How Did Orphan Hosting to Adopt Begin?
In 1993 Terry Baugh traveled to Russia to adopt a child. She was not prepared for what she saw. The orphanage was a huge, cold institution with an insufficient number of caregivers for all of the children. Children with shaved heads were sitting in playpens with no toys, and no stimulation. The caregivers meant well, but there were so few of them for so many children. For months after her return home, Terry could not get their faces out of her mind.
Terry shared her experience with Randi Thompson, also an adoptive parent. As luck would have it Randi was working on a project in Kazakhstan, so on her next trip there Randi visited an orphanage for older children who were considered un-adoptable and what she saw there seemed even worse. She saw 15-year-old children about to age out of the orphanage to a life on their own on the streets. These were the children the world had truly forgotten the ones with no hope for any kind of future.
These children needed a miracle. So Terry and Randi teamed up to make that miracle happen and founded Kidsave, a hosting program for orphans. In the summer of 1999, Kidsave gave 177 older orphanage children summer vacations in the US with American families. 97% of the children were adopted. It was a miracle for these children.
Kidsave success stories about families hosting an orphan in their home and then eventually adopting that child (all children must return to their countries after hosting. They cannot be adopted during the hosting program) are common. For most children who come to the USA for a summer or winter hosting experience, this is truly their only opportunity to find a permanent family.
Kidsave recently celebrated it’s 20 year anniversary and continues to use their Family Visit Model to give orphans and foster kids permanent homes and families.