Over the weekend, kids and families around the country joined together for a day of active, fun, and memory-making activities. We played tug of war in Chicago, did arts and crafts in the NY Tri-State area, played outdoor games in LA, and in DC, we put our spin on the Olympics!
A highlight of the day was seeing former Summer Miracles kids come back, now all grown up, and volunteer to help more kids who need families. Their impact and influence on our current Summer Miracles kids was immeasurable. Our former Summer Miracles kids returned to assist as interpreters for the kids, to help them feel comfortable at the events, and help ease any anxiety about the experience they may still have. It was great to see one generation of Summer Miracles kids helping the next.
At DC’s “Kidsave Olympics” event, Duvan Allen, a 2012 Kidsave kid, “officiated” the games. Here, our Kidsave athletes didn’t require quite the same skill level as the Tokyo games. Instead, kids and adults alike had the chance to show how fast they could carry an egg on a spoon, and how much fun you can have with a whipped cream-loaded plate and a nearby face.
For Duvan, it was a chance to give back to Kidsave and be a spark of hope for the kids and families.
“It means a whole lot to be able to contribute to a cause that helped me at one point. Being able to communicate with the kids, see their smiles, and help them find their adoptive parents, it means a lot to me,” said Duvan. “In 2012, maybe I wasn’t aware of it, but that’s what people were doing for me. And it changed my life. I’m happy I’m able to contribute even a tiny bit to that.”
For Duvan, the impact of Kidsave Summer Miracles on his life is permanent… quite literally. He proudly displays a Kidsave logo tattooed on his arm just above a tattoo of wings and his mother’s initials. For him, they signify the two things that have meant so much to him – being born and adopted into a family that could care for him. Above the tattoo it says, “Being adopted didn’t change the world, but it changed the world for me.”
Few people can explain the value of our work at Kidsave better than the kids and families we help connect. At our event in New York, Kidsave CEO Randi Thompson had the pleasure of spending time with Jessica Pousada, a former Kidsave kid. Jessica, who was hosted in 2005 and adopted at age 12, now has beautiful children of her own.
Jessica shared her insights on what it’s like being a Summer Miracles kid and her advice for potential families. “We are all looking for someone to fulfill that empty part of our hearts; we are looking for someone to treat us as family, with love and respect,” she says. “Don’t be nervous because we are more nervous than you are; we are just children looking for someone to care for us and love us.”
“These times are hard for us not knowing our future,” Jessica reflects, “but we will enjoy every single moment we spend together. So, to all parents who are nervous, please just enjoy every single moment because to you, it might be a couple of weeks, but to us, it will be something we will never forget for the rest of our lives.”