In December of 2015, Kidsave hosted an ugly sweater Weekend Miracles event giving older Los Angeles foster youth and families considering adoption the opportunity to meet each other.  Little did Celia, a child who had been in the foster care system for over 10 years, know that this event would be life-changing.

For Andy and Trish, this was their 10th Kidsave event and upon meeting Celia they both felt an immediate connection to her. They couldn’t wait for the next monthly Kidsave event with the hopes of spending more time with Celia and getting to know her better.

For Trish and Andy, Kidsave was the perfect model for the sometimes-difficult dance of getting to know the kids before taking that giant step of hosting or adopting.  “What we loved was getting to know the kids in a pressure-free, engaging environment at these monthly events. It helped us get to know Celia in a more natural way – the connection felt organic and developed without pressure,” said Trish. “We loved the fact that nothing was forced” added Andy.“The kids have as much say in whom they connect with as the adults.”

Six months after they’d met, in the summer of 2016, Celia moved in permanently with Andy and Trish. That Christmas, Celia wrote her first ever Christmas List and at the top of it was the wish to be adopted. We’re proud to say that early this December Celia’s wish came true as her adoption was finalized. “We are loving being first-time parents and watching Celia grow,” said Trish.  “Celia has made our house a home. She has made us a family. From the first weekend she stayed with us, it felt like a family and we are really looking forward to building our future together.”

Trish and Andy have continued being part of the Kidsave family by being wonderful volunteers at Kidsave events, and Celia has also become a great Kidsave ambassador, volunteering at events and speaking to new families and kids about the program. And before the end of 2017, Celia’s adoption was finalized!

Since being adopted in 2017, Celia has thrived embracing new opportunities and challenges. Graduating high school Magna Cum Laude in the height of the pandemic in 2020, Celia is now attending UCLA where she is pursuing a double major in Psychology and Social Work.

Finding a family to love and support her was always something Celia had hoped for. But she worried that wasn’t in her future. “For so long I wished for a family,” Celia reflects, “And now that I have it, I wish that same feeling for other kids.”

Kidsave’s Weekend Miracles program has found families for more than 600 foster youth in Los Angeles County and Washington D.C. Kidsave trains government youth services and social workers on its successful Family Visit Model to find loving, forever families for foster youth.