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Adoptive Families’ Retreat

October 30-November 1, 2020

“A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.” —Forest E. Witcraft

Families who have chosen to welcome children by adoption are just like every other family. They face the myriad joys and challenges of raising children to be healthy, happy, well-adjusted people who are productive members of their communities. However, adoptive families are also different and unique. They deal with dynamics that run from issues regarding race, ethnicity and birth family relationships (or not) to behavioral development, identity and connection. Adoption is not just about the welcoming of a child; adoption is a “forever” relationship that lasts a lifetime. Families need time and space in the busyness of life to celebrate adoption, to marvel at the things that make them a special group of people and to spend time with other adults and children who have experienced becoming a family through adoption.

All adoptive families are welcome regardless of how they became a family. Family is family, and we want to support and celebrate that with you.

Mo-Ranch is committed to creating partnerships with local area adoption agencies and non-profit organizations in order to afford parents some time to visit with and learn from other adoptive parents. “So how are you doing with X, Y, Z topic?” will be the leading question, facilitated by someone trained in these possible areas:

  • Trans-racial adoption (when we are not the same color or ethnicity)
  • Contact with birth family/family of origin
  • Sibling relationships
  • Behavioral connections
  • Extended family relationships
  • International adoption/cultural identity & preservation
  • Single-parent families
  • Advocacy on behalf of foster care & adoption


Children and youth will also explore some of Mo-Ranch’s programming while their parents are occupied.

  • Critter house
  • Owl study
  • High ropes & challenge course
  • Nature hike & star watch


Families will also spend time as a large group enjoying time together.

  • Creating a family art project that celebrates their uniqueness (don’t worry, this is something everyone can do!)
  • Hayride, campfire, s’mores
  • Participatory worship geared for all ages


Join us for an amazing weekend with your family – no matter how you came to be one!

Questions? We’re happy to help! Contact us at 1.800.460.4401 ext. 246 or

Stephen McCracken, Field Instructor

Stephen attended North Idaho College and received degrees in history and outdoor leadership. He is also a National Outdoor Leadership School, Australia alumni.

Previously, Stephen managed a zip line course in Indiana for two years and was certified as a white-water kayaking instructor in Idaho. Since he joined Mo in 2015, Stephen has worked as a lead counselor for our Teen Day Camp and as a field instructor for our environmental leadership program. He currently serves as a lead field instructor.

Stephen loves the sense of community at Mo and enjoys working with people from all different walks of life. He enjoys being able to share his love and passion for the outdoors with our visiting students.

Billy Abbate, Field Instructor

Billy has had a passion for Mo-Ranch for 15 years.

Billy started attending Mo-Ranch Summer Camp when he was 10-years-old. Then, as soon as he turned 19, he signed up to be a summer camp counselor. Now, Billy is working at Mo-Ranch as a lead field instructor for the Environmental Leadership Program.

For Billy, who studied at the University of Colorado at Boulder and has a degree in psychology with an emphasis on education, the job matches his two passions — the great outdoors and teaching.

Adoptive Families Retreat 2020 Schedule

*This schedule is subject to change.

Cost and Housing

First Adult: $380

Each additional person: $95

Please call regarding children under 4-years-old.

Prices include tuition, meals and lodging.

You will be in hotel-style lodging, and if you need more than one room, you will pay the first adult price for each room.

After receiving your registration, a member of our team will contact you within seven business days to confirm additional details such as housing requests (roommates), dietary needs, etc.

Scholarships are available! Click here to learn more.



What to Bring

Bring a Bible, notebook, flashlight, hair dryer and rain gear. Linens are provided. Bring shoes suitable for Mo-Ranch’s rocky, uneven terrain.


Mo-Ranch is 90 miles one-way, or a 2-hour drive from the nearest airport (SAT), allow 3 hours travel/check-in time for departures. We recommend generally scheduling arriving flights before 3 p.m. and departing flights after 3 p.m. to be sure you do not miss any of your event.

If you are in need of shuttle service to Mo-Ranch, call Kars for Hire in Kerrville at (830) 890-8200 at least 15 days in advance to arrange transportation from San Antonio International Airport.

Click here for directions to Mo.




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