STERLING, Va. (WDVM) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Washington-Dulles International Airport experienced a feel-good moment over the weekend when they helped expedite the arrivals of 65 orphaned children visiting from Ukraine under Open Hearts and Homes for Children’s (OHHC) Orphan Hosting Program.
According to a release from CBP, the OHHC pairs orphaned Ukrainian and Latvian children, ages 7-16, with a U.S. host or foster family for a short visit to experience America. OHHC is not an adoption program; however, in some cases, host families go on to complete the adoption process to make the child a permanent member of their family.
In a statement, Keith Fleming, acting director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office, said, “Many of our Customs and Border Protection officers are parents of children around the same age as these children, and we can appreciate how intimidating it could be to travel to a foreign country. We were happy to accommodate OHHC and to be the orphans’ first welcoming face in the United States.”
OHHC and its traveling party didn’t spend much time at the airport before they were on their way to experience America.