The 2009 NACAC (North American Council on Adoptable Children) http://www.nacac.org/ Annual Conference took place in Columbus, OH, Aug. 12 - 16. Hundreds of attendees from all over the United States as well as Canada took part in educational symposiums, networking events, and meetings centered around advocating for post adoptive support services in their own communities.
Supported by sponsors including Jockey Being Family http://www.jockeybeingfamily.com/ (who provided scholarships to the conference for 30 first time attendees, including myself) and the Dave Thomas Foundation http://www.davethomasfoundation.org/, the conference provided the opportunity to garner practical and straightforward information from highly respected experts in the field of adoption.
One of the most integral components of the conference was the validation experienced from being among a group of people who truly understand what life as an adoptive family is really like. Solution-oriented in all respects, the conference's overall tone was both realistic and optimistic at the same time. Personal stories of the joys and rewards, as well as the just as important trials and tribulations, common among adoptive families were shared by speakers and attendees alike. Tough topics were handled proactively and directly; no topic was shyed away from, and attendees were able to reach out to speakers, agencies, and other adoptive parents for solution-oriented insight, advice, and solutions in addressing their own specific challenges.
Consisting of a very small full-time staff, NACAC is nonetheless accomplishing great things in its energetic efforts to advance the causes pertinent to adoptive families. More information about NACAC as well as the 36th Annual NACAC Conference, taking place in Hartford, Conneticut, August 4 –7, 2010 can be found at http://www.nacac.org/.