Hosting and adoption from Ukraine are very near and dear to my heart. Hosting a child from Ukraine resulted in our family adopting three of our four Ukrainian children. There have been some challenges in adopting older children; I have had to learn to parent differently and to set different standards than I did for my biological children. There are times, when we are deep in the trenches, that I question whether I would chose to do this again. But believe it or not, in the midst of five teenagers, and a life of weekly drama, I would! Even when times are extremely challenging, I recognize my children’s needs for a loving, supportive family. They need someone willing to navigate deep waters, to be the mama bear who stands up and fights for them. Many children who have been orphaned may never have had a parent who has stuck with them when times are rough or their behavior is less than perfect.
Recently on my trip to Ukraine, I had the opportunity to meet several of the children we are hoping to bring to the United States for hosting. I have seen their smiles, watched as they showed off and performed for us, and observed their need for the attention of an adult to feel special. Each and every time I am in an orphanage, my heart can hardly handle the sight of so many wonderful children that lack the one thing that they should be able to expect when they were brought into this world: parents. Some of the children may have living parents, but all of them are in the orphanage because they don’t have the kind of parental care and attention they need to thrive.
It breaks my heart when I hear the older kids ask to be adopted, and I know deep down that I may not be able to find them a family. It’s very difficult to find a family who’s willing to adopt a 12 or 14 year-old. And the statistics for the children who age out of the orphanage without the love of a family are grim. Futures for children who age out of institutional care usually include include prostitution, crime, prison, and even death. When hosting a child from Ukraine, families have the opportunity to show a child another path, one with opportunities, love and support.
Adoption may not be in everyone’s plans for the future, but what if by hosting a child, you could make a life-changing impact on their life? What if you could give them a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet people in your community? Your church? What if by hosting them, you forever changed the trajectory of their life, and maybe even yours?
If you’re interested in hosting a child from Ukraine this summer, please contact us.