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Host family welcomes orphan
adams family
Adriana Lucia Bernal Quirogh has spent the past month with the Adams family. From left are Jeff Adams, Adriana, and Charlotte, Kyle and Ana Adams. Seated front is Margaret Adams. - photo by Jim Dean
On the Net

To learn more about Kidsave programs, including Summer Miracles, and how to get involved, go online at
While playing in the pool, coloring a picture or just hanging out with other girls her age, Adriana Lucia Bernal Quirogh seems like any other local kid.

But this is no ordinary 10-year-old.

Quirogh has spent the past four weeks with the Adams family of central Forsyth County, thousands of miles from her native Colombia where she lives in foster care.

Quirogh is one of six Colombian children participating in this year’s Kidsave Summer Miracles Program in the Atlanta area.

The program, which has been around for a little more than a decade, seeks to help older children living in foster care or orphanages in foreign countries find permanent homes with families in the United States.

Kidsave also has programs dedicated to finding homes for U.S. children.

Through Summer Miracles, host families like the Adams work to promote the program and find the children new homes in this country during their five-week summer stay.

Mary Gleason, volunteer coordinator for the Atlanta area, explained that host families work to find adoptive families through grassroots efforts. They send e-mails, contact local media outlets and visit churches and civic clubs.

The host families also take the children to weekly Kidsave events such as pool, bowling and inflatable parties.

Prospective adoptive families also visit with the children at these events.

Ana Adams said this year’s children, all girls, are “a wonderful group.” And Quirogh is no exception.

“Adriana is so good, so easy,” she said. “She’s a precious little girl.”

Adams said her family — husband Jeff and children, Sam, 10, Charolotte, 8, Kyle, 6, and Margaret, 4 — decided to again participate because they got so much out of it last year.

“It was such a great experience,” she said. “It was kind of a stretch for everybody, in that we all had to kind of scoot over and make room [for the two children we hosted last year]. For our kids it was a wonderful growing, learning and giving experience.”

The five weeks were also wonderful for the sister and brother the Adams welcomed. As a result of their visit, the pair are currently in the process of being adopted by an American family.

“It was so amazingly awarding to see the outcome from such a little sacrifice on our family’s part,” said Ana Adams, whose family is originally from Argentina and speaks Spanish.

“The lives of those two children were changed in such an incredible way through such little effort on our part.”

Adams hopes the same for Quirogh, who will return to Colombia on Thursday.

But in the meantime, the host family will enjoy the last few days with her.

Daughter Charlotte will especially miss her new friend when she’s gone, as the two have developed a special bond.

“It’s someone else to play with who likes most of the stuff I like, like paper dolls and dolls,” said Charlotte Adams.

Added Ana Adams: “It’s been really amazing. Even though [Charlotte] doesn’t speak Spanish and [Quirogh] doesn’t speak English, they know exactly how to communicate with each other.”