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Adoptive Families' Retreat

November 1-3, 2019


“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.

This retreat, offered in partnership with Presbyterian Children’s Homes & Services, will 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

Leah Gilliam, LMSW, LCPAA serves as the Eastern Region Program Director for Foster Care and Adoption for Presbyterian Children’s Homes & Services in Dallas. Leah has worked in child welfare for most of her career, including working in a residential treatment center and in foster care and adoption.

Prior to coming to PCHAS, she was the international adoptions director for the Buckner program in Ethiopia. While with PCHAS, she has been the home development coordinator for Foster Care and Adoption in North Texas and most recently has served as clinical supervisor for Foster Care and Adoption in North Texas. She also helps facilitate Connect for Hope, a TBRI© Camp serving children affected by childhood trauma and the families that love them.


   Michelle Marroquin-Hoevker, LMSW serves as a Program Director for Adoption and Foster Care at Presbyterian Children’s Homes & Services in Houston. She has previously worked as a specialty court clinician (both gang court & girls court) with the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department. A native Texan, Michelle loves working with families as they navigate the process es and decisions surrounding adoption.

 Rev. Erin McGee has just celebrated 21 years of pastoring, having served churches in South Carolina, Texas, and Georgia as well as the national PC (USA) office. She has just completed her Doctor of Ministry degree and serves as the solo pastor of First Presbyterian Church, a small church in El Campo.

But Erin’s life has always had two calls – pastoring and parenting. She is the single parent to two amazing, imperfect young adults, both born in India – Hannah and Jonathan. Their family of three combines races and ethnicities, personalities and statures, a dog and a cat, ice cream and chocolate. Like all parenting, the road has not been a straight simple shot, but gathering with other adoptive families has nurtured, supported, and helped to form her parenting. She is looking forward to being with all the families at the Adoptive Families Retreat as both a workshop facilitator and worship leader.

Cost and Housing

Hotel lodging will be available, up to four people per room.

First Adult: $380

Each additional person (ages four-adult): $95

Children under four-years-old: no charge


A $75.00 deposit must accompany registration. The balance of all fees will be due 45 days prior to the start of the event, or upon registration if within 45 days full payment is required at the time of registration.

Full refund minus $75.00 administrative fee per person will be made if cancellation is received more than 30 days prior to the conference. There are generally no refunds for cancellations received on or after 30 days prior to the start of the event nor any applying of the deposit toward other charges or future deposits.

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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