If you are ready to host, each tab outlines the steps you'll need to take to begin your journey.
Twice a year (summer and winter), OHHC brings a group of orphaned children to America for 4-5 weeks to live with families and experience life in a loving Christian home. The program's goal is to give orphaned children a chance for a more hopeful future by connecting them with families who will not only love and cherish them during their stay but also care about them after their visit is over.
The children who participate in hosting are between the ages of 7-16, and originate from the countries of Latvia and Ukraine. Open Hearts and Homes for Children works with an in-country partner to designate children who have been given clearance to travel and who may or may not be available for international adoption.
Host families are required to complete a mini-homestudy, provide background clearances, attend an in-person host parent training session, and raise or donate the costs associated with the child's travel. The cost of sponsorship is $2,800 per child (As OHHC is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, all donations are tax deductible). This cost covers the many expenses associated with the child's travel including:
- Airfare for each child
- Transportation to and from the airport from the child's orphanage or foster home
- Luggage fees
- Meals during travel period
- Hotel during travel period
- Chaperones airfare (Approx 1 chaperone per 10 children)
- Children's visas, passports and other government documents required to travel
- Certification and Translation of documents related to travel
- Insurance for medical emergencies
Visit our photolist (click on “Meet the Children”) to see photos and bios on the children available for hosting.
Select a child/children you believe may be a fit for your family. Our regional coordinators are available to talk with you more in depth about the child's needs and help assess if a particular child would do well with your family situation.
If you've spoken with the regional coordinator and determined the child/sibling set is a fit for your family, you can place the child/ren "ON HOLD" Fill out this form to formally place the child on hold. Form is password protected, but your regional coordinator can provide the password.
Once you complete the On Hold form, our team will review it and you will receive a welcome email outlining the next steps to becoming an approved host family including the application, home safety visit requirements, and necessary background checks.
Prior to hosting a child, host parents are required to:
- Complete an application to host, and other forms as requested.
- Complete a mini-homestudy, child abuse clearance and criminal background check.
- Attend mandatory host family training session.
- Attend weekend events (when scheduled) to allow the children to interact with other children and the escort.
- Provide children with (or participate in) recreational/educational activities during their visit.
- Assist with hosting the escort during the visit.
- Sponsor the child's trip ($2800).
- Provide necessities such as food, clothing, hygiene items to the child/ren during the visit.
Host families should reside in a state near the eastern coast of the United States in the region spanning from Florida up to Maine. (ME, VT, NH, MA, CT, RI, NY, NJ, DE, MD, PA, DC, VA, WV, OH, IL, WI, NC, SC, KY, GA, TX, and FL). Please contact us regarding your specific location if there is a question.
Although it has been our experience that some families fall in love with their host child and move forward to adopt, Open Hearts and Homes is not an adoption agency. Your role as a host family is to provide your host child with a safe, nurturing environment and to introduce them to family life and culture in America.
Begin fundraising and submit payments according schedule outlined in application.
Some ideas for raising funds:
- Start with friends and family, get them involved because you will need their love and support during hosting.
- Create a Facebook group about your hosting journey, invite your network and document your preparation. Repost from the OHHC Facebook.
- Share your plan for hosting with your church community, get them involved, ask for their prayers.
Attend a one-day mandatory training (regional coordinator can provide dates/locations).
Prepare your home for your child/ren's arrival. This includes making sure rooms are prepared, food is ready
Greet your host child/re at the arrival airport.