If it wasn’t for Haley Radke and her podcast Adoptees On, none of this would have happened. I had heard Pam Cordano talk on the show about healing, and Pam had heard me talk about me, and then Pam called me and did a Write or Die over the phone, and the next thing you know we decided we were both on the planet to do healing retreats and we were on Adoptees On together, talking to Haley about adoption and healing and our wild dreams for transforming the lives of adopted people.
The coolest thing is we did more than just talk about it, dream about it: we did it.
This weekend we had our first one: Beyond Adoption: You, and it was amazing. I feel like a gave birth to an experience.
I am both exhausted and exhilarated, and every bit of me is buzzing.
We are going to have a second retreat this April in Berkeley again, and then we plan to hit the road. We both love to travel, and we want to take this retreat all over the country and then all over the world.
I’m not going to tell you about the retreat here. I’m going to let you hear from the ten people who trusted us enough to sign up for retreat numero uno. The ten adopted people who were brave enough to enter into the unknown with hope and faith that something wonderful would happen.
Do you know what it’s like to work with such courage and willingness to just leap? I do. It’s like finally finding the perfect dance partners, the perfect sparring partners, the perfect tennis partners. It’s like watching birds soar. It’s like watching waves break.
You get the idea.
Here’s what the ten attendees had to say about the whole experience:
This retreat was unbelievably helpful and beneficial. Anne and Pam were outstanding hosts, leaders, facilitators, and healers. Their ability to make people feel comfortable, encouraged, heard, and supported at any given moment or situation was absolutely life changing! I highly recommend this retreat to anybody that might be considering it.
Anne and Pam are so gracious, kind, intelligent, challenging, informed, creative, flexible, and FUN!! And they really understand the depth and scope of the adoption experience.
Loved all the writing exercises that drew us out.
As an adopted woman, I have often felt alone and without a community where I felt accepted completely. Attending Beyond Adoption: You, I truly felt connected, accepted, seen, held, and loved, and I have never had such deep belly laughs as I have had with this group: Anne brings depth, pure beauty, and a gift of understanding that allowed each person to see things in a new way. Pam brings her soft strength, light, and sound clinical wisdom to each moment. Come to you and come to this retreat.
Some thoughts about Pam and Anne’s adoptee retreat:
One main thought is that I am leaving here really wanting to make myself “big” instead of seeing myself as being small. I wish it was longer! I have learned a lot and would do it again.
A Very Satisfied Adoptee
It’s very easy for adult adoptees to find venues to tell the same old story. What is rare and hard and valuable is to find that safe space with encouraging questions and prompts in order to articulate a new narrative, a story, which is at once authentic and hopeful, a way forward. Anne and Pam have done that.
Pam and Anne are fostering a new narrative, engendering a fresh adoption story which is hopeful and healing and forward looking.
This retreat was the first time I was able to step away from the brokenness I felt in adoption and into something that allowed me to experience wholeness.
There was something so powerful about being surrounded by people who truly understand the experience of the adoptee.
Pam and Anne provided a beautiful and safe space to share in a way I’ve not been able to before.
Transformative. Create the foundation of a new beginning. Just f**king do it! You’re worth it.
This retreat was a safe haven for my adoptee self. Anne and Pam were very attentive to each individual, ensuring that everyone left with at least a few new experiences and a few gold nuggets. They went with the flow of the group and the experience was amazing and well worth the time and travel. I hope to do it again soon.
This retreat will be one of my most treasured memories and I have met so many wonderful people that I hold in my heart. It is an experience not to be missed!
This retreat was a tremendous experience. I felt immediately comfortable which I do not usually feel in groups unless I am leading them. As I sat, pieces of my puzzle clunked into place in ways I have not felt before. Lots of tears and even more laughter. Life changing!
Come to be seen. Come to be heard. Come to be supported. Come to laugh. Come to cry. But most importantly, come to be held.
The healing retreat this weekend was the most powerfully emotional experience I’ve had centered around being an adult adoptee. I appreciated being pushed, held, and asked to expand beyond my defaults.
This time shared in such an intimate, small group has changed me.
Thank you, Anne and Pam.
To find out more about our retreats, visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/beyondadoption/