Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Our Hosting Experience Comes To An End

We spent much of our Christmas break having fun!
We wanted to show our host child what it was like being in a family and 
what life in America was like!

We wanted to give him as many new experiences as possible!
As we walked into the Mall of America
and saw what was ahead of him he could hardly contain himself!

We were blessed by the MOA officials and 
given a pass to get to the front of the lines at every ride!
I fought back the tears as we accepted this very kind gift!

Y was not tall enough to go on many of the big rides but 
he seemed to enjoy whatever he was able to do!
All of the children loved our time there but after our 3 hour pass was over
it was time to go home!

For Christmas the family gave me this 1000 piece puzzle!
I love puzzles and I was a bit selfish...
I did most of it myself.
It was my moment to unwind.
BUT when I got hung up on Santa's beard and the holidays were ending...
I called on my faithful puzzle helper, Ellie!
She finished it for me and we are both quite pleased with the results!

We have an annual Families with Children from China party.
This year we had over 160 people come to the party!
It is an event that everyone enjoys!
This group of kiddos were the last to leave and 
they all helped us clean up when the party was over!

We have dinner, crafts, coloring, games and a huge maze for the children to play on!

I was so blessed to be able to meet my FB friend- Selinda and her two daughters from China!
Her family moved here from Texas!
We are so blessed to have her in MN, now!
Sorry Texas...

We took our boys in for haircuts and Y got his buzz cut cleaned up!
Our boys have been going to Mike the barber for 31 years!

I love the smile on his face!
I think he is liking his haircut, too!

We started back to school on Monday
and with that comes our regular activities!
Our gymnastics club let Y do a trial lesson!

He loved it and was all smiles!
He is so much more relaxed and happy now.
He knows the routine and he is learning all of the children's names!

We went and listened to a speaker talk about mission trips to Haiti.
She went on one when she was a teen and it forever changed her.

After the earthquake in Haiti she felt "called back" to help...
The children were all ears and listened to what life in Haiti is like
for the poor and for the orphans...

Every evening we talk with Y over google translate.
He loves to hear what I have to say and loves extra hugs from us.

It has been such a blessing having him at our home but sadly 
our hosting experience has come to an end.

We have dreaded this day...

The families that have hosted have all stayed in touch with each other
and with the chaperones/interpreters throughout the three weeks on Wechat.

I am amazed at how smoothly it went for the families involved.
If anyone needed help, it was only a message away!
They would message on We Chat and the chaperone would call the family.

We needed assistance once when Y was having dental work done.
He was having a hard time...
who wouldn't have a hard time with 2 cavities being filled, 4 sealants and a tooth pulled...

Google translate and our Mandarin speaking kiddos could not help.
So I quickly messaged and was immediately called back.
I put the interpreter on speaker phone so he could talk to Y
and calm him down.
It helped Y to hear a voice speaking Mandarin to him.
Our dentist did decide that we had put this little guy through enough
 he may be returning to China with only 3 of the 4 sealants done.

Most of the time we needed very little help/ interpreting because 
we have quite a few kids that can still understand Mandarin.
As the weeks went by they began to speak more and more Mandarin.
Even our children that don't have the gift of two languages 
were able to say short phrases to him and get their point across.

Twenty nine children came to America to be hosted through CCAI !
Please click on the link to find out more information about the children that were hosted and about other waiting children.

For our family it was an amazing experience and we would host again.
We feel that it put life into perspective over the holidays
and that it was a blessing to have this little guy stay with us!

It was so hard to tell him that our time together was ending...
He saw me put together his photo album.
He was very excited about it but he knew what was about to happen...

The children's Mandarin teacher comes on Wednesdays-
 she told him that tomorrow he would be going back to Chicago to meet up with the other children and guides. They would all leave together from Chicago and go back to China.

It broke my heart...
It broke our children's heart...
Y was teary but he kept himself composed...

That evening we told him through google translate 
that Baba and he would be leaving very early...

I know he didn't want to go...
and we didn't want him to go...

But we didn't have a choice...

In the morning we hugged and they left... gulp...

He was happy to see his travel mates in Chicago.
He teared up again when it was time to say goodbye to Baba...
He is a bit stoic and he held it together...

Please pray for these dear children.
No child should live in an orphanage...
every child should have a family and a home.


Stacey T. said...

I have such mixed feelings about Chinese orphan hosting. While I'm sure it brings blessings to your family during the time of hosting, I have to wonder what it does to the child's young heart. They live their life in the orphanage, and then get this amazing long airplane ride, and then they get to meet this wonderful family, and do amazing things that they've never gotten to do before....and then they go back. Back to the orphanage. With just memories of their wonderful time in America.

I wonder what they think "They have all of these Chinese children that they've adopted, but what about me, why do I have to go back, was I bad? Did they not like me? What did I do wrong?"

I asked my 11 year old about what she thought the child would think (she's adopted from China). I explained the scenario of a child living in the orphanage, then visiting America and living with a family for 3 weeks and going to amusement parks and eating yummy treats and then going back" I asked her how she thought it would feel to the child and she said "Fun while it was going on, but horrible after they went back"

I just wonder what the long term effects are on the child that is not adopted.....

Marie said...

So very glad that Y had the opportunity, even if only for a short while, to be loved in a family setting. So glad he has happy memories to hang on to when life gets rough. There are pros and cons to hosting but the pros far out way the cons. Better for a child to have experienced family for a short while than never at all!!!

AlbinoPrincess said...

You may not be able to share this at this point, but is there any chance Y may be coming to your house to stay? *crossing fingers and toes*

I know that if you aren't able to bring Y home to stay that you'll be advocating for him.

Karen Twombly said...

I have a friend who grew up in an orphanage, was hosted and never adopted. She is very thankful for the hosting times. She said it provided an important break for her. She also learned a foreign language from being hosted yearly. She was very glad for it.

Debbie said...

I hope they will give you a chance to adopt him! We adopted our child through CCAI. It is very close to us here in Colorado. Love reading your blog!

~Monica Utt~ Itty Bitty Land said...

(((Hugs))) I never met Y, but cried when you had to say, "Bye." God bless and keep you both.

Kate said...

So glad that your family hosted Y. I too hope that you are able to adopt him. It would be great if your family could add another boy. There is enough love to go around. It looks like your family had a blast over the holidays. Waiting on your blog post regarding the gifts not given on Christmas.

MamaFoster said...

I am so glad that you guys were able to host him. God's will be done. You did the right thing by hosting him (I assume you felt like you were supposed to) and hopefully he will be in a family of his own soon.