JOURNEY FOR ORPHANED YOUTH
Our mission for JOY is to advocate for China’s waiting children by creating this “reverse” hosting experience for individuals and families. Instead of the children traveling to the US, we are recruiting US families to travel to China, meet our JOY kids and have fun getting to know them! Our families who participate will document their time spent with the children and help find them their forever families by advocating for them via social media during and after the trip. This group of 20 children are often over-looked on photo listings because their needs and/or age seem too scary. Due to the lack of resources in China orphanages, the kid’s files are rarely updated. JOY is an opportunity for adoptive families and perspective adoptive families to see our kid’s current conditions and personalities.
It’s time to apply!
Who we are looking for?
We hope the families who we recruit will not only have love but also serve as advocates for our China Waiting Children. The families will have a chance to meet the children and spend time with them to learn about their special needs and personality characteristics. Families will be assigned/paired to our JOY children before the trip in order to learn more about our JOY kiddos.
Our Journey for Orphaned Youth is an amazing experience and mission for advocates, potential adoptive families, and individuals with an open heart and open mind. Great Wall China Adoption is excited to offer this new opportunity for advocates and families to experience China first hand and to witness what life is like for children in the orphanages. We believe this knowledge will make strong voices for the children, which will create more forever families and fewer orphans. JOY is intended to serve a population of children commonly left behind. JOY targets younger children with significant needs and older children whose needs prevent them from travel. This group of children, in no less need of a family than any other child, is often over-looked on photo listings because their needs and/or age seem scary. JOY allows advocates and families to meet these children before they are adopted, see the wonder and the need in the children’s eyes, and share their stories first hand of the experience of China, its orphanages, and the children waiting.
During this 9 day trip we hope the families can record all aspects of the children through games and activities. Some of the games in which we interact with the kids can be tossing a ball, blowing bubbles, painting, eating together, and having FUN. During this quality time with your JOY children you will document your experiences and advocate for the kids by sending out their information daily via social media. We would specifically target well known, popular and successful media sites that adoptive families and potential adoptive families visit most often.
In 2016, we successfully held a similar program with Dongguan Social Welfare Institute in Guangdong Province. At that time, three families were in attendance. The Dongguan orphanage specifically wanted our families to pay attention to five children. After the program two children were adopted by GWCA families, one child with severe heart disease is now with God, and another child with complex heart disease was unable to travel long distances. Dongguan was very satisfied with the outcome of our program at the time and believed the program made a difference in the kid’s lives.
The reason why the Chinese Welfare Institute wishes to organize such activities with adoption agencies is because they hope the kids who are older or severely disabled get more attention and eventually get adopted. The majority of waiting children have been treated and are in post-recovery or post-operative stages. Most of these children’s files have been prepared for a long time. However, due to the lack of resources or interest from prospective adoptive families the orphanages rarely update the kid’s files. The children’s information on China’s database ls relatively old/out dated and these kids need an advocate who will share current information about these kids who are desperately waiting for families. The JOY participants will be able to give potential adoptive families current information, present conditions/capabilities and describe the personalities and uniqueness of these children. It is our job to show the world just how special our JOY kids are.
Please fill out our Hosting Application if you are interested!
512-323-9595 ext. 3033
Be a part of something more!Read More
Have you thought about hosting an orphan before? It’s a great opportunity to give back to a child in need. Through hosting, you can impact a child’s life forever. Here are 6 reasons why you should host a child from Latvia this summer!
1. Share the love of a family with a child
Many of these children have never experienced the love, warmth, and support of a family. Orphan hosting is a chance to show a child what it means to be loved.
2. It’s a life-changing cultural experience for the whole family
Hosting will change the lives of orphans and families! Not only will you be able to share American culture with a child, but you’ll also be able to learn about Latvian culture.
3. Give a child the gift of hope and love
These orphans come from different backgrounds and difficult circumstances. However, through hosting you can give them hope for a brighter future.
4. Show a child life outside the orphanage
Many of the children rarely experience life outside of their orphanages. You can show them all the world has to offer! They’re excited to spend time with you, whether it’s sightseeing, going to theme parks, or enjoying other fun activities.
5. Raise awareness for orphans worldwide
You can spread awareness in your community about these wonderful children and encourage others to host them! Find out today how you can volunteer and make a difference.
6. A child will touch your heart and impact your life
You’ll never forget opening your heart and home to a child and showing them that they’re cared for and loved. Read about how hosting changed families’ lives!Read More
Don’t let the fears of orphan hosting scare you away! We understand the fears of getting too attached and of having to give a child back. They’re valid fears. We’ve all seen the memorable, touching moments that can come from hosting an orphan through our hosting program. The first hugs, trips to exciting places, and moments of pure joy and love that comes from being with a real family. These are all positive aspects of hosting that we want our host families to experience.
Our host families are doing great things for these children, but are sometimes faced with concerns from family and friends, instead of reassurance and encouragement. We want to provide you with a solid understanding about hosting an orphan with your family so that you can focus on the good you are doing while sharing this life-changing experience with your amazing host child!
The Beginning and the End
Many talk about the concern of a child becoming bonded to your family during hosting, and then experiencing the devastation of having to return them to Latvia. It is natural for you and your host child to be sad when this happens. It is important to consider a few things, though.
More than likely, you will share with your host child many firsts. These are beautiful memories for you both to cherish and hold close! For these children, these experiences are new and exciting, and will help them develop with the support and love they need. Playing at the park and learning to ride bikes is not just about having fun; it’s making a lasting connection that will change their perspectives of life! Everyone needs to be nurtured and cared for, especially the children who have not had that until now. The days leading up to departure day will be hard, but not the end. Many families will remain in contact with their host child after they leave!
Why Should My Family Host An Orphan?
Every child deserves to be loved and encouraged. Hosting changes their life, forever. These are just a few of the great things that happen when you welcome a child into your home as they have been alone in the world without a family.
Everyone needs to be cared for and loved to live well, and this shows us how worthwhile it is to take that leap of faith and give a child who needs a family a chance. The hosting program gives an orphan more than just a fun summer but hope for a brighter future.
Possible Family Ties
The issue of already existent biological families is quite common in our Latvia program, and can definitely raise concern to a host family. The majority of the children we work with are in orphanages and no longer see their families.
Host families can also be a support system in an orphan’s life. Children grow attached to family figures in their life, biological, or not. You are the voice for the orphans that would otherwise not be heard. Our goal is to help them find the families that can provide them with much needed care and love, through hosting. There is great potential for their future when they have a host family!
Will The Child Remember Our Family?
The children hosted deeply cherish the experience of being loved by a family. A way to give the child something to remember the experience and your family is to make a memory book. A memory book has pictures of the child, your family, pets, places you visit, letter from the family, etc. The book is important in helping the child remember the hosting experience and how your family left a positive impact.Read More
Orphan Hosting is a life-changing experience that gives children an opportunity to be loved by a family. As you consider opening your heart and home for the summer, our hosting team is available to answer your questions.
1. Am I eligible to host?
Here are the requirements for our Latvia hosting program:
Citizenship: One parent must be a US citizen, residing in the US.
Age: Generally between 29-60 years old, depending on the age and special needs of the child, if any.
Marital Status: Single women or men and married couples are generally eligible for Latvia.
Criminal History: Applicants with a criminal history of child abuse, violence, or domestic violence are not eligible to host.
Health: Host parents must be in good health with no major medical or psychological concerns.
2. Do the children know English?
English varies with each child. Typically they know at least a few phrases, while some of them are fluent. All of the children are eager to learn more!
3. Are the children healthy?
The majority of the children in the hosting program are healthy. If they have some type of health concern, then it will be stated within their file.
4. What is the time length of the summer hosting?
The hosting program is for 4-5 weeks during the Winter (typically between mid-December and mid-January).
5. If I cannot Host a Child, Can I still help?
YES, YES, YES! We are always looking for hosting advocates to spread the word about the program to friends, family, community and others on social media. Other opportunities also include hosting a chaperone, volunteering as an airport coordinator, or being a backup host family! Click here to learn how you can get involved.
If you would like more information on our Latvia Hosting Program, contact our Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.orgRead More
All of the children in our Latvia Orphan Hosting program deserve a loving host family, but the older children are often left behind or overlooked simply because of their age. However, these kids deserve a chance as much as any child! They’re excited to be chosen by a host family. These children are eager to step out of their world and have new experiences. For families who host older children, the rewards are immense. Here are reasons to host an older child:
They Speak More English
Typically the older children can speak some English, and all of them are eager to learn more while they’re hosted in the US.
2. They Want To Be Hosted
Older children in our program decide to be a part of orphan hosting. They know what they’re missing in life- a family that cares about them. These kids truly want to experience what it’s like to be part of a loving family.
3. They Can Have More Fun!
With older children, you can participate in all kinds of fun indoor and outdoor activities! Some ideas for Winter fun include ice skating, snowball fights, helping you bake or sledding.
4. They Can Share Their Culture With You
Older children can share what their life is like back home with you and teach you about Latvian culture. In return, they’re excited to learn about American culture!
5. They Need The Opportunity For A Brighter Future
Hosting an older child is an opportunity to positively change their life forever. Because they’re older, there is a sense of urgency for them to find a family to call their own. Hosting older children gives them a feeling of being loved, even if it is for a short time.Read More
International adoption laws and legislation are constantly changing and evolving, sometimes leaving agencies, families, and children unaware of how things will end up. It never gets any easier to hear that proposed changes can negatively impact the overall welfare of the children. That unfortunately is the case we are seeing with Latvia currently. The political climate in Latvia has been very tense lately, since the Minister has been getting a significant amount of domestic pressure to prioritize keeping the children with Latvian families in Latvia. As ideal of a situation this is, it is sadly unrealistic, continues to build more barriers, and narrows their chances from finding their forever homes.
On December 8th, the U.S. Department of State issued a notice confirming that the Latvian government has proposed changes in regulations of hosting programs and international adoption (full notice can be found here). To summarize what is being proposed, they would like to limit the hosting program to only children living in orphanages who are 12 years old and up. For adoption, they are seeking to limit intercountry adoption to only children living in the orphanage or those living in foster care with serious medical conditions.
We’ll keep you updated on whether or not the Latvian government passes this legislation on our website blog and Facebook page. Even if these legislative changes go into effect, that does not change our agencies’ goal to help advocate for as many children as possible. If anything, this is a call to action to help be the voices for these children. If your family is ready to make a lifelong impact on one of these children’s lives, please consider hosting during our summer program or beginning your adoption process. Contact me today at email@example.com for more information!
-Katie, Latvia Hosting Program Coordinator and Latvia Adoption CounselorRead More
***UPDATE*** A family has signed up to host Anda! We’re so excited for her to visit the US. Thank you to everyone for your support! If you would like to volunteer to be a backup host family, click here for more information!
Our Latvia Winter Hosting Program is well underway, and the children will be here in less than a month! Each group of kids is accompanied by a chaperone, who escorts and supports the children during the program.
We are looking for volunteers to serve as chaperone host families. It is completely free to be a chaperone host family, and you’ll even receive a small stipend for hosting! All you need is a spare bedroom and an open heart. You would be hosting a chaperone for four weeks (starting the 3rd week of December). It’s a great opportunity for you to meet the amazing caregivers and translators who are here to support the children throughout the program. It’s also a neat opportunity for the chaperones to visit America and learn our customs around the holidays.
Our chaperone from Latvia knows English, and she needs a host family in the New York area. She’s a teacher and loves making arts and crafts. Also, she enjoys traveling, learning about new cultures, and meeting new friends. If you live in New York or one of the adjacent states and would like to host her, please contact our Program Coordinator Katie today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-323-9595 ext. 3061!
It’s through your service that we are able to help the amazing children of the Orphan Hosting Programs! If you’re ready to become a chaperone host family, you can start your FREE application here!Read More
We have re-opened matching for TWO days only! We just received files of two amazing sisters who are still waiting to find their host family. Being selected means they get to spend Christmas with a loving family instead of at the orphanage, wondering why they weren’t chosen. Ever since we learned about these girls, they’ve been tugging at our heartstrings, and we would love to see them spend the holidays full of hope and joy.
These sweet girls can be hosted together or separately. M is 11 years old and Mg is 13 years old. They have both been hosted before, but unfortunately these families were unable to re-host them for this upcoming program. They live in an orphanage with their brother and would love nothing more than to spend the holidays in a loving and caring home. Their brother is being hosted, so they are waiting to hear if they will be hosted too.
The orphanage director reached out to our representative specifically requesting to find these girls a winter host family. We have a $300 scholarship available for each girl, and if you host them together, you’ll receive a $700 scholarship! Will you host them and make their dreams come true?
Since hosting is coming to a close, families must be ready to complete all necessary documents and payments no later than the end of this week. Please contact our Program Director Katie at email@example.com or 512-323-9595 ext. 3061 immediately to begin your hosting journey!Read More
The deadline for winter hosting is in just TWO days, and many kids are still waiting to be chosen for winter hosting! Being selected is the difference between spending Christmas with a loving family and spending Christmas wondering why they were left behind.
Below are just a few of the wonderful kids who are still hoping that a family will say, “YES, we choose you!” To learn more about them, visit our photo listing today or contact our Program Coordinator Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t miss your chance to change one orphan’s life forever!
He’s honest and helpful! He enjoys playing with friends, sports, and rollerskating. He’s also learning English. Visiting America and going to an amusement park is something he dreams about. He wants to be hosted very much!
He loves Disney and enjoys biking, skating, and playing sports. He likes helping with younger kids. If something is wrong, he does really well with talking and hugging it out! He really hopes to visit Disneyland or a zoo.
He loves to draw, make arts and crafts, and play games. He gets along well with other kids and adults. He takes good care of himself and communicates well. He would fit in with any family!
*Due to privacy regulations with the Latvian government, their full photo is not allowed to be posted publicly – please contact our team to learn more.Read More