From vacation to potential adoption

By May 22, 2013

Colombia (MNN) — In an overseas orphanage, two young boys talked over whether they should travel to Texas with the Angels from Abroad program. “What if the people are mean to us?”

With so many questions and unknowns, it can be intimidating for a child to travel overseas and be hosted for three weeks by a family they've never met.

But when these boys traveled through Angels from Abroad and stayed with a family in Dallas, they were pleasantly surprised and enjoyed their host family.

Time and time again, Dillon International has seen lasting bonds form between orphans and host families in their Angels from Abroad program–bonds that can lead to adoption.

Dillon International, a Buckner International affiliate, will bring over more orphans from Colombia to Dallas, Texas in December. But for now, they need host families.

Free interest meetings are being held in Dallas, Texas for churches and families to learn more about Angels from Abroad. The meetings are at the Buckner Children and Family Services campus in Dallas.

Their next meeting is Thursday, May 30 from noon-1:30 pm.

“We’ll be able to share profiles of the children that we’re anticipating currently to be participating in that program,” Denise Schoberg with Dillon International explains. “We currently are anticipating 7 children from Colombia. Two of those are single children: girls who are 13 years old. Then we have two sibling groups: a brother and sister who are 14 and 13; and then a sibling group of three children who are 14, 10, and 8.”

Adoption trends in Colombia are similar to the rest of the world. Young, healthy orphans with no siblings have the highest probability to be adopted domestically. Older orphans in a sibling set are less likely to gain a forever family.

There are currently 60,000 children in Colombia’s Child Protection System. 9700 of them are older orphans in a sibling set. These are just the kind of children Dillon International is accredited to place in families.

The kids in Angels from Abroad don’t come necessarily with the expectation of adoption. They are prepped to see this as a fun vacation experience. Host families are simply encouraged to share God’s love, form a lasting connection, and stay in touch when their child goes back to Colombia. If the host family just can’t say goodbye to their child, adoption is a welcome result.

Churches in the Dallas area can also get involved in ministering to these orphans. Your church can host Vacation Bible Schools during the weeks the orphans visit, or volunteer for Angels from Abroad events and programs.

Even if you aren’t led to host or adopt, prayer is always needed. “We would ask prayers for families that families who have a heart for caring for the older children would open their hearts and homes to these children and allow these children to experience what it feels like to be part of a faith, loving, nurturing family,” says Schoberg.

“It obviously would be somewhat of a frightening experience coming to a new country and staying with a family. But we would also ask prayers for [the children’s] hearts to be prepared and open, and that they return to Colombia knowing love.”

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