From the moment I returned from a trip to the Romanian orphanages 13 years ago I knew that I HAD to share with others what I had seen. Through a two-week experience my world was rocked. My life’s course would change forever, and my previous perspective seemed hollow and insignificant. I would often think to myself, “If only my friends, family, and affluent Americans in general could see the need; really see and experience the need…things would be so different.” Just like all of you who have experienced that need first-hand, I knew that I had to advocate on behalf of these precious children.
With that being said I am excited to announce that Brittany and I will be the Arizona liaisons for America World Adoption Agency’s Welcoming Angels Hosting Program! Beyond adopting within our own family I have prayed about how the Lord might be able to help us effectively communicate and expose those around us to these beautiful children in need of homes. Well… this program allows us to do just that. Here is how it works: a host family commits to hosting one child in their home for the month of June. During that time, Brittany and I will coordinate 1-2 events per week for all of the children in the program to get together and share their experiences and language with each other. I have heard time and time again from families, “Adoption just isn’t our thing right now” or “We would love to but we cannot afford $30,000 at this time” or “It just seems scary because we don’t know anyone closely who has adopted and it seems like there are a lot of horror stories out there about older children adoptions” or “With the stage our other children are at, it’s not practical to adopt”, etc, etc. I completely understand all of that, and this is why this hosting opportunity is so incredibly exciting to me. All of those people can now be a part of making a difference in these children’s lives!
Many families are unable to go on a short-term mission trip because of the logistical impracticality with multiple children, jobs, school, etc. Well, this could be an opportunity to “DO JUSTICE” without having to leave your own home. To provide warmth, love, and a true family atmosphere to an orphan who otherwise wouldn’t have that opportunity! Some of you may be thinking to yourself, “John- I’d be interested in hosting, but I am NOT adopting. You’re not going to ‘soft-sell’ me on this.” To that I would say this, “That is totally okay! You are still a perfect host family prospect and in no way is having a desire to adopt a pre-requisit to host.” However, the statistics of the program don’t lie: over 85% of the children that come to America in the hosting program are adopted into families following their stay in the States. Occasionally it is in fact the host family themselves that adopt, but many times it is a neighbor, a co-worker, or a friend from church of that host family who feels compelled to adopt. There may be several people in your life and community that at this very moment have had adoption on their hearts and minds, but may not know the next step or ever been exposed first hand to the need. You could give them their “Romania-like-experience!” How awesome is that!?
So here is the deal, we are asking families in the Phoenix area to consider and pray about this opportunity. We need 5 families to come forward and answer the call for these kids. Again, even if you personally do not anticipate adoption being in your family’s future, please consider the hosting program as a way to advocate for these beautiful children, show them the love of a family, and expose them to many people in your community who may in fact have a desire to adopt someday. Brittany I and have hired a videographer who will be filming a video next week where we will further explain the hosting program and attempt to promote it far and wide! Built into that video will be a fundraising component where we will attempt to raise proceeds into a general hosting fund at our agency that will be divided amongst the 5 host families. We hope that this will increase the already affordable hosting expense and make it more do-able for potential families to particiapte and bring these children to America this summer.
Obviously there are a lot more details, but for those of you in Arizona or for those of you who have friends in Arizona, please start spreading the word! We need 5 families to sign up by the end of March, and we will need all of your help to make the dream a reality! Contact me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or via FaceBook. Also, be on the lookout for our promotional video which should be online around March 3rd.