This past Thursday was the big state-wide adoption event for DFCS called the State Adoption Match Meeting. It's essentially an opportunity for every region and county in the state to present all of their waiting children to families looking to adopt from foster care. It's not just for people with an approved homestudy either, it's for anyone interested in adopting older children from foster care.
Our caseworker recommended we go since we are not exclusively matched with anyone yet and, in the end, I'm incredibly glad we went.
The event was held at the Hilton Atlanta Airport and was much more organized than I was expecting! They had a check-in table for families set up outside of the main event space when you first walked in. Then, there was a space with tables and chairs for families to sit and sort through information away from the matching event space. They also had food, drinks, and snacks. A HUGE perk in my opinion.
Inside the main event space each region had their own space which was decorated in a unique theme. One was railroad themed, one baseball, one was the beach, and there were actually two regions with Star Wars themes! Within each region's area they had their caseworkers and adoption coordinators present to answer questions and help families identify children matching their preferences.
I thought I would be overwhelmed by the event, but it wasn't as crazy as I expected. There were a lot of people and a lot going on, but being able to leave and sit in a separate room to gather my thoughts was incredibly helpful to staying in a clam state of mind.
Major kudos to the state offices for thinking of that!
Our agency and caseworker were also there to provide support for us. We met with several caseworkers about various families and walked away feeling confident that something good would come from attending. We spoke with the caseworker for the kids we currently have a pending match with. She gave us some helpful information about the state of things with that. We also found out about another sibling set we might pursue a match with.
It felt good to walk away from an event feeling so positive after such an emotional week.