This desire to help grew, and she began exploring the idea of becoming a foster parent. “I’d been looking around the New York State foster system for a while when I found Kidsave,” she says. As soon as she discovered our Summer Miracles program, she knew it was the one for her. “I’m of Colombian descent, so I was drawn to the program because it helps older Colombian orphans find adoptive families.”

She promptly joined and soon connected with two siblings in our Summer Miracles Program, Jhon and Taylor (formerly known as Edison). Jhon was seven at the time, and Andrea recalls how gentle yet outgoing he was. Taylor was beginning to explore her gender identity. “Taylor is now using a new name and pronouns,” says Andrea. She has been supportive of Taylor’s journey each step of the way.

Andrea went into her Summer Miracles hosting experience without too many expectations. “I simply expected my life to change, and it absolutely did,” she says.

Her connection grew as soon as Andrea met the kids, and she knew she wished to adopt them. “I think in the back of my mind, I always knew,” she says, “it was hard for me to imagine welcoming them into my home, sharing family time, and then never seeing them again.” All that remained was for Jhon and Taylor to echo her sentiments.

Andrea was eager to get to know them and to support their individuality. “The older one, Taylor, was open with me about exploring her gender identity,” she says, “She was excited to be in a home where she doesn’t have to pretend to be something else.” The three spent a lovely summer together, bonding and getting to know each other. Andrea took some time off from work, and the newfound trio went to the beach and restaurants and enjoyed time in nature. Andrea’s love and fondness for the kids grew with each passing day and memory shared.

With the sun setting on their stay, Jhon and Taylor were required to return to Colombia while Andrea began the formal adoption process. “The day they were going back was the hardest day in my recent life,” she says. “The little one was especially emotional, and I just kept telling them that I love them,” Andrea says. But soon, with I’s dotted and T’s crossed, Andrea would ask Jhon and Taylor if they wanted to be adopted by Andrea and start a family together. They said yes wholeheartedly.

Andrea couldn’t wait to experience life’s simple pleasures with her children. “My partner has two kids of her own – we all spent some time together over the summer,” she says, “and I’m excited for Jhon and Taylor to bask in the wonderful network of friends and family I have.” She can’t wait to take the kids out in nature, which she says has “helped me through tough times,” and to help the kids navigate school.

As we conclude the interview, Andrea says, “it’s easy to give up when you feel you don’t have anyone looking out for you. I grew up without close family bonds, so I want to ensure I can give my kids all the support they need and deserve.”

More About Summer Miracles and Winter Hosting

Each summer and winter, Kidsave brings older kids from Colombia to the U.S. for a 3-5 week stay. We pair the kids with host families who either hope to adopt or will help the kids meet potential adoptive families. At the end of the stay, the kids return to Colombia – and families in the U.S. excitedly begin the adoption process. Learn more about these amazing kids by visiting our Summer Miracles gallery. Learn more about our Summer Miracles program here.

Click for full image.