In the spring of 2006, Mark and I stumbled across a brief column in the local newspaper about a “culture camp” for orphans from Ukraine that would be coming to Fort Wayne in the summer. It explained a program that enabled children ages 6-12 to visit the United States for about three weeks, learn more about the US, and get the experience of living with a family. While the hope is to find “forever families” for the children in the program, families could “host” a child without any plans to adopt.
When we first read the article, we thought of some friends who had been considering adopting from Ukraine. We set the article aside. As the days turned into weeks, it remained on the top of the pile of coffee table books. One day, Mark turned to me (or I turned to him…who knows?) and said, “Gee, maybe we should host one of these kids.” I (or he, who knows?) answered “Sure, might be fun.”
After a false-start or two, and a whole lot of paperwork, we were matched with an 11-year-old girl named Masha for the three-week hosting program. We quickly fell in love, and in June, 2007 we finalized her adoption and brought her home to the US.
During our five-week stay in Ukraine for Masha’s adoption, we met and fell in love with her best friend, Lena. Documentation and Ukrainian law prevented us from adopting Lena at the same time, but God has a funny way of working things out, and in December, 2009, we travelled to Ukraine again to celebrate Lena’s 14th birthday and bring her home.
Click the links above, or choose from the categories in the right sidebar to read the daily blogs from Masha’s hosting and both Ukraine trips. If your time is more limited, a few highlights are listed here:
- Farewell to Masha
- Let’s Start At The Very Beginning
- The Rain in Ukraine Falls Mainly Somewhere Else
- Eight Months