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A family from Sleepy Hollow, with the help of Kidsave, is hosting a foster child from Colombia. The girl’s name is Violet, she is 10 years old, and she is staying for 5 weeks as part of the Kidsave Summer Miracles program.
Kidsave helps older kids (mostly 11-14 years old) from Colombia who are in foster care and orphanages find families in the US and around the world. These are children who have been in foster care for several years, and their parents are no longer able or willing to care for them. Since their launch in 1999, 80 percent of the Kidsave kids have been adopted.
After hearing about the amazing experience of her friend had with the organization. Rebecca Heck and her husband decided to sign up for Kidsave. They were ultimately looking to adopt. Although they had some initial doubts, they knew that there was a child out there that could become part of their family. Kidsave paired the family with Violet and she arrived earlier this summer.
To prepare for Violet’s arrival, the couple took classes to better understand and react to behaviors that are sometime present due to the trauma the kids have been through. They had to be ready for any issue. Luckily, Violet did not present any of them.
“Each kid is different, and we were given a list of all the possible behaviors. And none of those problems came out,” said Rebecca.
In the beginning, it was harder than they expected. Both because of the language barrier – the only member of the family that knows some Spanish is Rebecca´s daughter Lorelei – and because Violet was very shy.
Rebecca and her husband are starting to learn some Spanish and Violet is trying to learn and improve her English. But the family also wants to make sure Violet is able to hear Spanish in the house. One way they do this is by watching TV in Spanish with English subtitles. This gives Violet the chance to have “a break from English.” She is also going to summer camp, where there is a bilingual counselor, so she has someone to talk to.
Lorelei was excited to have someone else in the house and she loved the idea of a new friend. They play together and they act almost like sisters
Rebecca advises other couples that want to host or adopt to expect anything. “Keep in mind where they are coming from. The key is understanding their situation.”
With their Summer Miracles program, KidSave’s goals for their kids in foster care are to have a break from the issues they face in Colombia, enjoy a calm and fun summer, relax, and play with other kids, and to help them to find a forever family.
To find out more about Kidsave, visit kidsave.org.
Martina Masetti is a student at EF in Tarrytown. She is originally from Argentina.