Our community of adoptees and foster children continues to grow, but often members of this community feel disconnected. We launched the Homegrown Game Night to bridge generational gaps and create connections in this community.
Carissa Moran, an adoptee and advocate, and Michael Yan, a Generations—Home intern, hosted the event. The platform they aimed to build was one where stories could be shared, friendships formed, and where everyone could have fun together. They hoped that each participant could feel welcomed into an extended family.
Creating an Inclusive Community
The hosts began by sharing the theme of the Homegrown Game Night Event, which was to have engagement over entertainment. The fourteen attendees introduced themselves through personal anecdotes. Despite their unique backgrounds and perspectives, they also had many experiences shared by others in the community.
The idea was to create a virtual space where the attendees could interact and connect with one another with a minimum of stress, which led to the planned game night.
Bridging Generations: Bet on the Crowd - A Unifying Icebreaker
The "Bet on the Crowd" icebreaker game ignited the evening. Attendees were presented with 2 options and they picked the answer which resonated with them the most. Showcasing their diverse preferences and sparking lighthearted debates, this game instantly brought participants together by fostering connections through shared opinions and playful interactions.
Shared Laughter and Stories: "Finish That Lyric"
"Finish That Lyric" became a musical journey that resonated with the participants' love for music. Attendees joyfully completed lyrics from iconic songs, ranging between infectious beats of ABBA to Taylor Swift's relatable lyrics. The room echoed with laughter as attendees finished the lyrics, sharing their diverse tastes and vibrant personalities.
Spinning Stories: Interactive "Spin the Wheel"
"Spin the Wheel" added an interactive twist to the event, resulting in spontaneous moments of anticipation and amusement. The wheel's spin determined which question participants had to answer, prompting them to share personal anecdotes, opinions, and insights. This game encouraged them to delve deeper into their experiences.
The attendees laughed freely and enjoyed themselves. They also opened deeper conversations with one another as a result.
Beyond Mere Resonance
We hope that for adoptees and foster children, the event’s impact will reach far beyond the virtual gathering. The many shared stories and personal narratives showed them that they are not alone in their experiences, no matter how unique those experiences might be.
Now that the Homegrown community has experienced the event, we hope they can run with it as a blueprint for creating safe and supportive spaces in their own communities. We hope they will come together on their own to share stories and experiences. Most of all, we hope they discover that they can walk together as they grow into a deeper understanding of their own identities.
Taking the Connection Offline
The best part is that the Homegrown community is not satisfied with virtual gatherings; they want to meet in person! Face-to-face events bring a new level of connection and interaction to relationships, and we are delighted that the community itself is initiating a get-together.
The Homegrown Game Night Event was more than just a gathering; it was a testament to unity and shared experiences. We hope that every member of the Homegrown community experienced a renewed sense of community and the knowledge that lives are richer when interactions span generations.