What is an Orphan Hosting Program?

BLOOM’s hosting programs invite orphaned children from other countries to come to America for 4 to 8 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.

How are children identified to participate?

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: “Lord, help us to see each child as You would have us to see him or her. Help us not to simply hear with our ears or see with our eyes, but hear and see each one through Your eyes and ears. Please lead us Lord, to each child and give us discernment about each situation we encounter while leading the host family You have in mind for each child, to BLOOM.” In Jesus’ name, Amen!”
 

Who can Host a child through BLOOM?

BLOOM’s host families must be of the Christian faith and our host families are encouraged to attend church with their host children when possible. 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.
 
Both parents must be in good health, with a stable home life, adequate income to support hosting a child etc… Both parents will be required to complete criminal background checks, multiple references, a home safety visit, 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 four scheduled 1.5-2 hour segments).
 
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?

Hosting has a cost of $2700 per child. 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! One of our other missions is the Transition Home for Orphans which is under construction in Zhytomyr, Ukraine. You can read all about it here: