Friday, December 12, 2014


We hosted through Bridge of Hope, a division of Cradle of Hope, this past summer and are in the process of adopting our little guy now!

Hosting is a little bit controversial because the child has the chance to leave the orphanage and experience life in America, but then they have to go back. There are no exceptions unfortunately. We tried to see if there was any way to get a medical waiver for our little guy but that is just not an option that is built into the system. And as we predicted, it was excruciating to send him back. Definitely good motivation to get the paperwork done!

On the other hand, it is an amazing opportunity for the child to be known by a family, and whether that family adopts him or not, they are able to advocate for him and share photos of him, and sometimes just the right photo can make all the difference for a waiting child. 

The closer we get to bringing our little boy home for good, the easier it is for me to see that even though it was hard having him here just temporarily and sending him back, for him and for us, it was so worth it because he will spend the rest of his life as our son!

His file had been sitting on the shared list for four years with just his name, age, and special need.

No mention of his great personality

 or the fact that he's the snuggliest snuggle bug when he falls asleep on your lap

 or that he makes the funniest faces

 and gets so proud when he's all dressed up.

That's what hosting gives these children, the chance to be more than just a line on a list of a thousand other lines!

We have had a very positive experience with hosting/adopting through Cradle of Hope. The hosting coordinators are very well-organized and they really care about the children. Their purpose is to help the children find forever families and they have had very good success. Our adoption process has gone really smoothly and efficiently, too. China expedited our approval, so instead of it taking 90+ days, it only took 17! 

For us, this is what hosting looked like-
The children arrived at Washington D.C. and had a day to get a little bit acclimated to the time zone before meeting their families. Generally the families meet the children in a hotel and spend time with a translator for a bit. (In our case, we were out of town at a funeral so we met him a day later at the airport. I flew up, met with the director, a translator, and our little guy, then he and I flew back a few hours later. We never left the airport, but that's not typical.) Then you head home with your child. 

The children do not speak English, although maybe some of the older boys might speak a little. Our five year old knew how to count and was able to say some English words for simple items, but he could not carry on a conversation. But really it's amazing how quickly you both figure out how to communicate and by the end of the hosting time, those kids are able to use some English. 

The first couple nights were tricky because he was exactly 12 hours different from us, so he was ready to roll at night which made for a tired mom the next day, but it was not a big deal. It didn't take long for him to be on our schedule.

                                                                                                                                                                                           For his first meal with us, we had Chinese food to celebrate his being here and to make sure that he had something familiar to eat. We stocked up on noodles and rice just in case, but our little guy loved all the American food that we served him! He especially loved fruit and cookies.

During the day, we just did fun things with him- took him to the library,

went to the park to feed the ducks,

went to Chick-fil-a for Cow Appreciation Day (and a few other times),

spent time with extended family

and just played outside.

 We took lots of pictures to send back with him both for his sake and for his directors to see that he had a fun time. 

Our three children absolutely had a blast with our little guy while he was here! It was hard for them to say goodbye, and they miss him, but they pray for him each day and know that we'll have him back for good before too long.

Could hosting be the right choice for your family?