8 Powerful Quotes from CAFO2021

Each year, thousands of powerful and passionate voices in the orphan care and adoption sector gather in 1 place for 1 reason: to glorify God by learning how to love and reach children and families in need.

This incredible 3-day conference, CAFO2021, wrapped up last week in Cincinnati, Ohio. And whether you there in person, watching online, or didn’t yet get a chance to join in, we want you to have some great one-liners from the conference.

Here are 8 quotes from CAFO2021 for your encouragement:

“The greatest promise God has given to us is the promise of His presence.”

—Bishop Aaron Blake

Bishop Aaron Blake is an anointed pioneer and spiritual patriarch of the church-to-child movement in the United States. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Harvest Family Life Ministries, a board member of The Global Orphan Project, and a spiritual godfather of the CarePortal platform.

This quote comes from Bishop Blake’s talk about how God used him to reach some of the most vulnerable kids in his community.

“The same girl with the same faith prayed to the same God about two people I loved. One of those stories turned out nothing like I wanted it to. And other story turned out better than I even asked Him for… He taught me that He is sovereign. And if He’s writing a story, He’s good. And He can be trusted.”

—Beth Guckenberger

Beth Guckenberger is a Co-Executive Director of Back2Back Ministries. After graduating from Indiana University, her family moved to Monterrey, Mexico where they lived for 15 years. Between biological, foster, and adopted children, they have raised eleven children.

This quote comes from Beth’s testimony about God miraculously healing her son from Cerebral Palsy.

“What is heavy is to do nothing. What is freeing is to follow Jesus.”

—Justin Earley

Justin Earley is the founder of The Common Rule, an effort to offer the hope and joy that he’s found to the epidemic of anxiety, depression, and overwork of so many well-intentioned people. It is a communal way of forming your life in the love of God and neighbor, amidst a culture beset by individualism and consumerism.

In this talk, Justin shared about his anxiety collapse in the middle of becoming a father and a lawyer and how daily, Biblical habits proved to be a set of guardrails that introduced him to a whole new way of life.

“I chose this, but I also grieve this.”

—Ashley Mitchell

Ashely Mitchell is Founder and Executive Director of Lifetime Healing Foundation, setting out to seek increased care, understanding, and resources for birth mothers. Well known for her vulnerability and transparency in adoption, Ashley’s testimony of being a birth mother has touched many hearts.

In this talk, Ashley, a birth mother, was one of three women representing the adoption triad. The three named the pieces and people in the collective adoption story, including all of its brokenness, beauty, pain, and possibility.

“God is either in control of all of our story or none of it.”

—Trisha Priebe

Trisha Priebe was adopted, has adopted, and is a fierce adoption advocate. In addition to serving as Communications Coordinator for Lifesong for Orphans, she has written six books—including three with NYT Bestselling author Jerry B. Jenkins.

In this talk, Trisha discussed questions and tangible truths adoptees and adoptive parents can hang onto when faced with paralyzing doubt or pesky insecurities associated with adoption.

“The most important influence on developing resilience is a protective, nurturing relationship.”

—Mandy Howard

Mandy Howard is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Samford University and an affiliate of the TCU Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development. Her work focuses on understanding interpersonal processes underlying quality of life and applies research to practice for youth in non-traditional care.

In this talk, Mandy explored the importance of facilitating secure caregiver attachment as a protective factor for vulnerable families. She focused on specific strategies to promote secure attachments in caregivers when working in different contexts, including family preservation, kinship placements, foster care, reintegration, and residential care.

“The fool is the person who won’t act without complete information.”

—Jedd Medefind

Jedd Medefind helped coordinator CAFO2021 as President of Christian Alliance for Orphans. He’s also an author of countless articles and four books. Jedd believes that love for orphans transforms.  Both personally and through the example of countless others, he’s seen that lives are turned upside-down when Christians reflect God’s heart for orphans through adoption, foster care, and global orphan care.

In the spirit of the conference theme—WITH—different members of the CAFO2021 community joined Jedd on stage to have a live conversation, showing that being WITH is as simple as asking questions. This quote comes from Jedds answer to the question, “What was the hardest season of your life?”

“I was adopted, not I am adopted.”

—Trisha Priebe

Learn a little more about Trisha above.

In this talk, Trisha discussed questions and tangible truths adoptees and adoptive parents can hang onto when faced with paralyzing doubt or pesky insecurities associated with adoption.

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