Don’t pass them by

In the story of the Good Samaritan, 2 devout, very religious people crossed the street rather than notice and attend to the wounded man in need of help. Please don’t pass these kids by.

orphan kids

Stop and look at their faces. Read their stories. Pray for them. Here are some kids who are about to age out of the system. this is the last chance many of them have to ever be hosted, to ever experience living as a kid in a normal family, even for a few weeks (don’t tell me your family isn’t normal. You know what I mean). AND, these kids have sizable grants already made toward their hosting!! 

We all know the story of the Good Samaritan. He did not pass by. He really looked. He stopped.    He bound wounds and provided medicines and provided a safe place for the wounded man to stay while his wounds healed. these children are wounded. they need help. Don’t be those people who just crossed the road and looked away because it was too much trouble, hurt too much, or maybe they had compassion fatigue or social anxiety, I don’t know. I only know these children need help, and we can all do something which could help them. Be Good Samaritans.

Good Samaritans would do something like one of these things:
Forward one of these  posts (or another one from the agency) via social media. It literally costs you nothing but a click of the finger and maybe some embarrassment (?not sure why people don’t share more often. It literally is the least you could do).
Consider hosting and then act.
Contribute something so somebody else can host.
Help out with somebody who is already hosting- donate clothes, drop off a freezer meal, a case of yogurt, a loaf of bread, five dollars, a gift card for the grocery store or a restaurant, a pass for a free skate night or a pass to the pool or _something._ Offer to come over and show a kid how to wire a lamp or sew a button or build a stool or decorate a cake (host parents won’t leave you alone with them- we’re not allowed, even if we didn’t want to spend every minute we can with our kids).

I know there is something you can do, and I know there is somebody who reads your feed who can do something to help these kids, too.

And thanks for reading. Not trying to be negative, but there is a sense of urgency here.

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Great-Grandmother’s Journal, 1951, 1st week of April

WE. March 28
Washed kitchen curtains. ML (a grand-daughter) own for a tea party- ate upper with R. an L.

(ML’s parent’s, R was her youngest by several years. My own grandmother was either her oldest or second oldest, and she was a teen when R. was a toddler. As a child I remember visiting Uncle R. and Aunt L., a lovely couple, great fun, very kind to us. All 3 of their children were interested in science and their yard was full of interesting things- a wading pool the boys had turned into a pond complete with frogs and a turtle. My mother’s cousins, 2 were in college when I was visiting, and the baby was in high school, perhaps 10 or 11 years older than I).

L. and Gracie went to woman’s club. Had a style show. Someone wore Aunt Sallie’s Polynaise at the show. L. said it was a good style show. I staid with the children- both were very good.

March 29, thursday
Paid conference dues, 3.00
L. and I went shopping.

March 30, Friday
Washed curtains and window in the kitchen. R. and L. here for supper.
I kept the baby while they shopped. R. paid rent $40.
Gas and lights 5.53
Mrs. Power called me today from Gary. Helper her niece out who has been quite sick.
(I think Mrs. Power rented an apt in her house from my great-grandmother)
Groceries: $6.14

My great-grandparents lived in a large brick house in Indiana Harbour. Where their house stood, a yacht club stands today. However when they lived there, the air was black and grimy from factory and steel mills. Everything they owned which they moved to the house we call the Rattery was sooty. My great-grandfather had been a teacher when they met, but she wouldn’t marry him unless he changed jobs, because she didn’t believe a teacher’s salary could support a family. He got a job at the steel mills. He worked in the office, but his lungs were what killed him. Otoh, he outlived his 3 siblings by many years, and he was 73 when he died. My great grandmother began her journals the year after he died. She outlived him by 19 years.

He served on the school board, and their house was always full of books. All of their children graduated from college, including the 2 girls. My grandmother was born in 1907. Her degree was in botany.

April 3
Paid electrical bill on Rattery house (their ‘cottage’)- 1.00
Paid water: 2.34
telephone: 4.50
Paid taxes on Rattery house- 37.98

April 4, Wednesday
Paid 21.94 for screens and underwear at Sears. Also a black petticoat

April 5,
Wento to Chicago- attended session of conference. Wonderful program. Went to Dr. Waughs, gave ma another x-ray treatment. Pid my two weeks bill to him, $20.00
Paid half my tax installment- 102.46

April 6, Friday
Cleaned the house.
L’s parents’ came.

… We had double in-laws. L. married my great-uncle R. and L’s brother married my great-aunt B, R’s sister. they came from New Jersey, and Aunt L. stayed in the Chicago/Indiana area with her husband, and Aunt B. went back to New Jersey and stayed there with her husband.

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How Does Hosting Help if You Aren’t Adopting?

We wondered the same thing and we asked. While they cannot come live with us when they age out (US laws), we can still maintain a relationship, which many families do- letters, phone calls, emails, and gifts. So they have adults in the background who care about them and they know it, and can ask for advice, and be reassured that they are valuable. Kids who have aged out have said being hosted helped for several reasons- it showed them how to do some things independently which they had not learned in the orphanage (cooking, laundry, budgeting), helped their English skills (giving them an advantage). It boosted their confidence and makes them less afraid of being on their own.

And for many, just knowing somebody actually really did care about them somewhere gave them courage and helped them make different choices than they would have otherwise. Some of them have said that before hosting, they didn’t think it mattered what they did, so they stole or smoked or skipped school because nobody cared, really, what happened. After hosting, they knew what they did didn’t matter just to them alone, but to others as well.

It’s not, perhaps, a huge deal, but they also get eye exams and dental care here which they would not get at home- our boys had abscesses in their mouths the dentist said had to have been there for years. He pulled rotten teeth, filled those which could be saved, cleaned out their mouths and gave them antibiotics. Clearing up infections they’ve had for years has to make a difference, too.

Our boys did not know how to do dishes, clean a toilet or sweep. Nor could fry an egg (not even the 14 1/2 y.o.). We taught them how to do those things, and intend to show them a few more while they are here. I have a list of basic, cheap meals I will be teaching the oldest in particular- I asked a friend in Ukraine for suggestions so I could be sure it would be things he can make cheaply back home.

Some kids do get adopted- even if not by their host family. One of the things host families do is put out feelers for families who might wish to adopt (we know we’ve had 3 inquiries about the boys. We don’t know where those inquiries are in process now, or if all fell through- because that’s not our responsibility).

But if they are not adopted, it still helps. It’s not as good as having a family. But it’s still better than not being hosted at all, according to the kids themselves.

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He does have a point

My 17 1/2 year old son, propounding to me a plan: I want… yak yak yak because I don’t want yak yak and it would be so cool to blah blah.

Me: Squelching plan: tttttttttthbbbbbbbbbb. Because wha wha wha and tcha tcha tcha.

He: “But, Mom.” And he restates his plan, bringing three more points to the argument. He believes these points are compelling and unanswerable. I believe they can be summed up with, “But I am a 17 year old boy so this sounds awesome and I’ll make up anything to make it sound sort of like i’m being responsible.”

Which, honestly, his plan is financially unwise but not immoral or illegal and I can’t really stop him. I mean, I could make his life miserable if he does it anyway, but I would have no moral excuse for doing that. It’s not a sin. I just don’t think the timing makes any sense at all.

Me: Look. I understand what you want to do and why you want to do it. I totally get everything about why you love this idea and think it’s great. If I were 17, I would feel the same way. But I’m not 17- however, ( I say this a lot, too much, in fact, so I’ve diluted it by repetition and robbed it of its power)– of the two of us, one of us has never yet been anything older than 17, and one of us has been both 17 and every other year between 17 and 54. And that one wants to go on record here as making it crystal clear I disagree and am opposed and see nothing good coming of this but a couple months of fun and more responsibilities than you imagine. I am sure you will regret it, you will be sorry, it is not wise, and this is the kind of thing where a 17 year old boy does this cool, fun, thing and then when he is 30 he is going back to his Mum and saying, “Mom, you were so right, I wish I had listened to you.”

Him, with that cheeky grin which catches and hooks my heart with a pang: “Yeah, but Mom, the thing is, I’m not 30 years old. I’m the 17 year old boy in that story.”

And I laughed. I always do. And he asked a couple questions that indicated he is at least thinking through some things more carefully. So, I call it a win/win.

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Injurious Insects: Vintage Images

“Injurious’ here means pesky and destructive, not just ‘will make you sick or kill you.’ So some moths make the cut, as well as beetles, caterpillars, and mosquitoes.injurious insects small cutMore, along with Ideas on how you might use these below.
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