Juan, 10, and his sister, Laura, 8, have been spending time with the Quicks this past summer as part of Kidsave’s international program. Kidsave is an organization that helps abandoned children find homes. Whether the family the children are staying with are trying to find them a permanent home or are seeing if they would be a good match themselves, every effort is not wasted. As the Kidsave slogan states, “ . . . because every child needs a family.”
This summer, the Quicks have taken the children to the beach, Magic Mountain, Disneyland, bowling and swimming. One of their most recent adventures was a trip to the Anaheim Circus.
There have been many firsts for Laura and Juan, who calls himself “Juan-cho,” on their vacation away from Columbia. Before visiting America, the children had never been to the beach, ridden rides at an amusement park or seen doors open automatically like the ones at the grocery store. Little things many Americans take for granted are both new and amazing to the children.
Juan and Laura love to do all the things kids their age enjoy. According to Tracy, Juan is very outgoing. He seems to make friends wherever he goes. Whether they are other children his age, teenagers or adults, Juan has no trouble opening up to new people. While he is fluent in Spanish, he has learned a little English from the Quick children and they have learned some Spanish from him. Laura is fairly shy, but opens up more when Lauren and Kristen are around.
Juan and Laura also have a little sister, Angie, who is two years old. Ideally, Columbia would like all three children to be adopted by the same family. “These kids are amazing,” said Tracy. “There is a perfect family out there for them.”
While Tracy speaks a little Spanish, many host families are unfamiliar with the language. This can make communication difficult, but many of the families have done just fine miming and using gestures to express their wants and needs. Also, volunteer translators are available to the families at any time.
The Quicks moved to Santa Clarita from Massachusetts and have been living here for about a year and a half. Last summer, the Quicks were back up hosts for the Kidsave program and ended up hosting two girls.
Children involved in the Kidsave program must travel back to their home country before people are allowed to adopt them. While the younger children are not always aware that adoption is the basis of their vacation, the older ones often have an idea because they have friends who return whose host families come to get them a short while after.
Approximately 1,280 children have found homes with the help of the Kidsave program. Ninety-three percent of children who were a part of Kidsave’s Summer Miracles program, which holds events throughout the summer to spread awareness, have found families.
“I love the program,” said Tracy. “Just doing that little part opens up an entire world for these kids.”
For more information, visit www.kidsave.org or call 310-479-5437.
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