Cultures come together under one roof

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Janelle Patiño
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Experience is said to be a big factor in a person's life, which can be learned or repeated. As for the Massad family, they used their experience and what they learned to help children in need.

Master Sgt. John Massad, 92nd Civil Engineer Squadron pavement and equipment NCO-in-charge, and his wife, Dolly Massad, currently have seven children. Some of their children are adopted and some are exchange students from different parts of the world. This all began when Dolly started working at a foster home when she was 21 years old.

"I did it because I wanted to help children not be in a situation where their parents abuse and hurt them," said Dolly. "I wanted them to be able to have that sense of safety and security in foster care."

Based on the Dolly's experience of working in foster care, Dolly decided to adopt a child in 1998, a year before she met her husband, John. A year after meeting, they decided to tie the knot and open their household to children.

"In May, we went to an eye-opening mission trip to Haiti and saw how the children lived," said John. "We saw there are a lot of kids in the orphanages who don't get the education we get here in the U.S."

After the coming back from Haiti, the Massad family decided to join a foreign exchange program with Japanese students. The program allowed children to come stay stateside for two weeks in the summer to attend school. This eventually led to joining the Education First Foundation where they do the education program for a whole school year.

"We are now one of the coordinators of the Education First Foundation where we find homes for students to stay in for the whole school year," said John. "We're trying to use this as an avenue to give Haitian kids education here in the U.S."

According to John, the adoption process for them is a little different. They get a phone call from a foster care member asking them if they can, once again, open their homes to a child without even meeting them yet.

"We're licensed through the state of Washington to do foster care so they could call us anytime if they get children that need a home," said John. "We don't usually get to meet them until the foster care drops them off at our doorstep."

The Massad family gives children a chance to have a home they can call their own and experience what it is like to have a family they can spend time with, especially during the holidays.

"We want the kids to experience the love of a family like what everybody deserves to have," Dolly said. "The best things in life are not the material things we get, but the love as a family and togetherness."

Dolly said the best part of being a parent to these kids is giving them the education they need and giving them the love they all deserve.

Each child welcomed into their home come from different places, have different cultures and have different experiences. Whether it be a good or bad experience, what is important now is that they are in a safe and secure home where they are taken care of and are loved.

"Families should consider opening their homes to children that need and deserve more than what they are getting," said Dolly. "It's important to show the kids that there are loving families out there who are willing to take care of them like their own. We often take things for granted and tend to forget that there are other people out there that need our help."

If interested in learning more about foreign exchange students and foster care, call the Massad family at 509-690-7924.