What a day! Not having attended an ARE before, we didn’t know what to expect! And I’m sure that our readers are wondering about this event as well!
So first of all, what is it? ARE stands for Adoption Resource Exchange, and it is exactly that. In attendance are prospective adoptive families (like us) and their social workers, adoption and guardianship workers (they support and represent kids in care), and MCFD organizers as well as representatives from other organizations (for example, AFABC). Kids are presented by their workers – first of all, the worker speaks about them, highlighting things that may not be in their written profiles or the video profile. Then, the video or slideshow plays – this is the first time we’ve seen photos of any kids in care, and we were warned that it could be overwhelming.
Our experience was a good one! Our sw warned us that many guardianship or adoptive sw’s would want to talk to us because we were looking for a teen – and she was right! We had many workers come and talk with us, but it was a really cool experience! So many of them were so proud of these kids, how they’ve overcome circumstances in their lives, the things they’re interested in, the skills they’ve mastered. We loved hearing about them!
I did not think I felt overwhelmed or emotional, but man – was I ever tired last night! So many emotions travel through our bodies when imagining the future for our family, or the past some of these kids have experienced. It’s also difficult to have many profiles to look at, and discuss how each kid may or may not be right for your family (and you for them – Jean said about one particular profile “I think we would be good for them, but they might not think so as we don’t share common interests”).
But as we drove home and were discussing these kids, two really stood out for us – and not the ones we expected! One girl, and one boy (not siblings). The boy’s guardianship worker talked to us about him, and said she thought we’d be a good match. And the girl’s worker talked to our sw about us already last week, we didn’t know that. So who knows… a match might happen sooner rather than later!
On another quick note – our home study sw emailed us this week with a couple more little follow-up questions. We have a phone call scheduled with her tonight, and we will hopefully have our home study back to read and sign in the next week or two. Yay!
After things taking so long, it feels like they’re really pickup up now. But it won’t be long before they slow down again – ha!