Contributed by John Abelseth
On November 19 at the beginning of the rainy season in Honolulu, 23 parents and young adults met on the Hawaii University Campus for a one-day Family Matching Preparation (FMP) seminar. From 9am on Saturday to 7:30pm participants listened intently to presentations on “The Family Matching Process,” “International Matching,” and how to access the many matching and family support resources on the bfm.familyfed.org website.
Presentations were given by John Abelseth, who is a BFM representative and Matching Advisor Coordinator. One of the most important resources introduced was the Family Matching Plan. This valuable tool can be used to facilitate communication between parents and their young adult child, as well as help clarify important considerations of both the candidate and their parents as they approach the matching process.
Other topics covered included how to access the Matching Application and the importance of completing it in preparation for the matching process. In small group discussions, parents discussed some of the challenges that they face and anticipate as they proceed with the matching process, while the young adult participants had their own separate discussion, facilitated by Justin Okamoto.
Later in the day, a presentation on “Parent-Child Relationship” and testimonies by Justin Okamoto and John Abelseth on matching experiences were given accompanied by examples of various techniques.
Among the participants were five young adult children from ages 16 to 22 who attended all of the presentations. One young participant expressed that she felt that being able to learn more about the matching process helped her to become more confident that her parents have a better idea of how to proceed when they are ready to begin her matching process.
Participants expressed sincere appreciation that the FMP could be held in Hawaii, and several expressed a desire to consider following up the FMP experience with a Matching Advisor Training, which will be held by webinar within the next few weeks.