Monday, October 6, 2008

Match Party

This weekend we held a Match Party in Delaware. From the smiles on the faces of the children and the prospective families, I think it was a successful party. If you are not familiar with the concept, you may wonder what is a Match Party?

A Match Party, sometimes called an adoption party, is a carefully planned event designed to bring together children who are waiting to be adopted with families interested in adopting them. In this case, this means only families who have been approved to adopt.

The theme of this Match Party was a carnival and was held on a college campus, outdoors with a large-protected lawn . We had games for the children to play with the assistance of the prospective parents. The games were not only to have fun with, but to also facilitate interaction between the children and adults, helping them to get to know each other.

We believe that no one comes forth to adopt the waiting children, almost all of whom live in foster care, unless they know about their existence. But even more important than that, says Toni Oliver, the executive director of Roots, an adoption agency in Atlanta, is the chance to meet the children. “It’s a powerful thing when people can see the children, see that they’re like any other child. Potential adoptive parents can see beyond the labels, the diagnosis and the case histories that mask who the children really are. Then they can say, ‘Maybe I could do that…adopt one of them.’ ”

Meredith and her husband, Fred, who attended a past Match Party said, “Meeting the children personally took away our fears. We saw that they are just children, like any other, and that they need parents like all children do.”

In addition to providing an opportunity to connect with a potential family, the children just enjoyed a day of play out in the fresh air. The day was focused on them and gave them the chance to meet other children who are waiting to be adopted. We even had some sibling groups who are now residing in separate homes reunited for the day and encouraged to play together and talk!

We'll keep you posted on any matches made. We also have a sibling-only event in New Jersey at the end of October. Get in touch if you'd like to be registered for that event.

1 comment:

laroane said...

I attended the match party and I thought it was wonderful. I was very nervous about attending, as I am a prospective adoptive parent and had never experienced such a party. I was able to meet really great kids and had a blast. I am also hoping to have a success story as a result of the party pretty soon! I just want to thank all that took the time to bring this party to Delaware. Thank You for the experience!