We arrived Thursday night with mixed emotions. We didn't know what to expect at all. We were anxious, excited and nervous all at the same time. We were wondering how the retreat would be handled. Would there be a spotlight on us "infertiles?" Would we have to tell our story and why we were there? Would there be other couples "like us". It was all so overwhelming.... until we walked in the door of the opening reception. We were the second couple to arrive, and immediately made eye contact with the only other couple in the room. We were greeted with a kind 'hello' and offered a glass of wine and some goodies from a beautiful fruit and cheese spread. We quickly learned after speaking with this couple, who actually live fairly close to us, that they were there for the same reasons as us. That the way they once thought they would build their family was just like ours, and the route has now changed. It was so refreshing, and felt great to talk with someone who faced the same struggles as us, and also someone who "got it.". It was quite theraputic.
Slowly, the room filled up with 15 couples. Couples young, couples older, same sex couples, couples who were adopting for the second time, couples adopting transracially. It was quite amazing to say the least, and made it so awesome to talk about the process, our feelings and excitement in a room with people in the same situation - regardless of what brought them there.
There was an introduction to the agency, and then we all introduced ourselves and where we are from. Nothing to put us on the spot, and it was much easier after a glass or two of wine! :-)
After the introductions, the director of the agency played a text video with background music that was from the mind of the unborn baby. It brought most of the room to tears, and really made us think about what a potential baby to be adopted is thinking. I am trying to get a copy of it to post here. It is truly something to see.
We then went to dinner and sat with 4 of the other couples. We just talked about adoption, talked about life, talked about anything we wanted. It was a great open forum. Then i sat back and thought to myself..."my god, i was so nervous, but we are all normal. We are all here for the same reason. Most of us are infertile." Then i realized, it is OK to talk about all of this - and i realized that everyone else thought the same thing. It was so wonderful.
After dinner we went to the bar for another glass of wine with the 2 gentlemen that were there adopting again with this agency. They told us their experience the first time around. It was real. It was fabulous.
Friday morning got started pretty early with breakfast, and then we drove from Rutland to Middle Springs to their new office for the day long portion. Here are some photos of the drive through the mountain at about 7:30 am. The air was so fresh and crisp. The sun was up and we were ready for the day. Check these out:
Once the day got started, it wasn't nearly as overwhelming as i thought it would be. We have done so much research, that it was just filling in the blanks for us. The day put our minds at ease and really confirmed that this is the agency for us. We left Vermont feeling so renewed and excited, and knowing that now it is not 'if' we will have a family, but 'when'. And that, is amazing.
This was on our drive home just enjoying myself. Christopher was snapping some photos along the way, and unsuspecting, he got me.
This is the side entrance of the office where we spent the day. It was a old farmhouse refurbished with so much character, wrap around porches and lots of land to explore. There was a nice, long lunch break and since it was so beautiful out on Friday, the sun was shining we were able to explore some of the grounds.