Our theme this year was The Road Less Traveled. Each table had a box filled with flowers. The boxes were painted to look like roads and sticking out of each box was a street sign. The "streets" were Adoption Avenue, Triad Trail, Birthmom Blvd., and Reunion Way. The boxes were sitting on top of a road map and had two decorated candles sitting on top of it. There was a little suitcase sitting at each place setting.
We started the morning off with welcomes and introductions. Then we played a neat game called speed friendship that I learned from another blogger. We moved onto our breakout sessions in which the ladies could learn about challenges that come up in every day conversation as a birthmother which was led by Lani, moving forward in life and making creative collages as visual way to help you move forward which was led by Leah and her Mom Evelyn, and adoption scrapbooking which was led by me. We also had a craft – we made jumbo clothespins which can stand up and hold a photo. Totally fun and neat to see how each person’s turned out differently.
After that it was lunch time and time for the balloon release which launches us into the program type portion of the day. We had two speakers this year. One speaker was a 15 year old who is an adoptee. His name was Justin and hearing him speak and talk about what a great life he had was touching and personally validating to me in many different ways. I think each of the ladies got something from it as well.
Our second speaker was an adoptive Mom of two named Tory. She really captured me with the way she began telling her story. She started it off with “Once Upon a Time…” and described a married couple who desperately wanted to be parents but couldn’t have children of their own. Her love for her children's birthmoms was touching and something that I think all of us needed to hear.
Next came the slideshow which always a favorite part of the day (I'll get it up soon, Ladies!) and we ended with the candle light ceremony which is always my personal favorite part of the day.
Our day was filled with door prizes, learning, sharing, fellowship, laughter, a few tears here and there, but mainly it was just about being in a room full of other women who totally get it. It’s hard to actually put all of the feelings into words but once again, it was a successful celebration of our children.
For those who were from out of town or those who just wanted to hang out more, we did dinner and dancing Saturday night. We went to this really fun 80’s club. We ended our weekend with Sunday brunch at the hotel for the out of town guests.
Special thanks to Melanie Mosberg, who was once again an awesome event coordinator! And of course, thanks to all of our sponsors (who are listed at the bottom of the blog) and to all the people who helped in any way - big or small!