Sunday, May 12, 2013

Summer Hosting

The agency we used to adopt Ruslana, God's Waiting Children, is bringing a group of Ukrainian orphans to California this summer (July 14-August 15) and are looking for families to host the children.  The kids listed below are from Ruslana's orphanage and, having met them first hand, I can say that they are all wonderful! They would thrive in a family setting.  
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Denis--Age 7


Besides being cute, Denis is brilliant.  He recites long poems from memory with passion & emotion.  He also steals the show during orphanage recitals.  Such a cute, spirited, and sweet boy.  Denis dreams of having a small pet turtle when he finally has a home.
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Alonya--age 11
Alonya does all the hair for the girls (she was the one who cut Ruslana's hair!) in the orphanage.  At 8 she won a local competition as "Youngest Best Hairdresser" in the region.  She's a very clever, polite, and creative girl.  All the other kids love and respect her as an older sister, and she assists the caregivers and helps her classmates with homework.  Her dream is to become famous in the arts and have her own hair salon.  She would love to come to the U.S. and visit Disneyland.  This humble and sweet girl would be a lot of fun to host over the summer!
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Andrew--age 10

One of the brightest kids we met!  He has excellent English and conversation skills.  He dreams of becoming the president, or at the very least owning his own restaurant.  He likes to spend his free time playing on the computer and enjoys taking care of flowers.  He dreams of having an American family, traveling the world, and owning a dog.  He is a great boy with big dreams, just waiting on someone to choose him. 
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Myroslav--age 9

Myroslav is smart, considerate, and thoughtful.  He likes books, especially ones in the sci-fi genre.  His favorite subjects are math and English.  His dream is to build a house and live there with parents.  He was one of Ruslana's best friends.  How I'd love for the two of them to be reunited on American soil! 
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Here are some frequently asked questions and answers provided by God's Waiting Children:

Why does God's Waiting Children bring kids to the US? 
The hosting program is designed to give the children the experience of a lifetime and a break from the orphanage setting.  The goal of bringing them to the U.S. is to instill hope in these children and inspire them to stay in school and persevere, knowing there are opportunities in this world for him or her.  It will also let the child know that a family here in the U.S. cares about them.  For some of these children,  this hosting experience will be the first time they have experienced a "normal" family life.  The host families are encouraged to stay in contact with the child they host once the child returns to Ukraine via letters, phone calls, and care packages. 

What is the cost to host or sponsor a child?
Host families will pay the travel expenses for the child they host. Each family will complete an application, pass a fingerprint background check, have a quick home visit by a social worker (approximately $200). Families with a recent or current home study, or families who have hosted/adopted through God’s Waiting Children in the past may be able to waive this requirement. When a family decides to host and selects a child, they pay the first $1,500. This covers the cost of the child’s passport, insurance, travel expenses for facilitator to gather the documents needed, medical exam, background check, US visa, travel to Kyiv from orphanage, cost to prepare and translate travel documents, and transportation from Kyiv back to orphanage. A second donation is made at the time the tickets are purchased. The families divide the cost of the escort. The average cost of tickets is about $1,500. The total cost to host a child is estimated to be approximately $3,000. 

Is the expense a tax write-off?
Yes, the monies paid into God’s Waiting Children are tax deductible. We are a registered 501(c)(3) in the state of California. Donors are sent a tax receipt prior to the end of the fiscal year.

What dates will the children be here?
We think the group will arrive July 14th and leave somewhere around August 15th. We’ll know the exact dates as soon as the tickets are purchased. We think the children will fly into LAX. 


Is this an adoption program?
God’s Waiting Children does facilitate Ukraine adoptions but host families DO NOT have to have any intentions of adopting a child. This hosting program is not an adoption program. Host families play a big role in building awareness of international adoption by introducing their host child to family, friends, coworkers, and their church congregation through normal activities while the child is with the family. If the host family decides to pursue an adoption in Ukraine, the family may request to adopt the child they hosted. Our purpose is to give these children a fabulous experience surrounded by love and attention and the knowledge that a family in the U.S. loves him or her. It is also our hope that meeting these fabulous children will help many people to overcome the stigma about older children in orphanages and open many hearts to adopting orphans in the future.

How do we communicate with the child?
The children speak primarily Russian and Ukrainian languages, but will likely know some English. Surprisingly, communication during a hosting experience is usually not a problem. The children are very intelligent and they learn very quickly. Host families will be given brief language guides and tips for communicating. There will also be local translators available by phone 24 hours per day.

How do we prepare for the hosting experience?
God’s Waiting Children, Inc. will help prepare the host families for their experience and facilitate all of the details. We will provide a training manual and a telephone conference training prior to the kids arriving. Host families can also rely on other families who have hosted previously to assist them if desired.

Contact 
Hosting a Ukrainian orphan is a true blessing for everyone involved. Please join our mission to help these kids – pray for them, sponsor a child, or host a child! For more information please contact Laurel Boylan at (559) 316-4823 or (866) 468-3089 or laurel@godswaitingchildren.com. 

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