Love, acceptance, and fun at Timberline Ranch Camp


Katherine Mortimer
Focus on Adoption magazine

Timberline Ranch Camp is the highlight of the year for dozens of adoptive families, many of whom have attended for years. With the eighth year of Timberline just around the corner, we thought it was time to celebrate camp and reflect on what makes it so valuable and special. This article is from the fall 2016 issue of Ni Hao, the newsletter of Families with Children from China BC (FCCBC). It does a fantastic job of capturing the experience of Timberline Ranch Camp!

A little rain did nothing to put a damper on the fun had by all at the fifth annual Timberline Ranch Camp in Maple Ridge (May 25–27, 2016).

FCCBC members joined other adoptive families from across British Columbia for the weekend camp hosted by the Adoptive Families Association of BC and their endlessly energetic staff members Sarah Reid and Jen Hillman. The weekend was wet, soggy, and muddy [We usually have better luck with the weather! –Ed.], but it made no difference to the fun that was had by the more than 100 people in attendance: horseback riding, the petting farm, the climbing wall, the hyper-ball pit, marshmallows roasted around the fire, swimming in the outdoor pool, decorating souvenir T-shirts in the craft room, and playing the amazing board games supplied by the Kirkby family.

“There is something amazing about being surrounded by people who have been where you are. While we are a diverse bunch, we share an amazing adoption journey.”
–Adoptive mom

But more than the scheduled activities, it’s the time spent with other adoptive families that makes Timberline so magical. It's that feeling of safety, of camaraderie, of acceptance.

For the kids, born around the world and closer to home, it’s knowing that they can just be kids without having to explain who they are or where they come from, and from being asked, “Are those your real parents?”

“I’d skip my birthday if it would mean Timberline happened sooner.”

Invariably, by the second day, there are new faces at each breakfast table, and parents and older kids are all helping to keep a protective eye on the toddlers.

Children have made new friends and greeted old friends, while the parents have talked, shared, and laughed while enjoying endless cups of coffee and tea. And if that wasn’t enough, Timberline is also a two-day holiday for parents, where fabulous meals are served and there is no housework waiting to be done.

The atmosphere of love, acceptance, belonging, and just sheer joy is something that has to experienced.

For my daughter Sasha, one of the best things about Timberline is sharing a room with her friend Sophia. It’s something very special for the girls, who spent the first year of their lives sharing a room with their cribs next to each other in Zhuzhou, Hunan, China.

I can’t say enough great things about Timberline, and my daughter is already asking about next year’s camp.

Timberline Ranch Camp 2019 takes place May 24–26. For more details and to register, go to We hope to see you there!

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Thanks to Katherine Mortimer and FCCBC for allowing us to reprint this article. Find out how to get involved with FCCBC at