We have participated in hosting with Madison since 2018, first as a helper family, advocating for the children and the program, and then in 2019 we welcomed our first host child home. We have hosted each year since then, each a very special child and a phenomenal experience for our family and life changing for all involved! We have always chosen to host children from Colombia because we are very familiar with the country, the culture, and the children, as each of our 2 daughters were adopted from this beautiful country. Our story is a bit different because our hearts are called to host children with high special needs, major medical needs, due to our first daughter’s hosting and eventual adoption story. She was brought to the US as part of an orphan hosting program, as a high special needs child with an unknown life prognosis. God brought us to her on her final day of the hosting trip and immediately confirmed that she was our daughter, and 9 months later, she was placed in our arms forever! Since that blessing, we have been committed to becoming host parents to advocate for other children with special needs; providing them the same chance that our daughter’s host family gave her!

During hosting we enjoy lots of general playtime at home, just enjoying family life with our children, in a loving, busy home; simple activities and daily home life that most orphans have not experienced. Children thrive on routine and structure so we strive to keep that while they are here, but do take some fun outings, like the zoo or parks. If needed we may attend a visit to the dentist, eye doctor, or pediatrician to gain some basic knowledge of his/her health-our doctors have always donated their service for our host children.

The best part of hosting is getting to know this beautiful child beyond the paperwork file! Watching them light up at the sight of fun toys and experiences like swimming, trying new foods, and coming to cuddle up with people who were just strangers days ago. Their resiliency in this experience and true joy in this opportunity is such a blessing!

The worst part is getting so little time with these sweet children, it seems like you just get to see them fully comfortable enough to open up in those couple weeks, and then it’s time to put them back on an airplane. 

Our entire family, including our 3 children plus our extended family-grandparents and even great grandma, are actively involved in this experience and truly, we all look forward to it every summer. It’s the best part of our summers! We consider it a great blessing to be called to adopt and to host orphaned children. Welcoming more children into our home, as short-term as it may be, allows us to play a role in their journey to finding their family, bringing them home. While growing our hearts and our faith, teaching compassion and understanding and love for all of our differences.

This experience is our calling, your opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus, as is His will. Your family will forever be deeply changed by this opportunity, and we pray there will also be one less orphan in the world because of it. We absolutely will continue to host with a focus on special needs advocacy, and our hearts are always open to adoption. We are grateful to Madison for this wonderful program, so professionally organized, but compassionately planned and family focused. 

We are currently seeking host families in Utah, Illinois, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania to host a waiting child in July 2023. To learn more about the program, please visit our website or email anneb@madisonadoption.org.