WE DID IT!!
What an amazing weekend! Its incredibly difficult to write down what happened last weekend, and its really taken me about a week to come back to ‘normalcy’. In the next few weeks, we’ll be posting some of our group and individual experiences here for our friends who couldnt make it this year!
It was truly an amazing weekend last weekend. We had over 30 participants come through over the weekend and each day we had sessions that were partially educational, but mostly focused on our theme for this year: “Healing ourselves, Making Connections”. We had much discussion, getting to know one another, and just providing space to feel safe to speak and express joy, anger pain etc.
Friday night we had one event open to the public at the Oakland Art Museum, where we screening Phil Bertelson’s film “Outsiders Looking In”. This was a fun time, but also for me, reminded me why we were so stanch about not letting any AP’s or professionals into our space. There really is nothing like a space where we all are equals, and we are coming to the space with our own experiences, and once a year isn’t too much to ask. In fact, we need more. AFAAD got lots of ideas about workshops we plan to create specifically for adoptees and foster care alumni in the future.
Saturday morning we built an altar and had a gentle healing session where we placed things we wanted to heal on the altar, it was really one of the most powerful pieces of the weekend, that I think really solidified for me the philosophy behind the gathering that it always stay away from an academic bent (except when in educative/ activist mode), and stay true to the purpose of connecting adoptees and foster care alumni with one another in our common connections.
We had some great evaluations and even more interest in making sure we connect the dots between foster care and adoption so that as a group we can address the political pieces of the social welfare system as well and stay true to our goals as a social justic organization. whew!
Enjoy the love people and see you next year! Woo Hoo!