Race to unfold and don a frozen T-shirt!
Kidsave just ended a summer of fun with a purpose, as 45 older Colombian orphans returned after a 5-week vacation with host families. They stayed in communities across the country – Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Des Moines, Chicago and Minneapolis. They threw water balloons, donned frozen T-shirts, made posters, raced with plates of whipped cream, laughed and played and met a lot of new people. All of this had one over-arching goal – to help them meet and begin to get to know people considering adoption.
How does this work? The “host” families do all they can to let the public know these children are here. They tell the local press. Sometimes they are featured in local TV news shows. They tell their friends and families and they help each other, building a community of mutual support.
Visiting families meet the kids at weekend events and can arrange with the host family to see a child more often to get to know him or her better. This often leads to the decision to adopt. Host families often choose to adopt, too. Meanwhile, as people thoughtfully consider this big decision, Kidsave continues to advocate for the remaining eight children.
As the five weeks came to a close in early August, 82% of the children had families pursuing adoption. This includes a 13-year-boy who is deaf; two sisters, (ages 13 and 14), and a set of three siblings being adopted by one family. This program is also a demonstration project that Kidsave hopes will one day be replicated in every part of the world, and children will not have to leave their own country -- or even their own town -- to be part of a loving family.
Saying goodbye at the airport... for now.