May 22, 2013

Summer hosting from Ukraine

Some people (mostly family and friends) might think our family is a little crazy.  And yeah, we most likely are.  But we can't really help it.  God has opened our eyes so clearly to the lost and lonely children out there.  We know the damage orphanages have on children.  And on the flip side we know how much love we have to share.  We look around and see the room in our house and family.   We don't have a lot, but we have some to share.

That's why we are happy to share, we are hosting a boy from Ukraine this summer.  And this little boy just happens to be an orphan currently living in an orphanage.

Honestly this is something we have always wanted to do.  Truly.  Adoption is great, but it is not always possible to go through an international adoption.  So do we just sit back and wash our hands of all the children waiting over seas?  Um, no.  Sorry guys, we just can't do it.  So when we heard that a hosting program was allowing Canadian families to join their program this year, we were thrilled.  Sign us up! 

Meet Ruslan (Roo-slahn).  
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Did your heart just a melt?  Yeah, ours too.

Questions?  Always.  Let me explain things a bit more. 

What does summer hosting mean?
Summer hosting is a program where orphans are given the chance to be hosted outside of their country  A little like an exchange student.  Children travel from their orphanages to spend summer holidays (and winter holidays sometimes) with families in America (and Canada!).  The children get to experience a healthy loving family, for many children this is the first time they have experienced that.  They get to learn more English, expand their world view.  And it is basically an all around awesome experience for them.

When will Ruslan be with you?
July and August.

Ruslan is an orphan?
Yes, he is.  For whatever reasons.  We don't have details and they are not ours to share if we did.  He is legally free to be adopted internationally.  

How old is Ruslan?
Ruslan is 10 years old.  We are all thrilled to have another boy in the house!

What will you do with him?
Life!  He'll come to the pool with us.  Ride bikes and play in the yard with the kids.  Watch movies in the evening and roast marshmallows.  He'll do everything we do.  Most importantly we can't wait to show him how loved he is by God.  That he is so special.  Church and VBS will be a most! :)

Didn't your dad just have a stroke?
Yes dad had a stroke a while back.  He was actually still in rehab when we found out about Ruslan.  My dad is doing amazing though.  He arrived home a few days after I left for Uganda.  Rehab was full and ran out of beds so they sent dad home.  Turns out our tiny town actually has one of the best physical therapy units in our area, and dad is doing amazing at home!  We have a low key summer a head of us because of the stroke.  So why not add another child to the mix?

How are you going to handle another child?
Ruslan is a blessing, not another child to handle.  We are so excited to have him.  Yes we may have hard days and it won't be all roses, but he is worth it.  And besides, what's one more?  We already have extra kids hanging around our house and we love it! 

Won't it be hard to send him back?
Yes, I'm sure it will be hard.  We'll miss him when he leaves and I bet Ruslan will have a bit of an adjustment going back to his orphanage after being in a family.  But hosting is never a forever thing.  All the kids who are hosted know this is just a summer program and that they will be going back when it is over.  And our hope and prayer is that us hosting Ruslan will just be a stepping stone for him to find his forever family.
If you have any other questions please do not hesitate to ask.  I'd be more then willing to fill you in as best as I can!!


  1. Hi Joanna,

    Could you share the name of the hosting program please? Every one I've heard about hasn't been available in Canada and we'd love to host. Thanks!

  2. Oh he's just precious! I can't wait to see the impact your family makes on him, what an experience he will have!

  3. I would also love the website for the hosting program... yay Canadians!!


  4. It's such a beautiful thing that your family is hosting him, and I imagine he'll bless you just as much or more as you bless him. I can't wait to hear of your summer adventures hosting him! :)

    God bless,
    Jennifer @

  5. I've added your blog to my simple blog regarding hosting Ivan. I suspect you'll finally meet my two children this summer!

  6. The hosting program is Frontier Horizon!

  7. This is wonderful news! I am so happy for you and your family. What a great summer, and what an amazing example you are! Praying everything falls into place.

    Jodie Tosh

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