So this will be a lengthy post, but worth the read. I have had a few honest, real friends ask "How can you send the child back after hosting?" "Isn't it almost cruel to bring a child over here, let them see the life we live, and then send them back?" Before my trip to Ukraine, I kind of stumbled over the answers. Just repeated what I had heard others say. Talked about the statistics for orphans once they age out. I have now seen for myself, the difference a hosting experience can make in a child's life. A life changing impact.
It was amazing to me that, as we walked into the different orphanages, that I could tell who had been hosted before, without being told. No they weren't waving an American flag or wearing an America t-shirt. It was the confidence that they walked with that gave them away. They would say hello to us, even give a little smile. They had experienced real love and acceptance.
The opportunity for an orphan to come to America is just that, and opportunity. A vacation. And this is how it is presented to them. An opportunity to experience America. Sure some of them find forever homes, but for most, it's a chance to feel and experience the love of a family. To be tucked in each night, prayed over, to be greeted each morning with "Dobroye Utro" (Good Morning). It is a chance to for the child to know an experience Christ through you. It is a chance for your family to experience putting someone else and their needs (not wants) before yourself.
Do most of them love it here and not want to return - yes! But they understand that it is two different worlds. Just like if someone were to give you and all expense paid vacation to Bora Bora....lodging in the most beautiful bungalow over the water.... meals made for you daily.... a maid. It will feel like heaven to you. An amazing break from the fast pace world you live in every day, but you would in no way expect them to pay for you to move there forever. You wouldn't resent having to go back to home. You would appreciate and enjoy the opportunity given to you.
I have also had friend asks why does it cost so much? Great question. Simply answered, they are orphans....everything must be paid and provided for them. Airfare, Visas, travel passports, chaperone to travel with them, donation to the orphanage. And then when they are here, they arrive with nothing but what they are wearing. Our average cost per child we hosts, ends up close to $4500 - okay, we might spoil them a little. ;) Those who know me well, know that I am not a spender. Couldn't even tell you the last time I bought a pair of shoes or purse for myself. But these kids are worth every sacrifice and penny saved. It brings me to my knees see how the Lord has provided and made a way for us to open our home to orphans. It is a faith walk, and I have loved seeing the growth in not only me but my husband and boys as we trust Him. It is a mission trip in your home.
When a child is hosted, they go back with more confidence and they know that they are loved. That someone cares for them and is praying for them. Someone is there to help them, encourage them and support them. Tanya , who we hosted at Christmas is a great example of this. For us, she was host only, but I am still daily in her life. Encouraging her from afar (online). She wakes up to a message from me each morning telling her Good Morning and that we love her. She writes to me and tells me she's sick, because she knows I care. There is someone in her world now that she knows, loves her.
I just felt it on my heart to write this post. I know many of you have wondered these same questions, yet don't ask. Please feel free to ask. And if He presses on your heart to open you home to an orphan, there are always children waiting, ready to receive your love.
If you would like to help us bring 2 orphans to spend summer with us, please visit https://www.youcaring.com/bogdan-zhenya-orphans-from-ukraine-love-hope-family-537392 Or check out our popcorn fundraiser and get a fun snack for your donation.
You can also choose a different child to provide a grant for. Children that have grants are more likely to be chosen for hosting.