What to Do After Tapestry Conference is Over?

By: - October 25, 2019

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At Tapestry Conference last weekend, Tara Vanderwoude gave a beautiful testimony describing adoption as being both a blessing and a tragedy at the same time. The truth of her words struck deep into my heart. Adoption is often filled with bittersweet moments. As Tara so eloquently put it, “No matter the circumstances, it is tragic when a family can’t stay together.”

When I come home from a Tapestry Conference, I often feel a similar mixture of happy and sad emotions. I feel hopeful, overwhelmed, encouraged, equipped, and shameful, all at the same time. Many times I am not sure what to do with all the emotion. How do I sort through all the advice given to me? What do I do with the overwhelming feeling I will never get this connected parenting thing right? It’s hard to know where to start once you get home. And let’s face it, there is not usually enough time to sort all of this out. Many of us go straight back into parenting, laundry, and all the things without much time to process the weekend. Here are three simple things I believe will help parents make the most of the conference this year: 

  1. Give yourself grace. There is a temptation to leave conference feeling convicted for all the times we missed the mark in our parenting. Instead of beating ourselves up, we can be kind to ourselves. In the closing general session of conference, Cindy Lee reminded us were are made in God’s image. God’s image is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and self-control. Therefore, we are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and self-control. Taking the time to attend a conference means we are probably doing better than we think at this parenting thing.  
  2. Pick one thing. Most of us come home with pages and pages of notes from the conference. Trying to implement all the takeaways at once will never work. Pray and pick one thing to put into practice. Be realistic about what works for your family. After you master one takeaway, you can review your notes and move onto something else.
  3. Find your tribe. If you are not a part of an adoption/foster care community, find one as quick as you can. Tapestry offers many different family support gatherings. If there is not a group near you, start one. Tapestry will help you with all the resources needed to start a community group in your area. We need each other on this journey. We find healing in community.

In one of the sessions, Ryan North mentioned that parenting is hard. Parenting kids with trauma is harder. Being a kid with trauma is even harder. We need events like the Tapestry Conference to help us renew our call to loving ourselves and the children in our lives.    

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