TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) – Eleven children from an orphanage in Russia are getting a taste of life in America and it might lead to a life-long relationship with their host families.
The Friends of Russian Orphans (FORO) is a non-profit organization based in Sylvania that has brought orphans to Toledo for the last four summers. The last two have been hosted by families from Trinity Lutheran Church on Glendale Avenue.
Six year-old Edik is from Severodvinsk, Russia. Kendra, Dan, Lilly, and Sam Pinkelman have welcomed him into their family for the next two weeks.
"He points a lot and he has a lot of enthusiasm for what he is going for so it's pretty easy just to see without the language, what he is talking about," said host father Dan Pinkelman.
They're teaching him English and are using a smart phone app that translates English into Russian and vice versa. Their bond has grown so much in four days that the family is seriously considering adopting Edik.
"You know, you could give them a great life and you also are seeing what they could do to your family and emotionally it is very overwhelming," said host mother Kendra Pinkelman.
Her husband, choking back tears, added, "I was not certain about wanting to do this but as time has gone on, I have seen what is possible for sure. You know, it has been a good thing."
Edik has been spending afternoons with his host family but he and the ten other Russian orphans are attending Vacation Bible School in the mornings at Trinity Lutheran.
Six of the nine orphans who came here last summer are in the process of being adopted by Toledo families. Trinity senior pastor Timothy Carr is one of them. He and his wife's seven year-old son could arrive here from Russia in September.
"I already have one of my own kids and to adopt one of the kids from last year, it has been a journey of joy. Lots of tears along the way too but that is part of the life experience," Carr said.
If you're interested in adopting an orphan, you can find more information on the Friends Of Russian Orphans website.
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