Family Stories

“Fill your life with experiences, not things.

Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.” Anonymous

Statistics about the impact of trauma can be found easily, but the need for a new vacation option for families is shown best by the families we support. We began Cherry Blossom Vacations to give families new memories and new stories together. Each of our founding board members has seen families who desperately need time away together to do something fun and relaxing. We see them in children’s hospitals, in therapy offices, in our family and friend circles. If you are one of those families who needs a break, please apply to vacation with us. If you would like to support families like these, please donate or contact us for ways you can help.

Lindsey and Bob

The D. Family

We have four children, including two children who are adopted. 2 nine year olds with Down Syndrome, an eight year old and a six year old with multiple disabilities. Our six year old uses a wheelchair, feeding tube, and a safety bed. When he was younger, we vacationed with my parents and extended family to a wheelchair accessible beach house. However the beach was not close by and accessible so one of us remained at home with our 6 year old son while the other parent took the kids to the beach. When we were at the beach house my son was small enough to sleep in a porta-crib (at home he uses a safety bed). Now he is way to big for a porta-crib and too big to carry on a non-accessible beach. Another issue we had on vacation was worrying about my daughter with Down Syndrome breaking things in a non-childproofed house or eloping. I have slept by her and rigged stuff on the bedroom door so I would wake if she got up. She is more mature now though so our main concern with vacationing is our 6 year old son and finances. It is much too expensive and difficult vacation in a hotel or someplace we would need to fly to. Camping would be not accessible for our son to use his wheelchair. Going someplace busy like a city or amusement park or where we had to eat out would be hard with our children’s needs. An accessible house where our son could navigate in his wheelchair and would have safety features for our other children would make all the difference for us when vacationing.

Melissa

The R. Family

Our son Noah was placed with us from foster care when he was 4.  He is now 6 and his adoption has been finalized.  He is a wildly vibrant, bright, and social child who also has significant medical complexities and physical disabilities.  He has a trach, g-tube, and uses a power wheelchair to navigate.  In many ways, Noah is a very typical child.  He loves explore, make new friends, and follows his favorite YouTube Kids stars avidly.  He is anxious to see the world and all of the wonder it entails.  Finding accessible accommodations is challenging and our financial situation has significantly changed to be able to meet the needs of our beloved and joyous child.  A vacation home like Cherry Blossom would mean a reprieve from having to be eight steps ahead at all times as a parent and lets our son have the unencumbered opportunity to simply be a kid.  

Ryan and Christy’s family joined the world of adoption after hosting a teenage boy through an organization called New Horizons for Children.  They hosted Edward multiple times, then traveled to complete his adoption in 2020 when Edward became a brother to Ellis, Henry, Ruby, and Lena.  Their family is about all the outdoors!  Farming, hunting, and fishing are all things they enjoy doing together.

Christy explained their favorite family vacation is an annual trip to a family cabin in the mountains and a family vacation home for Labor Day weekend at the beach.  Every year brings anticipation and excitement of familiar places, sights, sounds, activities, weather, and food!  We don’t vacation more often because Ryan is self employed and when he doesn’t work, we don’t get paid!  Thankfully, we can use both the cabin and beach home for free.  Being a family of 7, it is expensive to do just about anything!  

Courtney and Scott

The K. Family

Our adopted son struggles with insomnia due to past trauma.  Whenever we stay at a hotel he keeps everyone awake.  So not only does he function on 2-3 hours of sleep, but the rest of the family is sleep deprived.  This does not make for a fun vacation when everyone is tired and cranky.  Whenever possible we try to book rent a vacation home, however it isn’t always an option depending on the cost.  We do have friends who we enjoy vacation with which helps with the expense, but our schedules don’t always mesh up.  Having access to an entire house to vacation in without the stress of the cost would be wonderful!

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