They have been here one week. And I am not sure which is greater…what we have learned about the kids, or what we have learned from the kids. I myself, even on the outskirts, have learned about grace, about strength (both of the children and the host families), about resilience, and about pure love. To think what these kids have gone through in their lifetime, and over the past week, I am awestruck. I am humbled. Their courage and bravery is incomprehensible. While we will all continue to learn many things from these inspiring kids, let me pause the lesson for a moment to introduce you to them!
From the moment she stepped off the plane, you could see the sweetness and intelligence in this girl. She saw our group, saw the Welcome sign, read it, and her face lit up with a smile that filled the terminal. But instead of running towards us, she took that moment to share with one of the other children what the sign read. She pointed to us, and signed to him “There they are!” to make sure he understood. Despite it being 4am, and having traveled for 24 hours, Jennifer fought sleep on the ride so she could catch her first glimpses of America. She would stay with me that first night, due to the late hour. She cautiously entered my home, and looked around in wonderment. Jennifer’s face lit up once again when she spotted the dog. Exhausted and excited, Jennifer followed me upstairs to where she would sleep. She gladly put on her pajamas, crawled into bed, and slept for the next nine hours. The next day, she was excited to dive into the toys, especially the Legos and puzzles, with her five-year-old temporary host brother. A simple tap on the shoulder, and showing her things, was all it took to engage Jennifer. She knows what she wants, and will politely decline what she does not care for. Stay tuned to continue to get to know this precious girl, and to hear how wonderfully she is doing in her host home. Jennifer is 11 ½ years old. To follow along Jennifer’s hosting journey, be sure to ‘like’ her Facebook page!
Energetic, full-of-life, goofball, brave – all words that his host family uses to describe Jasper. This boy is the epitome of living life to its fullest! Jasper is a no-holds-barred barrel of fun. From day one, his spunk was evident – he strutted off the plane with a smirk on his face and a glimmer in his eye. This first week, Jasper has embraced his host family, and is eager to participate in new experiences. He has loved his first donut, his first time running through a sprinkler, and his first swim, though a bit hesitant at first. Jasper will no doubt light up his forever family with an energy and buzz that only he can provide. Jasper is 8 years old.
Oh what a sensitive soul Brett is. We have learned that he is smart, reserved, shy, and a bit slow to warm up. But, once he does, and once you see that dimpled smile, it’s all over J. The charisma this boy exudes is palpable. He has won over his host family, and fits right in with his host siblings ages 7, 10, 12, and 14. For the kids, the moment Brett peeked over to his host sister’s Uno hand, and suggested her next move, that was it…he was cool in their book. Brett is 8 years old. To follow along Brett’s hosting journey, be sure to check in on his host Mom’s blog! http://www.myoverthinking.com/blog/
Gentleman. There is no better word to describe Shane. He is a true gentleman. Day 1 – went shopping with his host Mom and host brother. When they returned home, Shane insisted on carrying ALL of the groceries into the house. Day 3 – visiting his host Grandfather. Shane notices he needs to sit down due to leg pain. With no prompting, Shane runs to get him a pillow, a glass of water, and the book Shane noticed him reading earlier that day. This was not an act. This is Shane. Pure goodness, with a little bit of spunk of course…he is an 8-year-old boy after all. To follow along Shane’s hosting journey, be sure to ‘like’ his Facebook page!
Our host children will be in the Philadelphia region until mid-July. Their host families are eager to share about them! There are grants available for the families who adopt these children. If you are interested in learning more about any of our host kids, or about our hosting program in general, please email Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.