Hosting has been an experience that I would never trade. To give a little background, quite a few years ago mom was looking at the pictures of Eastern European orphans on New Horizons for Children. The children were so cute and our hearts broke when we read the paragraphs describing each child. Many of them had such simple desires. That was when we decided that we should host two girls for the summer term which is six weeks. Although the experience was hard, we loved it and hosted D and V several more times in the following years. Then came Covid along with some other complications and we now have not seen those dear girls for quite a while. Which brings us to this summer when mom got a phone call from one of the hosting directors who said that a family who was hosting was having major problems with their host daughter and they wondered if we would take her. After discussing it, we decided that there was no way we couldn’t give her a home for a few weeks. So A moved in with us.
As soon as we met, she latched right on to me and was never far from my side. At first I wondered how A could possibly have caused trouble. She seemed so sweet and helpful. It did not end up taking long to get past the honeymoon stage though! She had insecurity and control issues which made me sad because it pointed to previous rejection, neglect, and abuse. Constantly she tried to control me and everything I did and if I didn’t treat her the way she thought I should, or if I spent too much time with someone else, she would try to “punish me” by being rude or just ignoring me. It took me a little bit of time to figure out how to react to her and how to treat her when she got angry, but I did learn that what she needed most was God’s unconditional love and a secure environment. Mom did very well with working with her and also helping us girls know how to deal with everything.
With everything I said above, though, I will add that we did enjoy having A in our family and had some really fun times with her. I, of course, took every opportunity that I could to comb her hair!! We had sleepovers in the tent in our back yard, played lots of volleyball, went shopping, swimming, and just hung out and had lots of long conversations over Google Translate, since we couldn’t really speak the same language! She did learn lots of English while she was here. It was amazing how fast she picked it up! After A left, we found many little notes that she had left hidden around the house. Being very sweet, the notes almost brought us to tears!
A had a lot of attachment issues, most likely because of rejection and abuse in her childhood. Sometimes I wanted to get angry with her when she would act unreasonable, but I had to remember to give her grace because she has experienced things that I have been protected from. Whenever she would ignore Kinza to try to “punish her”, I would often be the one she would pour a lot of attention on. This was just a way she was trying to control both Kinza and me. I don’t think she was intentionally doing this, but so many small things she did played into the big picture of her wanting to control the way every situation turned out. Each day there were different things we had to work through. Whenever I think of the day we surprised A by taking her to the store where Kinza works, or when she and I went to get pictures developed at Walgreens, or when she showed us how to eat crayfish, I knew there was a reason for her being with us. The small things that made her happy made us happy, to realize that through God’s love she was changing.Excerpt by Ginger
A little bit about New Horizon’s for Children, here. It is a Christian organization that brings children from foster homes and orphanages in Eastern Europe to families in America for either six weeks in the summer or four weeks over Christmas vacation. Their purpose is to provide safe, fun, Christian homes for children to experience, so they can receive Jesus’ love and have hope for the future. If anyone is interested you can sponsor children so they have a higher chance of being hosted.
That hymn pretty much describes how I feel right now. Only through God’s grace was I raised in a Christian home and saved through Jesus’ blood. The whole hosting experience really opened my eyes to some of the ways I feel and act and how that relates to things that have happened earlier in my life. Similarly I have also learned how to spot actions and feelings in other people that are caused by previous happenings in their life and how to help those people. I am learning how to have grace for others who may seem extremely insensitive, insecure, and obnoxious. We do not know everyone else’s story so let’s try to have mercy on others who have been less fortunate then some of us.
Words by Kinza