14 Ukrainian children will be spending Christmas in Mississippi thanks to the joyful journey program. And some of them learned about Mississippi hospitality just a few months ago.
"So this time I'm able to bring them into my home and it happens to be two boys that I have fallen in love with and we're in the process of adopting," said Gelaina Allen who is opening her home to the kids this Christmas.
The Allen family has three children of their own but a 9-year-old boy and a 12-year-old boy, both from the Ukraine, will join the family permanently very soon.
"Just gonna soak up the next three weeks and just try to be a family because this is what our family's going to look like in a few months," explained Robert Allen.
Only nine of the 14 kids that are here still need permanent homes.
"Now that they're here it's just joy and excitement and I just wanna wrap them up and love on em and snuggle with them but they're just getting used to our culture," said Gelaina Allen.
They don't speak any English other than phrases like "thank you" but the Allen's say the cultural differences will iron themselves out.
"Show them what giving is what receiving is just showing what love looks like in the form of giving and loving," said Robert Allen.
While they're in the states, they'll learn what it's like to live with a mom, dad and siblings. They're accustomed to an orphanage with around 200 other kids.
"Our focus really is just showing them what family looks like because they don't have an idea what that looks like," Robert Allen explained.
And that's exactly what the program aims to do.
"They can give some different experiences to these kids. Especially at Christmas time when it's like a time of miracles and our program Joyful Journey Hosting International was trying to manage this program this way for kids to have new miracles and miracles in their life," said Oles Sukhetskyy, Joyful Journey Executive Director.
The kids will be in Mississippi until January 10th.