The world works in very odd and mysterious ways. I am fairly involved in the adoption and foster care community, yet I had never heard of orphan hosting. My introduction came when a friend shared a post on Facebook. She herself hadn’t hosted but was simply helping to spread the word. Without that one Facebook share, our host daughter wouldn’t have found her future family.
A wise man once said that it takes a village to raise a child. Hosting isn’t inexpensive and I felt a little odd asking for help to fund the hosting endeavor. However, watching all generosity was touching. We were able to reconnect with prior real estate clients who were Ukrainian who were all eager to talk, give advice, cook Ukrainian meals and shop for our host daughter. Children’s Dental Center donated a free exam, Wendy Schutt donated her photography services, friends took her shopping, gave us discount coupons for bowling and donated a gift certificate for a manicure (teen girl heaven). The most wonderful aspect of hosting is all the awareness that is generated. We’ve been contacted by so many who want to know more and are interested in helping, united by our compassion to care for children we have never met.
I don’t think it makes sense to most kids, or adults, that she is stuck in an orphanage in the middle of a war zone with about 500 other kids. We’re not sure exactly how many kids are there because they keep adding more kids as they evacuate other orphanages caught up in the conflict. She shares a room with 6 other girls. In the summer, the orphanages closes and if the kids aren’t in a summer hosting program or other summer opportunity, they’re turned out to the streets to fend for themselves. I asked our host daughter if we should pack some extra things for the orphanage, she suggested sponges to clean, laundry detergent and soap. We also bought a few other necessities, like underwear, socks, toothbrushes and school supplies.
At the airport, I walked along with the kids and other families towards security. And, just like that, our host daughter was on her way back home. Heartbreaking because we do wonder what the next few months will be like for her. My husband and I had said from the beginning that our primary goal was to connect a child with a potential forever family. A friend has contacted us with plans to hosting her this summer and we were able to facilitate introductions before hosting ended.
In four short weeks, this beautiful girl came into our lives and we are the better for it. Imagine this, Project 143 is an avenue to enrich the lives of orphans from a war torn country and yet, it’s us who are fulled in heart and mind.
Project 143 is an amazing organization with volunteers who spend hours on the phone learning about families and assisting their decision. I cannot wait to see how many more children we can help experience this same joy.
Thank you to the Yoo family for sharing their winter testimonial!