Written by Amie Vetscher, this is the first in a series of articles about CPO’s recent Waiting Families Workshop. Click here for the second installment, here for the third installment, and here for the fourth installment.
Last month, CPO conducted its 24th workshop for waiting families. Ten families participated in the three-day workshop that covered the ins and outs of open adoption through Crisis Pregnancy Outreach’s ministry to pregnant women and new mothers in need. Thanks to CPO’s amazing volunteers who organized speakers, developed eighteen informative segments, and coordinated donated meals. Waiting Family Workshop participants heard from CPO Executive Director, Cheryl Bauman; Jane Waters, LMFT and author of Arms Wide Open: An Insight to Open Adoption; adoption attorney, Stacy Acord; Gwen Elliot, CPA; Dr. Barbara Sorrels from the Institute of Childhood Education; and Dr. James Ross of Saint Francis Hospital South.
Through a series of powerful segments covered by CPO birthmoms, adoptive families and growing or grown adopted children; waiting families gained insight and sensitivity into the miracles, joy, pain, and healing that only God could orchestrate within the adoption triad and beyond. Those familiar with open adoption recognize the “adoption triad” as the dynamic relationship between the birthmother, adoptive family, and adopted child. The presenters and their stories redefined “the triad” to include significant, life-altering bonds that can also be formed among birth grandparents, adoptive grandparents and great-grandparents, other biological children or adopted children, as well as the offspring of adopted children. “These speakers were courageous and transparent in their testimonies,” one participant commented. “I felt my heart open more with each perspective. I feel it has prepared me to love our future birthmom more generously and be a more compassionate person. In due course,” she added, “I’ll be a better parent because of this workshop.”
Attendance at the Waiting Family Workshop, offered twice a year, is a requirement for adoptive families within a year of their CPO adoption. But to most families, it meant more than just fulfilling a requirement. “I can’t imagine going through with the adoption before attending this workshop,” a participant remarked. “I’m much better prepared than before.”
Return each week to the CPO blog, as our writers will share various segments covered during the Waiting Family Workshop with our readers. Stay tuned to read, “Liquid Gold: Nursing and Nourishing the Adopted Baby through Breast Milk,” and “Three Good Reasons: A Birth Mom’s Story of Healing,” and “CPO’s Doulas: An Amazing Gift.”