Monday, September 16, 2013

Mini Created For Care Retreat- with Loving God's Children

 This past weekend we had a mini Created For Care Retreat in Ruskin, FL (just south of where I live).  For those of you who know Created For Care is a specific retreat that is for foster and adoptive moms along with those women in our lives who support us. 

It was put on by Loving God's Children which is a non-profit group here in Brandon, FL area that helps to educate about adoption, sponsor and encourage those in the process, and help those once we have brought little ones into our lives through foster care or adoption. 
 Now we have been doing fostering and adopting for almost 13 years and the first "event" I have attended was the Empowered To Connect Conference in February!  Talk about a LOT of information all at once.  That was specified toward helping parents with parenting their children especially children from hard places.  AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL!  It has changed our lives and since then we have gone to Dallas, TX so that we can teach this class to families here in the Brandon Area. 

If you haven't gone to Empowered To Connect and you are a foster or adoptive parent - YOU SHOULD! 
 Then this past May I got to attend Summit 9- National Christian Alliance for Orphans with a couple of friends from the area.  It was AMAZING!  This conference is mean to help teach anyone in the church, church leaders, those wanting an in depth look at what orphan care looks like including adoption, sponsorship, helping people adopt, creating valuable resources in your church to help educate about adoption, s*x trafficking, helping those age out of foster care, what it looks like from the adoptees point of view, and hear AMAZING hearts and stories about foster care and adoption- this is the place to find it! 

It started off 9 years ago with 25 attendees, and this year there were 2,500 and they had to send people away.  Next year it will be in Chicago because it has outgrown the venues!!!  :) 
 Ahhhh........but Created for Care retreats (this was a mini retreat as in not the usual 450 attendees and local).  They are done so the women who are foster care or adoptive moms or those special women in their lives that support them can be refreshed!  ALL I CAN SAY IS WOW!!! 
 This is how we were treated all we were special. 
 This is how we ate all weekend! 
 This is how we snacked all weekend!
 This is what we did all weekend- chat, encourage, lift each other up in prayer.........
 This is how it felt all weekend!  AMAZING!
 Like we got to spend our weekend in a separate space just us :).  It was refreshing!!!
 We enjoyed the beauty of God's Creation! 
 We had a movie night, complete with popcorn and candy. 
 We had sessions where we learned more about racism, connecting while correcting - check out the link above and Empowered To Connect, how we can support one another,
 how to care for the special needs of our children, and what are some resources we can use.
 We learned more about the ladies in our area that we can lean on! 
 Well hello Melissa ;).  Exactly because when you are a mom- you need support!  When you parent children from hard need more support with women who get it. 
 We even had a PJ party where we could ask specific questions about what adoption looks like, the process of foster care, how do you handle as a mom this or that, how do you protect your marriage through the emotional process of adoption......and sooo much more! 
 We had Worship, preaching, and free time.
 We enjoyed the beach and the pools, or simply go back and veg in your room, or chat with your friends!
 We had time with God! 
 Time to reflect on our relationship with HIM!
 Time to listen to His specific vision for you and your family. 
 Time to just sit and soak up HIS GOODNESS!!!  AMEN!  WE ALL NEED THAT!!!!
 Time to ask for prayers for whatever we needed. 
 Oh and more of this! 
 You know because every retreat should include a sunset dinner on the beach! 
 And you know just HULA HOOP! 
 Learn some new moves! 
 Go Irene!  Now this special lady founded 4Kids of Tampa!  A non-profit organization that specifically helps educate about the need for foster care, supports families that foster, and helps specifically to get the church involved in caring for those in foster care! 
 So there you have it! 
 In a nutshell.......
 It was sooo NEEDED! 
A place to relax, learn, support, and let loose!  Thank you to all who made this weekend possible!!  THANK YOU LOVING GOD'S CHILDREN for all you do!  Thank you to all who donated things to give us an extra special time!  IT WAS AMAZING!!!!

Live in the Tampa area- next year we will be doing this again same weekend, and can't wait to expand so that more moms and those ladies who support us can be refreshed!  :)
**Contact Gretchen Sloan the founder of Loving God's Children, and personal friend of mine for more information.  Just tell her you saw how awesome this was and I sent you her way ;).​ or call her at 813-716-5508 :) 


  1. Awesome! Our lives have been crazy so I'm behind on reading blogs...anyway. I'm very excited to attend a retreat up here in November. Can. not. wait! (And secretly sure that something will come up to keep me from going...but hopefully not because I'm so excited!)

    1. DON'T LET ANYTHING STOP YOU FROM GOING! It is like much needed oxygen!!! :)

  2. The retreat was so much fun! Thanks for posting:) When is your Empowered to Connect class starting and where do I sign up? Thanks, Dawn!