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A Sweet Hosting Story: S <3

This is one of my favorite hosting stories {although, I love them all}.  Linzey helped us when we were hosting Jonalyn–the incredible dental hygienist who helped us with each and every one of the three sessions, screaming and all.  It was Linzey who made it possible, and made sure it was covered free of charge with the office she works for.  It was extensive, Linzey was so nurturing and kind with Jonalyn, and Jonalyn just loved her.  At the end of the 3rd and final visit, it was Linzey who presented Jonalyn with the just perfect Anna doll.  She changed her life forever.  And how she and her husband are changing another life.

Linzey and her husband Pete are hosting “S” this summer in their home, who may just be the cutest little boy (Just wait and see…).  I have loved reading their updates, their sweet days with him and how creatively they love him.

I asked if I could share one of her updates and she said yes!  It’s very special.

Enjoy!

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I can’t believe it’s been over a week since S arrived. He has blessed our family and brought so much action into our lives. So much has happened since my last post! All great!!!


We’ve been beach camping since last Monday and we’ve had such a great time enjoying family. He is one of the most active kids I’ve ever met! He is always ready for an adventure and isn’t scared of anything!
We’re so lucky to live close to the beach and it’s something that I’ve taken for granted. I’ve been beach camping since I was a baby and basically lived at the beach every summer growing up. It’s become part of our routine, I don’t think much of it, but this year was different. I can only imagine what was going through his mind when he saw the glistening ocean and crashing waves for the first time. I saw it again through his eyes, the eyes of an orphan. I couldn’t stop smiling knowing what was over the hill, and when we made it to the crest, I pointed to the ocean. His limited vocabulary about summed it up “WOW Mamma, das good!”
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I had to video his first ocean experience! He was chomping at the bit to get in there! He kicked off his sandals handed me Mabel’s leash and strutted in. He looked back at me smiling, as if can you believe this, are you seeing this, isn’t this amazing. Every day he would go in the ocean and about every 10 waves he would look back at me on the beach and wave. I think he loved the thought that someone was watching him. I’ve tried my best to watch him, be present in the now, and encourage him. He hasn’t had someone to watch him, he’s been on his own, taking care of his younger brother and little sister. I’m sure its so nice for him to be a kid and have someone just be happy that he’s happy. 

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We bought him a life jacket and he was in the ocean about 3 hours a day he loved jumping over waves, kayaking, and catching crabs.
Even though he can’t swim, he was down to go way out over the crashing waves in the kayak. “Mamma let’s GOOOO”
I was astonished in the amount of trust he had in me. Here I was, in control of the boat, in water he can’t swim in, ocean he’s never seen, and waves he’s never experienced and he’s laughing his head off, having the time of his life. It reminds me of how God works in our lives, once you give up control, trust in God and just ride the waves; It’s a beautiful thing. You are free to enjoy and experience this world and all its adventures. I’ve learned a lot from the way he lives life.

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We flipped twice and I quickly got him back in the boat, he recovered in less than a minute and he was ready to charge the waves again. I am amazed at how resilient he is. I’m so glad God has put us in the position to take care of him. I still can’t believe he has traveled all the way to America by himself to live with a family he doesn’t know. This must be the most trusting person I have ever met.

He has such a great sense of humor and had no problems joining in on any fun.  We bought him a bike and realized quickly he needed knee pads and elbow pads. He is so daring on his bike, “look mama!” As he rides by with no hands. I’ve learned to relax and let him go. The look of peace on his face as he zooms around on his bike is worth all the stress.

We took him to the wild animal park yesterday and we all had a lot of fun. I can tell he hates lines and is very impatient. Okay, no animals moving in this exhibit, NEXT. Probably the fastest trip to the Wild Animal Park ever. He fed the birds, you could tell he thought that was cool. My favorite part of the day was when he rode on Pete’s back.

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Pete and I both admire his confidence so much. We dropped him off at Church yesterday; they have indoor basketball, a foosball table and air hockey table. He wanted to play air hockey but the table was empty, he grabbed the air puck and walked over to a kid who was in mid shooting position at the basketball area with 3 other boys. He tapped the boy on the shoulder, held up the puck and said, “play?” I wasn’t sure how the boy was going to react because he was obviously in the middle of a game with his buddies. “S.” confidently pointed to the air hockey table and started walking over to it. The kid, with the basketball still in his hand, turned to his friends and tossed the ball to them and followed S. Pete and I were shocked, well, we don’t have to worry about him making friends…

After church he was acting goofy, jumping around practicing karate moves on nearby trees and fire hydrants meanwhile, I’m thinking ‘Okay, no more sugar…’
We get to the car and he opened the door for me. Oh, melt my heart. Pete always opens the door for me, in fact, sometimes I speed walk to entrances to watch him full on run to open the door for me; it makes me giggle. He’s so sweet  I’m so glad Pete is rubbing off on him. He is such a great husband and is so good to me.

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We use a lot of positive reinforcement with S. It makes him feel good, I can tell. He is so eager to please. Last night he made us popcorn and took our drink order (water) before we started a movie. He made sure to tell us the ice was a little melted. As if, its not my best glass of water but, I hope its okay… He’s so sweet.

I think yesterday was a good indication of our progress. We are trying our best to set a good example for him and show him what a family should look like. I could cry when I think about the day he laves to go back to his country. Back to an orphanage. I know it will be good for him to see his brother and sister but, selfishly I don’t want him to go. Hopefully his brother will be old enough to come back and stay with us over the winter. I wonder what this is for him, a vacation? a possible future? To us it is forever, we will be in this child’s life forever, following him, encouraging him, watching him, praying for him. Praying he doesn’t end up a statistic because he is loved and cared for by us, by God.   20% of orphans that age out of orphanages commit suicide with in the first 2 years on their own.

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“This is the best thing we have ever done, ” -Pete, aka Papa <3

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If you have a moment, would you be willing to share a short comment, prayer or encouragement for this sweet family?  There’s family is so special and S is such a special boy!  

Thank you!

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{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Carla July 16, 2014, 7:16 am

    Love this!! Are they willing to share the link to their blog? I’d LOVE to follow them 🙂

  • Alicia July 16, 2014, 8:12 am

    What an inspiration and encouragement. We are hoping to host this winter since my hubby is out of the country on a mission trip this summer. The connections that are being made here are incomparable and this is so encouraging!

  • Karin July 16, 2014, 9:24 am

    You guys are awesome. The lightness in S’s eyes is absolutely palpable. What an incredible gift to this little dude. Safety, Security, Love. So beautiful. Thank You!!!

  • Tonya July 16, 2014, 9:29 am

    Such a sweet story:) I love that you’re having so many good adventures/experiences with each other. So many firsts…

  • Susan Kish Reyno July 16, 2014, 9:38 am

    What a miracle this little child is to your family and what a miracle you both are to him. I can see God’s light shining in your eyes…all three of you. Being a mom of a little boy makes this resonate in my heart. “S” is beautiful. My prayers are with you on this amazing journey. Blessings to your new family.

  • Kate July 16, 2014, 10:28 am

    I love taking a sneak peek into these moments – prayers for all the children being hosted this summer – this family’s love for “S” is so evident – prayers for all of them, thank you for sharing!

  • Lucy July 16, 2014, 10:58 am

    This is so beautiful. The ecstatic happiness on his face is like nothing I’ve ever seen. You are changing a life forever!

  • kanga July 16, 2014, 3:24 pm

    what a wonderful boy ! Thankyou for giving him such an awesome experience.

  • Patricia July 16, 2014, 6:21 pm

    Is there a way to follow this family’s story?

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