After having five kids of their own, a Blair County couple decided to welcome a Ukrainian orphan into their home. Now, they're encouraging other area families to open their hearts to 20 more children from that country. The kids, ranging in age from 7 to 14 years will head to our region this August, hoping to find new parents.
Lori and Russ Walk of Tyrone adopted ten-year-old Anastasiya in May. The little girl, who’ll be eleven this month, speaks only Russian but fits in well with the large extended Walk family.
Her new father said, "we just love her to death. The whole family loves her to death. She’s been a great addition."
While exploring adoption online, Lori connected with Advocates For Orphans .
The Christian program brings Ukrainian orphans into the United States where they're hosted by families who want to adopt.
The Walks traveled to the Ukraine to meet Anastasiya after the swine flu epidemic led the orphanage to suspend trips to the United States.
Lori remembers the first meeting like this, “we started crying. My husband and I were both crying because we were both filled with joy to be able to meet her and see how precious she was.”
And their trip to the Ukrainian orphange made a strong impression on them. Ross said, “when we was in the Ukraine we truly understood what the land of milk and honey was here at home. When we left our heart was broke. Anything we can do now to help these children.”
That includes inviting 20 Ukrainian children to their Quest Haven Lodge, an outdoor adventure camp for their youth ministry. After five days having fun at the camp and meeting their host families, the children will go home with them for about a week.
For more information on becoming part of the hosting program, go here. You can also get more information at Lori's blog.