This is for Abrazo adoptees and birthsiblings who may be dealing with disappointment today.

If you’re disappointed about Camp Abrazo having to be cancelled due to Covid-19, we understand.

We’re pretty down about this, too. Many of you have parents who have brought you to Camp Abrazo every year since you were babies. We love getting to see you and hug on you each summer at the ranch! So it makes us terribly sad that this year, to keep everyone safe, we’ve had to cancel our event.

We’re going to miss the drive out to the Mayan Ranch this year. We’ll miss Cowgirl Kell and the longhorn and those crazy squawking peacocks. We’re going to miss watching the babies on their first pony ride, and that big blue swimming pool with the dads throwing everyone in the water. We’ll miss the Saturday candlelight and dance, and the Sunday morning singalong and Golden Binkies. There won’t be a hayride to cowboy breakfast, or steaks and fireworks at Hicksville. None of us will get to grab the rope swing or wade in the river. Our favorite Mayan Ranch horses (and our favorite ranch hands) will all have to get along without us this year.

That’s all stuff we’re going to miss this year, and our hearts ache just thinking about it. It’s okay to feel sad, or mad, or even “whatever”-ish about this. Those are all normal feelings, after all. And everybody is dealing with disappointment in different ways, during this season of coronavirus.

You’re Not Alone in Dealing with Disappointment

They may not show it, but the adults around you are disappointed, too. Some of them have told us how hard it was for them to break the news to you that Camp had to be cancelled. They love you and they like taking you places you enjoy. Your open adoption connections are important to them, too. And they are also going to miss Camp this year because they have friends there, too, who they only get to see once a year, just like you. (Plus they might have been looking forward to a little vacation, after working from home and helping with your schoolwork and keeping the laundry done and meals on the table… just saying!)

The AbrazoChicks, like Amy and Ximena and Martha, are disappointed that they’re not going to get to see you and your family next month. All you folks who come to Camp Abrazo are extra-special to Elizabeth, and to Angela and Holly Renee, who make a special trip to Bandera to come see how y’all have grown, and to Monika from the Law Office who likes holding everyone’s babies like the loving grandma that she is. And we know the Mayan Ranch staff is sad that the Abrazofolks aren’t coming this year.

It’s easy, when we’re down, to think that we’re the only ones going through those emotions. As you grow up, though, you’re going to learn that life is full of disappointing moments, but you don’t have to get through them all by yourself. Say it to yourself: “tough times don’t last… this too shall pass.”

The coronavirus won’t keep everything shut down forever. There will be brighter days ahead! So it’s okay to feel disappointed now, but don’t let the clouds block the sun for too long, okay?

Ways to Deal with Disappointed Feelings

For starters, you can talk about what you’re feeling. That helps keep it from all getting bottled up inside, even if it doesn’t change anything.

You can be grateful for your memories. Maybe your family can get on the Abrazo Forum gallery and look at all the online albums from the Camp Abrazo weekends you’ve attended in the past? Happy memories can sometimes make us feel happier in less-happy times.

You could call or message with your camp friends and with your birthsibling/s, if your parents say its okay? Part of the whole point of Camp Abrazo is keeping people connected, and you can still stay connected even if you can’t see them in person because of the coronavirus this year.

You can do something nice for someone else. Maybe send a card, letter or drawing to the Mayan Ranch staff, at 350 Mayan Ranch Rd, Bandera, TX 78003. This will help brighten a long, slow season for Kelly, Shea and the Hicks family and their cowboys, who are all dealing with a lot of lost business as well.

You can say a prayer. We’re all still working in the office everyday and Abrazo surely needs God’s loving watch to keep us healthy and busy during these hard times.

You can give your parents some love and encouragement. This would be a really good time to remind them how thankful you are for them and for getting to be at camp before. Maybe you could offer to help with some extra chores or be extra nice to your family, just to make your point?

Happy Trails to You

Here’s a secret: all the advice we just shared with you above can help anytime you’re dealing with disappointment, even when it’s not about Camp Abrazo or coronavirus. (Cool, huh?)

At Abrazo, we know a thing or two about dealing with disappointment. We know people who feel disappointed that they couldn’t get pregnant like other people do. We know people who are disappointed that they couldn’t raise their babies themselves. We know adopted kids who sometimes struggle with being disappointed that they had to be adopted, or that the families they love don’t live in the same place. Being disappointed doesn’t mean you didn’t deserve to be happy. Rather, it means you’re already blessed to know what being happy feels like, so you know what’s missing when you’re not. But like viruses and pandemics, disappointment doesn’t have to last forever.

We all find ourselves dealing with disappointments of one kind or another, every now and then. But the magic is that you (and only you) control your own feelings! So look for reasons and ways to still be happy, and we’ll hope to see you again at Camp next year… deal?

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