To belong. To be seen. To be loved. We are an odd bunch, but we resonate with each other.

We felt it was high time to create a space for adoptive families to meet again. It has been a challenging season, from pandemic and isolation to war and generally parenting small people with different personalities, needs and desires.

We didn’t bring people together because we have all the answers, or that it’s easy for us. Sometimes we are tempted to wait till it all becomes clear, or until we understand what is happening to us, in us, to share with others, but we reached the conclusion that we will never fully understand, we will not know everything there is to know, and we will never be perfect parents. So we should come together in our imperfection, our brokenness, our limitations. And let all these connect us.

We want that every parent to not travel alone on this adoption journey. It’s often a difficult road, impredictibile an we need each other.

We need to understand how early trauma (abandonment, abuse, neglect) affects our children and how susceptible we (as parents) are to secondary trauma. The state of alertness in which we live, always attentive to the signals of our children, to the cyclicality with which they mourn their past as they grow up, all this makes us vulnerable to a state of stress that leaves its mark in time, if we do not realize it and we don’t address it.

Therefore, we want to share our experiences, challenges and successes, good practices, because we need support from all points of view to succeed.

In the midst of parental problems, we can easily feel discouraged or even ashamed. We need people to help us see things realistically and to be gentle with ourselves. We are not perfect parents, but we all do what we can to raise our children who have unique and important needs.

So we pulled the chairs in a circle and drew-in, listening intently, resonating, finding ourselves in another’s story and borrowing courage and strength to look forward to the future.

From a fresh adoption story of two siblings, to a seasoned wise and delightfully funny couple with a young adult adopted son, to the perspective of an adult adoptee, a young woman who shared with humor, confidence and clarity, her perspective, journey of healing, questions and journey.

It was a feast of laughter and in-the-moment questions, honesty and encouragement. And yet it only tasted our appetite for community, for this kind of community.

We also had the grace of two volunteers who helped with our kids, 20 adopted kids of varying ages, playing games, eating fruit, doing crafts. My daughter said it was the best time she’s ever had in such a setting. And that says something!

My friends, these friends that we don’t see enough of, it seems, are beautifully responsible, creative, resourceful and coordinating such an event alongside them was a breeze.