AVON — The Lucases have long had a heart for the plight of orphans. But with five children of their own, Cathy and Carl are too busy to adopt.
Through New Horizons for Children, they’re splitting the difference and hosting two orphans from the Ukraine for five weeks this summer.
“That was something we felt like we could do, to help change a life or two,” said Cathy. “It really seems like a small contribution to us.”
New Horizons, which focuses on the Ukraine, Latvia, and China, brings about 250 orphans to the United States annually for visits. The two staying with the Lucases are Deniss, age 16, and Lena, 14. They are siblings who have never been hosted.
“That was one of our criteria,” Cathy said. “We wanted to give them a family connection they haven’t experienced yet.”
Another reason is because they’re close in age to the two children the Lucases still have at home — 17-year-old Levi and Bella, who’s 15.
“We chose kids that are their peers,” Cathy said. “Our kids are very interested in learning their culture and interacting with them long-term. We’re hoping to forge a deep bond.”
Bella is excited about spending part of her summer break with Deniss and Lena.
“It will be nice to have people here around my age,” she said. “We should have lots of interesting things to talk about.”
They’ll fly June 26 from the airport in Kiev to New York’s JFK . From there it’s a connecting flight to Indianapolis, Louisville, or Columbus, Ohio, depending on where the most host families live (Cathy’s aware of four in Indiana who are participating).
They plan on doing as much with Deniss and Lena as time allows while they’re here.
“We’re doing this in lieu of a family vacation this year,” Cathy said.