First Retreat for Adopted Adults – June 2023

Adoptee Retreat

Gilli and I ran our first ever retreat for adult adoptees earlier this month. We hosted it in the beautiful surroundings of Rydal Water, near Grasmere. To our knowledge, this is the first of its kind and we wanted to deliver a weekend that was peaceful, calm and welcoming.

The struggles of adoptees are little known, and yet they impact all of our lives, for all our lives.

We were a group of 14 and upon arrival there was an easy 'knowing'. To be among other adopted people was truly emotional for all concerned and a community was formed instantly.

We ran workshops and sessions and incorporated some free time too. We spent two nights in an idyllic cottage on Rydal Water and the weekend passed way too quickly.

Here are some of the comments:

"It's such a comforting space to be among others with this in common when a feeling of 'not belonging' is so common normally"

"Thank you for arranging this - giving your time and emotional energy to bring our group together. It's one of the most secure environments I've experienced"

"I knew within 10 minutes of coming, it was going to be OK. Unlike any other group I have spent time with, adopted people seem to know how to be warm and welcoming and put each other at ease. I guess we all know how painful it is to to feel unwanted."

"It has been invaluable."

"To connect and talk to other adoptees I found comforting and soothing."

"Really glad I came. Just being with other adoptees is the only opportunity I have to lose the nagging feeling that there is fundamentally something wrong with me. It is a soothing relief."

"I am so so thankful. Emotional."

"It was organic and fluid and I found the sessions engaging and interesting. I cannot express how life affirming and comforting these days have been."

"Amazing. I have never ever spent time with a group of adult adoptees. Really good balance of social and sessions."

"A relaxed environment to share our stories of adoption, listening to others made me feel less alone in my feelings. Loved Lara and Gilli's talks. A few tears but lots of giggles too."

"The weekend has helped me to reconnect to myself and its a very small but significant shift. A need to continue with my search reignited. Hopeful for healing - it's not too late. I'm not too old. It is worth it - I am worth it. It has given me hope. Thank you so much."

"Connections, hope, new purpose, understanding and comfort."

"I actually cannot write what I feel about how I feel. Grateful, hopeful, engaged, emotional, love. Wow. Thank you. It's a time I will never forget and would like to be involved in future events."

"For the first time in 76 years I've been able to talk freely about being adopted and people getting it! Listening to the stories of other adoptees has given me an insight into my own trauma. Please do more retreats. I felt connected."

"There is a tremendous need for adoptee support. This weekend has been so helpful in helping me on my journey. We all met and connected like a family/tribe. Our stories, though different were understood and not judged. The environment was safe which allowed us to be vulnerable and tell stories we had not shared with anyone."

"Extremely meaningful and valuable. Gilli and Lara are inspirational."

"Hugely beneficial."

"The retreat was going to struggle to live up to the high expectation I  placed on it, but it absolutely smashed it out of the park. Absolutely sublime. Very well done both of you and thank you."

Gilli and I were also very moved and grateful to everyone for attending. We will continue, but the first will always hold a very special place in our hearts.


First Adoptee Retreat 1
Adoptee Retreat Nab Cottage


  1. Marie Woodhouse on June 13, 2023 at 6:35 pm

    Looks absolutely wonderful. ❤

    • Lara on June 14, 2023 at 12:54 pm

      It was, thank you for taking the time to comment. 🙂

  2. Judith Philip on June 14, 2023 at 12:20 pm

    Sounds truly wonderful and I look forward to joining a future retreat (this November, I hope)

    • Lara on June 14, 2023 at 12:55 pm

      Hello Judith. Unfortunately the November retreat was cancelled by the venue as they are unexpectedly closing down. We do not expect another retreat until next year now. Will keep you posted. Best wishes.

  3. Jean on June 17, 2023 at 2:41 pm

    This sounds like an amazingly cathartic experience. Wish something like this would happen around here! (New York State)

  4. Alina on September 2, 2023 at 3:01 pm

    I want to do this and I live in USA! Will there be one next year? Summer 2024?

  5. Caroline on January 23, 2024 at 8:58 pm


    • Lara on January 24, 2024 at 7:05 am

      Hello Caroline. This post was about our first retreat in 2023. The 2024 retreat is now fully booked but you can go on a cancellation list if you email me.

      Thank you.

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