Winner of the prestigious 2003 Congressional Angels in Adoption™ award.


International Adoption Citizenship Day was held on July 12, 2003 at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A. It was our third annual celebration. In response to the federal Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (link) and founded in 2001, International Adoption Citizenship Day ™ is a non-profit, 501 (c)3 volunteer organization whose mission has been to provide resources, education, information, support, and a public citizenship ceremony and celebration yearly for our newest internationally adopted child citizens in the U.S.A.

MANY, MANY THANKS to all who attended, participated and volunteered for our 2003 International Adoption Citizenship Day in Madison, Wisconsin.

“It was a truly patriotic event with an inclusive and diverse atmosphere that allowed respect for the children’s culture and honored their heritage, while simultaneously celebrating the opportunity and privilege that the U.S. affords its citizens, ” writes Jason Storbakken, Madison Times, August 1-7, 2003.


Celebrating our Internationally Adopted Children:

More than 500 people tried to squeeze into the tent at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin on July 12, 2003 for the 10:00 A.M. free ice cream and photos by the Statue of Liberty, games with prizes, fishing, face painting by Kristen, Kelsey, and Kourtney, balloon sculpting by the Banana Lady, bubble wands, and live music by performing artists Casey Day and Greg Matysik. There were attendees from throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, Iowa, and even a family on vacation from their home in China.

Adoption agencies were there to visit with families including Small World Adoption Foundation/ Bricks of Hope from Missouri who hope to hold a similar event in their state. Other adoption agencies with representatives in attendance were Adoption Advocates, Catholic Charities Diocese of Madison, and Sunshine Adoption. Many thanks to all adoption agencies and post-adoption support groups who helped us publicize our event.

Celebrating our Internationally Adopted Children’s families, homes, and citizenship in the U.S.A.

The 10:30 A.M. celebration of U.S. citizenship followed. This year we welcomed the 607 children in Wisconsin and 20, 099 nationally whose international adoptions took place in 2002.We welcomed them to America as we sang the National Anthem and cited the Pledge of Allegiance using the flag given by Sgt. Daniel Nourse, USMC flown over the 2nd Maintenance Battalion OMC in Kuwait on March 2nd, 2003. A child- friendly version of the Oath of Citizenship was recited. Families celebrated with their new daughters and sons as performing artists Casey Day and Greg Matysik sang “My Family, I’m as Lucky as a Kid can be” and “People are People all across the World”. A special mom was acknowledged who attended our event last year while “waiting” and returned this year with her new daughter. Waiting families were encouraged to stay hopeful that dreams can come true for a child you can call your own. As far as we know, this has been the only yearly welcoming event in the United States for our newest internationally adopted citizens.

Prior to the event, Governor Jim Doyle proclaimed July 12th to be International Adoption Citizenship Day and signed Certificates of Attendance. State Senator Jon Erpenbach read the Proclamation and welcomed our new child citizens. State Representative Mark Miller gave remarks welcoming the children to the State of Wisconsin and celebrating loving families through adoption. Senator Herb Kohl’s representative, Scott Hooks and Senator Russ Feingold’s representative, Jenny Hassemer read letters of support from the U.S. Senators at the event. Mr. Roland Paul, SERTOMA Club of Madison, spoke about the Declaration of Independence. The Daughters of American Revolution (D.A.R.), Governor Nelson Dewey Chapter, welcomed the new child citizens and read a letter of support. Secretary of State Doug LaFollette signed and sealed the Certificates of Attendance. Letters of support were also received from The White House/President George W. Bush, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, Congressman Paul Ryan, Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., Congressman Mark Green, Dane County Executive Kathleen M. Falk, and Madison Mayor David J. Cieslewicz.


Celebrating our Internationally Adopted Children’s Countries of Birth and their Flags:

A Parade of Flags was held celebrating internationally adopted children’s countries of birth. Each child came up to the microphone with their birth country’s flag in hand and stated their name and country of origin. The countries represented were China, Russia, India, South Korea, Guatemala, Vietnam, Belarus, Romania, Ukraine, Brazil, Cambodia, Columbia, Kazakhstan, and the Marshall Islands. Some of the children wore red, white, and blue, others wore costumes from their country of origin and still others dressed for a picnic. All wore a smile.

There were performances by Julie Wu’s Sunflower Pre-School Dance Class and by Madison Eagle Heights Chinese School, Special Chinese Class, Hui Cheng, language instructor and Joy Chen, dance instructor. Madison Chinese Language School was also in attendance.

Celebrating the U.S.A. and its Flag:

The American Flag and Certificates of Attendance were given to each child. The SERTOMA Club of Madison was a major sponsor of the event and gave each child a copy of the Declaration of Independence. Daughters of American Revolution (D.A.R.), Governor Nelson Dewey Chapter, attended and gave each child a copy of the The Flag Code.

Door prizes were awarded to our registrants. Prizes included: a Quantum Leap EXPLORER interactive Talking Globe, a U.S.A. Talking Map, 3 in 1 Game (Basketball, Volleyball, and Badminton), a 35 mm SMILE camera, World Miniature Golf Set, Collectible Magnetic Silly Faces and Kaleidoscope from Circus World Museum, Bubble Blowin’ Mickey Mouse, and Plastic red, white and blue Ball and Bat. Congratulations to all the winners!

Casey and Greg thrilled the children with more interactive music including The Hokey Pokey. We continued celebrating with a Limbo contest, more fishing for prizes, bubble wands, bean bag and ring toss games, and photos by the Statue of Liberty. Families brought picnic lunches and enjoyed visiting with each other about the joys of their internationally adopted children and the privileges of living in America. Visits to our international friends, the Henry Vilas ZOO animals were enjoyed by many happy families.

Many thanks to former Governor McCallum and Governor Doyle for their yearly proclamations.

MANY THANKS to all who:

  • attended and participated in this year’s event
  • volunteered time and resources
  • sent letters of support
  • offered displays for this year’s event
  • Judy Miyagawa, staff, and volunteers of the Henry Vilas ZOO

MANY THANKS to all who gave donations including:

  • Madison Church Supply 820 S. Park Street, Madison, WI, Robert, and Susan Hetico, Owners
  • St. Paul Lutheran Church Madison, WI
  • Hui Cheng’s Madison Eagle Heights Chinese School
  • Catholic Charities Diocese of Madison Post Adoption Resource Center of Southern Wisconsin

(We are a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation. All work is volunteer. No salaries are paid with donations. A record of expenses is available upon request.)

THANK YOU to our major sponsors:

  • The Sertoma Club of Madison - www.madison.com/communities/sertoma-mad/, a major sponsor in 2003.
  • Rev. Mark C. KuFahl, the major sponsor in 2001, the major sponsor in 2002, and a major sponsor in 2003.


  • Troy Sjodin, webmaster, Origin Web Design troy@originwebdesign.com and DeLynn and Benjamin Sjodin.
  • Sue Hanen, data base designer, McKinley and CompanyShanen1@charter.net ; Ralph Brooks, data base and marketing.
  • Peggy Young, Dane County Court Commissioner Eric Young, owner and engineer, Executive Sound & Lights eyoung007@charter.net
  • Kristen, Kelsey, and Kourtney Anderson, Face painters
  • Catherine Conrad, Banana Lady, bananalady@hotmail.com www.bananalady.com
  • Jim Lin, Rev. E.W. and Mary Richter, James KuFahl, Paul and Diana Johnson, Photographers.

A special thank you to my husband, Mark and daughter, Rose Ling who have both made many sacrifices for this yearly event since its inception in 2001.

Many thanks for their beautiful coverage of our event this year to:

  • Channel 3 WISC-TV
  • Channel 15 NBC 15
  • Channel 27 WKOW -TV
  • ”U.S. adopts citizens. Youngsters come here from all over the world” by Lee Sensenbrenner, photo by Mike DeVries, The Capital Times, July 4, 2003
  • ”International Adoption Citizenship Day” by Jason Storbakken, Madison Times, August 1-7, 2003
  • ”A Special Day for Adoptive Families”, DaneCounty Kids, July 2003

WELCOMING and RECOGNIZING these new child citizens is part of the “Ellis Island promise”...that this country would become stronger through welcoming shores.

Faith M. Richter KuFahl, Founder and Event Organizer

International Adoption Citizenship Day

Email: administration@international-child.org


From the Office of Children's Issues, U.S. Department of State, an estimated 17,718 immigrant visas were issued to orphans (children who have lost their parents or children who have been legally released for adoption) in FY 2000, 19,237 in 2001,20,099 in 2002 . The Fiscal Year (FY) is from Oct. 1-Sept. 30. The following table lists the top five countries of origin in 2002, 2001, and 2000 from the United States Department of State

2002 2001 2000
Rank Country Immigrant Visas Issued Country Immigrant Visas Issued Country Immigrant Visas Issued
1 China 5053 China 4681 China 5053
2 Russia 4939  Russia 4279 Russia 4269
3 Guatemala 2219  South Korea 1870 South Korea 1794
4 South Korea 1779  Guatemala 1609 Guatemala 1518
5 Ukraine 1106  Ukraine 1246 Romania 1122








If you need proof of your internationally adopted child's U.S. citizenship, you can obtain a U.S. passport or obtain a certificate of citizenship through the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).  See "Resources".

Thanks for visiting International-child.com and reading about International Adoption Citizenship Day™, a labor of love for our internationally adopted children.


International Adoption Citizenship Day, Inc.(IACD) does not recommend or endorse any specific agency, professional or other resource listed within this website, nor does IACD accept responsibility for the actions or personnel of any listed agency, professional or other resource, nor vouch for the accuracy of the the data provided by the listed resources.

Copyright 2003 © International Adoption Citizenship Day, Inc.


Winner of the prestigious 2003 Congressional Angels in Adoption™ award.