This was the theme of our adoption agency’s annual family picnic.
We adopted both our sons through Bethany Christian Service. Every year Bethany hosts a picnic for their families. Families who are waiting for a placement, birth mothers who have placed an infant, families who have opened their home to children through foster care, domestic infant adoption, international adoption or foster to adopt, all come together to celebrate the connecting thread that joins us all together: the blessing of adoption.
The picnic is held at Camp Kon-O-Kwee and always proves to be a lot of fun.
This year the theme of the picnic was superheroes.
It was a fitting theme given the fact that most of the world’s most famous super heroes were all adopted. This was highlighted with signs on all the tables talking about various superheroes and their connection to adoption.
What a wonderful way to celebrate a unique connection that all these children share!
The picnic began with lunch. Families were all asked to bring a side or a dessert to share, while Bethany provided hamburgers and hot dogs from the grill, Chick-fil-a nuggets, and drinks. We opened with prayer and some words from our hosts and then lunch began…and it was delicious!
Following lunch there were a variety of fun activities available for the families to enjoy.
They had craft stations where the kids could get their face painted, paint superhero pictures, and make their own superhero mask.
There were also activities offered at the camp for the Bethany families. One of the highlights for my kids each year is the “Trail of Courage” obstacle course…a fitting name for families embarking on the uncertain path of adoption.
The kids loved climbing, leaping, crawling, and swinging their way through the various challenges this 1 mile trail held.
The second highlight of the day was the canoeing and kayaking offered at Camp Kon-o-Kwee. This activity is always the favorite activity at Girls’ Camp every summer, so Grace and Molly were excited to get to go out on the water again.
Rusty and Tyler were equally excited.
This was Tyler’s first time taking a kayak out on his own, but he handled his boat beautifully.
The kids had a lot of fun exploring the river together.
All too soon it was time to leave. Molly had work at 3:00 pm so we had to leave the picnic a couple hours early, but we had a lot of fun while we were there and were glad we made the effort to attend.
Life has been extra challenging lately and I didn’t know if I had it in me to attend this year, especially without Toby. I didn’t know if I had it in me to put on a happy face, and sing the praises of our adoption journey when we are all still so raw and hurting from the last few months, but I didn’t have to. You see, everyone that was there is traveling a similar road. Their challenges may be different and their adoption journey may not look the same as ours but we are all on a mission to help, heal, and love through the tough stuff. As a group we recognize that with the joyful moments of adoption come struggles. Adoption is born out of heartache so how can heartache not be part of the journey? But we recognize that commitment trumps emotions, and God’s power trumps any trial. We gather as adopted families not to celebrate our “happily ever after” but to celebrate the ongoing story of love, commitment, and the daily heroics of those who keep fighting for good over evil.
Perhaps that is what a superhero really is. It isn’t about the cape, or the mask, or leaping tall buildings.
Perhaps it is simply waking each day with the determination to keep showing up,
to keep trying,
and to keep fighting for our child and for our families.