Jacob wasn't able to go with me. He is in the Reserves still for another few months and has drill this weekend so he is gone until tomorrow night. Sure wished he was with me! He was home Friday night because formation wasn't until this morning, but he stayed home and watched Emily so I could have a night off of mommy duty. Although I missed them both terribly and wished they were both with me. :( (Isn't it funny how that happens, you're happy to have a night out, but you end up spending the whole night missing your little one. Is it just me that this happens to?)
Friday night was a mingle night where we got to mingle and get to know other couples who are a part of the adoption world as well. Such a fun night! I got to talk with so many people! Loved it! Such a fun group! I love being a part of this adoption world! We even met another couple, Hi Crystal and Matt! Who also did a family member adoption. They were kind enough to share some insight with me.
Saturday was AWESOME! I was late, I was up all night with Emily who didn't want to stay asleep unless I was holding her, so I over slept this morning (she’s teething so she has been fussier then normal). I got there just in time for everything to begin so all I missed was breakfast and mingle time. Still sad though. :( The wonderful couple behind The r house , Josh and Lindsey, were our keynote speakers. SO fabulous! Seriously love them! They spoke about honesty in adoption, hope in adoption and shared a little of their journey so far. What they do for the adoption world is beyond amazing!
Our Adoptive Parent Panel was great! We had a few different types of adoption represented. David was representing Domestic adoption. He and his wife adopted three children who are all in their late teens early 20's now. It was so neat to hear his prespective on things. Jennifer (who was a guest blogger recently) was representing foster adoption. She and her husband have adopted 2 children through foster care and are about to finalize their 3rd foster care adoption. My favorite line from her was that you should always be open to foster care. There is a misconception that all kids in foster care are bad kids. But they aren't they are children who unfortunately have lived hard lives and have come from not so great circumstances. But they all are great kids. And you never know how your child will come to you, so be open to it. (Side note, Jennifer, I am so sad we didn't get to talk much! I was looking for you afterwards but you were occupied and then the next time I looked you were gone! We need to get together soon!) Ashley is the author of children's book about adoption. She and her husband have adopted 4 children. 3 domestically and 1 internationally. So Ashley was representing International adoption. First of all, her kids are stinkin' adorable! Her son has adjusted to life in America like he was born here. After only 6 months here he speaks perfect English. What really stuck out to me about Ashley was just that she is pure awesome! Hearing her talk about how her family has brought this young boy into their home is nothing short of inspiring. He is from Taiwan and they have not only adopted him, but they adopted a love of his country. They celebrate all of the Taiwanness holidays in their home. I love that! I think that's something every family who adopts a child from a different culture should do. If we decide to adopt again and we adopt a child from a different culture, we will for sure be doing that! Love it!
During lunch the lovely Alexandria spoke to us. She is an adoptee. Her dad is the one who spoke on the adoptive parent panel. She spoke about her love adoption, and more specifically, her love of her life. She had us all captivated. She is beyond adorable! One thing that she said that really stuck out to me was that she can't imagine life any other way, then to be adopted. I love that! She feels that her life is exactly how it should be. Amazing I tell you! She is amazing!
Our birthparent panel was fabulous, what I got to hear of it that is. I had to go out with Emily for part of it so I wasn't there for the whole thing, but what I did hear of it was awesome! Amanda placed her son 6 years ago. She shared her journey and spoke about her healing process. She spoke of her experiences with her son's parents. Sterling placed her son just a year ago. She shared her journey as well, and spoke of the love she has for her son's parents. Daniel was a great addition to the panel as well. He happens to be Alexandria’s birthfather so it was really a neat experience to get to hear the same adoption story from three separate points of view.
I hope we get to do a retreat next year! It was seriously fabulous experience!