Dream Retreat Team
At the first Lucky Mamas Retreat in 2017, we started talking about getting our families together but knew it would be challenging given the dynamics of our families. We had a dream of meeting all of our fellow Down syndrome families we’ve fallen in love with through Social Media.
So we’ve dreamed up an amazing family getaway with extra support to help out with the kiddos and give your family a chance to connect with social media friends and a chance to reconnect with your family.
There is no greater gift we can give ourselves and each other than connection. At the Dream Retreat we hope you will find true, meaningful connection among the other families, with your spouse and with your family as a whole. We have learned firsthand how uplifting and affirming bonding with those who share your journey can be and it is our greatest dream to share that experience with you.
Amber Davis Williams
Amber and her husband, Bill Williams, are lifelong residents of the Florida panhandle. When Amber and her husband decided to grow their family in 2013, they were inspired by Will (Bill's son/Amber's stepson) to pursue adoption of children with Down syndrome . In July of 2014 they welcomed home Hamilton and Cadman from orphanages in Ukraine, making them the proud parents of three boys with DS. Amber serves as the President of the DS Association of Tallahassee, an advocacy and awareness organization that supports individuals with DS and their families throughout the Florida Panhandle and South Georgia.
Additionally, Amber, of @theworthythree, raises awareness on social media by sharing everyday life with her beautiful boys. Her message is simple— different is okay, different is beautiful, & mostly, different is worthy. Beyond being a platform for advocacy, Amber has found social media to be a vehicle for knitting together an incredibly tribe of families, forming deep bonds, a much needed support system and life long friendships. And it is these bonds and friendships that led to the idea of a Dream Retreat!
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Hi! I’m Katie McElroy. I’m wife to Ty, my better half and mom to Charlie and Ansleigh. Charlie was born with a lil Something Extra and we adopted him domestically at birth. Six short months later his sister Ansleigh was born. They are best buds. Charlie spent the first 7 months of his life in 3 different hospitals, in 3 different states. He’s a tough cookie! Last year, we launched A Lil Something Extra- a Down Syndrome and Adoption Awareness retail business. Through this we love to support families adopting kiddos with DS and organizations within our community that mean so much to us. We live in Florida and can’t wait for you to join us in the Sunshine State for a weekend of fun!
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I am Elizabeth Noel. I am married to my husband, Bryan, and he’s awesome! We have two sons, Dex and Gus, who both rock extra chromosomes. They came to our family through domestic adoption. I am so thankful that I get to be their momma and they have introduced me to the amazing Down syndrome community. I am an adoption consultant, a blogger, and a stay at home momma. There is never a dull moment around here, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am so excited to see our dreams come to fruition at the Dream Retreat! We are ready for some sun and fun with you!
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Meet the new advisory committee formed to support the Dream Retreat! The Dream Markers are individuals who attended our launch retreat, had an amazing time and expressed a desire to get more involved in bringing this amazing experience to other families. We are elated to have their input and support in making future retreats a Dream-Come-True for all attendees.
Liz Plachta, Founder of Ruby's Rainbow
Liz Plachta lives in Austin Texas with her handsome hubby and two beautiful lil' ladies, Ella Mae and Ruby. Liz knew the moment she held her second daughter, Ruby, for the first time she wanted the world to see what she saw in her. She didn’t know much about Down syndrome, but already knew this perfect little human she was holding was going to change the world’s perception of those “rockin’ it”…just like her. In her desire to help others with Down syndrome go for their dreams of higher education, independence and be the best they can be, she founded the non-profit Ruby's Rainbow. Since 2012, they have helped over 200 people rockin' that extra chromosome pursue their college dreams on campuses all across the nation! Her passion comes from wanting to show the world just how amazing and capable Ruby, and ALL people with Down syndrome are while continuing to raise the expectation so they can shine their brightest!
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Why is Liz our dreamspiration?
When Liz gathered all of us for the first Lucky Mama’s Retreat in October of 2017, the idea for a family retreat was born. She has been a great source of encouragement and support throughout the planning stages of the Dream Retreat, and Liz and her beautiful family will be joining us for the retreats. In an effort to continue to support Liz’s incredible work with Ruby’s Rainbow, we will be sponsoring a scholarship each year.