Things are going to be a lot busier around our house for Christmas this year! Why? We are hosting three orphans from Latvia over the Christmas holiday! I am both excited and nervous at the same time. Their plane arrives tonight!
Two of the kids are a sibling group – brother and sister, ages 10 and 8, respectively. The other girl is 17, and in fact she will celebrate her 18th birthday while she is here with us.
So why are we hosting over Christmas? Especially since we just moved this summer and we are in the midst of a kitchen remodel?
Since I like bullet points, here you go:
- First, we are hosting to potentially adopt. The two younger kids are orphans living with a non-relative caregiver and could eventually be eligible for adoption, but there are a few barriers/qualifiers. First and foremost, in order to adopt, there has to be a connection with these kids. I love kids, and kids are great, but I don’t want to adopt all the kids of the world into my family. There has to be that special spark and/or that special nudge from God in order to move forward with an adoption. Secondly, they live with a non-relative guardian and we have heard that it is very hard to adopt from that situation. Honesty, we do not have our hopes up that this hosting experience will lead to an adoption and in fact have accepted that it probably will not.
- (Quick fact: hosting to adopt is a huge category in the international adoption space. We have tried this twice in the past and, while it was worthwhile for many reasons, it has not led to an adoption. Although we are adoption ready in the country of Latvia, things have dramatically changed in that country due to new laws (more Latvian kids are going into foster care rather than being adopted by foreigners), changing attitudes (Latvians wanting their own kids to stay in Latvia), and changing staff (there are only two ladies who run the adoption program in the whole country, and both are out on maternity leave). These realities have left us in the “Adoption Waiting Room” for over two years now, which is very hard and frustrating. I will leave one thought on waiting at the end of this post.)
- Secondly, we decided to host because I kept sensing that God wanted me to leave my comfort zone and welcome one of “the least of these” into our new home. We have a huge extra room upstairs and I kept thinking that we should use it for something.
- Third, we are hosting because it is good for our kids. Our kids are typical American kids who are used to the comforts and conveniences of American life. It’s good for our kids to have to share their Christmas and to have to be inconvenienced for other children that have less than they do.
- Fourth, it’s good for Erik and me. Serving is a huge category for us that we don’t do as much as maybe we could or should. My prayer is that these kids will feel the love and acceptance of God while they are here.
- Fifth, it’s good for the kids we are hosting. We have heard numerous testimonies that hosting can change the trajectory of the lives of these kids in some amazing ways! I am especially excited to hear the story of the 17 year old we are hosting (who is not adoption eligible due to her age), as she was never adopted and is about to turn 18. It is my prayer that Lasma will feel the love while she is here with us.
- And finally, we are hosting because God has blessed us so very much, and we want to give back. I have a heart for these kids because I, too, have struggled with feelings of rejection. I want these kids to feel love and acceptance from a family and especially from God.
Confession: I am already tired thinking about hosting three kids. Logan (my son) just threw up right before he went to bed just now (I’m not kidding). Our kitchen is in the midst of a remodel. We just moved and I have no family close by (we do have one niece who lives one hour away, hi Lauren!) and barely any friends in our new area. Sometimes I think I’m crazy for doing this. But I know I kept feeling nudged to take a leap of faith, and I prayed a lot, so here we go.
I keep thinking that where God guides, He provides. I’m hoping and praying He will provide the grace for this adventure.
Final deep thought: waiting is hard and waiting for an adoption to take place is really hard. Hosting gives us an opportunity to do something while we wait.
I have been especially encouraged by two verses of Scripture about waiting and trusting:
Isaiah 49:23 “And they that wait for the Lord shall not disappointed.”
And “I am still confident of this, I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13.
I am trusting in the Lord and His timing (and his will in general) for our adoption. It’s hard and frustrating though. And honestly, I don’t know if Latvia will work out for us. We might have to go to a Plan B.
But for now, we are hosting these three kids over Christmas.
Please pray for us!
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25.