So what did you do today?
Our family went to an Adoption Match Party. With exception of T who diligently wrote her ACT exams today. But I digress, an Adoption Match Party is where potential adoptive families with completed home studies come together with children waiting to be adopted from foster care in a party style event. If it sounds a little creepy to you I have to say that was our initial thought too, but you can't deny that it works. After attending today's event hosted by The Junior League of Tampa I think it was a tremendously well executed event. Forever families are made from every event - the most successful party to date occurred in 2009 where 20 children were matched and eventually finalized. That is incredible don't you think? There were definitely families who made connections with children today. We saw families talking with case workers in between all the games and activities like laser tag, midway games, face painting, balloon animals and the petting zoo. There were enough activities to interact with the children in a non threatening manner that it wasn't like they were on display waiting to be approached like a puppy at the pet store. That was one of my biggest concerns going into today was how the interaction would occur.
We inquired about two boys today, one boy who was at the event and another who wasn't at the party but we saw his photo on a display board inside. No idea if either of these inquiries will go anywhere but we have officially started the matching process. We asked about these boys, both of whom have names that start with "J." Now we wait for our adoption worker to connect with other workers to determine how many inquiries each child got and who they think is the best family for each child. If we happen to be one of those families we will get a little more background information on them. If we choose to proceed we get more detailed info and then we can decide if we want to continue on to meet the child or not. If neither of these boys is a good match for us we will likely wait to get a match suggestion from our adoption worker. We are still hopeful for a match before summer to have lots of family time before school starts. If that doesn't work out we would definitely consider attending the next Adoption Match event in October.
On our way home we stopped at IKEA - because we were in the neighborhood. We picked up a shadow box to display Michael's old matchbox cars in our little guy's bedroom (thank you Pinterest.)