What do you do with your empty pizza boxes? Or what about empty tape rolls? Water bottles? Old scratched–up records? Most of us probably toss what can be recycled in the recycling bin, and the rest of it just goes in the trash. But, at our January adoption match event, we learned how to take found objects (those things some might call trash) and use our imaginations to turn them into something much more exciting.
Hosting match events is one of the most enjoyable activities we get to do at Indiana Adoption Program. These events are held every couple of months, and bring together recommended pre-adoptive families with youth who are looking for their forever home. Match events can be magical to watch — we get to see a room of timid kids and adults turn from strangers to fast friends in just a few short hours.
We started with some ice breakers – fun little activities designed to get everyone comfortable. Vanessa, our Outreach Coordinator, can bring a room together like no one else – it’s a real talent! By the end of the ice breakers, children and adults are laughing, and everyone’s feeling like a carefree kid again.
After lunch, it’s onto the main activity: this month, we enlisted Jeremy from Ripple Mobile Arts to get our wheels turning with fun, creative ways to convert found objects into art. Old records became one-of-a-kind wall hangings, and empty water bottles turned into rocket ships. The real crowd favorite was the hex bug maze made out of pizza boxes! It was fun to see items that we’d normally throw away be turned into something so fun…and to have a hand in the creation of these new art objects.
Before we knew it, it was time to pack up the crafts for their car rides home. As the staff carefully wrapped each new treasure, the children and families were working on finding all their new friends to say goodbye. We know that the kids and adults were a little apprehensive about spending an afternoon with strangers, but by the time the event was over, there were no strangers here! We are hopeful that some of the families who participated may turn out to be the perfect family for some of the children who were there. Others may turn out to be mentors or informal supports to the older youth. You never know where a chance meeting at an Indiana Adoption Program match event could lead!
Only families who are recommended to adopt get invited to our match events to meet these wonderful children and teens. If you’re interested in learning more about becoming recommended, we encourage you to talk with your case worker, contact your regional Adoption Consultant, or visit “The Adoption Process” section on our website.