On Wednesday we told you a bit about the match parties which have already occurred this past month or so. Well tonight NAC staff is gearing up for another one, to be held tomorrow in Philadelphia. Last count I heard was that we'll have about 81 children and youths and about 40 families. To make an event like this work requires much, well, work.
For a few months now program staffers and interns have been coming up with a theme, finding the event location, making up brochures and recruiting families, children and youths. It's like party planning taken to the n-th degree as there is a very important motivation and process at the core of the event -- fostering meaningful interaction. (and making it fun!) We want connections to be formed that can be developed and explored in the coming weeks. From these connections, ideally some families will form.
We also realize and are excited that some other types of connections will occur. Like the support families can find from one another in our online adoption community, families get to interact with each other. I've heard the kind words exchanged, the "I've been there too" reassurances and the phone numbers exchanged by parents who have found strength with people in the same situation. The children and youths also have similar connections. It may be siblings who don't live together, but get to spend a few hours having fun together. Or members of our Youth Advisory Board who, while also there to find familial connections, are serving as leaders for the other children. Often these youths are not given the chance to be leaders, but through this event they are encouraged to take on that role.
So wish us success and we'll up date you next week on how it goes! Have a wonderful weekend everyone.