Thoughts? Have you been to one? Does your area have them?
I read so many people on boards talk about how it sounds like you'd be shopping for a kid, but it's really not like that at all.
We didn't find our child at an adoption event, but we did go to numerous events.
Various agencies in the state will host parties for prospective parents, social workers and foster children to meet up in a stress free, fun setting just to spend time together.
They are occassionally used as meeting places for prospective families first visits together to alieviate the stress for the child.
They key is good communication and organization ahead of time. Ideally, there should be organization to foster natural dialogue between kids and prospective parents and also just relax and have some fun.
We were told on all of ours nobody (except the ones that knew ahead of time they were there to specifically meet their match) were to give individualized attention to any one specific kid, so that none of them felt left out. We were given instructions prior to the kids arriving, so that it wasn't awkward for anybody involved.
We did a zoo event once, where each parent was assigned a part of the zoo to be at. Each child was to come to each prospective parent and collect a token. Any kid with all their tokens received got a prize at the end. That encouraged kids to mingle and go to each station and prevented parents from going off with one specific child or sibling group.
We had another event that was bowling and we were in teams. There was not alot of interaction between teams. Each parent was on teams with various kids, but that didn't work as well because with the exception of pizza time, you only had communication with the kids on your team.
Bowling occurred several times. That was more valuable for social worker networking and passing out our flyers to the social workers for if they saw us as a good fit.
We had laser tag once, way fun, we were on teams with kids and got to play hard with the kids in low pressure atmosphere.
Another event was go karts and arcade.
While we didn't meet our child at one of those events, when her worker and a colleague showed up at our house to interview us, we recognized one of them from the events in her area.
Why am I talking about adoption match parties so far after our adoption?
Well, kiddos baby sis isn't going to get to come to her birthday party this year. She will be going to an adoption party instead, in hopes of finding her new family.
She was given a choice and requested the adults make the decision.
Picking between seeing her sister and finding a forever family was a bit overwhelming for her.
This is HUGE. There was a time she'd have never said anything other than going to her sisters birthday party. She now actually wants a family, but not ready to admit it to most people. She has confessed to her therapist though and her actions with distress over picking which party tells volumes.
So, we have a separate birthday party planned for 1/2 way between their birthdays, where they can celebrate together, enjoy one on one time and not forfeit the adoption party.
Hoping she finds a good fit for her at the party.
This adoption event is treasure hunt themed, I'd love for her and her future family to find their treasure in each other this weekend.