Saturday, April 18, 2015

Our biggest summer adventure

Summer is always so exciting, always something to look forward to.  No school, not too many places we need to be, no sports... a break from our busy lives!  Summer is comfortable and relaxing and we purposely make it that way - until this summer.

This summer we are choosing to do something totally out of our comfort zone.   This summer we are taking a leap of faith and hosting an orphan through New Horizons for Children.  Many of you know this is how my sister and her family met their now son Sergejs.  They hosted him through this program a few years ago and ended up adopting him.  He is such a joy to our family and it has been such a blessing to see God's hand in every part of their story.

We know that we are not going to adopt so we are choosing to host an "aged out" orphan. This is someone who is too old to be adopted, and even if we wanted to, we could not pursue her adoption.  We are going to host a teenage girl, for sake of privacy on the blog we will call her "M".

My sister is the volunteer coordinator for our region so of course the idea of hosting has been in the back of my mind since they started releasing photos and bios of kids in orphanages in Eastern Europe.  These kids are waiting, hoping, and praying they would be picked to come to the US for the summer.   A chance to experience a new country and live as part of a family, maybe for the first time in their lives.

Then a few days ago the thought in the back of my mind moved to the front of my mind.  I always thought of hosting a little one and for many reasons I knew that wasn't possible.   Then I remembered there were also teens in the program.  They know they can't be adopted but they still want the chance to be a part of a family and to experience the love that comes with that.  It was all of the sudden so clear.  We should host a teenage girl!  I got online and started looking through all the children in the program that haven't been chosen yet.  I read their bios that tell of their likes and dislikes, I narrowed it down to four young ladies that I thought would be a good fit and then called my sister for more information.  She helped me narrow it down to "M".    I started thinking about all of the logistics...
Where would she sleep?  What would we do all day?  How would the kids feel about having a teen in the house?  I really couldn't think of one dilemma that didn't have a solution.   So then I called Brian at work and told him my grand idea.  HAHA oh God is so good.  He gave me the perfect husband for me.  Brian is wise, he is cautious and he is so good at dealing with all of my grand ideas.

Brian of course expressed all of the same dilemmas I had already sorted through.  He came home for lunch that day and we made a pros and cons list.  There were way many more pros than cons but he still was not ready to commit.  So I gave him another 24 hours.  I called him at work again the next day and asked if he had any more thoughts on hosting.  He said he wanted me to talk to a dear friend who has three teenage girls to get an idea of what we might be dealing with, so I did.  Then I called him back again and shared about our conversation.  He then gave me the "OK go for it".  He said the only reasons he could think of to not host this young girl were selfish reasons.  Things like he would have to share the tv at night with another person, or that the summer wouldn't be as comfortable as it usually is. He said that when you compare those meaningless little things to the opportunity we have to change someone's life, how could we not do it?  I love my husband's honest heart and willingness to serve. I am so thankful for him.

So our summer may not be as comfortable as we are used to, but it will be meaningful.  Our goal (and the goal of the program) is to teach this girl about LOVE.   God's love, the love of a family, and how to love herself.   We will do this by showing her unconditional love.  Love her when it's hard and when it's easy, when it's exciting and when it's uncomfortable.  We are trusting God will show us how to do this and how we can most make a difference in her life.

So what's next??  Well "M" wont be here until late June but a lot has to happen before then.  We have completed the hosting application and its time to start paying for the hosting.   Hosting costs a lot of money.  Some of the costs include her plane ticket, catastrophic health insurance while she is here, paying for her visa, background checks and much more.  In addition to making those payments once she gets here we will need a few things.   She will come with nothing but the clothes on her back.  We will provide her with clothes that she gets to take back with her when she leaves and a rolling duffel bag to take them home in.  We will need to get her into a dentist (Our dentist has agreed to cover this!  Praise God!) and the eye doctor.   The idea of raising this money is my biggest fear in this process but I know God is ABLE.  So will you help?  I have come up with two fundraisers to help with the cost to bring "M" to our home this summer.

#1.  The puzzle fundraiser!   I am ordering a puzzle of California that I will give "M".  If you would like to help us show love to this girl you can buy a puzzle piece for $5.  Once you pay for the puzzle piece I will write your name and any message you want to include onto the back of the puzzle.  This is an awesome keepsake for "M"!

#2.  Wood Signs.  I have posted photos below of three signs I have made specifically to help support hosting costs.  Each sign is 8in x 8in.  With your donation of $20 ($3 more for shipping) you can pick what sign you want (or customize your own sign with different colors, stain, and wording).  Signs are made on a very thin ply wood and are light weight. (Your name will also be added to the puzzle with  this donation).

All donations can be paid through PayPal using  Please include what you want for your sign/what you want on the back of the puzzle piece in the notes when you pay. 

Thank you so much for all of your support and love.   Please pray for us as we navigate through this process and pray for "M" as she prepares to come to our home for the summer.  Pray for her heart to be ready to receive the love God has to offer her.  Thank you!

** Update  4/20/15**

To make a tax deductible donation you can donate online at  Just select donate to a specific child and be sure to include "M's" Number E1076 and our last name!  Thank you!

So far we have $200 donated/pledged and she has a $250 scholarship!  We have about $2,700 left to go towards her hosting fees.  Our blog before the update was viewed over 700 times!!!  If everyone that viewed the blog donated just $5 the fees would be paid for!  Thank you so much for your love and support! 

Also, our eye doctor has agreed to cover her vision screening!  So thankful!

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