Orphans placed with forever families find hope and promise
Hutchins (front row, center) and six other Hope’s Promise representatives traveled to Vietnam to show their love and commitment to the families they support.
By Lynn Zahorik; photos courtesy of Kristen Hutchins
Kristen Hutchins took the adventure of a lifetime when she traveled to Vietnam in January. Her father had served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, and now she too was providing a service in Vietnam in a different capacity. Hutchins ventured abroad to support the Hope’s Promise (HP) as a board member and eager volunteer.
Based in Castle Rock, HP is a Christian nonprofit child placement agency. They facilitate both domestic and international adoptions. The domestic adoption program offers options counseling to women and men facing an unintended pregnancy. Since 1990, HP has placed more than 1,000 infants and children in safe and loving homes.
In 2002, they expanded their mission to include a program that provided fatherless or orphaned children in Kenya, Nepal, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe an opportunity to grow up in Christian families rather than in institutional settings. With the help of child sponsorships, HP placed orphaned and at-risk children with indigenous families who lovingly agreed to raise the children in their homes as one of their own. Through this program, orphaned children were given a chance to grow up in their own country and culture, and in a Christian family with a mother, father, and siblings.
Hutchins beams with four of the orphan children who have found a home thanks to the efforts of Hope’s Promise.
Hutchins, a Castle Pines resident since 2004, has always felt a calling to help in the area of orphan care. “I know I can’t help the 153 million orphans in the world, but I may be able to make a difference in the lives of the 19 children orphaned in Vietnam that Hope’s Promise supports,” said Hutchins. Her journey lasted 12 days and stretched from the coast of Vietnam to within miles of the Cambodian border. The HP team spent at least two days bonding with each of the four families who they currently assist financially. They had fun distributing 100 Frisbees to children who had never played with one before. They gave away donated toothbrush sets to village children that did not own one. “It was eye opening to be in a third world country where gentle spirited people who are suppressed and have so little themselves will make such extreme sacrifices to care for the orphaned or abandoned,” said Hutchins.
“I wanted to do more than write a check to Hope’s Promise. I wanted to step into the everyday lives [of these children] and celebrate with them the amazing future that lies ahead now that they are with a forever family. I wanted to look into the eyes of the children I could help thousands of miles from the comforts of my home. I wanted to see into their hearts through their smiles, play with them, have them show me their school awards, and meet their beloved pets,” said Hutchins. “I would go on this trip again in a heartbeat!”
Director of Development Cristina Mahaffey stated, “Kristen has blessed Hope’s Promise beyond measure through her support and passion for our mission. Her heart to care for women and orphans is unmatched and we are honored by her partnership.”
To learn more about HP programs and upcoming benefits including their April Gourmet Food Festival, call 303-660-0277 or visit www.hopespromise.com.