People who decide to adopt do not make the decision lightly. So many factors go into a decision like and, often, emotion is as key a factor as logic.
Inability to have a child or desire to provide love and opportunity to someone far less fortunate combines with months of paper work and tens of thousands of dollars. It is a process that can be as lengthy, arduous and expensive as a real pregnancy.
For Stamford residents Christelle and Angel Torres, that decision was compounded by the fact that they already have a 9-year-old son, Adrian. The Torres didn't immediately decide to adopt a child, but instead flirted with the idea first through foster parent certification.
They added one more element of uncertainty to their efforts by joining with the organization Kidsave International to play the role of host family to a child during the organization's Summer Miracles program, which lasts through all of July.
"For several years we've been following the program," Christelle Torres said. "We've volunteered with them, I've translated for them. This year, [Angel and I] got the courage to ask about adopting."
They wanted to give their biological son a chance to get a little older. State adoption programs prefer an incoming adoptee to be the youngest child in the scenario.
Jesson, who will be coming to stay with the family, is from Colombia, as are all 30 of the children coming with the program. He is 10. The children in Summer Miracles are all 8 to 13 years old. Christelle said she likes that.
"These kids want to be adopted," Christelle said. "They're older and have been screened for the emotional capacity to handle being integrated into a family. At 10, nobody wants him. People think that's too old to be adopted. That is not what older should mean."
The Torres will play host to Jesson, and they'd like to make him a member of their family forever, but that is not guaranteed. Jesson and the Torres family may not work out as a pairing for any number of reasons, but the right family for Jesson may be here in America.
And while they will get to participate in events every weekend with their friends and meet other families interested in adopting a child, the kids all know they will have to return home at least once more. All of the children will definitely be heading back to Colombia at the end of the month.
"We'd like to adopt Jesson, but we are a host family," she said. "We are there to advocate for him. We want him to get adopted, even if it doesn't work out with us. Older kids are no "damaged" kids, and they can bring so much to a family. Right now, the objective is to just give him the summer of his life."
Torres said since 1999, Kidsave has brought 1,700 children to American for a number of programs and has seen successful adoption campaigns that have resulted in 80-percent of the children finding homes.
[Editor's Note: This article has been updated with the correct spelling of 'Colombia.']