Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Keynote is NOT the Hero

I spoke at the TAP conference yesterday in Philadephia and it was such an awesome conference. In it's eighth year, the founders of Tap, Derek and Phyllis, put a lot of effort and energy into their support group. Tirelessly they have organized conferences and trainings and Christmas parties.... They have six kids and most of them have helped in some way or another over the years.

I arrived an hour before the conference yesterday and sat back and watched them pull things together. There were so many details. And then I watched people arrive. People who obviously had been around for a long time. People who knew each other, knew each other's concerns, each other's kids, and had been supporting each other for years. Some you could tell genuinely loved each other.

And the kids. Day care for kids, a program for teens. Lots of kids who were enjoying each other. The food was wonderful, both breakfast and lunch ... really really good.

I know that Derek and Phyllis had a lot of help and they have a good team of people who work with them, but it is their passion and motivation that have made the group what it is. They have stayed committed and hung in there for a long time.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that a couple people can make a huge difference, they really can. And I hope that yesterday my 90 minute talk was good. i hope that it encouraged, helped, and motivated people. But I wasn't the hero yesterday. I was a blip in the life of an organization that has been touching lives for years.

Derek and Phylls are the heroes. Their blood sweat and tears have built something that made my 90 minutes possible. That picture was clearer than ever to me yesterday.

So if you are one of those people who thinks "i could never make an impact because I can't write or speak in front of people", get rid of that notion and do what you can. Persistence over the long hall, being faithful in the small things, is what makes a person a hero.

1 comment:

Tanya Williams-Bell said...

I enjoyed you at the TAP conference. As I listened to you I was recharged as parent, and professional. I couldn't waite to share your comments with other adoptive parents that didn't attend.

Phyllis and Derek are wonderful. It was during their lost that I realize how dedicated they are to the adoption and foster care community of families. They organized a team to keep the confernece going when others would have said "Whatever happens happen" Each year we (Adoptive, Foster Parent,Professionals, Teens and youth) arrive to this conference feeling like family. They select the best presenters that leave us wanting more. I could have returned the next day to get additional charge. This charge allows me to parent,love, and give more of me and enjoy it. Being an parent, foster or adoptive is hard work but an honor because God could have given this assignment to someone else.

Tanya Williams-Bell