So good to be together

Find out what happened at Summit 2022

“Watching the Summit online is a reminder we are not alone; a reminder we are part of something bigger than us.” 

“My two adopted boys felt precious and valued and celebrated. I came feeling a bit broken and left remembering my 'why'. What a precious day to spend as a family.”

“Knowing that the room was full of people who understand trauma meant that I could relax knowing that my kids would be accepted.”

“It was just an encouragement to be in the room with so many like-minded individuals. We have adoption friends, but they don't love Christ. We have Christian friends, but most know little about adoption. To be with others on the same journey was an inspiration.”

Almost three years since we were last able to gather in-person for the Home for Good Summit, on 7 May 2022, we were finally able to come together - some online via livestream, some in-person in Milton Keynes.

Our day was fuelled by and focused on the words of 1 Corinthians 12 as we reflected together on God’s heart and how we each have a part to play to care for children and young people, knowing that together we will find a home for every child who needs one.

Children and teenagers met their incredible leaders from Youth for Christ who lead their programme for the day, and babies and toddlers with their parents and carers gathered in a space at the back of the main auditorium, punctuating each session with precious moments of laughter, quiet chatter, the odd cry and a few noises from toys.

Noel Robinson and his incredible band lead the room in worship, before Rachel Hughes took the stage for our first session, “One body, many parts.” share with us some of her own personal story of caring through early permanence and a reflection on the seasons we find ourselves in in our lives.

“Jeremiah 17:7 says, ‘But blessed is the one who TRUSTS in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.’ …I thought I was in an ‘on-hold’ season – but I don’t believe God does ‘on-hold’ seasons. There is always fruit.”

This year, Home for Good’s vision to find a home for every child who needs one has expanded to not just include fostering and adoption, but a third strand; supported lodgings for teenagers. In our second session of the day, Home for Good’s Director of Influencing, Lucy Colman, shared about supported lodgings; what it is, why we believe I should be offered to more young people than it currently is, and what we as Home for Good are doing to raise awareness of the provision and journey with individuals, couples and families who feel they could offer this support to a teenager. To find out more about supported lodgings, visit our website to get in touch with our enquiry team and to get involved in our supported lodgings campaign, Ready to Launch.

We then joined Simon Jay, Ade Larigo and Seth Pinnock in an important conversation about racial disparity in the care system, asking the questions, “Where are we now?” “Where do we hope to be?” and “How are we going to get there?” The panel shared about the barriers that many Black individuals, couples and families face in considering if they could offer a home and family to a child through fostering, adoption and supported lodgings, and the steps both individuals and church communities can take to stand with the Black community. If you’d like to learn more about what Home for Good is doing to tackle racial disparity in the care system, click here.

“I started to sit on panels. And I realised that there were lots of times in which I was sitting on a panel and I was the only person who looked like me. There were mostly white faces.”

“The system has been written in a way that means if your culture is not White-British, it’s really hard for you to fit into it.”

“We need to make sure that Black children and young people’s voices are at the centre of what we’re about… What do we mean by listening? It’s about embracing Black culture.”

Lunchtime brought some beautiful sunshine and an opportunity to connect over sandwiches and crisps with friends new and old, before we reconvened in the auditorium for a time of family worship lead by the Home for Good team. Following lunch, guest speaker Carrie Grant shared with us some heartfelt reflections as an adoptive mum, and where she’s found hope in the midst of recent challenges her children have faced. The session highlighted the honour and privilege that it is to raise care-experienced children and the cost and pain that can come, recognising that sometimes these things occur simultaneously. We were also joined by a panel of friends from our Home for Good network – Sam, Simon, Rachel and Phil. It was an honest conversation about raising children who have experienced care, the very real challenges and pain that sometimes comes, and a reminder of the call.

Our final session, “The most excellent way,” was lead by Shane Claiborne via Zoom. Shane shared about the idea of family, and challenged us to think more broadly when we consider what that word really means. He reminded us that such care, love and hospitality was at the core of who the early Church was, and he encouraged and affirmed the whole network of Home for Good for ‘bearing witness’ to the love of God through our actions and attitudes towards others.

“Mother Teresa used to say, ‘One of our biggest challenges in the world is that the circle we’ve drawn around our family is too small.’ We limit our imagination and our love and our compassion to our biological family… I think that might be part of why Jesus challenges the limitations that we put around love.”

Thank you to all who joined us on 7 May, both online and in person. Thank you to all who helped make the day possible. Thank you to each and every one of you playing, or exploring and thinking about how to play, your part. Together we truly can find a home for every child who needs one.

Author:
Home for Good


Date published:
June 2022


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