BTG Cruise 2014

Two weeks ago I was blessed to go on an adoption retreat. The retreat was hosted by BIB. A Birth Mom Community, and was available to birth moms and (hopeful) adoptive moms. I waited an entire year to go on this trip, and it was worth the wait.

My trip began on Friday night, I left Utah with Haley and Jenna, our trip began with a quick stop in Springville to start our trip of right with a BTG cheer with our amazing founder Ashley. We got to Las Vegas at 3 am after a few exciting stops along the way. The three of us were hosted by another beautiful BTG Alysia and her family.

Saturday was spent in Vegas, doing some last minute shopping and sleeping before our final leg of the trip. We were treated with homemade Puerto Rican Empanadas with rice and beans. Then it was time to go see "the freaks on Freemont". We saw quite the array of characters including this guy dressed as cupid. I kid you not when he suddenly did the splits in front of us while hugging us I was so shocked. It was really gross.

After a fun night out in Vegas, we left early to get to Cali! For the most part the trip was uneventful minus one or two panic attacks. First stop was in Orange to pick up another BTG. Our car was packed to the max after that. We bottomed our car out a few times.

Once we got to the hotel Alysia and I stayed behind while the others went to LB airport to get Ashley. Once they got back we took a walk to CVS where we were followed for several blocks by a homeless black man. I now know to never walk anywhere in Long Beach. Once we got back the party began with the arrival of the last 5 girls and our welcome meeting/pajama party.

At breakfast the next morning I got to meet some of the other people (not part of our group) who were also cruising out. Including an adorable little boy Cooper and his two dads, Allen and Doug! He had the most adorable smile and super contagious laugh. Then it was time to load up and head to port.

It was really amazing that the ship we were sailing out on was called Inspiration. I was ready to unplug and open my heart to this Inspiring and Healing retreat. I turned off my phone and climbed aboard the ship! 

The first day was mostly filled with exploring the ship, enjoying lunch, and hot tubbing. We ended it with our first group formal meal I tried Lobster and Alligator for the first time (was not a fan). Followed by hanging out at the Piano Bar with our new friend Barry. When the ship set sail I was surprised to find I got a little sea sick. So glad I brought Zofran with me.

On day two it was our full day at sea. I woke up early and watched the sunrise with a cup of coffee and was serenaded by one of the crew members who didn't know I was listening on the deck above. It was a nice way to start my day. Then after a few laps of the boat to explore all it had to offer, It was time to meet up for our first workshop. What we discussed something that I have been reflecting on ever since. Afterward all the birth moms went to get lunch and do some more hot tubbing. However our hot tubbing was placed on hold. Someone on board had become injured and we had to turn the ship around to rush to coordinates to meet the coast guard for an immediate medivac. Still praying whoever that was is ok.

Finally we were able to do some hot tubing then our second night of formal dinner. This night I played it a little safer. After dinner of course we went to see Barry at the piano bar then enjoyed some time at the night club. Emily and I also met up and hung out with a few of our new cruise friends at the pool bar. 

On wednesday we woke up in beautiful Catalina! After meeting up for breakfast we all got ready and headed ashore for our workshop of the day. It was beautiful seeing these amazing women healing. Afterwards we all went off to do our own thing. For the most part it was just me and Emily then we met up with Alysia and Joy. The weather was amazing so after laying on the beach we headed back to the ship to do some swimming and dinner. I ended the night being taught how to play Black Jack by my two new friends Lionel and Alicia. 

Thursday we were in Ensenada, I began the day with sunrise coffee with Ash, then breakfast with Sarah. I wanted to soak it all in that day and ended up spending most of it alone. After breakfast it was our final workshop, I could not believe how much each workshop touched me in a different way. I left a little earlier than everyone else and when I came back they were gone so I took that time to go enjoy the serenity deck alone (everyone else had gone ashore). Has I sat in the hot tub looking out at the Ensenada bay, I had some reflective time and thanked God for the amazing week I had been blessed with. It was the best moment for me. Afterwards I went to grab lunch, when I found the rest of my group who had just finished lunch and was getting ready to go to Mexico. I decided to eat and nap instead. :)

Then it was time for our final formal dinner as a group, our final night. At dinner I was blessed to sit and witness our founder, call each girl to sit next to her while she spoke to them, giving each a personal message. When she looked at me and said your next, I was not prepared for what I was about to feel. Of course I cried. All I could constantly think while I was on this trip was how blessed I was to be able to be there and be a part of all this amazing healing experience.

I ended the night spending some time with all of my new friends. The wonderful women I had gathered with to heal, and the amazing people I had met all on board. It was tough to say good bye.

I will never forget the amazing time I had, The beautiful people I met, The healing that took place. I can not say enough how truly blessed I feel that I got to be a part of all of that. My one regret is not enough pictures. :)