Several people, including a reporter from the Daily Herald, have asked me why I chose to host. I've usually said that I watched my friend, Brenda, as she tried to adopt a girl with Down syndrome, and then as she found the hosting charity that we are both hosting through. She is hosting a boy from Latvia. I would read her posts on Facebook about the children who needed hosting and at the deadline for hosting the Ukraine orphans Jay and I decided to go ahead and host too. We've always wanted to do something like this but had no idea that you can host an orphan for a summer. It sounded like a wonderful experience to give both an orphan and our own family.
As I thought about it more after talking to the reporter yesterday, I realized that I never mention the biggest reason that we are hosting two orphan sisters. It all has to do with my favorite scripture, Mosiah 2:17, "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." And we are excited to be in the service of two orphan children. We hope to make a real difference in their lives. Jay and I have wanted to be able to take our whole family on a short service vacation. Jay, our son, Ben, and I have been able to go for a couple days to Southern Utah to the Navajo Reservation to help build new homes. But we have not been able to take our whole family to give service. Hosting Luba and Snizhana is a five week opportunity for our whole family to affect the lives of these girls.
Serving God by serving these girls is more thrilling to our family than going to Disneyland. Our children proved that to us when they got together on their own and decided to donate to the girls their Disney Fund that they had been saving for over two years. Jay and I have noticed that as we have sacrificed to get ready for the girls to come we have grown to love them without having met them yet. They arrive at midnight on the 28th of June. We are very excited to meet these girls that we have been preparing for.
We truly appreciate any help we get with the expenses associated with hosting. My aforementioned friend, Brenda, mentioned to me the other day that for a lot of us it takes a community to get these children here and that they are the community's children because of that. I agree completely with her. It costs about $2900 per child to bring them here plus a few other fees. Then while here we take them to the dentist and eye doctor. Thankfully we have a dentist that has donated the initial visits. Because they only come with the clothes they are wearing we will buy them several outfits and new shoes. We send them back with a suitcase and backpack filled with what they brought with them and whatever we can send back from what was bought for them while they are here. We also plan to take the girls to a couple activities that cost money while mostly doing family activities that are free. This is an opportunity to help make a difference in a couple of girls' lives. We are thankful for everyone that helps.