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Latvia Orphan Spending the Summer with Ozarks Family

OZARK, Mo. -- An Ozarks family has a new member for five weeks this summer -- all the way from Latvia. A 12-year-old girl named Monta is an orphan. She's getting the opportunity to spend time in America and experience family life.
OZARK, Mo. -- An Ozarks family has a new member for five weeks this summer -- all the way from Latvia.
 
A 12-year-old girl named Monta is an orphan. She's getting the opportunity to spend time in America and experience family life.
 
This hosting program is part of a group called New Horizons for Children.
 
It brings more than 300 school-aged orphans from China and eastern Europe to spend the summer with families across the country.
 
The Hills hosted Monta over Christmas. Now- she's back for a second visit.
 
"We wanted to give someone an opportunity to learn about the love of a family and just have a fun experience in America," says Lindsay Hill, the host mom.
 
After doing some research and seeing Monta's picture and bio, the hills decided she would be the perfect addition to their family, and it didn't take her long to warm up to them.
 
"They realize that there's someone that is invested in their life, someone that cares about them."
 
New Horizon's international hosting program allows orphaned children to experience the love of a functional family, learn English, and create lifelong bonds that build self-esteem, motivation, and hope for the future.
 
"There are 143 million orphans in the world. That number sounds really huge and insurmountable, but when you bring a child like Monta into your home, you realize this is something that can be changed if we all do a little part."
 
These children receive an eye exam and glasses if they need them, dental care, and anything else they need that might not be possible back home.
 
"We can love on these kids and care for them and show them they're not just a number."
 
According to New Horizons, without intervention, upon leaving the orphanage, 60% of girls will end up in prostitution, 70% of boys will be on the streets or in jail, and 15% will commit suicide within the first two years on their own.
 
"This is an opportunity, not just for them to have fun for 5 weeks in the summer, but for them to change the course of their life."
 
Language barriers, culture shock, and a shy personality might have made things challenging in the beginning, "it was obviously very overwhelming."
 
But it didn't take long for everyone to jump right in and get into the swing of things.
 
"She's not just a guest in our home, but a member of our family."
 
"Monta told me that -- you're my American sister," says the Hill's oldest daughter Katelyn.
 
The hosting organization, New Horizons for Children, is strictly a hosting organization, not an adoption agency.
 
It's against the immigration/adoption laws of both the United States and Latvia -- where Monta is from -- to even discuss adoption.
 
Monta is here on a short-term visitor's visa, and she will return to Latvia on august first.
 
Most of the services are donated, but the Hills pay her expenses.
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