Wisconsin families host orphans for the holidays to find them forever families
Families in southwestern Wisconsin are hosting orphans from eastern Europe for the holidays, and hoping to find them families here.
LODI (WKOW) -- Families in southwestern Wisconsin are hosting orphans from eastern Europe for the holidays, and hoping to find them families here.
The nine kids come from orphanages in countries like Ukraine and Latvia, and for many of them, this is their first time celebrating Christmas.
This is the Yoo family's third time hosting orphans.
Data shows when orphans are hosted somewhere, they have a 60 to 70 percent chance of being adopted. If they don't, their chances are only five percent. Mom Michelle Yoo says that's because actually meeting these kids changes lives.
“The idea is that we get kids that wouldn't be adopted,” says Michelle Yoo. “Nobody says 'let me go over to Ukraine and adopt a 12-year-old-boy'. But when you bring that 12-year-old here, somebody meets him, he's not a random face anymore... and he can find a family."
It's important for them to find homes, too. Children age out of the orphanages at age 16, and as many as 20 percent of them without families end up committing suicide.
This time, the Yoos are hosting a set of siblings. The rules in their home country don't let us share their names with you, so we'll call them Leo and Lily. Leo is 15 and Lily is seven.
There will be an event New Years Eve at the Goodman Center in Fitchburg for possible adoptive parents to meet them. For more information about that event, click here.
For more information about orphan hosting, click here for Michelle's blog. Some posts are password protected because of Ukrainian rules, but if you email Savanna Tomei at firstname.lastname@example.org, she can connect you with Michelle to get the password.