What I’m discovering about myself (and, if I can be so bold, about us — adoptive and foster parents) is that I (we) aren’t very good at listening to the hearts of our kids. I mean really listening.
We don’t know how to. We don’t make time to. We are afraid to. But the invitation remains, because it is what they want and what they need. For us to listen…to really listen.
I’ve begun to understand this by, well, learning to listen. Not for what I expect to hear or even want to hear. But by listening to the stories of adoptees who are courageous enough to share their hurts, fears, hopes, and joys. And no one has taught me and challenged me more when it comes to listening than Carissa Woodwyk.
You may remember Carissa from last year’s Tapestry Conference where she extended this invitation to “listen” during the unique Friday event that we hosted – Listen To Our Hearts. Carissa was invited earlier this year to the Christian Alliance for Orphans’ Summit 9 in Nashville to give an abbreviated version of her talk. It was by almost every account the single greatest highlight of the entire two-day conference.
In 13 short minutes Carissa graciosuly yet honestly extends both the challenge and the invitation to listen. So I invite you to do the same. In Carissa’s words, I invite you to “take the time to lean in, be still, be present, and listen…because it just might change all of us.”
You can order a DVD copy of Listen To Our Hearts, hosted by Tapestry in October 2012 and featuring the full length version of Carissa’s talk, by clicking here. Carissa will also be speaking at the 2013 Tapestry Conference on October 26. Click here for details.