Ali Watson, of Edwards & Kautz Law Firm, partnered with the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO), along with thousands of foster and adoptive parents and orphan advocates at the CAFO 2015 Summit this past weekend in Nashville, TN. The annual event, held at Long Hollow Baptist Church, contained over 100 workshops and hosted well over 2,500 people.
“It’s like drinking from a fire-hydrant, there’s so much information!” says Kay Warren, wife of Rick Warren and author of Dangerous Surrender.
CAFO is an alliance of over 140 Christian organizations that work together to inspire and equip Christians to care for orphans with wisdom-guided love. Their mission is to raise awareness and expand until all orphans are cared for through the church.
Watson spoke for a workshop entitled, “Honoring & Loving Birth-mothers: The Experts Speak.” The workshop was led by Margot Starbuck, a prolific writer on parenting and adoption, and published author of The Girl in the Orange Dress. The goal of the workshop was to facilitate a discussion about foster or adoptive parents’ relationship with their child’s birthmother—and how to nurture that relationship.
Watson was a speaker, a panelist, and held an open Q&A session. “I spoke about the relationship with my two year old daughter, Olivia, and her adoptive parents; my reasons for choosing adoption; the positive impact adoption has had on my life and the lives of my entire family.”
Show Hope orphan ministries—a big supporter of CAFO—reached out to Watson and asked her to speak. “Actually, the contact was initiated by a cousin of my daughter’s adoptive parents who works for Show Hope,” says Watson. “I’ve remained active with the agency I used for my adoption by speaking at adoptive couple workshops and by counseling women on the crisis pregnancy hotline. But this was on a much larger scale, and something I will remember forever.”
Watson was the only birthmother who spoke at the workshop, which she found to be “an extremely humbling experience and responsibility.” She plans to attend the conference again next year, whether as speaker or attendee.
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