Jedd Medefind of Christian Alliance for Orphans spoke at the beginning and end of the event. For the introductory main session, Mr. Medefind spoke about how adoption tells us both about the God we serve and how He calls us to live. Like any expression of discipleship, it is costly, but it is also “the best and richest experience this side of Heaven.”
A Pre-Adoption session was lead by Christie Mac Segars and Blake Wilson from Lifeline. They spoke about the birth-mother focused aspect of their programs, as well as their (un)adopted program, which emphasizes orphan-care outreach to vulnerable children who cannot be adopted.
Rod Campbell of Alabama Baptist Children’s Home and Family Ministries gave an honest, entertaining and insightful session on sibling attachment in foster care and adoption. He spoke about how adoptive and foster parents can secure healthy attachments for both biological and adoptive children, especially in times of transition.
Johnny Grimes from Altar84 spoke about developing ministries for adoption, foster care, and orphan care within the church. He provided a church model, which he divided into four steps: foundation (theological and biblical), system and process, leadership development, and execution and resources. While this church model is extremely valuable, Mr. Grimes also emphasized that Christians need to realize that God has called His people to be the primary way to meet the needs of orphans.
There were several other breakout sessions that we wish we could have attended. Overall, the conference was enlightening and shed light on how every individual can and should be involved in orphan care.