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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Different cultures explored, celebrated in children’s group

Bringing children and adults from different cultures together and learning about and celebrating those cultures is the goal of the Kootenai Children’s Culture Group.

Founded a year ago by Alyssa Frahm and Renata Mood, the group consists of families who have adopted children from other countries, as well as parents from other countries who are raising their children in America.

Frahm and her husband, Tim, adopted their daughter Nuanna, now 4, one year ago from Khon Kaen, a city in northeast Thailand known for its silk manufacturing. Nuanna had been in an orphanage since she was 1 month old, and it took two years to complete the adoption. The Frahms have two biological sons, Bogan, 8, and Mason, 5. Frahm said both boys adore their adoptive sister, but that Bogan and Nuanna have forged a very special bond.

“She’s doing very good, happy as can be,” Frahm. “She’d waited her whole life for her mommy and daddy to come.”

There are several adoption agencies that help place children, but the Frahms worked with the Seattle office of the World Association for Children and Parents. WACAP, founded in 1976, has placed nearly 9,000 children with adoptive families, according to its Web site.

“It’s a long process, a lot of paperwork, and there are lots of kids over there going out, so she kind of had to wait in line,” Frahm said.

Mood’s daughter, Nicole, is from Russia. Also in the culture group are three children from Madagascar, four from China, two from Korea and an African American child. At present, there are 25 to 30 people in the club, which includes parents and their biological children.

The group meets every other month, with a different family hosting, and each session has a different theme. When the Frahms were hosts, the evening had a Thai theme with food and games. For an evening about China, they ate with chopsticks, which Frahm said was interesting with the kids.

“We’ve also had one lady from Japan who married an American and is raising her kids in Coeur d’Alene,” Frahm said. “So we’re trying to not only get adopted kids but international families who are living in the area.

“We hope to get more into the culture end of it and be able to expose the kids to the different cultures. It’s more than just getting together and bragging about our kids.”

The next meeting is in January, and Korea is the theme. The mom with the Korean kids will have a Korean craft or game to play along with the meal. Families of any culture from outlying areas are welcome to get involved.

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