As autumn makes its quiet entrance with vivid colors and our thoughts turn to a season of change and gratitude, many of us in the adoption community also think about November as National Adoption Awareness Month. Thousands of children here and abroad are in desperate need of love in its many forms, something a family can provide. This is especially true for “older” children who have been deemed difficult to place for adoption. These children over the age of 5 often need additional advocacy and attention in order to find permanent, loving homes. When faced with thousands of waiting children, some may believe that individual small actions cannot make a difference, but as adoptees and adoptive parents we know that is far from the truth.
We are both adopted from Colombia. Miguel was adopted at 14 years old and Monica at 8 months old. We met as adults volunteering in our adoption community and got married in 2010. Our family grew through adoption when we adopted our daughter, Camila at age 7, just two years ago, also from Colombia. Through Miguel’s life experience being adopted as a teenager and our journey in educating ourselves about the needs of Colombian children, we have gained a deep understanding of what a profound impact finding safe and nurturing families has on older children eligible for adoption.
For these reasons, we have partnered with Kidsave and Children’s Home to bring the Kidsave Summer Miracles program to Minnesota in the summer of 2020. With 20 years of experience, Kidsave developed the Summer Miracles child-hosting program in partnership with the Colombian child welfare system (ICBF) with the goal of finding homes for children. Kidsave partners with Children’s Home to prepare host families, as well as help them adopt if they choose to adopt after their hosting experience.
Summer Miracles provides waiting children (usually ranging in ages between 10 and 14) and host families the opportunity to spend 4-5 weeks together to get to know each other. This offers the children the experience of life in a caring, American family, as well as opportunities to join in fun events where they may meet other families interested in adoption. For the host family, the experience allows them to gain a greater understanding of the child’s needs. It also offers the unique opportunity to see if adoption is the right fit for them while at the same time advocating for the child.
You Can Help
We are looking for families who may want to serve as host families. Also, Summer Miracles cannot be successful without a group of committed volunteers to make it happen. We are looking for volunteers to serve on the host committee to help us with host family recruitment, volunteer management/coordination, event planning, public relations, fundraising and much more.
Whether you are interested in hosting, hosting then adopting, or participating in the Summer Miracles MN 2020 Host Committee, please connect with us via the contact links on KidSaveMN. When submitting the form, indicate how you would like to help.
Please also help us spread this message far and wide. Perhaps someone in your life circle would like to get involved.
Finally, we would like to invite you to an information session that will take place at Children’s Home (1605 Eustis Street, St. Paul, MN 55108) on Saturday, November 9, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Please R.S.V.P. to [email protected].
As we embark on this challenge, we are reminded of the measure of our souls in the words of Nelson Mandela when he wrote: “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
About the Authors: Miguel Lindgren and Mónica Dooner Lindgren are the Minnesota Kidsave Community Coordinators for 2020. They are Colombian adoptees, adoptive parents, and passionate advocates for adoption and children’s issues around the world.