Airport Smiles: the Life-Changing Power of the Ukraine Hosting Program


2016 Winter Hosting GroupVictoriia Serediuk-Buz joined the MLJ Adoptions team as a legal intern in 2017. Originally from Ukraine, she has been a huge asset in assisting with the Ukraine Hosting Program.

I’ve only been with MLJ Adoptions for a short time, but Winter Hosting Program kids’ departure has easily been the greatest experience so far. From the very beginning of the program, when the children arrived, I was waiting for the moment when I would get to see them again. I assumed that children who do not have the warmth of family in their daily life would be changed after experiencing how it feels to be a part of a family for three weeks. I could not even imagine how right I was. On the day of departure, I met twelve little already-familiar-to-me faces, who looked totally different this time. The main difference was that fear of uncertainty has been changed by the hope that they would join the family again soon, and that next time it would be forever.

I think I was the luckiest person at the airport, because I speak both Ukrainian and Russian, and I was able to enjoy the kids’ changes in full. The children easily started conversations with me, wanting to tell me as much as possible about what they had done, what they had seen and where they had been with their host family. They displayed gifts, new clothes and toys, and photos with the families and their pets. The most valuable acquisition was the smiles on their little faces, honest and generous smiles, which warmed all of us there on that gloomy January day.

I was surprised that almost all of the kids started to use the words “mommy” and “daddy”, “brother” and “sister”, without a sign of hesitation in their voices. For me that means that three weeks in a family turned out to be enough to make the children BELIEVE. In a short period of time, they began to believe in their host families, to believe that everything was going to be alright, to believe that soon they would join the family, and for the next time it would be forever.

If you’re interested in participating in our Hosting Program in this summer, please contact us.

MLJ Adoptions is a Non-Profit, Hague-Accredited adoption service provider located in Indianapolis, Indiana, working in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Pacific Isles. We are passionate about serving children in need.