A few months ago, we started a journey. A journey on which we thought we knew the destination, yet we also knew the journey would be like none we had ever had before.
In September, after a few months of reading about hosting programs, I found New Horizons for Children. I was sure that, living in the middle of nowhere, we would have few (or no!) options for hosting…especially Eastern European orphan hosting (which for some reason I felt called toward). Then, I found New Horizons and their photolisting was going live within days. The Dad agreed to hosting and we filled out the initial paperwork.
As soon as we both accessed the photolisting, we were drawn to one sweet face. He had blond hair and big blue eyes and the cutest little grin. As we read about him and his desire to be a firefighter, his love for pets and the color red, we knew he was the one we were meant to host. Then, we found out he is within weeks of E’s age. It was clearly meant to be!
Except it wasn’t.
God apparently had bigger and better plans for sweet K. After paying all of our fees and completing our home assessment, we got a call to let us know K was being adopted in his home country. Hopefully he is now spending Christmas with his FOREVER family!
Since we were so far along the road to hosting, I didn’t want to turn away from the other kids who were waiting (I’m sure this is why we got the news when we did…had we not been as far along, we might have just walked away). But, the photolisting was short now – thanks to all of the wonderful families who stepped up to host! – and no one really caught our eye like K.
Then, nestled at the bottom, with a blurry photo, no smile and virtually no information, we saw R. He didn’t draw us the same way K had, but we both realized we were his chance. Without losing K, R may not have had the chance to come be loved by a family. He was the one we needed to step up for. So, without any information about him (save a name, city and birthdate), we jumped…
And, now he’s here!
The boy who was only described as “quiet,” quickly showed us he is not. He gave us a smile at the airport and started chattering away in Russian (which we don’t speak…although we’re picking up more every day!!), despite a 3-hour delay in customs. I don’t know that days of traveling, waiting in line for that long and being with strange people who spoke a strange language would have been something I could have smiled about. But he did!
We’re 4 days into hosting now. He’s testing us, pushing the boundaries, yet he’s happy and feeling loved. (We even had him talk to the translator to make sure…he doesn’t volunteer much!) It’s clear he hasn’t had the Mama and Papa (after one night, he started calling us that – despite being introduced by our first names) he craves. He doesn’t know how to handle expectations and limits, so – as The Dad says – he’s having a crash course (I mean, we’re still working on this with D…and he’s had us for 5 years!!).
I am an over-thinker, so I find myself worrying about weeks ahead and about things that have not yet happened. The Dad is just amazing. Best dad ever and this is just confirmation! He jumps right in with, “Papa hug!” and a big, pick-you-up-off-your-feet hug for R. R adores him. He needs this Papa time. (Pray for me when “Papa” works three 24-hour shifts next week!)
Thank goodness for The Dad, a few translated phrases that I’m becoming fluent with, lots of yogurt and chasing games with E and D. I pray it will be an amazing 4 weeks! The journey continues…