Our Ukraine Summer Hosting Program just finished. Sixteen orphaned children, from different regions of Ukraine, will return to their country after spending their summer vacation with American families. I was the lucky one, who met the kids at the airport and who observed their “American” life through the weekly photo reports of the hosting families.
After witnessing the children over the summer, I think that Leo Buscaglia’s quote is the perfect one to describe what I’ve seen. Buscaglia says, “I have learned that love is the most powerful force available to us. When we have real love we have the strength to perform miracles.” The difference between the kids I have met at the airport and the kids I see in the photos is a miracle; one that became possible because of love.
When I remember the children at the airport when they arrived, they were full: of expectations, fears, anxieties about a new country and the unknown people they were going to live with. They were full of struggles they experienced before in their life. And of course, full of hope that they would get to experience a healthy family life.
The kids I see in the photos throughout their time in America are full of happiness and smiles. The kids who never experienced family atmosphere or even everyday routines such as family dinner, nighttime and family walks, had the opportunity to experience a lot for the first time. Some of them tried to ride a bicycle, to hike in the mountains, learned how to swim, have their first very own birthday cake, dressed up in costumes, or took care of pets – cats, dogs and even goats. But all of them experienced love; love that creates miracles. The kids are so different now: they look differently and feel differently, they are full of impressions, positive emotions, and life-lasting memories.
I want to thank all the MLJ Hosting families for their kindness and courage, for the time and efforts they committed to these kids, for their love that performed a miracle.
If your family participated in a Summer Hosting Program with MLJ Adoptions or another hosting agency, begin your adoption journey by completing your Adoption Application with MLJ Adoptions by the end of August and receive a $500 adoption grant!