What Happens When 100 Foster And Adoptive Dads Hang Out In The Mountains For A Week?

The Honestly Adoption Podcast - Season 7, Episode 64

“It was only three days, but it was life-changing.”

-adoptive dad and 2017 Road Trip attendee

Can just three days truly be life-changing? Find out as Mike reminisces with Andrew Schneidler and Jason Morris about this year’s amazing Road Trip for foster and adoptive dads.  What makes this event unique and unlike anything you’ve ever experienced?  Listen now to find out!

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Notes and Quotes:

So what does happen at Road Trip?

“My experience is that it gets fiercely honest, really real, and time just stands still for those three days.” – Andrew

“What I love about it is….there is space, and a place for guys, for wherever they are on their journey.” -Jason

“This is really not a retreat, it is a conversation.” – Mike

“It was organic and not forced.”

“We don’t saturate the airwaves and we don’t saturate the agenda.”

This doesn’t look like your normal retreat, conference, event schedule…it is very open with a lot of free time, down time, and time for recreation.  This is by design.  We built in margin on purpose.

“If I knew all I had to do was to pay this money to have 3 days of my schedule opened up in the mountains of CO, I’d have signed up years ago!”  -2017 Road Trip attendee

The greatest resource in the room is the network created around the other guys who are there to support each other, and the well defended space to be vulnerable.

There’s tons of great information out there but that isn’t what Road Trip is for.  Road Trip is for connecting with other dads, not just with one speaker.

But…what does it really look like?
  • flying into Denver
  • rag-tag carpool up to the mountains
  • sharing meals together over good conversation
  • raising glasses of root beer to say “me too”
  • funny stories, heart-wrenching stories
  • sleeping in amazing log-cabins, up in the mountains outside of Colorado Springs, at Bear Trap Ranch
  • modeled vulnerability and space
  • no “churchy” stuff
What makes this so unique?

“It’s pure mythology that men don’t want this.”

“There is a ferocious commitment to being honest and real.”

It is the “me too” concept… the beer glass concept.  There is something powerful and healing when you sit with someone and they say, “I know what that’s like.”

Every guy truly does need someone they can talk with who will just be there.  An inner circle.

What is the secret sauce?
  • We put words to what they’re already thinking and feeling
  • It is a welcome shock that there is a space where they don’t have to explain what they’re going through.
  • It is a safe space and it is disarming

“The biggest takeaway:  You are not alone, there is a group of men who can hold space for this journey that you are in, realizing that nobody is an expert in your child like you are, and understanding that our job is not to fix our kids, our job is to presence their brokenness and hold space for that.”

“It is a gentle change in position that takes you out of being the controller of the behavior your kids, and puts you in the seat of being observer of your kids, of celebrator of whatever their brilliance is.”

We call it a “Road Trip” because it is an ongoing journey that we get to share together.

If you feel like your husband needs to go, try to get him there!  This year many of the guys (whose wives actually signed them up) found great value in it.

“The real definition of masculinity is authenticity.” – Jason Morriss

What about guilt over leaving your family while you attend Road Trip?
  • What is this worth if it truly changes your perspective?

“The last couple of weeks {after Road Trip}… theres a new compassion, a new permission, a new posture of observation.”

  • Consider the expiration date coming.
  • You can’t rev. your engine high for too long without causing damage.
  • Men need to tend their soul.
  • This is a chance to recharge.
  • When marriages fail, it is at least 50% the man

“Whatever cliche, cheesy thing you’ve been dragged to in the past…this is NOT that!”

Resources and Links:

Andrew, Mike, and Jason are the co-founders and creators of Road Trip, a three day event in the CO mountains, for adoptive and foster dads.  If you want to be a part of Road Trip 2018, be sure to check it out now, sign up for our email list, and register before the space fills up!

Andrew Schneidler is a closet foodie, and the founder of The Permanence Project, and Practicing Attorney at the Children’s Law Center of Washington.  He and his lovely wife, Michele, are adoptive parents of three awesome children, former foster parents, and are co-founders of The Refresh Gatherings for adoptive and foster parents.

Jason Morriss loves Jesus, his wife, and his children.  He is an adoptive dad who has a passion for creating space for other adoptive and foster dads to be real, honest, and vulnerable.  He a pastor of Adult Restore Groups and Missional Communities at Austin New Church in Austin, TX.

Question: What unique challenges and frustrations do you face (or do you see your spouse facing) as a foster and adoptive dad? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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