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Please note. In many of the stories below, families talk about adoption. New Horizons for Children is not an Adoption Program. However, often adoptions do occur. Please read our official statement on this before signing up on the Photolisting page.
“Hosting with NHFC was such a surprise blessing.”
Hosting with NHFC was such a surprise blessing. We had never heard of a program like this, and quickly moved from that stage right into committing to hosting. We had guidance every step of the way and regular access to help if needed… but what we found was that it was a natural fit for us! We didn’t use a translator once, felt comfortable together from the very beginning, and just had a great time even in our normal daily lives. What struck us was how “normal” this boy was… just a kid, happy to accept the love and attention from strangers because he didn’t receive it elsewhere. He is just a normal boy who needed a summer of fun! – Becca Nichols, Washington
“Our hosting was filled with LOVE!”
Hosting showed our family how the simple things in life that we take for granted and made us realize how the host children never experience these simple joys in life before.
We had a lot of first experiences with our 12 year old host daughter. Some of these first experiences were popping popcorn, riding in a car, and seeing the ocean for the first time in her life.
Our hosting time with our host daughter was a blessing, breathtaking and filled with LOVE!!! – Michelle and Michael Bahlaj, Pennsylvania
Are you Considering Hosting?
Step 1: View the Available Children: Children’s Photolisting
Step 2: When You Have Found One or More Children that you Love, sign up with the PRE-APPLICATION (Link is at the top right of this page)
“The impact that can be made over a month is huge.”
Hosting changed the way we look at life. We had no idea what joy and happiness the girls would bring into our lives. It was an amazing experience and I think everyone should host. When we brought the girls into our home for over a month, we learned about giving.
It’s easy to give money – and it’s easy to go on a missions trip; but a totally different experience happens when one gives of your home, your time, your family and yourself. It gave our boys a heart for giving and for adoption and hosting. The impact that can be made over a month is huge. The girls learned so much while they were with us, and we will never forget this experience! – Melody B., Colorado
“We had the Most Amazing Summer of our Lives”
This summer (2012) our family had the privilege of hosting a 14 year old boy from Latvia. Many people thought we were crazy to bring a teenage boy from an orphanage into our house since we also had a 4 year old son and a 2 year old daughter. I’m so glad we didn’t listen to those people!!
We had the most amazing summer of our lives! Everyone who met our host son was touched in some capacity! In their eyes, they now “knew” an orphan, he became the face of the hundreds of thousands of orphans around the world and suddenly they couldn’t ignore the orphan crisis any longer. We were all surprised by how quickly we bonded as a family unit, and soon it felt like he’d always been a part of our family! Our little ones thoroughly enjoyed having a “big brother” in the house, especially our 4 year old son. Hosting was a learning experience for both our kids, they now know what an orphan is, they know people live in different places and speak different languages and they know that God calls his people to reach out and love the “least of these”.
We all learned more about love this summer and when it came time for our host son to board his plane we were all in tears. He didn’t want to go, and we didn’t want him to. While he was here we did our best to advocate for his adoption and we were thrilled when a family stepped forward and began the process to bring him home!!!
Because we hosted this summer there will be one less orphan in the world! – Peter and Stacey Maljian, California
What is the next step?
“We were blessed beyond measure.”
Hosting for us was a leap of faith. Sometimes you feel a bit stagnant in your faith walk, and God prompts you to do something you never expected. We stepped forward in faith and were richly blessed.
We did not have the finances, and when we acted in faith God provided faster and more faithfully than we could have ever expected.
We already have four biological children and we weren’t sure if we would have enough time and love to devote to another child. God walked along with our family and worked each and every daily detail out.
When we encountered behavior issues, God gave us more patience and love than we knew we had within us.
Hosting changed us – from a family focused too much on ourselves, to a family focused on helping others. From a family focused on material things, to a family trying to save every penny possible to help these kids. We were blessed beyond measure (even in the hard times) and can’t wait to host again next summer! – Matt and Christine Steendahl, Illinois
“Hosting has been such a privilege.”
Hosting has been such a privilege. When we hosted for the first time in the summer of 2011, we really thought we were hosting to show a child that God loves him, how a family worked together and to give him some wonderful experiences. However, I truly believe we learned more during that five weeks than he did. He was a wonderful young man. We did not feel God calling us to move forward to adopt him, but we learned so much.
Christmas of 2011 we hosted with a totally different perspective. We know God is calling us to adopt. We never had any intentions of adopting internationally, but in those five weeks we learned that we could love an orphan just like our bio children. They truly became a part of our family. We miss them so much – my heart aches to hold them, we pray for them everyday. We pray someday God allows them to be a part of our family permanently.
Is hosting hard…yes…is it worth it…absolutely yes!!!!
We hosted those same two girls again this summer. In our hearts they are a part of our family. God has taught our bio children what a privilege it is to have a mom and dad tuck them into bed every night, to eat until they are full, to appreciate the many blessing we take for granted. It has given us a deeper meaning of how much God loves us. – Scotty and Lynette Willis, Florida
Want to check out our adorable kids?
Hosting twice has given us so many gifts:
- The love of a beautiful country so far away,
- The friendship of like-minded men and women,
- The wonder of seeing such bravery in the hearts of children who are willing to travel so far and trust again – when they have been so hurt and betrayed before, and
- The confirmation that Jesus’ calling to lay down everything and follow Him in loving those in need refers to ME.
- Suzan Peterson, Maryland
Adoption had been on our hearts for years, but it seemed like we hit roadblocks or just sensed the timing was not right…until a friend told us about New Horizons For Children!
I looked over their website, called, talked to a host family in our church, and everything just felt right.
As I looked over the photo listing the first time in April 2010, I saw a particular girl, Rita, who deeply touched not only my heart, but my husbands and sons. She had already been chosen to host for the summer, and we decided that we would host her for Christmas.
After the summer, another family had chosen to adopt her, so we chose another girl, had a great host experience, and were broken-hearted when she said ‘no’ to adoption. Through all of this, we did not give up!
As we strengthened our hearts to host in the Summer of 2011, no child seemed right. We were getting close to the deadline to choose, and there were only a few girls left, when out of the blue, Rita’s picture appeared. Her adoption fell through and she was offered for hosting again! I immediately called NHFC and we hosted her in the summer 2011. We had a great summer, but I think we all had guarded hearts…but God can even work through wounded hearts to bring about His purpose!
This is a song that Rita wrote and sang:
Not only are we adopting Rita, but Rita led us to her foster sister, Lera! Our adoption will be complete in 2012, but I know God chose us as family before the foundations of the world were formed! He used NHFC as the means to bring us all together, in His time. – Mark and Charlotte Freeman, Mississippi
To get started…
“Our family will never be the same.”
I had a couple people question why we would host.
In their eyes they saw it as a cruel and unfair. Why would we pick a child who was orphaned and bring him here for the summer and love on him, show him all that he is missing and then send him back? Pretty legit question really. Can’t get too mad at their reasoning, and truly without the Lord being in it I can see there point. But…. The Lord is in it, and that is where the life changing begins.
New Horizons for Children’s mission is this:
“To identify school age orphans in other countries who have an ability to integrate with and temporary live in a functional family environment through a 4-6 week host program with American Christian families who share the love of Christ.”
“One of the most significant seeds we can ever plant in the life of the fatherless, is the seed of hope. A field has no hope of a future crop without the planting of seeds. Hope is vital to a persons survival, especially when the odds are completely stacked against them.”. C. Thomas Davis Fields of the fatherless
“Without intervention, upon leaving leaving the orphanage, 60% of the girls will be lured into prostitution, 70% of the boys will be on the streets or in jail, and 15% will commit suicide within the first two years on their own. One person can revolutionize the life of an abandoned child. The people of God can step in and love the fatherless. We can be a turning point for them by making an effort to express the Father’s love in simple ways that make an eternal difference.” These statements were pulled from the New Horizons pamphlet.
So this summer (2012) the fields of 185 children’s hearts came from the Ukraine and from Latvia to be planted in. All summer they were loved on, prayed with and over, read to and heard stories of Jesus and his love for them, made to feel and be members of a family, told how special they are, learned or practiced speaking English (which will be a huge assert for them in trying to find jobs later), given many new experiences to participate in, had dental and eye care done, went to church, learned how to sing, learned how to be silly, learned how wonderful they truly are. In the process we the host families received blessings too numerous to name. To be truthful, there were some families that really struggled. Some of the children came with some big bags of emotional pain and scarring. But even in there struggles these kids gleamed and saw the love of Christ, and we’re exposed to a way of being loved they have never experienced before.
So that being said, did it make a difference since they all went back??! I say a big yes. They went back armed with some new coping skills, armed with a little more English learned, armed with seeds of Jesus in there hearts to sprout and grow and draw them to want to know more. Armed with hope…. Hope that they are loved, hope that they can be all that Jesus has for them to be. Many will be coming back… Back to their forever families. Many of them are being aggressively advocated to find there forever families. So yes… I say again what a huge difference this has made in there lives.
Was it hard??? Was it scary? Did it hurt? Was it costly? Was it life changing? Was it stretching? Would you do it all over again knowing what you know? YES!!!!! In a second without hesitation. Our family will never be the same. We hope and pray that the final outcome of our hosting ends with our son coming home forever…. But if the Lord has other plans I will not regret one blessed second of it. Yes it hurt, it was scary (and still is), it has many parts that are painful. But that is what we are called to live out for. Jesus called us to lay down our lives and pick up his cross and follow him. But he also promises us that his burden is not too heavy, and that he will go before and behind us, and he will give us only his very best for us. He promises us hope and Joy and Life and I can say whole heartedly I wouldn’t live it any other way. I’ve had 40+ years of living life my way and it doesn’t hold a candle to living life Gods way.
I pray that those who take the time to read this, will be inspired and encouraged to pray about whether hosting is something the Lord would have you to do in the near future. Its not to soon to be praying about the Christmas time hosting. – Lisa Edenhofer Dykstra, Georgia
In December 2004, we hosted a child. My wife and I, thought it would be a wonderful gift to give to a child. By the end of the 30 days, it was clear that my wife and I were the ones that received the gift.
It was one of the most life changing and rewarding things we have ever done.
Wilson & Leah C.
When I heard about the hosting program I thought it was a fantastic idea. Hosting these kids gave them a glimpse of a Christian home and Christmas. It gave us a grand view of how blessed we truly are. It really helped our child and all her friends to see what they could teach and offer to a child who is not as fortunate. We hosted a ten year old girl and a six year old boy.
We have a lot of joy in our home, but what these children brought was the most rewarding joy I have ever known.
They were so deserving and yet so grateful. They blessed us beyond words.
Greg, Amy, & Brooke B.
What is the next step?
Julie and I were the most unlikely of hosting parents.
We had two beautiful, loving children. One of each, a 11 year old boy named Brett, and an 8 year old girl named Sarah. We had two dogs, also a boy and a girl. We didn’t “need” to host. Something kept tugging at Julie’s heart though. Everywhere she turned, she met someone who had hosted a European orphan and had loved the experience. The more Julie thought about children not having a family to share Christmas with, the more she told me she felt led by God to host a child.
We met with LeAnn Dakake and heard her tell us all about hosting, with the assistance of her children Taylor and Valerie. They were beautiful older children and they were so ..un-American. Not in a bad way, no, not at all. They seemed to appreciate things. They hugged LeAnn and didn’t seem to mind public displays of affection, even though they were teenagers. Their mastery of the English language, after so short of a time, was nothing less than amazing. After we got home, Julie and I went out in the backyard to be alone and talk. “What if we get attached?” I asked her. “The Lord will lead us” she replied. I sighed and said, “That is what I’m afraid of!” Somehow, though, I was really not afraid, we had prayed about it. I had grown fond of the idea of sharing our house with a little boy for Christmas. What would he think of an American Christmas?
We looked through the pictures of the children available to be hosted, and saw all the smiling faces with the do it yourself haircuts. One little boy’s biography just said something like, “plays well with other children, loves all kinds of sports” He had a great smile and seemed easy-going. We found out his name was Edijs. We all gathered around the computer and we picked him as a joint decision. My son Brett saw the opportunity for a new friend to play with. My daughter Sarah thought he was cute. What a cool Christmas this was going to be.
I’ll never forget seeing Edijs walk out at the Atlanta Airport. He was so little for a nine-year old! He gave a big, shy smile when he saw all of the balloons and the big banner we had ready for him. He didn’t say a word, as we jabbered at him in a language he didn’t understand. But he took my wife’s hand without hesitation, and walked away from everyone he had known to follow my family out to the parking lot, and on to our house. Eddie had been up for at least 24 hours, but he wanted to see everything in our house. He still had not said a word…until he got to the refrigerator. Then he saw something familiar, and we heard him say his first word: “Coca Cola!” We all laughed. The biggest smile, however, came when my son Brett handed him the controllers to the video game. Edijs knew he would like this place. He and Brett began speaking a language they could understand. The rest of the month flew by so fast it was hard to believe. Everything was brand new for all of us. My kids wanted to show him everything. They loved being teacher, tour guide, and best friend to our little visitor. Everything was more fun for us, because we all loved watching Edijs experience things for the first time. Going to the shoe store and picking out shoes. Going to the movies. Attending church. Reading bedtime stories (with lots of pictures). Praying before meals. Watching him look questioningly at the strange things we put on his plate…and then smelling them in an attempt to identify them (which tickled us greatly). Fishing in the North Georgia mountains. Climbing rock walls. Taking rolls of film, and looking at them with him afterwards. Even better, Edijs played with both of my children equally well. He would jump on the trampoline with Sarah, and wrestle with Brett. My children competed for his attention. And he gave it to them. The biography had been exactly right. He loves sports, and plays well with other children. We loved getting to chaperone Daina Roze, the orphanage director, and her husband Edgars. She spoke some English, having learned it in high school in Latvia, which made it fairly easy to communicate. Our trip to the bowling alley and out to a restaurant was great fun. We loved having her translate things Edijs wanted to say to us, and things we wanted Eddie to understand, but hadn’t been able to tell him. Christmas morning. I will never forget the look on that little boy’s face as he came down to see what Santa had brought. He looked at Julie and I with disbelief. His whole face was a question mark. Julie and I both said, “Yes, that’s yours, Eddie!” The smile on that little boy’s face will stay with me until I am a hundred. Perhaps my favorite memories were the night-time English lessons. I drew up a big chart with a magic marker that I tacked to the wall in his bedroom. One column was Latvian words we had looked up in a dictionary, and the other column was the English equivalent. Words like “Happy”, “Drive”, “Hungry”, “Thirsty”, “Eat”, “Food”, “Hot”, “Cold”, “Bathroom”, “Sick”, “Church”, “Prayer”, “Christmas”, and “Love”. At first he didn’t learn them very fast. When I got him to understand that he got to play one minute of video games for every English word he got right, Edijs became one motivated little boy! By the end of our month-long visit, he had learned almost 50 English words. My children, who wanted to listen in to every test I gave him, learned almost 50 Latvian words that Christmas, which they still remember more than one year later. Leaving was not optional. He had to go back. The trip to the airport was actually more difficult for us than it was for Edijs. He acted glad to be with his Latvian friends again, and seemed to be glad to go back to his own country. We knew he was a child who had lived in many different places with many different people, which was part of the reason why he had been placed in the orphanage to begin with. But the love he had witnessed, and shared in, with his American host family, would stay with him for a lifetime. We got his address, so we could write him, and send him pictures. We wanted Edijs to know that we wouldn’t forget him. To be quite honest, I can’t really remember the Christmas of 2000, or 2001, or 2002. But I can remember in vivid detail everything about Christmas 2003. In fact, I won’t ever forget it. A little boy from Latvia made that Christmas the most memorable Christmas of my adult life.
Lee and Julie W.
In spring of 2004, my husband and I contemplated the idea of hosting. At the time, our daughter was 5 and we initially were seeking a girl younger than her. However, we didn’t have our hearts set on this and were open to other children. We were e-mailed a brief biography and photo of a 6 year old boy. After reading about him and seeing his picture we just knew we wanted to host him and have the opportunity to meet him in person. So, we anxiously awaited his arrival.
My daughter was thrilled with the idea and was very helpful when it came to setting up his room and getting prepared for his arrival. We didn’t go crazy on stuff-actually she shared some of her things such as stuffed animals, books, etc. just to make it a little more appealing to a boy. We shopped for boys clothing at garage sale and Target. We had a great time as we’ve never had the opportunity to shop for a boy.
We attended the class beforehand and found it most helpful. Many of our questions were answered and we felt like we were prepared for his arrival.
When the big day finally came, the flight was very late. We were just too excited to meet him! Also, we were concerned for him as it was such a long flight to begin with. When he arrived he was very tired and not totally thrilled about leaving with us. My husband picked him up to get him away from the craziness of the airport. We said a brief good-bye to his care taker and we were on our way. By the time we walked out of the airport doors, he was ready to unbury his head off my husband’s shoulder. Our daughter couldn’t wait to show him the booster seat in the van. He hopped right in and then fell asleep on the way home.
We quickly found out that he knew a lot of English. He knew most every object, but just didn’t know how to put it in a sentence. Surprisingly, we never had to use our Latvian dictionary. We were shocked at how fast he adjusted to life at our house! He ran down the stairs the 1st morning and hopped on the couch. We took him to the grocery store and he would give me a ?yes? or ?no? for different things. He loved fruit, milk, bologna sandwiches, mac-n-cheese, and pizza. He wasn’t a big fan of salad, chicken in any form, or most vegetables. However, he would always try something just like our daughter does. We told our daughter before his arrival he would have the same bed time and rules as her. He learned our house rules quickly and was very well behaved. Near the end of his stay, he did start to test the limits.
It was so difficult to stay good-bye to him. There were definitely some tears at the airport. I think that’s a good thing though because it signifies that we were all touched by the experience. We have many wonderful memories. I took a lot of pictures and sent him home with an album of his own so he can always remember the summer with our family.
Steve and Kim W.
Where do we begin to start our testimonial? I say this because each day our testimony becomes so much stronger. Your program was exactly what my heart and Bob’s heart was searching for and our hearts our complete with each other, Dima and Kostya have filled such a big hole in each of our hearts! The Royak family was so blessed to be a small part of a big movement, New Horizons for Children. Our family and lives have been truly touched by two young boys from the other side of the world. We as a family have prayed to be a part of something but didn’t know what or when it would happen. It was New Horizons for Children
We will always be grateful for our time together, learning experiences and kindnesses the boys showed us while with us in America. Our summer of 2005 has been the very best 6 weeks that we could have dreamed of or for. Our family will forever be connected to New Horizons. It truly was a god sent experience we will always have near to our hearts.
We have been married for fifteen years and have no children together. Our house has always been very quiet and peaceful, maybe even boring at times. We wondered if we were missing something in our lives so we decided to explore possibly helping children in some way or maybe even being foster parents. But the Lord always has a great plan and we believe He lead us to New Horizons for Children. Through getting to know LeAnn, Renee, and Katya and developing a great liking and respect for their work, we decided to participate in the Christmas 2005 hosting program.
On December 8, 2005, we jumped in with both feet and met three beautiful siblings at the Atlanta airport and brought them to our home and they became part of our family. Misha, Pasha, and Raya literally turned our lives upside down but we would have to say in a good way. They stretched our abilities and peace of mind to the maximum, but when the whirlwind three and a half weeks were over, we had been mightily blessed to have these three teens in our home.
We will never forget the Christmas of 2005 because of Misha, Pasha, and Raya, and we are so thankful to we took the opportunity to participate in the hosting program. No regrets whatsoever.
Mike and Debbie Love
We found out about the New Horizons hosting program when Leann Dakake joined our church. My husband and I decided that there could be no better time to host a child than Christmas. We spent a little over three weeks with Dima, the happiest 14 year old boy we have ever met. He was even humored when we could not locate our vehicle when leaving the airport. (we all had a good chuckle)
Our purpose was to show him the love of a family and to share with him our relationship with Jesus. While we did show him a lot, he actually showed us much more. He showed us how blessed we were, but more importantly, his positive attitude and love of life awakened us to what in our lives we take for granted or do not appreciate.
Our time with Dima has forever changed our lives. We can not thank the New Horizons program enough for allowing us the opportunity to meet Dima and learn about another culture.
Karen & Mike Corbin
Our time with Andrey was life changing. We will never forget him. It is now day 3 since he left, and our home is so quiet. Something, (someone) is definitely missing.
Many non-hosting families may look at this program as what they can do for a underprivileged child. (we did). But we were so wrong. What we gave to Andrey, Our home, our love, our support, does not even compare to what he taught us and what he gave us in return.
God’s Grace was definitely apparent throughout this process. These children are so loving and compassionate. Yes there are adjustments to be made and hurdles to get over, yes there are tough times, but the positive far outweighs the negative. The few negatives we had were not any more than I have experienced with our own children. I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to share God’s love with others. You will not regret it.
The Glenn family
For five weeks in the summer of 2005, our family enjoyed hosting a six year old boy with cerebral palsy. My husband Tom, our ten year old son Scott and I thought it would be a wonderful experience to share our summer with a child who had not been blessed with the family life we share. We had no idea how much one little boy could enrich our lives. From the moment he stepped off the plane and smiled hesitantly to a few days later when he was comfortable enough with us to joke around, we enjoyed spending time with him. It was such a neat experience for our son to see the world through the eyes of a child to whom everything about our life was a new experience.
Yura was so grateful for things we all take for granted like Happy Meals at McDonalds, the neighborhood swimming pool, a bubble bath, ice cream and riding in the car. We loved to watch the joy and excitement in his face when he discovered new things. He was fascinated with turning on and off our lamps and ceiling fans. Whenever we bought him a new toy or candy, the first thing he did was share it with those around him.
It was our hope to provide a summer of love and joy for a child who needed it but we soon discovered that we were receiving it back ourselves tenfold.
Tom, Julie and Scott F.
I want to tell you about my feelings towards the program. I think it was evident when I was there. I think there are few acts that can be compared in generosity with what you are you doing. Americans are wonderful people, who were able to give the children a miracle of spending Christmas in a real family. Most of these children don’t know the parental love. Most likely without this program they would never know that they can be loved so much. Honestly we have not seen any flaws in the program. The important thing is that the program is working and giving the children the chance to find love, care, understanding and acceptance that will cure the wounds in their hearts that have been inflicted by their biological parents and not believing in their self worth. The success of the program is possible through the work of the staff of NHFC. Thank you so much for the opportunity to spend time with you can always rely on our support and assistance.
Sveta, Christmas 2005
In the business arena, I spend a lot of time thinking about impact. What decisions can I make that will have the greatest positive impact on desired organizational outcomes? How can I use scarce resources (people, time, money, and so on) to get the greatest possible return?
The same holds true in the personal arena. As leaders in our family, my wife and I want to understand where we can have impact for the kingdom of God.
How do we invest our scarce resources to get the greatest possible return?
How do we consider these questions from an eternal rather than a temporal perspective?
These thoughts bring me to the hosting program sponsored by New Horizons for Children. After having hosted three children on two separate occasions, my wife and I can attest that this hosting program represents one of the greatest opportunities available to a family that wants to have positive impact on the kingdom of God. And make no mistake about it – hosting a child is kingdom work.
The positive impact of hosting these children is seen in several areas. First, and perhaps most important, the opportunity for these children to spend several weeks in a healthy, loving, secure home environment blesses them in ways they may never otherwise realize. The opportunity to visit another country and make new friends from a different culture represents a significant educational opportunity not available to most children in their circumstances. And the opportunity to learn of God and His love and to see this love in action gives these children an entirely new perspective on life.
As is almost always the case when you reach out to bless someone, the blessing returns ten-fold. Having these children in our home was so important to our family. Challenges related to the hosting process exposed some of the areas where we need to renew our commitment focus, and that in itself is a gift.
However, the hosting experiences also have affirmed that we play an important role in God’s work in the life of others. Having the opportunity to share good times and laughter, to work through difficult challenges, and to connect with these children at a deep level will change your heart and your life forever.
The hosting experience also positively impacted a number of other relationships. Members of our extended family became part of our support team and demonstrated love and acceptance to these children. Our church family was part of the team, supporting us through prayer and other means. Particularly exciting to us was the way that co-workers and neighbors saw our faith in action and wanted to get in on the experience.
Do you want to engage in Kingdom work? Do you want to grow in your own walk of faith? Do you want to challenge your family to new levels of commitment and caring?
I believe that, for many of us, the answer to these questions is yes, but we sometimes don’t know how to do it. I would strongly encourage you to consider the hosting program of New Horizons for Children and see how much impact you can have for the Kingdom of God.
Our first hosting experience was two 11 year old girls in the summer of 2003. My husband and I had recently married and thought hosting would be an interesting experience. My daughter was 9 at the time. The girls spoke Russian and my complete Russian vocabulary consisted of da (yes), nyet (no), and spaseeba (thank you). We communicated fairly well by using on-line translating programs. But some of the translations must have been hilarious judging from the squeals of laughter when I entered what I had written to be translated. Fortunately, one of the girls had studied Spanish in her home country and I studied Spanish 20 years ago in high school so we switched to Spanish when we hit a roadblock communicating. The girls caught on to understanding English fairly quickly, but it was a short while later before they could speak short sentences. One time I could not figure out what the girls were asking me. My daughter listened and then told me what they wanted. I asked in shocked surprise, “How did you know?” “Mom,” she replied, “I speak “kid”.
Surprising things fascinated the girls. The stacks of groceries almost to the ceiling in Sam’s Club resulted in pointing and excited chatter 90 miles an hour. When I grilled hamburgers outside, they grabbed their cameras and started snapping pictures from every possible angle. They nudged me over and took a picture of the hamburgers cooking on the grill. The girls enjoyed swimming, riding bikes, and attended Vacation Bible School while they were here.
We became very fond of the girls and yes, I did cry when they left. But we hope we contributed something lasting and positive to their lives. We hosted a sibling group in 2004 and then took 2005 off while we expanded our family. We look forward to what we will learn from our future hosting adventures. Hosting is never dull.
Deann & John Reynolds