Adoption STAR reflects on 8/9/15’s Annual Adoptive Family Picnic
It was a beautiful summer Sunday at Ellicott Creek Park yesterday, which proved to be the perfect backdrop for our agency’s annual picnic – which was attended by a couple hundred Adoption STAR adoptive parents, their children, and extended family and friends. There were many, many Adoption STAR staff people (and their family members) in attendance as well.
The picnic proves to be a powerful event for so many, and this year was no exception! Here are just some of the many reasons why we find ourselves “flying high” the Monday after the picnic (and why it proves to be an event we truly look forward to year after year):
- We had many families attend the picnic from long distances (including several families from New York City). One of these families was making a weekend out of it by visiting with their child’s birthmother the day before the picnic (as well as a second visit with her that was scheduled for just after the picnic had ended). This speaks volumes as to the commitment so many of our families have to openness in adoption and post adoption contact with their child’s birth family members.
- As an agency that’s 15 years old this year, our very first Adoption STAR “babies” are now teenagers. How wonderful it was to see groups of Adoption STAR teens walking around the park together (and talking and laughing). As our Founder/CEO Michele Fried put it so brilliantly to one Adoption STAR family that had a teen in attendance, “This is it! This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. This is why you’ve come to the picnic all these years – so that your child could connect with other adopted teens just like them!”
- It was wonderful to see “waiting families” (families that are in the adoption process, but have not yet received placement of a child) attend and connect with families that had adopted successfully via our agency. Words of hope, encouragement, and advice were shared (as were new friendships).
We had countless volunteers in attendance at the picnic, doing everything form grilling food, to face painting, to arts and crafts, to assisting with a scavenger hunt. We wouldn’t have been able to pull it off without them (and without the organization and dedication of Adoption STAR’s Development Associate Kristin Ackerman).
- Adoptive families that had utilized our agency for services other than child placement (working with us to only have a home study written, for example) were in attendance at the picnic. This was so meaningful to us because, when compared and contrasted with families that work with our agency for the entirety of their adoption journey, “home study only” families could have the potential to feel less “connected” to our agency. It was heartwarming and encouraging to see that a commitment to attend the picnic existed even for families that had not received the full gamut of services our agency offers.
If you weren’t able to join us for this year’s picnic, please consider attending in 2016! To see some pictures from the picnic, visit Adoption STAR’s Facebook page: