Sunday, December 30, 2012

Cabins 2013

Here's a quick update on the deluxe and camping cabins at Winton Woods Park.  The map shows where each cabin is located and you can read below which cabins have been assigned to families and which are still available.

Campground Map

1H - Korich Family
2H - Larsen Family
3H - Reunion Headquarters (Martini)
4H - Reunion Headquarters (Villemure)
5H - Stewart Family
6H - Van Roekel Family
7H - Dolbier Family
8H - Cox Family

1C - available
2C - Bromund Family
3C - Santor Family
4C - Howe Family
5C - Perkins Family
6C - Sallot Family
7C - Nicely Family
8C - Bodell Family
9C - Collicot Family
10C - DeLong Family

If you would like to reserve a cabin, please email Viviane at viviane 8 at yahoo dot com.  Also, if you had reserved a cabin, but will now be unable to attend the reunion, please let us know as soon as possible because another family might like the opportunity to stay in a cabin.

The first bulk payment to the park will be due in April, so please be prepared to send your cabin payments to Viviane by March 31, 2013.  Details to follow.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cabin Rentals Winton Woods Park

We recently learned that some families who have been a part of our reunion were not happy with the process used for distributing the deluxe and camping cabins at Winton Woods for the 2013 event.  In order to do better for 2014, we would like to collect suggestions of how the rental situation should be addressed in the future.

One solution we are considering is a lottery for the 6 deluxe cabins (2 of the 8 cabins would be going to Yvonne and Viviane to store supplies, prepare food, provide access to a restroom, etc.) and also the camping cabins.  Families who want to rent a cabin could enter their name (one entry per family) and then we would draw and let luck decide.  Using this method would be fair and give everyone an equal chance at the deluxe/camping cabins as well as ensure that it would not be the same families each year enjoying the luxury of the cabins.

Another option is to return the process to individual bookings on a first come, first served basis.  In that case, you would just have to be fast and make your reservations with payment well ahead of the reunion.  The park does not allow bookings more than a year in advance.

We realize that the demand for (deluxe) cabins among our families is greater than what the Winton Woods location offers.  However, we have looked far and wide and not found another park with similar amenities and perks for our group.  There are camps near Cincinnati that can be rented by groups, but the cost, especially to larger families, would be much higher as they charge a price per person per night.  Other parks offer more cabins, spread out over their property, but do not have a central area that could serve as our main, semi-private hub for all group activities.

Please email us or leave a comment here if you have an idea for how to address the distribution of cabins in the future or wish to offer an alternate reunion location.  Thank you.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Family Contact List

Hi all,

Toward the end of the reunion someone asked if we could try to create a contact list, so that families can stay in touch with each other by having this information ready for exchange and stored in a central place.  I am going to try to make this happen, so please email me at viviane 8 @ yahoo dot com to let me know if you'd like to be included and with what info.  It's completely your choice how much you wish to share, but possibilities include name, address, phone number, blog address, Facebook, name of your Bulgarian child and from where you adopted, email address and so on.

Looking forward to your emails,


Sunday, June 24, 2012

2012 Is On The Books

The 2012 Celebrate Bulgaria Adoptive Families Reunion is on the books.  Everyone had a great time at Winton Woods Park this weekend and enjoyed connecting with other families.  We shared many great conversations, memorable moments, and delicious food.  The kids had fun playing with water balloons, visiting the splash park, going on a scavenger hunt, competing in Minute to Win It, doing crafts, riding bikes, playing soccer, writing in Cyrillic, dancing the horo, making smores, and so much more.

Yvonne and I would like to thank everyone for joining us.  We had families from 14 states and representatives of eight different birth countries.  We had families whose children are home, families in-between trips, and families waiting for their referrals.  We appreciate everyone's help in making the event run smoothly and everyone's patience as we work out the kinks.

A very special thanks goes out to our sponsors this year: Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc., Tree of Life Adoption Center, Hands Across the Water Adoption Agency,, Golden Rule Travel, Skip's Bagel Deli, and McDonald's.  Their generosity permitted us to have some wonderful amenities this time around, like rented umbrella tables and chairs as well as delicious group breakfasts.

Information about the 2013 reunion will be published soon.  We have decided to keep the location here in Cincinnati at Winton Woods.  Please stay tuned for details and get ready for some new possibilities, like doing charitable work and going greener.

See you all in June 2013!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Last Midnight

Yvonne and I were stuffing welcome bags while everyone else was either asleep or watching The Princess Bride.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Where are we all arriving from...

New York
North Carolina

Potluck Dinner Sign Up

We are tying up all the strings this weekend!!  We will see you guys next weekend!!  Please read thru the list... and if you have not yet signed up for a dish, please do so over the weekend. 

Martini Family: hummus and pitas/pita chips and a cobbler
Van Roekel Family: fruit salad and soda
Hauter Family: mandarin orange lettuce salad & TBD
Delong Family-Hotdogs and Buns
Dolbier Family-Hamburgers
Haven Family- Veggies and Pasta Salad
Larsen family- Dessert and Appetizer
McCulle Family- Fudge and Toffee
Parks Family- Fruit Medley
Villemure Family- Shopska Salad
Stewart Family - Bean Salsa with chips & dessert
Boyd Family - Cakes & Chicken to grill
Collicot Family - Pasta salad and TBD
Brooks Family- Broccali Cassarole or Fruit Salad
Dunham Family- Calico Beans
Melody Family- Hot dogs, buns, soda
Perkins Family-Chips & Drinks
Santor Family- Wheat berry chili and Cookies
Korich Family - Hamburgers
Eplion Family-Hamburgers

Please bring a dish to pass, some ideas are salads, sides, desserts, fruit, something to grill, veggies, or try your hand at making an ethnic Balkan cuisine, etc.  Currently there are just over 120 people planning to attend. 
Please be conscious of nut allergies, yes we have children and adults joining us with these types of allergies. We ask that items made with any type of nut be labeled as such to ensure that we do not have any medical issues during the picnic.  It is most preferable to avoid nut products to ensure everyone has a safe and healthy weekend. **Remember to ask if things like chicken wings are friend in peanut oil and to double check with parents before giving children food or treats to ensure that kids won't get sick. 

Please e-mail Yvonne or Viviane (or leave a comment) if you would like to change your item or if you have not yet signed up for an item.  Remember that some cabins have fridges and stoves... we don't mind storing food or heating things up...just let those of us know that have cabins so we can plan.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Great News from Winton Woods

I just found out that Winton Woods Park now has two fully accessible playgrounds which our reunion families will be able to use while spending their free time.  It's just a short drive from the camping area to the Harbor Meadows region of the park where the playgrounds are located.  You can read more about the park's upgrade here:

Personally, I can't wait to see my kids enjoy these new amenities.

Last Call - Before & After Icebreaker

I am going to put together the before and after icebreaker poster board this weekend.  If you wish to have your Bulgarian child included, please email me a current photo and the referral picture at viviane 8 @ yahoo . com by Friday.  So far, only eight families have responded which makes the matching not very challenging.

See you in a few weeks,


Monday, May 28, 2012

Before & After Ice-Breaker

Dear Families,

Thus far, I have only received five before and after photos for our Friday night ice-breaker.  I think we need at least ten to make this activity worthwhile, so if you'd like your child included, please email me the referral picture and a current shot at viviane 8 @ yahoo . com.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Last Call... See you in a MONTH!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This is absolutely the LAST and FINAL CALL.  We are working on purchasing supplies and need our final count.  I appreciate all of you that have turned in forms and fees already!  We are rocking and rolling...

Please ensure you sign up for a potluck item,
Please plan on bringing your bag chairs for the campfire and group activities.

Thanks all!

Reunion Committee

Monday, April 23, 2012

Ice-Breaker Idea

Hello Families,

We are trying to come up with some ice-breaker ideas for Friday night and thought it would be fun to do a before and after picture match of our Bulgarian children. If you would like your child to be included, please email me (viviane 8 @ the official referral photo (you know the one with the stamps on the corners) and a current picture.



Friday, April 20, 2012

Saturday Night Potluck Dinner - 6/23

Just like last year, our Saturday evening group meal will be a scrumptious potluck dinner. We are asking all families to please bring a dish to share and keep in mind that we need some variety: salads and sides, desserts, drinks, fruit, veggies, ethnic Balkan cuisine, something to grill, etc. Please email me at viviane8 @ with what you plan to contribute and I will add it to the list here for everyone to see. Thank you.

Martini Family: hummus and pitas/pita chips and a cobbler
Van Roekel Family: fruit salad and soda
Hauter Family: mandarin orange lettuce salad & TBD
Delong Family-Hotdogs and Buns
Dolbier Family-Hamburgers
Haven Family- Veggies and Pasta Salad
Larsen family- Dessert and Appetizer
McCulle Family- Fudge and Toffee
Parks Family- Fruit Medley
Villemure Family- Shopska Salad
Stewart Family - Bean Salsa with chips & dessert
Boyd Family - Cakes & Chicken to grill
Collicot Family - Pasta salad and TBD
Brooks Family- Broccali Cassarole or Fruit Salad
Dunham Family- Calico Beans
Melody Family- Hot dogs, buns, soda
Perkins Family-Chips & Drinks

Please e-mail Yvonne or Viviane (or leave a comment) if you would like to change your item or if you have not yet signed up for an item.  Remember that some cabins have fridges and stoves... we don't mind storing food or heating things up...just let us know.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Last Call 2012 T-Shirts

Dear Families,

I am finalizing our 2012 t-shirt design, so we can have it to the printer in less than a month. I am trying to include all the hometowns of our Bulgarian children. Represented thus far on the shirt:

Shumen, Khardzali, Kaspichan, Malak Preslavets, Dobrich, Stara Zagora, Pleven, Varna, Targovishte, Sofia, and Ruse.

If you do not see your child's town on this list, please email me (viviane8 @ by April 17 (tax day) and let me know what to add. If you miss this deadline, your child's town will not be included on this year's t-shirt.

Thank you.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Show & Tell / Talent Show

This year, we are thinking of adding a show and tell / talent show to our reunion schedule which would give all of our wonderful children an opportunity to present to the group their special skills or experiences.

Kids: Do you play an instrument or are you a great singer? Can you cheer or juggle? Are you good at telling jokes? Do you have a special item or photo from your life in Bulgaria you would like to show and explain? Can you do magic? Have you done a home school project about Bulgaria or adoption or family that you would like everyone to see? The sky is the limit to what you could share with the group.

Parents: Please let us know if any of your kids would be interested in being a part of the show and tell/ talent show, so we can decide if this would be a good addition to our reunion activities. You can email me with any questions or information at viviane8 @

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

TENTATIVE Schedule of Events 2012

Since some of you have been asking about the schedule of events for this year, I wanted to let you know what we're planning tentatively. Some of it depends on if there's any interest and we'll adjust the schedule accordingly.

Friday June 22

Check in starts at 3:00 pm

*Please meet us at cabin 4H to receive your welcome bag

5:00 pm: Meet & Greet with icebreakers for the kids and families

7:00 pm: (possible) ice-cream social

7:30 pm: campfire, songs/stories

Saturday June 23

9:00- 10:00 am Breakfast in the cul-de-sac (provided)

10:00 – 11:00 am Minute to Win It (ages 8 and up)

Bubbles, balloons, play dough, and chalk (ages 3 and under)

Interactive Story Time ages 4-5 & 6-7

11:00 – 1:00 pm Crafts & Games (all ages) – Twister, hopscotch, jump rope, beading, possible knitting

Teen Adoption Discussion & Blind Man’s Walk (if there’s interest)

Parent Support Group/Discussion (if there’s interest)

1:00 pm Lunch – please provide your own

2:00- 4:00 pm Family time to mingle, rest, or explore on your own

4:00- 5:00 pm Scavenger hunt, all ages

4:30 pm Set up for potluck

5:00-6:00 pm Potluck dinner

6:30 pm Culture Time: dance the horo, learn about BLG, write Cyrillic, show and tell about your BLG heritage or show off your other talents

7:30 pm Campfire, smores (provided), stories and songs

Sunday June 24

9:00 - 10:00 am: Group breakfast (provided), thanks and farewell

12:00 pm: Check out

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

T-Shirts 2012

Hi everyone,

I am working on the t-shirt design and still need Bulgarian hometowns from the following families if you would like them to be included:




Monday, March 5, 2012

2012 Attendees

Confirmed attendance. If you do not wish your family to be listed, please let us know. We list only the family name and childrens' gender and ages with no other identifying information to preserve privacy. This way you can see who is attending and the age ranges of children.
*Children are color coded: Bulgarian Adoptees, International Adoptees, Biological Children.

Reunion Committee
Villemure (Yvonne) Family- Girl (7) & Boy (5)
Martini (Viviane) Family- Girl (2) & Boy (3)

Attending Families
Boyd-Girl (19), Girl (16), Boy (16), Boy(13), Girl (12), Boy (11), Boy (9), Boy (11), Girl (9) &Girl (5)
Collicott Family-Girl (), Girl () & Girl ()
Cox Family- Girl (6) & Boy (6)
DeLong Family- Boy (5) & Boy (5)
Dolbier Family- Girl (11) & Boy (10)
Dunham Family-
Girl (7)
Haven Family- Boy (4), Girl (7) and Girl (9)
Horn Family- Girl (11)
Korich family- Boy (6) & Boy (3)
Larsen Family- Girl (11)
Melody Family- Girl (6)

Menges Family- Girl (3)
Montes Family- Girl (10), Girl (10), Boy (12), Boy (12), Girl (14), Boy (18), Boy (20)
Parks Family- Girl (8)
Sallot Family-- Boy (3) & Boy (7)

Santor Family- Boy (5), Boy (6), Girl (8), Girl (10) & Girl (11)
Stewart Family- Boy (11) & Girl (9)
Van Roekel Family- Boy (3)

Registration Forms 2012

Registration forms have been e-mailed!  Please check your e-mail inbox and respond ASAP.  We are trying to get a head count for this years event. 

******Please provide a status response by Wednesday March 9.********

Do not wait to make your reserations! Campground and cabins are getting booked for the June 22-24 weekend and I do not want anyone to miss festivities!  If you are a "maybe" check the local hotels and reserve a room that may have a better cancellation policy than the park. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sponsors Wanted - One Week Left

Last call, everyone!

Our deadline to find sponsors for our 2012 reunion is quickly approaching in one week on March 1. If you know of any business or private entity interested in offering us financial support this year, please send them our way fast.

Thus far, three generous sponsors have stepped up to help us celebrate in June. Thank you.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sponsors Wanted

Two weeks ago letters went out to over two dozen placing agencies with Bulgaria programs, introducing them to our event and asking them to consider sponsorship to help us make the weekend even more successful for our families who are at all stages of the process.

Thus far, we have had two agencies, Hands Across The Water and Hopscotch, commit to providing financial support for the reunion. Thank you! We hope to hear from a few more agencies by the end of the month, so that we can budget and start making arrangements. Therefore, if you feel comfortable, please remind your placing agencies of our event, let them know that it's important to you, that you attended in 2011 or will be attending this year, and that you would love to see them as a sponsor for the reunion.

In addition, if you know of any other corporate or private sponsors who might be interested in supporting our weekend, please send them our way. There are some perks we are offering to our sponsors this year that will allow them to promote their business/cause and have their sponsorship known without interrupting the flow or disturbing the feel of our reunion.


The Reunion Committee

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Reservations Update

It has come to our attention that some families are experiencing difficulties in making reservations for the park online. The system is a bit complicated and not always reliable in my experience. We recommend calling instead to book your accommodations: Winton Woods Campground Phone Number: (513) 851-2267.

As of my check this morning at 6:00 am, there are still nine camping cabins available for June 22-23 as well as 32 RV back in and pull-through sites and 47 30 amp campsites.

Once you do book, please let us know at which site you will be located.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

2012 Invitation: Bulgarian Adoptive Families Reunion

2012 Invitation: Bulgarian Adoptive Families Reunion

WHO:   Families who have adopted,  are submitted and waiting to adopt, or considering a Bulgarian adoption. 

WHEN:    June 22-24, 2012

WHERE:   Winton Woods near Cincinnati, OH. 

  • Bulgarian Cultural Activities
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Water Activities
  • Hiking
  • Bonfires
  • Families sharing their adoption experiences
  • Kids connecting to their heritage
  • Because we have adopted, are considering adoption, or are waiting to adopt an orphan from Bulgaria.
  •  Because we will all have adoption experiences to share.  
  • Because it will be wonderful to meet and share stories
  • Because it will let our little Bulgarians/Americans hang out and understand that they are not alone in their journey and assimilation into American culture.
  • Because we plan to incorporate Bulgarian culture to keep our children's heritage alive.
  • Because the siblings of our Bulgarian children need to hang out and share their own stories about the adoption of their Bulgarian brother(s)/sister(s).
  • Because it is a great excuse to get away and to just have a... great time!
Please place your family's response in the comment section of this invite or e-mail your family's response and include the following basic information: CLICK HERE

1. Family name

2. Number of adults and children

3.  First names, (include age & gender for children)

4. Accommodation Type: deluxe cabin, camper cabin, tent camping, RV camping, hotel or other. (w/site #)

 We will be sending a registration form shortly for more information.  

Thank you!

Reunion Committee

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Winton Woods Pictures

Today, I went out to Winton Woods Park again to get another look at the layout and take some measurements. While there, I decided to snap a few photos to share with all of you.

The island in the cul de sac surrounded by the deluxe cabins.
This is where we hope to have our shared meals and group activities.

Part of the waterways at Winton Woods.

The splash water area for younger kids will be fun when open in June.
It's just a short drive from the campground and cabins.

The playground that's part of the campground.
It's about a quarter mile walk from the deluxe cabins
and less from the tent and camper sites and camping cabins.

Parents can find shade to chat under the shelter right by the playground.

We hope this park will work out well for our purposes. Make your reservations soon, everyone!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Registrations and Fees

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are working on the plans for this year's reunion.  We will be posting a registration sheet shortly that is similar to last years. The fee structure this year has increase slightly; however, we plan to compensate the fees with more offered to families.  There will be a slight increase of fees after May 25th. We need to ensure registration and fees are received timely so that we can plan accordingly.

Fees due by May 25, 2012:
$30 per adult
$20 per child  (18 and under)
Maximum Family Fee: $150

After May 25, 2012-June 15, 2012:
$35 per adult
$25 per child (18 and under)
Maximum Family Fee: $200

Please let us know in the comments if you will be attending, please include the #'s of adult and children.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Speaker for the Reunion?

We have had an offer from a representative of a company that arranges birth country travel to come to the reunion and speak or hold a workshop. Most of the topics that could be addressed, of course, have to do with travel back to our children's homeland, with birth parent searches, and with the questions tweens and teens might be harboring about their birth country related to adoption.

Obviously, this particular activity would be more targeted toward parents and older children/adoptees.

Please let us know if we should pursue the opportunity of inviting a speaker of this background or if you would rather keep the reunion's atmosphere more informal. You can simply leave a comment here or email Yvonne or me to share your thoughts.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

2012 T-Shirts

Yvonne and I are starting to make plans for this year's reunion at Winton Woods. One of the projects we are working on is the design for the t-shirts. Nothing is set in stone yet, but we have an idea and were hoping that you would let us know the towns/cities from which your children were adopted if you intend to join us at the reunion this summer. You can leave a comment here or email me at viviane8 @ Thanks and stay tuned for more information as the year progresses.