Welcome Home is a program at ICA that brings families together in a unique way. Through the years the program has grown, shifted, and adjusted, but the overall idea remains the same; orphaned children from different countries visit the United States. While here, they are placed with host families for three to six weeks. Upon their arrival, they are lovingly welcomed as treasured guests, shown the sights and landmarks of the United States, taught about the God who made and loves them, all with the ultimate hope of finding them an adoptive family. Over the years, countless children, many of whom were likely to remain orphaned because of their age, have been placed with forever families.
Meet the Marinucci family. They adopted one daughter at birth and had always hoped to adopt again. Wife and mom, Laura, recalls the series of events that led to their involvement in Welcome Home:
“We were one of the families who benefited from someone else hosting. We were unaware of the program until my best friend’s daughter attended a bible study at the home where the girls were staying. Unexpectedly that same day we received an inheritance check in the mail. I was chatting with my friend that finances always held up our decision to adopt. We lived in a very small home and she said maybe we needed to think about our living arrangements first. After going to pick up her daughter and witnessing her come out crying stating ‘there is no family for these girls and they will have to return to the orphanage with bleak prospects once they age out of the system’” she called me and said “I think I have your money spent for you!”
The Marinucci’s immediately called, and met with the girls the very next day. While their was no magical moment that connected the Marinucci’s to the girls on that day, Laura and her husband felt God’s strong leading to proceed in obedience.
“He would open or close the doors as we walked in faith.”
Those doors continued to open, and in 2003, the Marinucci’s adopted this sibling set from Russia. The girls were ages 7 and 10, and their eldest daughter was 11. Since then, the Marinucci’s have experienced God’s love and provision as He knitted their hearts together as a family.
For those of you considering adoption, Welcome Home may be the program for you. As Laura learned, God had a plan bigger than anything she could imagine to complete her family. Welcome Home is so imprinted on the heart of Laura, that she now works for ICA as a Welcome Home Coordinator, using her passion for adoption, along with her testimony to encourage and support other families through the adoption process.
“God uses host Families, even those with no intention of adopting! Consider it a reverse missions trip. An opportunity for your entire family to show pure and undefiled religion by patiently demonstrating the love of Christ to an orphan, and thus living out the mandate of James 1:27.”
If you would like more information on Welcome Home, contact the ICA office at (951) 695-3336 x121