Tuesday, May 15, 2012

2012 Retreat Recap

Random Acts of Kindness
Once again we had a fabulous time at our annual BirthMom Buds retreat. Since the retreat fell on the weekend of Cinco de Mayo this year, the retreat was appropriately fiesta themed.

We started off the weekend with some sightseeing on Friday. While browsing through the streets of uptown Charlotte, North Carolina, we decided to do a “random act of kindness” when we spotted a street vendor selling bouquets of flowers. Lani purchased a bouquet and we split it up amongst the ladies with us. We then randomly gave flowers out to strangers and wished them a good day. This was much more fun than I thought it would be. It was heartwarming to see the smile on the strangers face when they received a flower. I am sure we brightened a few days.

2012 Attendees
We really kicked off the festivities with a pizza party at the hotel Friday evening. This was the first year we had a pizza party and it was a lot of fun! We played several different icebreaker/get to know you type games and “the pig game” seemed to be everyone’s favorite and got the most laughs.

Oh Fiesta! 
On Saturday, we started our day off with another icebreaker and then launched right into our breakout sessions. We have two time slots and offer two different sessions during each time slot and attendees choose which sessions they’d like to attend. This year’s breakout sessions were: Closed Adoption Chit Chat led by Pam B., Identity of a Birthmother led by Melanie M., Managing the Story of Our Adoption for the Children in Our Life led by Lani W., and Healing a Broken Heart; Finding Peace in Tough Circumstances led by Mary C.

Balloon Release
After breakout sessions, we did a simple craft of making post it note stands and then it was time for lunch. In keeping with the fiesta theme, we had a taco/fajita buffet. After lunch, we all went outside and released balloons with our hopes, dreams, and prayers for our birthchildren attached to them. Watching all of the balloons float upward is always beautiful.

Next was our afternoon speakers which were fellow birthmother and author Michelle Thorne, adoptive Mother of 2, Nancy Fisher, and adoptee and Nancy’s son, Justin Fisher. Each of the speakers were engaging and had great things to share. I think Justin’s words were especially powerful as he encouraged each of us to write or continue writing to our birthchildren and explained how important those letters are to him.

Candlelight Ceremony
Lastly, we closed with a candlelight ceremony which is always so meaningful as we go around the room lighting our candles off one anothers and sharing prayers, thoughts, or wishes for our children.

Saturday night, we went to dinner and then dancing at an 80’s club. Some of our ladies dressed the part and looked like they stepped right out of 1988. Saturday night was a lot of fun and was a nice change of pace compared to the emotions of earlier that day. Sunday morning we all had breakfast together before parting ways.

My biggest complaint about the weekend was that it went by too fast! I’m already looking forward to next year’s retreat!

No comments:

Post a Comment