On Saturday, Jacob and I sat through an online training for hosting these Eastern European orphans. A lot of it was what I expected – suggestions for food, clothes, discipline, language barriers, etc. – but there were several slides that caused me to choke up… and for those of you who know me know this is an EASY thing to do! Nonetheless, I wasn’t expecting it, and I would occasionally have a few tears drip down my face.
The slides that “got me” were the ones about LOVE.
These kids have been through the ringer! We (Western middle/upper class people) will never know what their lives are like. By hosting, we’ll have just a small taste, and that’s only if UV is willing to share with us and be open with us. In four weeks, who knows how comfortable he’ll feel?… and that was their point in training – that no matter how comfortable they are here, no matter how much love might be shared from the parents to the child (someone else’s child, no less), they will still be scared. They will still FEAR your love because they loved people before and those people left them. They died, abandoned them, dropped them off, abused them, or neglected them.
I’d fear love, too.
But that’s the beauty of trying to serve the Lord. He loves us unconditionally, relentlessly, and for all eternity. And THAT is how we have to treat UV. No doubt it will be hard! I find myself lacking in this department on some days… with my own husband and children! But that’s the goal. And God willing, He will show us the way.
No matter his age, his size, his amount of hurt, our job as host parents is to love love LOVE him and to show him that through signs of affection like tucking him in, snuggling on the couch, praising him publicly and privately, holding hands when we weave through Christmas crowds… things I can’t even picture doing with a complete stranger, and yet… I know that this is my ROLE for this kid. For UV. And I’m stoked. I can’t explain it. Maybe it’s love.
Stay blessed & please continue to pray for us!
PS – the other slides that got me were the pictures of pick up and drop off. The nervousness on their faces as they arrived. The smiles. The tears. The posters and balloons and stuffed animals. Gosh, it made my heart swell. Then – the drop off pictures where families are gripping each other, tears flowing freely, and kids looking so sad to leave these people who LOVED them. Thank God many of them are up for adoption, being adopted, or being repeatedly hosted… these families continue to love and support them in so many ways. I’m so blessed to be a part of this. We all are.
Can’t wait to see you, UV. Just ten more days.