[BlindKid] Visually Impaired Host Kid

Lydia Anne Schuck lydia.a.schuck at wmich.edu
Wed Oct 17 14:24:11 UTC 2018

Hello, The forwarded note below yours describes a child from Ukraine.  We are parents of a blind young adult, and one of us speaks rudimentary Russian. One of our adult children is fluent in Russian. Tell me more about the child you need to place over Christmas. Lydia Schuck

From: BlindKid <blindkid-bounces at nfbnet.org> on behalf of Carrie McQueen via BlindKid <blindkid at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2018 2:10:27 AM
To: blindkid at nfbnet.org
Cc: Carrie McQueen
Subject: [BlindKid] Visually Impaired Host Kid

Hi All,

Thank you for allowing me to share as a newcomer here.

We are an adoptive family, and we met 4 of our kids through a hosting program.  Hosting organizations are international non-profit programs that identify kids in foreign orphanages who are good candidates to be placed in host families here in the US for a summer or Christmas visit.  The primary goal is to get them out of a bad environment during the long periods of time when school isn't in session - their schools provide them with some structure, meals, etc., but when school is out of session, "orphanage life" is pretty harsh.

The kids who are hosted get to experience a family life they've probably never enjoyed or realized was possible for them.  Many host kids who are, or who become, available for adoption, end up meeting their forever-families during host programs.  And many kids develop life-long, long-distance "family" relationships, even if they end up staying in their country.  It's approximately international foster care.

Our youngest son is 8 years old, in 3rd grade, and he was living in an orphanage for visually-impaired kids, separated from his 3 siblings.  In 3 years, he’s gained enough vision that he's learned to read this past year with some accommodations.  Just having somebody attentive to what he needed was a huge help for him, even though we didn't meet him until he was 5 years old.  Here in the US, we take so much for granted, and the difference we can make in kids' lives is enormous, just over a summer or Christmas holiday.

So, my request:  I'm still in regular communication with our hosting organization.  On Tuesday night, a friend of mine sent me a particular child who's available for hosting this Christmas, below.  He's significantly visually impaired, but I don't know more than that.  But I do know that kids with any disability in foreign orphanages are rarely, if ever, considered for adoption or foster care in-country, so hosting is usually their best opportunity to experience a healthy family environment, and even for some medical assessment.  There are generally doctors and dentists available who will see a host child pro-bono, or with significantly discounted rates, if asked.   And, host families with experience in a child's disability are usually far more prepared and comfortable supporting whatever needs they have.

I know there's a great host family for him out there, somewhere, for Christmas.  And if nothing else, I'd love to plant the seed in people's hearts, and maybe it results in hosting, foster care, or adoption sometime in the future.  So many people think "I would love to, but I just couldn't...."  But, they can, and it's wonderful, and so much good can come of it!

Please consider and/or share.  You never know who might be interested, including friends-of.  And if not this boy, or not this season, please keep it in mind.

Thank you,  Carrie.

---------- Forwarded message ---------
Just sharing this cutie from Ukraine:

SER in the 3 Grade. Incredibly social and has many friends in school. Very well liked by many. He was born with significant eye issues and is currently in a visually impaired school. It would benefit him to see a vision specialist during hosting. His caregiver reports that he can only see large shapes.  SER he likes to play games. He is a typical curious boy, easy-going and easily gains trust with people.  He is hard-working. He loves sweets.  He does not have any known allergies.

PD below:  young boy, sitting in a classroom at a desk.  He has very light blond hair, smiling face, and he's proudly holding up a paper with a lion on it.  He's glued brown leaves around the lion's face to create the mane.  There are two boys sitting behind him in desks, one with glasses, and one with a bandaged eye.

Traci Mai
Project 143
Director, Latvia HOPE Program
International Orphan Hosting
tracim at p143.org
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