In 2005 our church partnered with Frontier Horizon to host orphans from Odessa, Ukraine for a summer. This entails bringing a child over and having them live with you and your family while they are in the United States. Our church (myself included) also planned many fun activities for the children while they were here.
My husband I both had grown children that were independent and, knowing that adoption was a possibility for some children that were hosted, we choose to pick an older child that was not eligible for adoption (we did not want to adopt).
Looking through the pictures all laid out on a table we both looked at the same picture of a young man and his picture brought tears to our eyes. He was 15 and we just knew he was the one!
I will never forget picking him up at our church and he had nothing with him but the clothes on his back. Sitting in the backseat of our pickup truck (I can still see this in my mind’s eye), he said “It is always my dream to come to United States”.
His name is Viktor.
We had so much fun with him and the other children. We fell completely in love with him! He was tender hearted and wise beyond his years. Although he had suffered much in the orphanage due to his small stature and strawberry birthmark on his face, he was never harsh or angry.
He wanted to attend school in the United States but we were unable to make that happen, so we put him through Law School in Ukraine for $2000 – orphans have certain rights to education, but we had to send a “bribe” to get him into school! That is just a way of life in Ukraine.
We loved him so much that we brought him over (via the same program) the next summer. Then we started bringing him over on our own. We helped him get a visa and paid for his airfare. Because of his frequent travel to the US, he was able to get an extended visa and, through a job, he was able to come over almost every summer. We were delighted and always looks forward to him being able to come and spend time with us.
Our relationship grew over the years and we talked often. He finally brought his fiancée with him one summer. We grew to love her also and we went to their wedding in Odessa, Ukraine in 2015!
We are still in contact with both of them and their son.
Hosting Viktor changed our lives and his forever for the better!
– Host Mother, Lorey