A beautiful, sunny, Saturday morning and we were waiting outside the Art Center of Northern New Jersey for Ruth, the director, to open the doors. We were all ready for the day of art to begin. Our Art Match Event with prospective adoptive families and New Jersey youth was planned months ago and it was finally going to happen!
The families arrived first and we had the opportunity to meet with them separately and tell them about the day and answer their questions about match events. All families were new to events like this -where they met youth in person who were available for adoption. Once the youth arrived everyone mingled and we played an ice breaker, people bingo. I was fun to see everyone have to ask, “Have you ever been to Asia?” Only two of the families could answer this question, so it took some time before we had two winners, one family and one youth.
We sat down and ate lunch together and then broke into groups of youth and families, one group for collage and one for still life drawing followed by water color painting. Then we switched the youth from one activity to the other so they could interact with the new families and do the other art activity.
The New Jersey staff who brought the youth to the event got to meet separately with the families and talk about the youth they had brought while the youth worked with clay downstairs. We had some very talented youth at this event whose art in every medium was phenomenal, including the clay masks they made. The Art Center was delighted with their talent and was going to fire their masks and a New Jersey staff member was going to make sure they got their completed art work.
Families who were there expressed their desire to come to other match events held for New Jersey in the future and how excited they were to have met such awesome youth! There were many inquiries and it is always promising that the work we do at the National Adoption Center on behalf of New Jersey could result in a forever family for the youth who are waiting for a permanent, loving home.