The Cradle Blog

How Adoptive Family Weekend Started

Update 8/19/2016:

We can't believe camp is 2 weeks away! We are looking forward to seeing everyone at camp. We also do want to share that at this time there are no more cabins available. If you have friends who have signed up and all of you would like to share a cabin we can still take your registration if there is room available in the cabin. Another option is coming for a day.

If you have questions about registrations and/or sharing a cabin with a friend who is already registered please email Eli at For all of you who have already registered please keep a look out for camp information in the next couple of days!

Adoptive Family Weekend was started in 2010 and is open to any family that has come together through adoption, whether it be through domestic, international, or foster care. The main purpose of camp is to celebrate being a family and being able to bring adoptive families together and create a sense of community. All of the organizers are part of an adoptive family and know the importance of having a community and support system who understands your experience. 
It has been a pleasure working with Eli Fyksen and Erik Kennedy. It was Erik that came up with the idea of an event for adoptive families as a means to give back to the adoption community. He got the ball rolling and then Eli and I joined together and came up with the camp. Over the years we have seen some of the same families come back year after year, as well as meet new families. One of my favorite things about camp is seeing the children form friendships and have a comfortable place to share their story. The connection and impact on a child when they are able to tell their story and have someone else say “Yeah, I understand” or “Me too!” is powerful. This is not only for the children, but for the parents too. That is what camp is all about: connections and community. 
A family shares their experience: 


“The first year was wonderful. We met families from Chicago and 
surrounding areas. The attending families were diverse and an opportunity for Ian to know that families are diverse as well. I'm hopeful that over the years some of the same families will attend so that we get to know them. I think it's a safe place for Ian to ask questions regarding adoption. I'm hopeful that the kids will open up with each other by talking about their adoption experiences and know that they all share somethings in common.”
Teresa Hjerpe 
This year's camp will be held September 3 - 5 at YMCA Camp Minikani. 
I hope you'll join us for a fun and informative weekend at camp!