2009 Annual Adoption Picnic : A Beautiful Success


Although it was not the stereotypical beautiful day for a picnic, it did turn out to be a beautiful day for our Annual Adoption Picnic.

It was a day full of relationship building, beautiful children, food, and fun. Thank you to all for contributing delicious dishes and desserts, and thank you to the men for manning the grill.

We were happy to have attendees from all points in the adoption process, some even learned the initial information during the picnic. We appreciate those that drove for hours just to be with us on this beautiful day.

Our group was all ages with multiple generations, including children, parents, and grandparents. We are also happy that some of our twitter friends joined us with the children they have adopted.

The beautiful children included those from Ukraine, Guatemala, Viet Nam, and across the US. (We are hoping to have children from Congo, Nicaragua, and Honduras in attendance next year).

It is always a joy to see how much they have grown and how happy they all are. The children all played together well, playing soccer and enjoying the bounce house and park activities.

It was a day of joy, filled with good news and happy stories. Many were interested in our upcoming trip to Congo to create a new adoption program, and several brought donations for us to deliver to the Congolese orphanages.

The highlight of the day for me was the opportunity to thank Noah, a child I cared for when he was very young, for the items that he donated. Since his parents adopted a younger sister, Noah has had a desire to visit and care for children in orphanages. I am looking forward to Noah having the opportunity to join us on one of our orphanage support trips in the future.

The rain held off during our adoption celebration. The bees did not, but we were all safe with our bee repellant. We even saw the sun by the end. We want to thank everyone for helping to make this another fabulous event. We look forward to seeing you again next year!

Brooke Randolph, LMHC, is a parent, therapist, and founding team member of MLJ Adoptions, Inc. with more than 20 years of experience working with children and families. She is the mental health expert contributor at DietsInReview.com, a national diet and fitness column; a private practice counselor in Indianapolis, Indiana; and the Vice President of PR, Outreach, and Communications at KidsFirst. She is a single adoptive mother who has authored adoption education materials and presented at numerous conferences and workshops throughout North America. Brooke is primarily motivated to encourage, equip, and empower parents and individuals to make changes that strengthen their lives, their careers, and their families.