My husband and I first learned about Adoptions From The Heart in 2004. We started our first adoption journey in 2005 and our oldest son was placed with us in 2007. We chose adoption again in 2010 and our youngest son was placed with us in 2011. We are very blessed to have open adoptions for both our boys with their Birth Mothers. Just 2 years ago our oldest son was able to meet his older birth-sister and birth-grandmother. Our youngest son has had contact with his Birth Mother and two birth-brothers since birth. We see both birth families at least 2 times a year and are in regular contact with them via email, social media and text messages.

The AFTH annual picnic for PA is a very important family tradition for us. We have attended every year since 2009. It is one of the first events added to the family calendar each year. We plan ahead every year contacting each Birth family with menu ideas. In recent years, we brought a tailgate grill and had traditional picnic foods of burgers, hotdogs, chips and salads. The food effort is collaborative but always seems to focus on what will all the kids actually eat each year; trust me grilling chicken nuggets isn’t easy. In addition to all the food we bring, AFTH provides a live band for everyone’s enjoyment and tons of snacks & crafts for the kids. We also love the ice cream truck but have learned to wait until after our group photo has been taken. One year all four boys had bright red rings around their mouths and blue tongues for our photo! A hilarious memory and lesson learned. Ice cream is for AFTER we take the yearly photo.  My husband is a fan of all the raffle prizes available each year. We’ve won quite a few over of years attending but the best one was the year he won the condo vacation. We used it to go to Hilton Head for our summer trip!

To us the AFTH picnic displays all aspects of the adoption triad. We remember clearly learning about the foundations of the triad during our classes as potential adoptive parents. Each piece of the triad is beautifully represented at the picnic, not just by our family, but looking around, you see open adoption being celebrated by so many families. We also feel if the Birth families, Adoptive families, and children make up the structure of the triad, then AFTH is the glue and guidance in the construction of our triads. We have looked to them for support throughout the years and we know if we ever needed to reach out to them again, they are here for all of us.

The annual picnic shows our boys they are loved not just by their immediate family but by their triad and all the people who helped that triad come together.

While it is unfortunate that our AFTH adoption triads were not able to get together this year, here is a great post from our AFTH Adoption blog on ways to still have fun together this summer form afar!

“Open Adoption Interruptions due to COVID-19”

AFTH Annual Family Picnic 2018

AFTH Annual Family Picnic 2019