What is an Orphan Hosting Program?

BLOOM’s hosting programs invite orphaned children from other countries to come to America for 2 to 5 weeks. During this time, the child experiences the love of Christ through a Christian family who exemplifies Him while living together in their home.
 
In addition, through family time together, children quickly develop a basic understanding and use of the English language. In turn, they develop a higher self-esteem and a feeling of accomplishment in many ways! The child also witnesses healthy relationships between parents and their children, which may be the first time ever, that this has occurred in their life!
 
These basic skills provide tremendous emotional improvements that help the child as they grow up in their homeland, or possibly later, if a child is offered adoption.

What countries do BLOOM’s host children come from?

COLOMBIA

We are excited to announce our NEW hosting program in partnership with Lifeline Adoption Services in the country of COLOMBIA! This is BLOOM’s first Latin America program. Families interested in our pilot Colombia program must be within the states of AL, GA, TN, NC, SC and FL. This summer, we will also offer Texas families the opportunity to participate in the Colombia program. Families in other states may be eligible if a minimum number of families can participate as a group. Churches interested in being a partner are encouraged to inquire as well. Contact aprilw@bloomworldwide.org or beth.perez@lifelinchild.org for more info.

HAITI

We are thrilled to announce our NEWEST hosting program in the country of HAITI! This is the FIRST AND ONLY existing Haiti orphan hosting program. Initially we are opening this program to Texas families, however, families from ALL states are welcome to fill out a pre-application. If we get at least 3-4 families in any given area outside Texas, we will open the program to that state. Does your church do missions programs in Haiti? NOW is the time to get your friends at church with a heart for Haiti together to host a child. Contact aprilw@bloomworldwide.org for more info AFTER you have filled out a pre-application if you are outside Texas.

POLAND

Our Poland program is currently available as a “HOST ONLY” program. This means that due to the state of adoptions in Poland, most kids will not be eligible for international adoption after the hosting program. However, since hosting is now the children’s ONLY chance to experience the love and mentorship of a family, we strongly encourage families to participate in this program as the only form of ORPHAN CARE these children may ever receive. Families can be located anywhere in the U.S.

BURUNDI

Our Burundi program is also our first AFRICA hosting program. We are looking for flexible host families who have experience with African mission work or adoptions, or who have hosted previously to participate as trailblazers for these children. Families can be located anywhere in the U.S.

How long are the children here?

Each program is different in terms of the length of time a child is here with your family. It depends on the term (winter/Christmas or summer) as well as the country’s rules.
 
In the winter, our Colombia program is generally 2 weeks, and our Burundi, Haiti and Poland programs are 4 weeks. While the Colombia program is early/mid December, it is not during Christmas. However, the Poland, Haiti and Burundi programs take place from mid December into mid January.
 
In the summer, our Colombia program is usually 3 weeks, while Burundi, Haiti and Poland are 5 weeks. Typically, these take place in June or July. We identify exact dates closer to the program terms and will notify host families at that time.
 

How are children identified to participate/Who are the children?

Each child is interviewed by our team who personally meets them in their orphanage or foster home. We also review their teacher, caregiver, and orphanage director recommendations to determine if we feel the child has the capability to cope with travel, language barriers, and an experience abroad. Not all children are accepted into BLOOM’s orphan hosting programs, but all children are prayerfully considered by our team.
 
Once we have selected the children who will participate, we will introduce families to them via a secure photolisting, which has a child’s photo, sometimes a video, as well as a mini biography that highlights the child’s personality based on our interaction with them. (You can fill out a pre-application to gain access to the photolisting at the bottom of this page)
 
Children are typically 7-15 years old in our Colombia program. However, children under age 8 or 9 will need to be part of a sibling group to participate. 
 
In our Burundi program, children are aged 6-17. Typically children aged 6 and 7 will only come with a sibling group. If a child is well-adjusted and mature for their age, we may allow individual children aged 6 or 7 to participate.
 
In Poland the children who travel are typically between 9 and 17 years old. Sibling groups of 3-4 are very common in our Poland program.
 
Children in our Haiti program are about 6-15 years old. Typically children aged 6 and 7 will only come with a sibling group. If a child is well-adjusted and mature for their age, we may allow individual children aged 6 or 7 to participate.
 

Who can Host a child through BLOOM?

BLOOM’s host families must be of the Christian faith. Acceptance of BLOOM’s statement of faith is required as we are “going on a mission trip” in a sense, as a team, through hosting orphans. We bring the MISSION to your family, instead of traveling abroad.
 
Single women (moms) and married couples are considered for hosting per our agreements with the countries we serve. If married, (parents) husband and wife should have a minimum of 2 years of marriage completed at the time of hosting. This requirement may be reduced depending on age of the applicants, time they have known each other, time they dated etc. Except for special exceptions, host parents should be at least age 25. 
 
Both parents must be in good health, with a stable home life, and adequate income to support hosting a child. Both parents will be required to complete criminal background checks, multiple references, a home safety visit by a social worker, complete an extensive full hosting application and complete a total mandatory 6-7 hour of host parent info sessions (offered in an online group environment provided by BLOOM, free of charge, in two scheduled 1.5-2 hour segments). We do not accept families where either spouse has a criminal record.
 
For Burundi, families should ideally have prior experience with African mission work, adoptions or prior hosting experience.
 
All Hosting Application paperwork as outlined in the Full Application must be completed and submitted in a timely manner with deadlines met.

How much does it cost to Host?

For Colombia, the cost is $1995; for Haiti, $2195; for Poland, $2995; for Burundi, $3495. We do have reduced fees for sibling groups in Haiti, Poland, or Burundi, but for Colombia the cost to host each additional sibling is $595. Please fill out a pre-application by clicking the link at the bottom of this page to learn more. This hosting fee (which is considered a donation) covers actual expenses related to bringing each child and their chaperones to the USA. These costs include such things as: passports, in-country travel to/from US Embassy visa appointments and the airport of departure and return; US visitor’s visa, international flights, escorts during travel and chaperones that stay in the USA as the legal guardians of the children while here; medical insurance that covers possible accidents or serious illnesses that may occur; document translation, processing and submission expenses to gain travel permission; safety visit, and application process.
 

How do we pay for Hosting?

Fundraising is key to MOST all mission trips! Stepping out in faith and including others in the mission is a big part of going on a mission trip! Hosting an orphan in your family is considered a “stay at home, family mission trip”. However, instead of going away on a mission trip, BLOOM is bringing the “mission” to you! Ask your Family Mentor about several ideas that work great for our host families when fundraising to host! You do not need to do this alone! Many families fundraise the full amount of hosting in a few days or a few weeks with consistent efforts.
 
BLOOM is a non-profit IRS approved 501(c)3 organization and all funds given to host a child are considered tax deductible donations! This is very helpful when asking others to donate towards your hosting Mission Trip.

Overall Hosting goals

BLOOM invites children who we feel will benefit greatly from this hosting experience. The main idea behind the Hosting Program is Christian ministry. With this in mind, our goals include:
  • Maintain a complete separation between hosting and adoption and not intermingle the two in terms of BLOOM’s operations or primary mission. (Hague accredited adoption agencies handle adoptions; BLOOM handles hosting.)
  • Providing an Educational/Cultural experience, with emphasis on learning the English language.
  • Allow children to learn about God, experience His love and realize they have a Father who loves them!
  • Show the children unconditional love and acceptance.
  • Enhance the lives of all children in our sponsored orphanages.
  • Reunite siblings during hosting who may be separated in different orphanages.
 
(All children who participate in hosting, are on a USA visitor’s visa who travel to the USA together and return to their home-country together. NO CHILD CAN REMAIN IN THE USA after a hosting program. It is ILLEGAL! Children are given permission to travel by their legal guardians in their home countries, and we are obligated by law to send them back.)

Why does BLOOM include children with Special Needs?

A child born with disabilities or any known special needs has a much more difficult and dismal prognosis in life. In many countries, they are simply abandoned or left to die at birth. The “fortunate” ones who make their way into a hospital or baby home soon become abandoned and left without hope of family.
 
Special needs children are not only “abandoned” by a biological mother who has zero support, resources or knowledge of how to raise a child with special needs, but they are also “abandoned” by societies who have no ability or ideas of how or why to care for them. Many are kept in baby homes in horrible conditions until the age when most children begin pre-school, should they survive that long. Then, in many countries, they are given the status of “incapacitated” and lose their rights to have the most basic of human opportunities on or before the age of 5 or 6. When other children, including “non-special needs” orphans typically move on to primary school orphanages, the ones with the government assigned label of “incapacitated” are sent to institutions that include the elderly and those who are mentally unable to maintain any sort of daily life. This is where they live until they either die or are taken/sold into human trafficking where they are “no longer traced” and work in factories or on farms for no pay. This label of “incapacitated” takes away any right to get educated, have a job or employment, own or buy property or get basic medical needs taken care of in the same way as others in their country. The only way to save these children is to find the few who have somehow made their way into an orphanage for a “general population” or into private orphanages or group homes with their label of “human” still in tact!
 
BLOOM especially has a heart and mission to serve orphans with special needs and identify them whenever possible for hosting. We have included many in our past orphan hosting programs and were very successful in working with these children!
 

DEADLINES for WINTER 2018 Program

There may be a small window of flexibility for late applications. Please check on a case by case basis. Families are encouraged to apply and begin paperwork as soon as possible in order to leave time for the home safety visit and fundraising.
*Please fill out a pre-application at the bottom of this page to receive a fee schedule from your regional family mentor.
 
BURUNDI
Application Deadline: Sept 18th
Paperwork/Fees Deadline: Oct 1 (STRICT)

COLOMBIA

Application Deadline: Oct 1
Paperwork/Fees Deadline: Oct 7

HAITI

Application Deadline: Oct 1
Paperwork/Fees Deadline: Oct 7

POLAND

Apply Deadline: Nov 1
Paperwork/Fees Deadline: Nov 15 (STRICT)