Category Archives: OrphanHosting

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things

1.The Sound of Music.
Kids gathered around the piano singing together, teaching Dz the English words to sing along. A patient cousin, realizing his great desire to learn piano, sits him in front of the keys and begins teaching him. He picks it up quickly, and she teaches even more. They spend hours together laughing and singing as he plays.
Favorite words, repeated again and again as he practiced with a giant smile on his face until his fingertips turned red: “I love very!”
2. The Fourth of July
A walk across the meadow to Nevada Beach. Sitting on the water’s edge watching a rather spectacular 30-minute fireworks display choreographed to music over Lake Tahoe. He was amazed.
Favorite words whispered every few minutes throughout: “Wow. Very good. Oh wow. Very, very good.”
3. Caples Lake with Papa

My dad took the boys and cousin Natalie(the pianist) for a day of fishing. (I tagged along to take pictures.) Beautiful; a picnic, hiking, sunshine, and smiles. Nick has a new fishing buddy who is just as patient and determined as he…

 

Favorite words yelled out from every direction, including Dz’s: “Papa! Papa!” Someone needs help casting. Someone’s line is caught. Someone needs more bait. I think a very happy, tired Papa slept gooood that night.

Laughter and Tears

And here begins our second hosting of Dz as we continue to wait for adoption progress. Yesterday was laughter and today was tears. Two amazing days of hosting so far.¬†Shall I catch you up?…

Dz arrived close to midnight on Thursday. He had another long and exhausting trip full of flight delays and long layovers, but he made it, Praise God! And we pulled into home around 3am. Straight to bed and “I love you” on the very first night this time. Swoon.

Day number one happened to be Indy’s birthday…

My sweet 9 year old said he got the best present all the way from Latvia. But we tried to spoil him more anyway. We took the kids to see a movie, followed by an afternoon of swimming. That evening my sister and her family came to stay the night on their way to the airport in San Francisco. (Did I mention they are hosting again too?! Their poor host child had even more flight delays than Dz, so he arrived 2 days late. But that will be another blog post friends.) Cake and ice cream and a houseful of kids meant a lot of smiles and laughter for Dz, soaking it all in again. I can’t wait for the day that I can unveil all the great pictures of his time with us. Soon, I pray!
Two days of travel and a full first day here!… Today was a day for rest. We stayed home, played Uno and Swap, and just tried to catch up with each other. Hugs and cuddles, smiles and laughs, it was another good day. Somewhere in the middle Dz pulled up a video on YouTube for us… of his 9th grade graduation ceremony. 9th grade graduation is a big deal. His last year of school in L@tvi@. Time for life decisions and often bleak outlooks for orphans… But that’s another blog post as well. The point is… I had really wanted to be there! We had seriously hoped that maybe we could travel in May so that we could attend his graduation ceremony. But it didn’t work out. God had other plans. Maybe today was part of that, because we cried together with my arm around him as we watched. He looked so handsome in his suit as he walked up to receive his diploma and gifts. I told him how much I wished I could have been there, and he told me he had wished the same. It was a hard day for him. More tears. Then I pointed to an empty bench in the crowd and told him I was sitting right there in my heart. His smile beamed.

I’m ready for whatever tomorrow brings, thankful to be tucking him in again, with hugs and “I love you”s each night.

Focusing On Joy

airplane-view-from-windowMy heart is breaking into pieces today. We are on our way into San Francisco where we will have to send Dz off on an airplane back to Latvia. We don’t know how long it will be until we can see him again. I had myself a good little cry over it last night, and I’m not convinced the tears won’t flow again today. Especially when he tells me again and again that he wants to stay.

May God strengthen us to walk in the difficult and the unknown. May He give his angels charge over Dz, to guard him in all his ways!

Since we have a little time in the car, I think I’ll help my mind to focus on the joys, by sharing a few more with you…

Game night playing Swap. So. Much. Fun! We all cried that night too, but only because we were laughing so hard! The first few rounds of racing to slap the table took him by surprise, but by the 3rd time, he called out “oh, I understand!” Then look out! This boy likes to win.

Hiking in the Redwoods with 7 adventurous boys. Dad at the lead. Over and under, climbing, jumping, swinging, running. I follow behind praying hard for no broken bones. And a beautiful moment stopped along the river watching all my boys skipping stones.

A favorite moment yesterday as we all walked on the beach. Because bonding with me seems easier for him, it filled me with joy to watch, ahead in the distance, Adam and Dz walking and talking and laughing with their arms over one another’s shoulder.

And a moment of humor… Adamant that he wants to stay, he jokes with us and tells us in his English that he is going to “poop” the car tires so that we can not drive him to the airport. Then the other boys, through laughter, begin charades to explain to him the difference between “poop” and “pop”. He laughs. I don’t think he’ll have trouble remembering that one.

Kids on bicycles and skateboards, Dad and Mom on foot. We go to the park around the corner and spend the afternoon with a little sunshine peeking through, circling the bike path and tossing the football. Adam throws it long, Nick and Dz run and wrestle for the victory of catching it. But 8 year old Indy sneaks in, grabs it from the midst of them, and runs off victorious. All they can do is laugh and help each other up from the grass. Then offer high fives to the victor. And another loop around the bike path, he pulls up beside me and says, “No L@tvi@. I stay here.”

Oh how I wish you could stay here. But I promise you, we will do our best to bring you back just as quickly as we’re able!

5 Weeks Can Change A Life Forever

IMG_2447Half a year ago God stirred the hearts of a family in Southern California to share 5 weeks of their lives with an orphan from L@tvi@. They didn’t know what the outcome would be. But they knew that inviting him to America for a part of their summer would not only be an adventure so often only dreamed of by a child who has spent his life in an orphanage, but it would also increase his chance of becoming part of a family forever from a mere 2% to more than 60%!! That’s a significant impact that 5 weeks can make!

My heart is forever grateful that they chose to pour their time and love into his life. It is because of their obedience to follow God’s call, that Dz’s sweet smile appeared in my email inbox one day. It is because of their willingness, that I was able to laugh with him today, and hug him good night, and tell him I love him. And I pray one day soon we will be able to tell him that his adoption is complete.

Have you ever considered the difference you could make in the life of an orphan by simply saying yes to hosting him for 5 weeks? 5 weeks could change a child’s life forever.

I know it’s only January friends, but would you begin praying about the possibility of hosting an orphan this summer? Then visit newhorizonsforchildren.org to stay updated on their Summer hosting program. There are hundreds of kids hoping to be chosen.