Help outfit Michael, Sarah, and John

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Trauma Mama Retreat

Hello all. I am currently in the midst of a fun-filled reunion, but I wanted to post this important blogpost for you all. Below is a guest post from my dear friend, Diana. I hope you can take the time to read it and, if possible, spread the word about the Trauma Mama Retreat and the fundraiser taking place to help those mamas who aren't able to afford the trip, to make it there in September. I am also offering to donate all my earnings from online orders to Choffy, so if you are wanting to support this retreat and buy some Choffy, let me know. Thank you!

Dear Fellow Trauma Parents,

For those who don’t know me right off, my name is Diana. Some of you I’ve known for a long time, some I’ve met in person, others I haven’t.  Many of you may have known me when I used to blog at “Gold to Refine.”  Others know me from where I blog  - "From Survival to Serenity" (  Some of you I’ve met through various support forums and others have found me through other means, including the Holiday Gift Swaps.

For those who don’t know me well, I’m the mom of three kids, two of who were adopted internationally 6 years ago.  Unbeknownst to us at the time, both our adopted children had experienced significant early childhood trauma and had also been prenatally exposed to alcohol.  Both our adopted children have PTSD, RAD, and a bunch of other stuff that goes along with it.  The road has been hard, and the way has been long, but ery gratefully, I can finally say that I believe they are healing and attaching.

As virtually all of us who are parenting kids who had a less than stellar start in life know, finding support and people who understand what we’re really living with is a daunting task. For far too many, it is non-existent.  So many moms especially still lack this critical network of support.  So many are still trying to do it on their own. Far too many believe they the only ones and that no one understands or cares and are still living in isolation.  I’m not ok with that.

In May of 2010, purely out of my own need for a break from the intensity of my own life and to spend time with people whom I knew understood my life, I took a chance and began hosting annual weekend retreats in Utah specifically for “Moms of Trauma”…other mothers who are parenting kids who've been through hard stuff and now live with the scars of it.  Though our initial goal was to find moms in Utah and other surrounding areas, we have become a wonderfully eclectic group of moms from all over the United States and Canada.  As the years have gone on, our group has steadily grown into a much needed and beautiful network of friends who have carried each other through thick and thin.  I am so grateful to have found these amazing women.  I truly believe that without the support I’ve been able to find from those who walk this road with me, I would have lost everything…

Each year, however, we continue to find more and more moms who are in the same desperate need of help, a break from the unrelenting crazy, and network support that I have so desperately needed myself.  Unfortunately, not all of them have the funds or even the ability to travel, let alone come up with the registration fee needed to attend our retreats.  As our group has grown over the years, we have realized there is still a great need out there to do what we can to help our fellow travelers make sure they, too, get the help and support they need. 
Between therapy bills, medical bills, replacing damaged items, a struggling economy, and other life circumstances, coming up with the extra funds to make sure Mom gets what she needs in order to be able to continue doing what she needs to do often isn’t possible. As a group, we are seeking to help raise funds to help some really deserving moms be able to get what they need by providing scholarship funds to cover their retreat expenses.  I know from personal experience how much this opportunity and scholarships mean to our moms, too.  After years of hosting retreats myself, I was granted a scholarship earlier this year year to attend a similar, but much larger retreat in Florida.  I could not have made this happen on my own.  It was such a blessing in my life to finally be able to meet so many people I’ve “know” online for many years as we’ve walked this journey together.  It’s an equal blessing to be able to pay it forward and provide that same blessing to a few other moms as well.
With that, I’d like to invite you to visit our ongoing fundraiser pages and support our efforts to raise the funds needed to bring in moms who otherwise can’t afford it to our retreat.  In addition to scholarships, funds will also be used to strengthen and expand our outreach efforts and allow more and more moms the opportunity to be able to find each other and build their own support networks.

We have a “Fun Stuff For Sale” page at  We have a myriad of different items (really neat items, I might add) that have all been donated by our moms.  Many of the items showcase their various talents, too.  A lot of it would make great gifts for those hard to buy for people in your life, too.  It’s kind of like an old fashioned bazaar except its all being done online.  100% of the proceeds from the sale of these items will go toward funding scholarships and outreach efforts.

If satisfying your sweet tooth is more your thing, come visit our Bake Sale!  Once again, all proceeds go to funding scholarships and outreach.

Or, if you’d prefer, we also gratefully accept cash donations in any amount.  Even just a few dollars helps us be able to help other moms.  Donations can be made directly through PayPal to the address Alternatively, there is also a very easy to use “Donate” button available on the sidebar of either of those page links above.

We would very much appreciate your support and know that many moms will be blessed by it, too.  And yes, by all means, even if it's all you can do to help us at this time, please help us spread the word.  


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