Sunday, February 5, 2012

The importance of orphan hosting

Thanks to some very generous businesses who donated and wonderful friends and family who came our Dinner and Silent Auction was a success.

So thank you for coming and supporting us, the Dewberry and McCoy families.

I wanted to take a minute to make you aware of something you may not know about. We know that slavery has been abolished in our country for a long time. But did you know it still goes on not only in the USA but all over the world?

I just read this article about what goes on during Super Bowl weekend. This may surprise you. The Super Bowl is the largest sex trafficking event in the country. Thousands of girls have been brought into Indianapolis for this single event. Many of them are preteens and runaways. Chips, dips and beer aren't the only thing that sells big during the weekend of the Super Bowl. Children are sold too. This just makes me mad and makes me want to throw up. I don't know any other way to describe how it makes me feel. We live in a country where slavery is supposed to be abolished and this goes on right under our noses. Here is the article.

The fact is that human trafficking goes on everywhere. We all know it. But for the most part we ignore it. It's the dirty little secret every country in the world has.

So how does this relate to orphan hosting? Thousands of Eastern European orphans are on the streets and have turned to or been coerced into prostitution just to survive. At age 16 orphans (that were lucky enough to grow up in the orphanage instead of the streets) are forced to leave their orphanage and most end up homeless. Here are just some of the stats from Ukraine:

Ukraine has over 100,000 orphans.

About 10% of them will commit suicide after leaving the orphanage.

60% of the girls will end up in prostitution. Those who run prostitution rings target orphaned girls, who are especially vulnerable due to their lack of options and lack of people who care what happens to them. Though promised good jobs, they end up on the streets and brothels of cities across Europe.

70% of the boys will enter a life of crime. Many of these will die young of violence or end up in prison. Most inmates contract TB in prison.

Stats provided by familyhope.org.

Did you see the part about the girls? They end up across Europe. That means they are trafficked all over the place. Guess what? Boys end up in prostitution too. Alot of these kids end up dead or in prison. Their futures are pretty bleak unless somebody steps in.

As I type this I am reminded that Ukraine is experiencing a cold snap right now. Over 100 people have died just in the last 2 weeks. I wonder if any orphans turned 16 in the last 2 weeks and had to leave the orphanage. Sit with that thought for a moment. Tomorrow night in Kiev it will feel like -15 degrees with the wind chill. Can you imagine for a moment what it would be like to be a homeless orphan on the streets in that weather? I just can't imagine it while sitting here in my house with my furnace blasting warm air through the vents and a cup of hot tea sitting on my desk.

This is why orphan hosting programs like New Horizons for Children are so important. Being hosted gives a child a chance to find a forever family before they are put out on the street. Older orphans in Ukraine have about a 1% chance to get adopted because most people who adopt internationally want babies or toddlers (which is just fine too). Getting hosted ups their chances to about 60-80%. That's a pretty huge difference don't you think? Even if a child does not get adopted the positive impact that is made in that child's life may be the catalyst that changes their life forever. They may feel love and hope for their future for the first time in their lives. They may begin t make choices about their future that will somehow prevent them from becoming a statistic.

I know not everyone can host or adopt a child. It's a huge commitment and I don't want to guilt anyone in to doing something they cannot do. We didn't think we afford to host or adopt. But God made a way for us to host Andriy and so far in our adoption process we are seeing Him provide in amazing ways.

If you can't host or adopt there are some things you can do to help save a child from the streets. Prayer is the biggest thing they need. Pray for the orphan crisis in the world. Pray for families you know that are hosting or adopting or even fostering here in the USA. Pray that God will stir the hearts of more people to adopt. Pray for governments and their leaders to do more for these children. Some countries have very substandard facilities and a lack of care givers for these kids. Children with disabilities are often treated like they are not even human.

Provide scholarship money to hosting programs like New Horizons for Children. Hosting is expensive and a scholarship can make the difference between a child getting hosted or not picked at all. Financially support your friends and family that are hosting or adopting. Let's face it. It's expensive. No these countries are not selling children. Stop believing all the money goes to corrupt politicians in foreign countries. I have seen where the money goes. An adoption takes a bunch of very dedicated, specialized people to get it done. These folks love the children and bust their behinds to make the adoption process as smooth as possible for each family. It's expensive because these folks work very long hard hours to make it happen.

Or lastly pray about hosting and possibly adopting a child yourself. People will tell you that you are crazy. That older orphans come with horrible problems and behaviors. They will tell you all sorts of horror stories that they heard about a friend of a friend that adopted a 10 year old and the kid was just awful. So far most of the kids I have met through New Horizons for Children are about as normal as you would expect for kids that have been abandoned or orphaned and had to grown up in an orphanage. They are a lot like most kids you know. They want to be loved, they want security and safety. They want to look cool in front of their friends. They love music, sports and watching cartoons on TV. They want a warm bed, enough food to eat and an opportunity to do something important with their lives. They just need someone to take a chance on them. To open their heart and home. They may will come with some issues. I bet you have some issues too. I know I do.

We didn't think we could host a child. We certainly didn't think we could do an international adoption. But we prayed about it and said yes. Above anything Chris and I love God and want to serve Him and do His will. He put Andriy in our lives and we can't wait to bring him home and make him part of our family forever. We took a chance and we are so glad we did. Sometimes we just need to step out in faith and see what God does. God is allowing us the privilege of saving a child from possibly ending up on the streets. I can't think of a higher calling. It really is a privilege and an honor to do this. He is our son and he belongs here with us, not on the street cold and forgotten where someone may come along and exploit him, hurt him or lure him into a life of crime. He is a precious child and deserves better than that.

This is why I started this blog. I want to encourage people to host, to adopt, to become foster parents or to just do something about the orphan crisis. I wonder how many of those girls in Indianapolis that are prostitutes right now should have grown up in a safe, loving foster home. For some reason they ended up on the streets instead. This is our problem. This shouldn't happen anywhere.




No comments: