Life in an Orphanage

“I have not always lived in an orphanage. Before I was an orphan, I was just a normal boy…
One day I woke up in a new place that was unfamiliar to me… new faces… new smells… new everything…
This was not my home, yet everyone kept telling me this was my home…
Every day I wake up feeling alone – wondering if I will always be surrounded by other kids who also feel alone…
Every night I go to bed knowing I went another day without a hug or having someone tuck me in at night…
Every day I am expected to help take care of the younger kids… what they don’t see is that I myself need taking care of…
Every Christmas I go another year without having a present under the tree with my name…
Every day I hold on to the fact that maybe it won’t always be this way…”

Sadly, many children have similar stories like this. They go years without spending one-on-one time with a parent or even a caregiver. Being institutionalized every day, they lose a little bit of hope that they will have a better future.

While many of us are eagerly anticipating and prepping for the winter holidays… many of these children dread it. It really brings into reality that it’s just another year they won’t be spending with a family.

This hosting program means so much more to these kids than simply “taking a vacation.” It boosts their confidence and their spirits. After, all it is the season of giving – why not give the gift of love? While not all of the kids in our hosting program live in orphanages, a good majority of them do. Your family has the opportunity to be that beacon of hope and love for them this winter program.

-Katie, Orphan Hosting Program Coordinator

Meet Our Featured Kids from Orphanages

These incredible kids are still waiting for host families this winter! The deadline to apply for Latvian Winter Hosting is October 20th, 2017. Time is running out, so don’t miss out on your chance to change an orphan’s life forever! To learn more about our available kids, request their files today!


– Learn more about Orphan Hosting
– Visit the Orphan Hosting Photo Listing
– Contact an Orphan Hosting Specialist!

*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.

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Meet These Super Siblings!


These siblings are quite the pair! They dream of spending the holidays with a family, and neither have been to the US before. The lively little brother steals the show. He speaks English well, loves to make jokes, and enjoys watching animated movies (especially Cars!).

The sister speaks up when she gets the chance and is full of personality too! She knows some English, loves animals, and likes helping in the kitchen. Her favorite movie is Frozen, and she enjoys singing the theme song.

Would you give them a Christmas they’ll never forget? Check out our photo listing or contact our Program Coordinator Katie today at to learn more about them! The deadline for winter hosting is approaching fast, so click here to apply today!

Why host a Sibling Pair?

1. Double the Fun!

Why host one when you could have two? A sibling group will give you double the fun of hosting and create great memories for the children to share with each other when they return after hosting.

2. A little family for your family!

Sibling groups are often the hardest to get hosted, so you can help keep a little family together! They have often formed strong family bonds with each other and do well bonding with a host family as well. Consider bringing a little family into your family this winter!

3. Shared Past for a Shared Future

Sibling groups have often stuck by each other through thick and thin. They come with a shared past, but they can look forward to a shared future with your family. Make some memories with a sibling group this holiday season!

4. Plus, you’ll get a $100 discount on the hosting donation cost!


– Learn more about Orphan Hosting
– Visit the Orphan Hosting Photo Listing
– Contact an Orphan Hosting Specialist!

*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.

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Meet This Amazing Girl!

Meet our featured child, 12-year-old N! She’s an amazing girl who loves music, plays the violin, and wishes to learn piano next. She even wants to become a singer when she gets older! She enjoys talking and making new friends, especially with girls her own age.

Would she be a great fit for your family? Check out our photo listing or contact our Program Coordinator Katie today at to learn more about her! The deadline for winter hosting is approaching fast, so click here to apply today!

What is Orphan Hosting?

Orphan hosting means something different to everyone. For host families, it’s the chance to be a part of a child in need’s life. For children, it’s a chance to experience the love of a family. Every holiday season, families in America decorate Christmas trees, build snowmen, and open presents… but this is all just a dream to these kids. You can make this dream a reality!


– Learn more about Orphan Hosting
– Visit the Orphan Hosting Photo Listing
– Contact an Orphan Hosting Specialist!

*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.

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Quick Fundraising Ideas


Are you considering hosting an orphan but are concerned about the program fees? Not to worry, there are numerous ways to fundraise those costs, which makes hosting an affordable option! Hosting a child is a rewarding life-changing experience that is worth the effort.

Fundraising doesn’t have to be lengthy or difficult. In fact, here is a list of 10 quick and easy fundraising ideas that can be completed in a day!

1. Bake sale

Baking goods like cookies or brownies and selling them for a profit is a great way to earn money! You can sell them around your neighborhood, workplaces, churches, and schools.

2. Spaghetti dinner

Ask a local venue (like a community center or church) to donate the space and host a spaghetti dinner there. Rally your friends and family to cook and serve the guests, or you can even convince a caterer or restaurant to donate food to your cause. Then, charge a price per ticket and use the event as a fundraiser and opportunity to share about your goal of hosting.

3. Raffle

Sell raffle tickets for a product or service (ideally something that doesn’t cost you anything or is inexpensive to purchase). If the raffle tickets are relatively cheap, you can earn more money! You can raffle off items at other fundraising events like a spaghetti dinner or trivia night.

4. Garage sale

Assemble items around your house that are no longer needed and sell them at a garage sale. You can also ask your friends and family or local businesses to donate other goods for your garage sale. Advertise it through social media, posting flyers in the neighborhood, and Craigslist.

5. Car wash

Car washes are a tried and tested way to fundraise! Find a suitable location for a car wash, ask friends and family to volunteer, collect supplies, and create some attention-getting signs. You can charge a specific price for a car wash or advertise it as free and ask for donations to the cause.

6. Bingo night

Host a bingo night at a local church, school, or community center and charge a fee for unlimited games or a fee per game played. Consider selling refreshments and raffle tickets or hosting a silent auction as well!

7. Trivia night

Trivia night is a fun and low-cost way to fundraise! Plan a trivia game competition with interesting categories and charge for tickets. You can also sell food, drinks, or raffle tickets and host a silent auction during the event.

8. Chili cook-off

A chili cook-off is a fun event for anyone who enjoys competition and eating chili! You can host a casual gathering in your backyard or a larger scale event at another venue. Ask your friends and family to contribute their own chili recipes as well. Then, charge guests to sample flavors and vote on the best chili!

9. Bowling fundraiser

Do you enjoy bowling? Try organizing a bowling fundraiser! First, find a bowling venue that will rent out the venue or a few lanes for an afternoon or evening. You can ask if they’ll rent it to you for free for the cause. Then, invite guests and charge for entry fees and refreshments. Or, you can host a Bowl-a-Thon, where people donate an amount for every pin they knock over.

10. Partner with a local business

Ask a local business or restaurant if they can donate a percentage of one day’s sales for any customers who are shopping or dining to support your cause. This can help you earn money for little effort!

Click here for more fundraising ideas!

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Top 3 Questions About Hosting

Dear potential host families,

We’re so glad you’re interested in our Latvia hosting program! Hosting a child is an amazing, life-changing experience that gives a child the opportunity to be loved by a family. We’re sure you have questions before you begin. Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions!

1. Are all of these children adoptable?

No, not all of the kids in the hosting program are adoptable. Since this is a host-only program, we do not have information of their legal status. Once the hosting program is over, that is when we are able to inquire if they are adoptable.

2. Do they know English?

It honestly depends on the kid! Typically they know at least a few words or phrases, while some of them are fluent. A lot of times, they get embarrassed trying to speak English, so they understand a lot more than they let on. ALL of them are very eager to learn more!

3. Are they healthy?

The majority of the kiddos in the hosting program are healthy. If they have some type of health concern, then it will be stated within their file.

Check out more FAQs here!

Visit our photo listing to learn about the available kids!

If you have any other questions, we’re happy to help! Please contact our Program Coordinator Katie at or call us at 512-323-9595 ext. 3061

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3 Reasons to Host a Child from Latvia

Have you thought about hosting a child before? These wonderful children need the love, warmth, and support that a family can provide. Here are 3 reasons why you should host a child from Latvia!

1. The Kids Are AMAZING

The kids in Latvia come from various backgrounds, but the one thing they have in common is that they are all AMAZING! The kids in hosting range from 6-15 years old. Most of them are healthy and don’t have any medical concerns. Also, many of the children can speak some English or are fluent! These kids are charming, sweet, and eager to learn more about living in America.

2. Give Them the Gift of Hope

Hosting a child is the perfect way for you to make a positive difference in their life. Many of these kids have never felt the love of a family before or experienced life in America. Without host families, these kids will likely end up living as part of the system without a family. We have the opportunity to do something great and change the lives of these children in the best ways possible!

3. Change Your Life Forever

Hosting is a life-changing experience for host families too! Imagine welcoming a child into your life and giving them the gift of a warm bed to sleep in at night, a family, and a brighter future. You’ll never forget accepting a child into your home and heart and bonding with them. Also, hosting provides a great opportunity for cultural exchange. Learn more about Latvia while you share American culture with a child!

Here’s what our host families say:

The hosting program has been an unimaginable blessing to our family!
Being a host family was extremely rewarding!

Read more about how hosting changed families’ lives!

If your family would like more information on our Latvia Hosting Program, contact our Program Coordinator today!

Are you interested in learning more about available kids? Click here to visit our Orphan Hosting Photolisting!

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Latvia Winter Hosting Is Now Open!

We’re excited to announce that our Latvia Winter Hosting Program is launching TODAY! We like to think of it as celebrating Christmas in September as families are matched with the amazing kiddos who will participate in the Holiday program over December and January.

The children of our Latvia Winter Hosting Program are between ages 6-15, and we have a number of sibling groups looking for a host family. Children from Latvia are generally healthy and are excited for the opportunity to spend time with a family! These children have often had tough lives but are resilient, sweet, and look to host families for love and support.

Latvia Winter Hosting Profiles

The children of our Latvia Winter hosting program are amazing! If you’re interested in reading their profiles, head over to our photolisting now. We aren’t allowed to post the children’s photos online, but you can contact us at to receive profiles for the children and a short consultation about hosting.


  • Citizenship: One parent must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Age: Generally between 27-60 years old, depending on the country and the special needs of the child, if any.
  • Marriage Status: Single women and married couples are generally eligible, and single men can be considered 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.

Click here to visit our Orphan Hosting Photolisting!


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It Just Takes One Family…

After 6 hours of driving we pulled up to our final destination. The sun was setting as we drove down a narrow alleyway you could see the dilapidated houses fading away as the sky grew darker. We finally pulled up to a small house tucked away from everything. The was no light coming off the house and we debated if this was our destination. Out of nowhere the brightest orange hair appeared around the corner. I adjusted my eyes to see what looked to be about a 12 year old boy with the biggest beaming smile and the most exaggerated wave, hollering in Latvian and in English, “Hello! Welcome!” We gathered our things and met this sweet boy at the door. He held the door for us and shook our hands exclaiming ‘Welcome!’ Once we were inside he hurried ahead of us to get the next door and then shook our hands. As soon as we were through the door, he yelled, “Wait, watch the dog” and ran to pick up the cutest little weenie dog and showed us into the house. We were then met by his little brother who immediately put out his hand to shake ours and said ‘nice to meet you’ in Latvian. The foster mother greeted our translator with a hug and we were welcomed into the ‘living’ room.  This was the sweetest greeting we received the entire trip. Big “E” sat patiently waiting his turn while Little “E” talked excitedly with our translator about everything he could – he even told her he wanted to be Ninja when he grows up. What a little character he was! This house was really what appeared to be 2 and half small rooms, the living room we sat in was also the dining room and the bedroom for one of the boys. Everything was straightened so neat and clean, you could tell how hard they worked to make this room look nice for us. After we all got settled we proceeded to carry on the normal interview process with Big E (little E is too young for hosting), he tried hard to understand some of my English and was eager to answer all of our questions. He maintained his composure but you could tell he was practically jumping out of his skin with excitement that we were there. Every now and again Little E couldn’t contain himself and had to contribute to the conversation and Big E patiently waited his turn. These two were the most precious boys I have ever met.

Their foster mother asked them to leave them room so she could talk to us. She began speaking with our translator and to the point where our translator said she would fill me in after the fact. She talked with so much passion and then all of the sudden the tears came pouring and she continued talking and Big E came out of no where with some pictures that he put in her hands and he disappeared. She showed us photos of previous foster children and some photos of the boys. When the emotions seemed to settle I went into the other room with the boys to play with them for a bit. Little E was so excited to play ball and was just as active as you expect any 4-5 year old, Big E was quietly drawing a map of Latvia on a piece of wood in corner. Little E talked the entire time in Latvia and oh boy he laughed so much! We had a blast!

When we went to leave the foster mother grabbed me and hugged me and held on for what felt like several minutes, I could feel her love for the boys through her embrace. She kept saying the same thing in Latvian “Don’t forget about them, don’t forget about these boys!” We walked out with a similar escort as we received when we came in, except this time we got hugs not handshakes. They all sat in their little waving non stop, until were out of sight. My heart sank – I could have stayed there all night! That’s when our translator begin to fill me on everything the grandmother told her and I saw why the tears came, the boys were in an abusive home and when they came to her they were so behind in just everyday tasks and needs. Big E was 10 years old and he could barely dress himself. They have now come leaps and bounds and I would have never known. This foster mother has worked so hard to get them where they are and when she learned that Big E could spend the summer with an American family she begged for the chance. But now Big E waits… he needs a family to show him real love and he needs a family to give him the chance that he deserves.

For more information about the boys and hosting Big brother “E” please contact our hosting team today.

Due to privacy regulations with Latvia their photo is not allowed to be posted publicly on blog – please contact our team to learn more.

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3 Reasons to Start Your Latvia Adoption Process

2Many of the families in our Latvia adoption program choose to participate in our Orphan Hosting program to get a general idea of what the process is like. It’s a great way to connect with Latvia and get a sense of what the adoption process ahead could hold while giving a child the chance to see what the world outside of Latvia has to offer!

Below are three reasons why you should consider getting started with your adoption process right away, rather than waiting until after the hosting program:

1. The Kids Are AMAZING

The kids in Latvia come from various backgrounds but the one thing they have in common is that they are all AMAZING! The kids in adoption range from 9-15 years old. Most don’t have any medical concerns. They come from pasts and need someone to give them the chance they deserve. No child deserves to not have a family. Many of the children have some concept of English if they aren’t already fluent! They are charming, sweet, and so ready to see what America is all about!

2. Matching

In the Latvia adoption process, once a family’s dossier has been submitted they are put in line to receive their referral. If your family begins the adoption process prior to hosting, and you do not move forward with the adoption of your host child, you will have the option to receive a referral through the traditional Latvia adoption program.

3.One Step Closer To Bringing Your Child Home! 

With Latvia Hosting, it is common for families to re-host their child if they are hoping to pursue their adoption. Depending on the length of time that it takes a family to complete their adoption, they may end up re-hosting multiple times. If your family is prepared to begin the Latvia adoption process, we encourage you to get started right away so that you can complete the process and bring your child home as soon as possible!

If your family would like more information on our Latvia adoption program, contact our CAN adoption specialists today!

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The Five Fears of Hosting

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 come from being with a real family. These are all of the things that we and our host families want you to see, and know are real positive aspects of hosting!

Our host families are doing great things for these children, but are sometimes faced with negativity 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!

Bonding and The Return

1Many talk about the concern of a child becoming bonded to you and your family during hosting, and then experiencing the devastation of having to return to their home country. 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. Flying kites and learning to ride bikes is not just about having fun; it’s making a lasting connection that will serve them through all of their growing up and 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. You or someone you know may end up being their forever family, but regardless, there are many different ways your journey can carry on together. Many families will remain in contact with their host child after they leave! Care packages and letters can be sent to reach host children in the orphanage while families will still continue to advocate on these angels’ behalves. These gestures show them that someone out there still cares about them. While departing is difficult, often times the children are also excited about going home. After going on a trip, no matter how fantastic, everyone enjoys seeing some familiarity in their lives again.

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. It can be difficult to consider that while this is an opportunity to give a child a better life, it may also mean they must leave all they know. The majority of the children we work with are in orphanages and no longer see their families. Although they may still visit, their families are not a permanent fixture in their lives providing support.

Foster families can also be a support system still present in an orphan’s life. Children grow attached to family figures in their lives, biological, or not. In hosting, our goal is to find them a permanent living situation in which they can thrive. Hosting gives children with more extensive needs that are often harder to place a chance to be seen. We are the voices for these young ones that, otherwise, would 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 when they stay with a host family!

The “A” Word

In our hosting material, we request all families with visiting children to refrain from discussing adoption, for the best interest of the child. Many things can happen throughout the adoption process, so we do not want to create any unreasonable expectations. It can be confusing for children (especially of varying ages and cognitive abilities) to process what adoption means for them. During hosting, we want everyone to focus on having a great time together!

“Showcasing” Children?

Showcasing, no. Advocating, absolutely! If these children never left their home country to be hosted here in the US, their chances of being adopted into a better environment than the orphanage they come from are significantly less. Hosting gives a child the voice and visibility they otherwise would not have. Advocating for a host child gives them a greater opportunity to be led to the loving family that they belong with.

These are children that cannot speak for themselves yet. Hosting and advocating are ways in which we can let them be heard and be their voices. The success of hosting orphans finding their forever homes in this program is in the numbers: 75%-80%! That is an amazing percentage, but we are always looking to help more orphans find their way home.


Many times people will be surprised that hosting a child from another country costs money, but like any worthwhile cause, funds are needed to support these sweet kids in this adventure! What is often asked is how these fees are collected, and what they are actually used for? With Children of All Nations/Great Wall China, the necessary cost covers the child’s legal documentation; travel inside and outside of countries, visa and passports, background checks, and insurance during traveling and the visit. Required Hague training for host parents and family background check are also included in the cost of our hosting program, unlike any other program. Some of the hosting cost also contributes to chaperones that travel with the children from across the world. Chaperones are given the opportunity to come to America and give of themselves to help these wonderful children.

Another advantage we have in helping these kids find families is that our staff goes to personally meet all of the kids that join us in hosting! Much of the information that we gather about host kids comes from interview trips, so this is a valuable way for us to help our host families by giving them insight that we otherwise may not have.

People that are not familiar with the hosting program and its purpose may have misconceptions about the donations made to the program. In no way is money used for “payment for a child” or to support anything but the most legal activity. If ever anyone has questions about how their donation is being used, we are happy to clarify.

Why should I internationally host an orphan?

10314707_10153390047121656_4683129738919508009_nLove. Hope. Changing a life. These are just a few of the great things that happen when you welcome a little one who has been alone in the world without a family or home for so long.

It is a risk, in many ways, to let a child from another country into your life, but as Lao Tse said, “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” Being the family a child needs is a wonderful thing to do! All people, especially children deserve to be loved. Dr. Raj Raghunathan explains in the Psychology Today article, “The Need to Love”, the following:

“We know that the desire to love and care for others is a hard-wired and deep-seated because fulfillment of this desire enhances our happiness levels. In other words, expressing love or compassion for others benefits not just the recipient of affection, but also its perpetrator… Thus, when you are generous to others, you attract generous behaviors from them in return…. The story you tell yourself is that you have everything you need and more, which is why you can afford to be generous.” (Raghunathan, Raj, PhD. “The Need to Love: One of the Best Kept Secrets of Happiness Is to Love and Take Care of Others.” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, 8 Jan. 2014. Web. 23 Jan. 2017.).

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 same article mentioned above goes on to mention that the smallest deed will have just as much of an effect on your life. Even if you are unable to host a child, you can still help by advocating for a child!

Think of this, though. Would you be the person you are now if you never celebrated a birthday with parents who care about you, or had a pet, or went on vacation with your family, or didn’t have basic needs met like sleeping in your own bed or having your own clothes? What you are doing by hosting an orphan is more than giving them some time away at “summer camp”; you are giving them hope for a brighter future.

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