The CUB retreat in Redondo Beach was my first one in over a decade and it was an event that inspired me, comforted me, and made me realize Ive been denying myself a rich, meaningful experience by staying away for so long.
The view from my hotel room patio was a serene one overlooking the inner harbor of the Marina at Redondo Beach. It was soothing to watch the many boats and birds passing through and to hear sea lions barking as they frolicked on the seawall; I love that CUB usually chooses retreat venues on water and in other natural settings.
This retreat allowed joyous visits with old friends and intriguing encounters with new ones; and I felt moved and inspired by authors, filmmakers, musicians, group members, and it was fun having my picture taken with the writer for a hugely popular TV show that a watch regularly. I walked barefoot in the surf and got sand between my toes on a lovely Pacific Ocean beach and enjoyed meals with stimulating conversation and slept well and became rejuvenated and refreshed.
The presenters were all excellent, but I did have my favorites. For example, once again seeing Nancy Verrier, author of The Primal Wound, was a treat. This ground-breaking book is now a mainstay of adoption literature!
Watching the short documentary, Side by Side: Out of a South Korean Orphanage and Into the World, by filmmaker Glenn Morey was both informative and emotional.
And, finally, no words can describe the impact of singer/songwriter Jenni Alperts story about her finding her birthfather, Don Logsdon, homeless in L.A. and taking him home to live with her; the two are bonded not just by blood, but by their musical talents. Watching them perform together was a treat.
If you were there, I do not need to tell you how incredible an experience that this years gathering themed Promoting Family Preservation; Understanding Adoption Separation and Loss was for the adoptees, birthparents, adoptive parents, adoption professionals, and significant others. It was, quite simply, magical.
A huge Thank You to all the fabulous presenters and kudos to Mandy Krahenbuhl, CUB president, and the other board members for a memorable experience in Redondo Beach. I definitely give it 5 Stars!
By Alicia Lanier, Texas Birthmother, Past CUB secretary, and Author, My Unspeakable LossFor those who attended the 2019 CUB Retreat please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HQTD88M to complete a survey regarding your thoughts and expereinces of the retreat