MORRIS - Eric and Anne Rasmusson of Morris were looking into adoption last fall when they found the organization Kidsave, an advocacy group that focuses on finding families for children nationally and internationally, and knew they wanted to help.
"We've put the adoption on hold but we saw the opportunity to help," Anne said.
The couple will host two Colombian orphans, 11- and 12-year-old siblings Danilo and Angelica, for a month this summer. They will get to meet families who may be interested in adopting them through the Kidsave Summer Miracles Program.
Delta Kirkland, program director with Kidsave, said the program started with children from Russia and Kazakhstan in 1999 and has been bringing children from Columbia to the U.S. for several years.
"The kids come and stay for a four or five week visit," Kirkland said. "We've found this to be a very effective formula and 75 to 85 percent of the children who have participated have been adopted."
The kids will arrive in Chicago on Aug. 1 and while they are here, Rasmusson said, they will participate in events where people who are interested in adopting can come hang out and get to know the kids in a relaxed setting.
"They aren't told that they are here to find an adoptive family," Rasmusson said. "They think they are just visiting, but they are told that some kids have been adopted."
The first group outing will take place at from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 2 at New Community Christian Church, 705 E. Washington St. in Morris, where those attending will interact as they learn how to make their favorite animal face pancakes.
There also will be group events Aug. 16 in Flossmoor and Aug. 23 in Orland Park.
According to Kidsave, Angelica, who is 12, and likes singing, painting and playing sports and her 11-year-old brother Danilo likes art, music, and playing soccer.
Both children speak Spanish but they have been given lessons to ask for basic things while they are here and they will be accompanied by a chaperone.
Rasmusson said they have had a lot of training, and she does speak some Spanish, while she's still a little nervous to have them here, she's excited too.
"The first two weeks they are here I'm still out of school for the summer," she said. "The next two weeks Eric is excited to have them while I'm in school."
Kidsave believes every child needs a family, and by finding families for these children is a challenge, the opportunity for them to complete school, find a good job and build a life and family of their own is greatly increased. Without a supportive family they will be on their own after they leave the system, which usually starts from age 16 to 18 years old.
People who are interested in meeting the kids can contact Anne at 214-608-7446.
For more information on Kidsave visit kidsave.org
To meet Danilo and Angelica
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 2 at New Community Christian Church, 705 E. Washington St., Morris.