Dear Grandma, I’m sending this postcard from Camp Abrazo to let you know how much fun we’re all having.
We got here Thursday, so I thought I’d write you a little postcard from camp. Camp Abrazo doesn’t actually start until Friday (which is when we get our cool tshirts and swag bags). But Mom & Dad always bring us a day early, like a bunch of other Abrazo families, because we can’t wait to see each other!!
As you know, everybody at the ranch for Camp Abrazo is either an adopted kid (like me), an adoptive parent or grandparent, a birthparent or birthfamily member, or a member of the Abrazo staff. It’s like having a big, crazy family of the kind of relatives you actually love to visit.
Some folks who come, like the Walkers, Rasmussens, McDonalds and Bauers, have been coming every year since their big kids were babies! Charles Henry and Hank and Avery and Joah and Mikaykla and Sebastian and Scarlett and others get to see their birthmoms there every summer, and sometimes their birthsiblings come, too. (You should’ve seen us all playing in the bubbles during foam time!) Ryder & Addy’s grandpa and Joseph & Clare’s grandparents even come to camp, which is amazing (‘cuz they’re kinda old. Like some of the AbrazoChicks these days, ha.)
It’s really hot in Texas this summer, but we keep so busy at Camp Abrazo, it’s actually easy to forget about the heat! The ranch pool is HUGE and the water is super cold. The horseback rides take us through some shady trails. There’s an actual longhorn that comes with a saddle so we can sit on him and take family pictures. (I think Mom was kinda nervous about getting too close, but not me, I’m an old hand by now, lol.)
The peacocks that roam the ranch are really noisy! Me and my pals like to run up to them to try to make them show off all their pretty feathers. The horses get to roam free in their time off, plus there’s deer all over the ranch, and some armadillos wandering around, and once, I think I even saw a real live fox?! There’s even a creek with fish, and dinosaur tracks. The Mayan Ranch is my favorite place on earth, just about.
Speaking of things to see at camp, you shoulda seen all the stuff that people donated to help raise money for Abrazo’s Angel Account this year! Usually, us kids just go in the main lodge to cool off, since it’s air-conditioned, but this year, we kept running in to check out all the cool merch (especially all the eight giant toy baskets the Cornish family donated. #FIRE!!)
Oh, and this year at Camp, there was this awesome guy named Timo who hosted karaoke!! I wanted to sing something, but after that hottie Lexi sang Carrie Underwood, JP’s mom did “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” and then my friend Joah got up and stole the show, so I kinda lost my nerve, lol. (Maybe next year?)
The food at Camp Abrazo is a-ma-zing! One cutie named Addison broke Joah’s dad’s record of eating the most cheese enchiladas at dinner Friday night, but I think the best meal is when the cowboys grill us ribeye steaks out at the meadow in Hicksville. (That’s right before we all stuff ourselves with smores, then go to the pavilion for the candlelight ceremony, followed by a big ‘ole dance where everyone joins in.
On Sunday morning, there’s a horseback-and-hayride out to where the cowboys cook breakfast for everybody over a campfire. Your biscuits are always the bomb, Grandma, but I gotta say, there’s something about that bacon and sausage made over an outdoors fire, yum! We skedaddled back to the lodge just in time for the closing ceremony where all us kids sing with Abrazo’s director, the Golden Binkies get awarded, and then the raffle and silent auction prizes get announced. (This year, we also had a special prayer remembering all those kids from the tragedy in Uvalde.)
I love that Mom and Dad bring me to Camp Abrazo. Most of the time during the year, being adopted feels like something that makes me different, but not here. At Camp, everyone knows their adoption story, and every kid is adopted, like me. I like having some place where open adoption is just everybody’s normal. I don’t always talk about my feelings about being adopted, but here, I always know I can. Everybody here gets it. And that makes me feel good.
I think every kid who gets adopted deserves some place like this, with parents who bring them here. And a community that really cares about them all, it seems like that’s what “forever family” really means?