Second Story is multiple churches in our community coming together to host a match event for licensed parents and an information meeting for parents interested in fostering and adopting. This match event is specifically for older children, children with special needs or behavioral needs, all deemed unadoptable.
The Old Way
Match events are usually hosted by the government, and licensed parents can look at the files of children who are available for adoption. Most of these events are in government locations with clinical surroundings. The parents usually must drive distances to Houston, San Antonio, Conroe and beyond. Parents usually walk into a government building, through security, try to find their way through the large building to find a room lined with a few tables, and then walk to a table with a caseworker and look through a binder filled with children’s profiles. Their descriptions and photos are subpar, and it is not the best way to advocate and paint a picture of who the child is. Usually only about 15 licensed parents show up and they often walk away, not sure who the children are and whether they belong in their family.
The New Way
Second Story is turning the tables on that format. Local churches sponsor the event. Each church can sponsor one or more children. Hope Fort Worth has a Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU, with OCOK (Our Community Our Kids) who is tasked with foster care redesign. OCOK gives us children’s profiles. In turn, we give profiles of the child or children to the sponsoring churches and they create a table that describes who this child is. The table is filled with items that describe the child’s interests and tells who they are. For instance, if John liked the Dallas Cowboys, the table would be filled with Dallas Cowboy items and other items that describe John.
The event is opened in prayer. Then a testimony is given by an adoptive family. Mark and Chelsea Reidland were the guests of honor at the February 25 event. After the testimony, the group breaks down into licensed parents who can find out more about the children available for adoption, and those interested in fostering and adoption.
Eighteen children were represented on February 25, and more that 150 people were present and ready to learn more.
We could go on and on about how wonderful the event was, but we will let those in attendance speak for themselves with a few quotes:
“This is the best match event I have ever been to!!” Brandon, New Horizons Adoption Agency. “Let’s do it again in the fall!” Kari, Fellowship of the Parks Keller.
“This was a phenomenal event! Much better than I expected. We loved working with the Hope Fort Worth Team!” Unknown.
“Thank You! Thank You!! #secondstory” Jailyln Smiley, Covenant Kids Adoption Agency.