MAY 20-22, 2021 | Summit Church-Apex Campus | Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31


An East Coast Gathering
for Foster and Adoptive Parents

MAY 20-22, 2021

Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

The last year has been uniquely difficult for foster and adoptive parents. You’ve faced new challenges and unexpected stress. We know! We were right there with you.

Take time away for you! You need this.

Why Attend?


is by and for foster and adoptive parents!

This is your opportunity to come be renewed from raising kids from hard places!  Our incredible team of seasoned moms and dads will make you laugh, cry, grow and find rest for the journey. 

This is a retreat, combining testimonies, inspirational teaching, shared experiences, and even comedy!  All designed to leave you feeling renewed! 

We will have a variety of activities to feed your soul and time with just moms and just dads to go deeper. Join us!


Meet Your Renew Team!

Master of Ceremonies

Johnston Moore

Johnston Moore has been married to Terri since 1988, and together they have seven children (5 girls, 2 boys), all of whom were adopted through the Los Angeles County foster care system. John enjoyed a career in Hollywood in film & TV production before becoming fully immersed in adoption and foster care ministry.

He is a freelance writer and consultant, and speaks regularly including at Focus on the Family’s Wait No More. Currently, John, Terri, and their youngest three daughters live in the Richmond, Virginia area, where they are members of Redeemer Anglican Church. 


Chief Laugh Officer

Claudia Fletcher

Comedian Claudia Fletcher is the very tired mom of 12 grown children and has her tenth grandchild on the way.   She’s also a pastor’s wife and as you can imagine, that hasn’t always gone well.  Parsonages weren’t really intended for destructive kids with a variety of strategies to annoy neighbors.

Claudia Fletcher currently serves as Chief Program Officer at Patrick Henry Family Services, a really cool non-profit in Lynchburg, Virginia that is committed to serving children and families.   She has been speaking across the country for decades, sharing hope and humor with adoptive, foster and other kind of parents.   She is the proud author of five books that currently nobody is buying that are now collecting dust on several shelves in her home. Even though she may be viewed as “past her prime” she shows up at conferences to give younger parents evidence that you can raise kids to adulthood and survive.

Queen of Connection

Lisa Qualls

Lisa Qualls and her husband Russ are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. She’s the creator of One Thankful Mom blog and a mentor to moms through her “Hope Circle.” Lisa is a TBRI® Practitioner* and the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent. She is also an Enneagram coach and co-host of the podcast The Adoption Connection. She loves mentoring and encouraging moms for the journey of loving their children well.

Wrangler of the Dads

Rick Morton

Rick Morton and his lovely wife Denise have been married for over 26 years, and they have 3 children, all of whom joined their family through international adoption. Rick has also recently gained the title of “Doc” in his new role as a very proud grandpa!

He is an accomplished writer and sought-after speaker. He holds Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts degrees in Christian Education and is the co-author of the popular Orphanology: Awakening to Gospel-centered Adoption and Orphan Care and the author of KnowOrphans: Mobilizing the Church for Global Orphanology. Rick currently serves as Vice President of Engagement for Lifeline Children’s Services


Cheerleader of the Moms

Jodi jackson tucker

Jodi Jackson Tucker and her husband Jerry have a family that has been blended in all possible ways. Presently, nine young adults call them Mom and Pop, along with a growing army of spouses, fiancés and hopefuls!  Their family includes bio kids as well as domestic and international adoptees, and “grafting in.” 

Jodi is the author of two books, including Second Mother:  A Bible Study Experience for Foster and Adoptive Mothers.  She serves as the Global Director of Orphan Sunday for the Christian Alliance for Orphans, and is the founder of Pharaoh’s Daughters, a ministry for women who love vulnerable children.


Preacher Man

Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson has an amazing wife Alicia, and 10 children, 7 of whom were adopted from foster care. They have also served as foster parents to more than 40 children. Chris is the National Director of Church Partnerships at Lifeline Children’s Services and previously served as a Special Advisor to the Governor of Kentucky and the Executive Director of the Kentucky Governor’s Office of Faith and Community Based Initiatives.

Before that, he spent over 24 years in pastoral ministry speaking at local, state, and national conferences, churches, and community gatherings, sharing his family’s story and challenging others to answer the gospel call to care for vulnerable children and families. 

Mom on a Mission

Kimberly Offutt

Kimberly Offutt and her husband Marcus entered the messiness of the foster care system with capes on. Those capes had to be humbly retired as the reality set in that the tremendous task of saving the world lies at the feet of the Father. She has since then committed her time to mentoring former foster care youth, while coaching, training, and supporting other foster and adoptive parents on their journey.

Married 19 years, she is mother of 7, and grandmother of 6. She is the author of three books on adoption and foster care.  Although she has her master’s degree in clinical social work and a doctorate in Christian Education, her adopted children taught her everything that she needs to know about parenting and the redemptive nature of God’s love. 

Hope for the Future

Adult Adoptee

Chris Moore

Chris Moore, 26, is Youth Pastor at Kindred Church and Sales Rep for Power Home Solar in Richmond, Virginia. He was born and raised in California, where he was adopted in 2003. Chris has 6 siblings also adopted from LA County foster system. He has shared his adoption story at conferences and enjoys encouraging families and churches involved in the foster care system. Chris recently married Savannah, in April 2020 and later that year they brought home their first golden-doodle, Finn. Chris and Savannah plan to foster/adopt and love on kids growing up without a family or place to call home

Adult Adoptee​

Fred Tucker

Fred Tucker, 24, was adopted from Uganda at age 15 after many years of surviving on his own without parenting.   He is studying Chemistry at East Carolina University and is a Specialist in the U.S. Army Reserves.  Fred’s adoption re-united him with his siblings and cousins, whom he had been separated from from when they were adopted.

Fred is an avid gardener, landscaper and outdoorsman.  He has worked at multiple garden centers and on a landscaping crew.  He also loves animals and is the best friend to his faithful dog, Bruce.

Adult Adoptee​

Trent Taylor

Trent Taylor, 20, traveled a horrific journey through the foster care system until he was adopted at the age of 9. He has devoted his life to helping others overcome past trauma by providing hope after sexual abuse. Trent has mentored hundreds of youth through Watch Me Rise, which he co-founded. He has been featured in numerous articles and conferences and is the author of two books, including Battling the Invisible Enemy  which was written for teens who have experienced trauma. He co-hosts a podcast to share stories for families that are struggling.  Trent is pursuing his degree in clinical counseling and is currently enrolled in TBRI® Practitioner training. 

A Father's Heart

David Giles

David Giles is the father of 4 beautiful kids: 1 stepdaughter, 2 bio daughters, and 1 adopted son. He recently celebrated his 12th anniversary with his wife Erika, and they are foster parents through Goochland County, Virginia.  David enjoys spending time with his family and is heavily engaged in improving the conditions of the foster care and adoption system in our community. You can check out his podcast, Project Access here, where he interviews grassroot leaders. He has worked with ages ranging from 8 to 80 as a youth pastor, educator and non-profit leader. He has recently began working with Fortis Leadership as a senior consultant.

The Empress of Calm

Sonia Martin

Sonia Martin is the mother of 7 teenage boys, 3 who were adopted internationally, and she is a foster parent for Montgomery County, Alabama where she spends most of her time cooking and cleaning baseball infield dirt off the kitchen floor. As Director in the Central Alabama area for Lifeline Children’s Services, she engages the church in birth mother support and services, and speaking to parents, professionals, judges, attorneys, & Guardian Ad Litem at various conferences. Her three simple joys are Jesus, eggplant parmesan & orphan care. 

Single with Joy

Sundy Goodnight

Sundy Goodnight is an active, single foster parent and mommy to her adopted daughters, Emmerson and Eisley from the foster care system.  Despite often taking multiple foster placements, she finds time to blog and serve as Director of Church Engagement at One More Child in Jacksonville, FL where she enjoys traveling and speaking about children in need.  She previous served in leadership roles with Mercy Ministries and Stop Child Trafficking Now, and has served short-term missions in the Philippines, South Africa, Ukraine, Colombia, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic, as well as volunteered for numerous humanitarian organizations.

Artist & Healer

Melissa Carter

Melissa Carter is married to Duane, the pediatrician and poet. They have 14 children, although they never set out to have so many, but God had other plans.  Seven of their children were adopted following disruption from their first adoptive families.  Melissa schools the kids, runs several small businesses, is a master chef and teaches art in her spare time!  She sees art as a great medium for expressing feelings and releasing trauma and uses her art to bring healing to herself and others.

School Champs

Ann Maura Hinton

Ann Maura Hinton loves seeing the spark light up in children’s eyes when it “clicks” for the first time, and the hope and confidence in a child that comes from down deep. She offers families the hope of Isaiah 43:19, “do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” through her work over thirty years of teaching a wide variety of children with learning differences. She served as the director of Empower Ministries, equipping and shepherding children with differences academically, relationally and emotionally. Ann Maura leads Bridge Educational Services at Lifeline Children’s Services and Camp Empower for vulnerable children. She is certified in cognitive-developmental brain training and equips families with the tools needed to increase cognitive development. 

School Champs

Jody Kaiser Brannon

Jody Brannon and her  husband, Greg, have seven  kiddos, whom range in age from 12 thru 30 years old. Her older four children are biological and  the three younger girls were adopted internationally when they were toddlers. Jody has taught  in a Head Start program in New York, middle school in California and was a first-grade teacher  in North Carolina. Her children have attended both traditional setting schools and she is  currently homeschooling her daughters. Education is a passion for Jody and her husband.  Finding the right fit for her kids hasn’t always been easy. They haven’t always gotten it right,  have experienced many changes throughout the years, take one year (sometimes one day) at a  time but they are determined to walk beside their children in their educational journey.

People You Wish Lived Next Door:

Support Squad

Pam Taylor

Pam Taylor has had the honor serving children and families for over 25 years in various capacities a career that has been dedicated to working with children from hard places and their families. Pam and her husband adopted two boys through the foster care system and later founded an organization to support families in crisis. Pam has completed coursework from the International Trauma Training Institute, and (T.B.R.I®) Practitioner at Texas Christian University.

Support Squad

Jason Tovey

Jason Tovey has served two decades of pastoral ministry and together with his wife Amanda, an adoption social worker, created Rooted to Live Ministries to establish authentic gospel communities.  Jason has a B.A. in Bible Comprehensive and a M. Min in Christian Counseling and is a certified Temperament Counselor.  He and Amanda have been married since 2001 and they have five children, one adopted from Russia.

Fundraiser Dad

Dwain gullion

Dwain Gullion is an Investment Advisor with Midtown Financial Advisors in Greensboro, NC and holds the credential of Certified Kingdom Advisor®. He led the adoption agency licensing process and served as State Director for Lifeline Children’s Services in North Carolina from 2013-2014. Dwain is a board member and President of ABBA Fund and lives in Bennett, NC with his wife Heidi and their 3 children – Anna, Sarah, and Jonathan.

Pastor and Papa

Travis Hill

Travis Hill Travis is originally from a small town west of Tulsa, known as Sand Springs, Oklahoma. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BBA focused in Energy Management in 2012 and began his partnership with Grace Bible Church in 2014, ultimately coming on staff in 2019. Today Travis and his wife Mandy serve in leadership at Freedom Church in Pensacola where he wrangles youth of all ages and his growing family.

Traveling to Heavenly Places

Andrew Sawyer

Andrew and his wife Chrissy became foster parents in 2012. In 2013, they adopted 2 boys now 13 and 14. In 2016, they opened their home to a now 8 year old. In 2018, brought home a medically fragile infant who is now a thriving three-year-old. Throughout their journey, the Sawyers have become unintentional experts in parenting children with severe trauma, attachment issues and mental health disorders. They are currently foster parents with Methodist Homes of N.C and are members of The Summit Church where they are active the church’s Embrace 365 ministry for foster care and adoption.  Andrew is a Travel Consultant with Wilcox Travel.

Piano Pop

jerry tucker

Jerry Tucker is the owner of Treasured Property Real Estate and Property Management, serving the Triangle since 2007. He has lived in this area since 2005 and, along with my wife Jodi, has eight children…five of which are adopted, plus a foster son.  He also has two son-in-laws, a daughter-in-law, and four and a half grandchildren.

Outside of Real Estate, he has a passion for orphans throughout the world.  His company gives a percentage of revenue to help vulnerable children and makes direct gifts to families who are adopting. This is his treasure.

He serves on the Worship Team of Kings Park International Church.

Questions + Answers

Renew Retreat begins on Thursday evening from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, runs from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm on Friday, and from 9:00 am to 11:30 am on Saturday.  (You will still have time to get home and hug the kids and relax the rest of the weekend!)

The purpose of this retreat is for you to have time away from parenting to be renewed.  We will not have childcare and we cannot accommodate babies or children. We are praying for an abundance of loving childcare for your family!

The Renew team are followers of Christ who have found their faith to be essential in thriving as foster and adoptive parents.  We welcome parents of all faiths to join us.

We have reserved a block of rooms at the rate of $89/$99 at the Courtyard Raleigh Cary.

We have also reserved a block of rooms at the Hampton Inn for $69 a night.,WW,HILTONLINK,en,DirectLink&fromId=HILTONLINKDIRE 

Both hotels are within 10 minutes of the church.

Attire is comfortable and casual.  On Friday we have some special activities in the afternoon. (art therapy for the moms and active outing for the dads).

We will have coffee and snacks throughout the retreat.  We plan to have a Food Truck Rodeo during lunch on Friday!  Dinner will be on your own on Friday night…plan to take some time to have fun out on the town.

The host church is following CDC guidelines for mask wearing, social distancing and sanitation.  We will limit registration to 30% capacity of the building, so register early!

May is absolutely gorgeous in North Carolina…the most beautiful month of the year.  Temperatures typically in the 70’s.

We will provide a certificate of training for all attendees. The certificate will say that the attendee completed 12 hours of training related to trauma, attachment, parenting issues in foster care and adoption. It will be sent by email after completion of the event.

Register Now!

MAY 20-22, 2021

$59/single or $79/couple

Thank You to the Planning Team and Our Sponsors:

RENEW RETREAT: MAY 20-22, 2021 | Summit Church-Apex Campus | Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

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