We participate in a hosting program.
(At first, I had no idea what that meant, so I thought I could help you all understand it better too.)
Hosting is an opportunity for an orphan or orphans to come to America and stay with a loving family. Something they do not get while living in an orphanage and often not even while in foster care.
Hosting is separate from Adoption. Different agencies. Different requirements. Our adoption agency actually handles some of the legal paperwork for our hosting ministry and there is a discount through our chosen adoption agency for hosting. (to help defer the cost of hosting)
Most hosting programs bring a group of children and chaperones over from another country for a 4-5 week visit and then the children must return to their home country.
Hosting is a chance to welcome an orphan into your home (and your heart). Some of the children have never had (or were too small to remember) ever having a normal family life. Through hosting you can show an orphan what a loving family is all about, and show them what it feels like to be loved and cared for without conditions placed on the love or care they are being given. It is a chance to immerse them in another culture, and an atmosphere of happiness they will not likely find within an institution or foster care. It is a gift to every child!
Background checks and home safety visits are required, as are extensive training before approval to host is given. It is all a small price to pay to BE a difference in a child's life.
Many times, people fall in love with the child they have hosted and pursue adoption.
Sometimes people enter into hosting knowing they are already headed for adoption. (hint: that is us)
Some times, people are only hosts, hosting children who are not able to be adopted yet.
Sometimes, people only host and then advocate for the child they hosted to find a forever family.
(Very Cool!) Lots of people who have hosted before and adopted this way, will host again and again and continue to advocate for these children. (Also Super Cool!)
Sometimes, people host and for a myriad of reasons, do not adopt the child they host, but go on to host again and may pursue adoption of another child.
Rarely the child you are going to host may get adopted before your paperwork is in country. (Hint: this was us too!). The ministry of ophans in the country you are adopting from may not take the child or children off the "available children" list, just because they are being hosted in another country.
In any case, Hosting is a great experience for the hosted child and a total blessing to your family.
So, to sum up:
Hosting is a great way to help an orphan in multiple ways. 1. Experience a visit to another country with a loving family. 2. Help school age adoptable children be given a chance to perhaps find a forever family. 3. Give your family a chance to really give of themselves and in turn to be completely blessed by the hosting experience. Think of it as a missions trip you take while still at home.