Has anyone else here ever hosted an orphan from an Eastern European country? We've hosted twice now, both times from Ukraine.
They are matching up kids for this summer right now and there are TONS of sweet kids on the photo listing. You can see the listing and get more info here.
This is the program we hosted with. Children's Cultural Connection
Some people mistakenly think this is just trying out kids for adoption, but it's not at all like that. Some kids are not available for adoption due to age or other factors, some don't want to be adopted because they have family ties, and some will be available for adoption now or in the future. They don't typically tell you the adoption status of the kids before you host them, except for the ones who will be over 16 and not allowed to be adopted by law. You're instructed not to discuss adoption with them while they are here, though older kids may bring it up.
The kids are told they're going on vacation to America, the same way they sometimes go on vacation to special camps within Ukraine, and they understand that every kid will be going back to Ukraine at the end of the trip. They get to experience life in a normal family. Spend a few weeks eating quality food, being loved on, and making happy memories. It's a break from their every day lives in the orphanage and a chance to boost their self esteem. It's really life changing for these kids, and also for the host families! I know our family will never be the same and our kids definitely have learned a lot.
We've hosted one little girl with special needs last summer who wasn't available for adoption, and then a healthy/typical little boy who is now being adopted by a family we met while he was here over Christmas break. We've had the pleasure of getting to know other host families and adoptive families from all over the country and seeing the relationships with their host kids and adoptive kids blossom. Many people keep in touch with their host kids forever even if they aren't adopting by sending letters, emails, and packages. The kids proudly show off the pictures of their family in America once they're back in Ukraine. It makes all the difference in their lives just knowing someone out there cares about them.
If you're interested in hosting I'd be glad to answer any questions!