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A Look into Orphan Hosting: Vlad

Today we are focusing on a young family with two bio children Lainy age 4, and Gavin two.  They were already in the adoption process from a country in Africa when they felt the calling to host…a 15 year old boy.

The Owens family are our close friends, Lainy is one of Maria’s best friends.  We were able to spend a lot of time with their family and Vlad at the beach, at our house making s’mores and even I was shocked at how sweet, kind, and wonderful this 15 year old boy who spends his days in an orphanage was.

This picture I took while they were at our house just days before Vlad had to go home.  He was playing soccer with John and Andrew, but still, as always, had time for his sweet little American sister, Lainy, not skipping a beat in his role as a big brother.

Ok, enough from me, and now to the host mom, Ally.  For Ally and her family, this was their first time hosting, and they hosted a boy much older than their two bio kids.

What led you to hosting? 

We had seen and read about hosting programs in the last year as we began to research adoption. We decided that since our focus and financial resources were all being devoted to adopting that we would not be able to host at this time. Then in June it was posted on Facebook about a few boys coming with a group that still needed host families. We contacted the agency and talked with them but could not afford the cost. We were drawn to one boy in particular, Vlad, and the agency kept us on a list in case they received a miraculous donation that would cover his cost. Low and behold it happened, and we received a call three weeks prior to him arriving saying we would be able to host him!  We couldn’t believe the miracle and perfect timing!

What were your feelings and fears before hosting?
We were extremely nervous about hosting, as we have younger children and did not know how we would entertain a 15 year old boy. How would we communicate with him because of the language difference, would he have culture shock being in America, would the food make him sick?   What ifs and apprehension. We prayed a lot and had faith in god that he would guide us through the five weeks.  But, just as perfectly as the funding was lined up, so was the perfect sibling lined up in our family, the boy that was meant to be there.

Describe your hosting experience

There are just no words to describe our experience, just joy.  Amazement.  We would have never thought we could form such a strong bond and feelings of love for a child we just met. He completely changed our lives and blessed us beyond measure.  After the first two days we could not
Imagine our lives without him in it.  He was helpful, polite, kind, and very open about his life. Our two children adored him and he was loving and patient with them.  
Our hearts were not prepared for the emotions we felt, for loving this sweet boy as much as we do.

What has God taught you, specifically, through hosting and loving an orphan?  

 God has taught me that it doesn’t matter if I gave birth to a child, or have had them their entire life, if God wants you to be a family he will make it so.  I had five weeks with Vlad and I feel like he is mine and that I am his mother, the same way I feel towards my two biological kids.  
God has shown us that it is possible to overcome so many apprehensions and to love openly, whole hearted in ways we had never had to experience to before.  In many ways, he has taught us so much about love!

Now that he’s gone back, describe your feelings and future plans

After him leaving we feel so much sadness and longing.

I hear him calling me when he is not really here. Our house is too quiet and everyone of us feels as though a piece of our family and a piece of who we are is missing.  I have a pit in my stomach that aches and I desperately want to find him and hug him and tell him how much he is loved and wanted. 

We have filed a petition to find out if we can adopt him, and pray that this is God’s plan for our family and that we will be together again soon.  

Taking his time to wipe cookies off of our littlest Gavin’s face.  Humble, kind, loving.  We were blessed by our Vlad.
Thank you for sharing Ally!
Follow the Owens along on the adoption journey here: http://www.tinylittlefootprints.com/2013/08/blessed-by-orphan.html

Also, participate in their shoe drive!


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  • teresa September 20, 2013, 11:17 pm

    thankful for the love all of you experienced. praying for your family and Vlad as you petition. God bless all of you.

  • JoshandKristen WantToAdopt September 21, 2013, 2:20 am

    I’ve been following the Owens family on their blog and I am so hopeful that Vlad will be back home soon! Praying for their whole family and God’s perfect timing.

  • karina monzon September 21, 2013, 7:05 am

    What a beautiful story. May the ending be the same. Best wishes to your family, may it be complete soon. Thank God for people like you.

  • Amanda Parker September 22, 2013, 1:39 am

    Wonderful, beautiful story!! I hope they will be reunited as a family soon!