In mid-November, On Your Feet Foundation (OYFF) is hosting workshops for adoptive parents and birthmothers in conjunction with adoption-themed staged readings created by the Piven Lab Series.
The centerpiece of the weekend is “Placing Home” at the Piven Theatre in Evanston, which runs from Friday, November 15, to Sunday, November 17 (birthmothers only on Sunday). In conjunction with “Placing Home,” OYFF is hosting two learning opportunities featuring theatrical approaches: 1) A parenting workshop for adoptive parents and prospective adoptive parents, and 2) a mini-retreat for birthmothers.
“Placing Home” is a performance created by Katy Finn, Kira Silverstein and Heather Bodie, in partnership with Piven Lab Series. The performance features staged readings of interviews with birthmothers, who explore themes of loss, resilience and family. Many of the birthmothers who were interviewed for the readings have attended On Your Feet Foundation retreats and have received services from the organization.
“On Your Feet Foundation was thrilled to help Katy, Kira, Heather and the Piven Lab connect with birthmoms to create ‘Placing Home,’” said Alexis Eyler, OYFF’s executive director. “The resulting performance is powerful and thoughtful. This is why we built a weekend of learning opportunities for adoptive parents and birthmothers around ‘Placing Home.’”
The community is invited to attend the following events during the weekend:
Adoptive Parents (Current and Prospective): “Parenting, Found” Workshop – Saturday, November 16
Saturday’s workshop kicks off with a three-hour seminar on Parenting in SPACE led by Billy Kaplan, LCSW. During the workshop, Kaplan partners with Bill Stern, an improv actor/teacher, to conduct an entertaining therapeutic parenting workshop focused on SPACE: safety, support, supervision, structure, playful, accepting, curious and empathic. The seminar is followed by dinner and a one-hour birthparent panel, hosted by OYFF birthmother retreat founder, Vicki Twomey and birthmom advocate and founder of Lifetime Healing, LLC, Ashley Mitchell, at Found Restaurant in Evanston. Tickets to the Parenting workshop ($150) include dinner and a ticket to the show for Saturday. To register, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/parenting-found-tickets-72399507877
Birthmothers: Mini-Retreat – Sunday, November 17
Birth mothers are invited to attend a special “Placing Home” performance on Sunday, followed by a mini-retreat. Two of the ‘Placing Home’ creators, Katy Finn and Kira Silverstein, will host a mini-retreat workshop to further explore the themes of the performance, and to build connection and community with fellow birthmothers. Using theatrical exercises and techniques, participants will engage in self-reflection and group discovery. The mini-retreat will be followed by dinner and conversation led by Vicki Twomey and Ashley Mitchell at Lou Malnati’s. To register, visit: http://www.oyff.org/retreats.html
On Your Feet Foundation was founded in 2001 by adoption professionals, adoptive parents, and a birthparent to provide the tools necessary for birthparents to get “back on their feet.” The foundation supports birthparents after placement, empowering them to create a stronger life for themselves. OYFF’s clients receive case-management services and coaching, and can receive grants for needs such as education, therapy and housing. Birthparents are welcomed into a supportive community through events and life-changing retreats. For more information about OYFF or to donate, visit the website at oyff.org.