Millions of children world-wide are living in orphanages or foster care. Many lost their parents to drug or alcohol abuse and poverty. One organization in the DMV helps some of these orphans find forever homes here in our area.
Kerly and Ximena are Colombian sisters visiting the US for the first time. At first glance you would think these girls are living a normal life, but they are missing something many other kids their age have: a family. This is where the non-profit program Kidsave steps in to help these sisters and other orphans find a forever home.
“Traditional adoption agencies don`t do the advocacy that we do, we find families for children,” Terry Baugh, President of Kidsave explained.
Kidsave brings orphans from Colombia with visas to the U.S. for several weeks during the summer. While they are here, the children live with a host family and meet possible adoptive parents through events.
Potential adopters are not allowed to let the children know of their plans to keep from getting their hopes up in case they aren’t adopted but the organization says it has an 80 percent success rate.
The latest group arrived in DC earlier this summer to meet their host families. Some of them may end up finding a permanent home but for the other children who don`t, Kidsave doesn’t give up on them.
“We don`t give up, we bring kids back a second time,” Baugh said.
Elisa and her husband have hosted several children to help them find families. One of them is Dayana Hubbard. She met her family in 2012 at a pizza-making party.
“We thought ‘if she leaves, we`ll miss her terribly’,” said Dayana’s adoptive mother, Mary Hubbard.
Mary and her husband, Gerald, went through the adoption process which lasted about 12 months. They delivered the good news to Dayana through a Skype call on her birthday.
“[It was] Amazing, because I was praying every night,” shared Dayana, who was adopted through Kidsave.
Dayana says she’s thankful that she now has a family and place she calls home.
“Where I get so much help and I get so much protection, and in Colombia they didn’t really and now I’m proud that I’m being protected,” she said.
Her role has changed. She and her parents are working to find Ximena and Kerly a loving family.
“They are very gracious, although they have very little next to nothing in the orphanage.” Mary Hubbard explained.
There is a total of 17 kids who are part of this year’s “Summer Miracles” program.
Since most of the orphans speak Spanish, host families rely on the internet to communicate with the kids. Or in the Hubbard’s case, they have an interpreter at home.
“It has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life but just to have this impact on a person`s life is really, it just makes you feel great.” Gerald Hubbard said.
As Ximena and Kerly spend the last few days of their unforgettable summer in the DMV, there is one memory they`ll always cherish.
The children go back to Colombia on August 1st. Before they leave, Kidsave has a few events organized for possible parents.
For more information on Kidsave and to learn how you can become involved, visit their website.