Families Celebrate at 2005 Adoption Festival
On June 18, 2005, Lutheran Social Services (LSS) of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan hosted its sixth bi-annual Adoption Festival at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. More than 450 people attended this event which celebrates the creation of families through adoption.
“We had a wonderful turnout this year,” noted Liz Schaefer, LSS director of adoption services. “Adoption Festival is such a unique opportunity for everyone to learn about traditions important to so many adopted children and to build connections with other adoptive families.”
Special guests included Nancy Hoffman, LSS Guatemala in-country coordinator for Semillas de Amor in Antigua; Dr. Larissa Yurlevna, the chief pediatrician of Orphanage #1 in Novosibirsk; and Beth Caces, executive director of Concordia Children's Services in Manila.
In addition to these international guests, the Mu Daiko Drummers performed along with child entertainer Hans Meyer, caricature artists, and the La Crosse Clown Club twisted balloons for hundreds of children. While the children enjoyed games, crafts and
coloring, parents took part in educational sessions on topics such as medical issues, open adoption, and Birth-to-Three services.
“The event also doubled as a fundraiser for us,” Schaefer said. “Our guests were able to purchase international gifts at the marketplace or bid on one of over 90 silent auction items. The proceeds raised from these sales will help us aid each international adoption country as well as our own domestic adoption program.”