Grinning from ear to ear, he gripped the boldly marked welcome sign. “KOLYA!” it read it large, bold letters. Surrounding him in the photo was his host family, also grinning broadly. My eyes welled with tears. Too old to be adopted, Kolya wanted desperately to be a part of a family this summer. But not just any family. Kolya recently accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior. He wanted to be a part of a Christian family, even if it was just a visit, so he could learn and experience the joy of living with Christ in the home.
I had prayed and advocated so hard for this young man. I would even wake up at night and plead with God to find someone to take Kolya. I took his picture to church and told his story. And then God gave me a special gift. On my birthday, I logged on to the New Horizons’ website and discovered that Kolya had been hosted. God surprised me with the perfect birthday gift.
Wiping my eyes I skimmed to the next picture in the line-up of recent New Horizons' hosted kids arriving in America and my heart jumped when I recognized another green-shirted boy as one I had prayed for before the winter hosting program. “Praise God!” I smiled as tears slipped down my cheeks. This young man was ready to age out of his orphanage. Obviously a favorite, his orphanage director begged New Horizons to find him a forever family. At 15, he finally had a family to call his own.
I flipped through the other photos of smiling families holding large welcome signs and a thought began to form in my mind. These children live the most special part of their lives on the edge of society – not included, not remembered, not wanted. Suddenly, they arrive in a new country and are met with the sounds of people shouting their names and clapping. Host parents, who have sacrificed and prayed, strain to catch a glimpse of “their” child. Cameras flash and welcome signs are hoisted high so children can see their own names written in big, bold letters with the word “WELCOME” next to it. After living so long on the sidelines of society, they are suddenly wanted! How must that make them feel?!
My imagination carried me off to a distant place in time where another grand welcoming reception would be played out. I thought of Jesus, who has sacrificed and prayed for each of one of His redeemed, placing a crown on my head, looking lovingly into my eyes, and saying, “Welcome home, my child! You are wanted here.”
Yes, indeed! Adoption is a very real example of salvation.
New Horizons for Children will be having their next hosting session in December. You can find more information here.