Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tulsa, Here We Come!

The Russian Orphan Lighthouse Project is delighted to announce our Tulsa, Oklahoma, trip kids will be arriving at the end of next week! Several Russian orphans will be staying with Tulsa-area families for ten days before they return to their orphanages, hopefully having met a family who wants to adopt them.

Nikolai (left) wants to go to America. He likes drawing, physical education, and dreams of being a builder when he grows up. Denis (right), a shy boy with a sweet smile, promised his interviewer to look at her, and kept his end of the bargain. He enjoys physical education and making crafts, even making shoes at his orphanage. Both boys, aged 13, still need host families or they will be unable to travel.

In their mid- to late teens children in Russian orphanages age out of the system, frequently turning to lives of crime or prostitution to support themselves. Most adoptive families desire children as young as possible. Children ages two or three are already considered “older” by adoption standards and, therefore, hard to place. Children the age of Denis or Nikolai have little hope that a family will ever travel to Russia to find and adopt them. Recognizing this, the Lighthouse Project brings Russian orphans ages 7-15 to the United States for ten-day hosting trips, partnering this time with Grace Baptist Church of Owasso. While here, children stay with host families, participate in a Russian-language Vacation Bible School, receive a Russian Bible, and enjoy family activities and attention not available in an orphanage. When families spend time with a child, they are much more open to considering adoption of that child. The program has been successful in its mission: since 1998, the forty Lighthouse Project trips to several states have helped more than 300 Russian orphans find families. The vast majority of these children would not have been adopted had they remained in their orphanages waiting for a family to come looking for them.

There are eleven other children on the trip, each with their own compelling story. In the coming days, you’ll hear about each of the kids coming and have a chance to follow them on the journey we are praying leads them to a forever family. The children will present a program for the community during the stay, and they would love to meet you there! For more information on the Tulsa trip, Russian adoption, or to host Denis or Nikolai, please call Tulsa Lighthouse Project Coordinator Becky De Nooy at (616) 245-3216 or visit http://www.lhproject.com/ .

Get ready, Tulsa! Here we come!

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