I recently asked you to send me all of your hosting questions. I’m not an expert on hosting by any means, but I’ll answer all of these to the best of my ability and/or share where you can find them on P143 or NHFC’s FAQ page.
Do you need an approved home study to host?
No, each organization does their home visit differently, but you do not need a full homestudy. In our case, we were able to use Gus’s post placement reports in lieu of a home visit. Some organizations require you to have one of their staff visit your home or others require a social worker. I think it varies based on the organization and/or how far you are from their volunteers. But, I do not know of any that require the full homestudy. If you do have a recent homestudy and/or post placement report, you can usually use those instead of the home visit. There will also be other paperwork, such as background checks, etc. [Addressed on P143’s FAQ page.]
Do you have to have an entire empty bedroom to host?
No. It does have to be a room shared with only host siblings of the same sex and the child has to have their own bed. [Addressed on P143’s FAQ page.]
What are the fees/costs involved for the hosting family?
It varies, but seems to be around $2700-3000 for the hosting fees. There may be a few other costs, such as travel to the airport to pick up your host child. You will also need clothing and a few other items for your host child, as well as an eye exam and dental exam and cleaning. However, these can often be donated and the host programs offer some advice on how to go about that. [Addressed on P143’s FAQ page.]
What ages of children are in need of host families?
It varies from country to country. I have a friend who is hosting a 4yo. Typically, I hear of 6-18 year olds. Most of the children are from about 10-18.
Do host families need to be considering adoption in order to host?
No, the family does not need to be adoption-minded. In fact, not all children are available for adoption. Some programs will not allow a host-only family to host an adoptable child multiple times, as this makes it harder for them to find an adoption-minded family and also bonded with another family. [Addressed on P143’s FAQ page and NHFC’s FAQ page.]
Are the children who come available for adoption?
No, not all of the children are available for adoption. Some are too old to be adopted and others are simply unavailable for any number of reasons. The hosting organizations can usually let you know if a child is adoptable, but they do not guarantee this information. [Addressed on P143’s FAQ page and NHFC’s FAQ page.]
Is the main objective of the hosting program to give older orphans a better chance at finding families and adjusting to family life? If no, what is the primary objective?
Partly. There are a few different objectives and each program lists slightly different visions. They are along the lines of finding children families, showing orphans love, and teaching them about God. [Addressed on P143’s FAQ page.] I also really like the answer shared on NHFC’s FAQ page for “Isn’t it cruel to send them back?”. It addresses the purposes of hosting beyond finding a child a family.
How long is the host program? (How many weeks or months does the child stay in the host family?)
Again, this varies based on the program and country. Big L’s program is one of the longest at 9.5 weeks. Some programs are just a few weeks long, especially the winter programs. [Addressed on P143’s FAQ page and NHFC’s FAQ page.]
Are all the children who participate in the hosting program orphaned children?
All of them are living in an orphanage or foster family setting, but not all of them may be true orphans, who have lost both parents. Some may have one or both parents alive, but unable to care for them.
What countries participate in the hosting program?
Many countries participate in the hosting program and I haven’t researched them all. A few that come to mind are Latvia, Ukraine, China, Uganda, Nicaragua, Colombia, and the Philippines.
How are the children screened to come?
I think this answer probably varies a lot from host program to host program and country to country. My understanding for NHFC and P143 is that the orphanage director recommends children who they feel would be suitable for hosting. Then, the hosting program’s team interviews the children. [Addressed on P143’s FAQ page.]
Do you consider adopting Big L?
Yes, she’s a wonderful kid. However, adoption is not a topic to be taken lightly, so we’re praying and considering if she’ll become a permanent member of our family.
Here is a list of hosting programs I have heard of; however, I cannot personally vouch for most of these.
- Project One Forty Three (who we are hosting Big L with) – Latvia, Ukraine and China
- New Horizons for Families (who we were originally hosting with) – Latvia, Ukraine, China and the Philippines
- Frontier Horizon – Ukraine & Nicaragua
- Children’s Cultural Connection – Ukraine & Uganda
- Kidsave – Latvia, Colombia & the Philippines
How is the subject of adoption handled? Since it is part of the foundation of your family, is it a challenge to skirt the issue? Do Reed and Lena have questions about Big L’s potential for adoption?
The hosting program asks that we do not talk about adoption with our host child for several reasons, mainly to protect the kids’ feelings. However, Big L has brought it up herself and asked to come back to our family “forever”. This is difficult to dodge when she brings it up, but I remind her that she is still here for awhile, we’re very happy to have her here and we love her very much. Our family, Reed and Lena included, know that adoption is an off-limits topic. They know that she is only here for the summer and we haven’t discussed adoption as a possibility with them, as we do not want them to bring up the topic with Big L.