If anyone is interested in Summit the website is http://www.christianalliancefororphans.org/summit/

  2. Tami Wall says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Mary! I think my husband and I should look for a conference in our area and go. We have four kids, three of which we adopted from foster care. We are still licensed through our county so we attend parenting/adoption classes a few times a year. They are so incredibly helpful, if for the only reason to make you and your kids feel “normal” and to help us realize that someone else’s kid is doing the same seemingly crazy thing our kid is doing, lol!

    I really enjoy your blog and am so grateful that I found it. You are very inspiring to me. I love having a household of kids like you do, and I look forward to see the ways in which our family grows and changes like yours has. 🙂