According to various statistics, there are over 500,000 orphans living in Colombia today and only a small percentage is in protected institutions. At the age of 18, if not adopted, children are forced to leave the orphanage system and can become victimized by drugs and alcohol, sex trafficking, prostitution and crime. The “Texas Vacation Host” program brings older Colombian orphans who are available for international adoption to the United States to learn about American culture, share their Colombian culture, and experience what it’s like to live in a family.
The program was born out of Orphan Hope International’s desire to see older orphans adopted into loving families.
This summer we partnered with the Orphan’s Hope small group of Grace Fellowship UMC for the 2011 Vacation Host Program. The program was a wonderful success. We were able to bring 16 children to stay with 11 families and they participated in a variety of activities, including horseback riding, an Astros baseball game, and a day at the beach. See news coverage HERE, HERE, and HERE.
We are thrilled to report that 12 of the vacation host children are currently being pursued for adoption to the U.S. Here is one beautiful story of one of our host families and the 4 siblings that they are pursuing for adoption as a result of hosting them this summer.
Get Involved – The children have returned to their home institutions in Colombia but there are still ways that you can help them.
- Pray for the remaining 6 children who still need a forever family.
- Pray for financial and volunteer support to help in this project.
- Begin to pray now for the summer 2012 program and consider being a host family.
2. Give financially (click here to donate)
- It cost approximately $40,000 to bring 16 children and 3 chaperones to Texas. This includes international airfare, in-country transportation, passports/visas, medical insurance, and other incidentals expenses such as food, clothing and activities. Please, prayerfully consider, donating to support the program this year and helping us fund a Vacation Host Program for 2012. If you have questions about how you can participate in the next Vacation Host Program please contact us at info@OrphanHopeIntl.org
3. Become a Child Advocate
- Share this information with your friends, family or church. Be a voice for them by sharing their stories and expressing their needs to those you know. Help us find Padrinos and Adoptive Families for these and future orphans that will be visiting. Help us identify Host Families for this program in summer of 2012. Contact us at info@OrphanHopeIntl.org for more information.
4. Become a Padrino
- Some have called this a child sponsorship program “supersized”. As many other organizations do, we provide the opportunity to support a child in need through monthly financial giving. However, this unique program allows the Padrino/Padrina (godfather/godmother) to build a relationship with the child via regular communication and also have the amazing opportunity to travel to Colombia and spend personal time during Padrino trips. Our experience has shown that both the child and the sponsor experience amazing personal growth as they experience this relationship opportunity!
5. Consider Adoption
- Think God might be calling you to adopt? All 17 host children have already been cleared for international adoption. They have little chance of being adopted in their home country and for most, this will be their last chance to find a family. Click here (Colombia Adoption Process) to learn more about the Colombia adoption process, and here (ICBF Adoption webpage) to see the general requirements to adopt from Colombia. Contact us at info@OrphanHopeIntl.org for more information about the orphans in our program.