As you know, my friend Christine “The Menu Mom” is hosting an orphan Ukrainian boy this summer. I asked her to share a little bit more about this endeavor with us. Here are the questions I asked her, followed of course by Christine’s replies.
Can you tell us a little more about how you found Sergiy and what made you invite him to spend the summer with you and your family?
Sure! When we learned about New Horizons for Children’s Summer Hosting Program, we printed off around 10 kids to think about and pray for. Sergiy is the one who stuck out to both my husband and I. We then decided the timing wasn’t right for our family. However, just a few days before hosting commitment closed, he still wasn’t chosen. At that point we just knew that we had to jump in with faith and host him! We felt if we didn’t we would regret it for a long time.
I’ve heard a lot about the “New Horizons For Children” program. Can you tell us a little more about it?
Sure. New Horizons for Children (www.newhorizonsforchildren.org) is a Christian International Hosting Program for Orphaned Children. Two times a year (Christmas and Summer) they bring orphaned children from Latvia and the Ukraine to visit the U.S.
The goals of the program are:
- To share the love of Christ with the children
- To care for the children while the orphanages close for the summer
- To help them learn some English (they often learn in 5 weeks what they learn in 5 years in their homeland)
- To gift them with the love of a family – something many have never felt before
- To build their self-worth
- To advocate for the possibility of adoption
Any fun plans for the summer? I’m sure there’s a lot you look forward to.
Yes, we plan to swim lots, teach Sergiy how to ride a bike (that was one of his wishes), just relax, take a few day trips in the area, and also take a trip to the Wisconsin Dells.
Hosting a teenager from another country for the summer will certainly have its challenges. Do you have some tips on how to prepare and put a support system in place?
Teenagers do not scare us tooooo much…(I know, I should be careful what I say!) My husband has been working with teens for 10 years, so we have an idea of what to expect. We have also been told that the orphaned kids from Ukraine are much smaller and “younger” than the U.S. kids. So most likely he will have a similar mentality to our almost 12 year old. I’m not sure anything can totally prepare us for this, but we are excited for the adventure! As far as a support system, we have family and friends that are very supportive, and NHFC also has support in place.
I’m sure Sergiy will have a wonderful time this summer, but this is also an awesome opportunity for your kids. What do you want them to get out of this?
I am hoping they will learn to give. They have to give up a few things to make this happen. When we first talked to them about it, they were all for it, but as they are beginning to have to live out the things they have to give up, it has been a bit harder. I am hoping this will be a summer they will never forget! I am guessing they will learn some Ukrainian, they will learn patience as they try to communicate, they will learn to share all they have – their things and their parents, and they will learn to love.
What else can we here at HBHW do to help you bring this boy to the US for the summer?
Well, I am sure most of your readers have heard by now that we have a donation site available here: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/eJ3d9 We also have a great “Fire Sale” going on through May 22nd here: www.hillbillyhousewife.com/sergiy . It is hard to guess exactly how much we will need for the summer – we never know what type of medical things will come up etc. If we end up raising extra, we will either put the extra money towards adoption (if we end up going down that road) or we will donate it to New Horizons for Children to help other families experience the joy of hosting. We would also love for your readers to share about Sergiy with their friends. We of course could use prayer support. And, we invite everyone to follow our journey at www.themenumom.com I have started an orphan hosting category to make the posts about this experience easy to find.