One Big Happy Global Family

For the past few years, my family has been opening our home to high school students from other countries. We have had students from France, Spain, and South Korea. My kids have enjoyed getting to meet these kids, and I have found it as a great way to not only learn but expand our family in a way. This year, I am actually hosting two girls: one from Brazil and one from Slovakia. We decided that we would like to share our experience with all of you each week (preferably Thursdays, but I didn’t get to it yesterday). So here is the beginning of our story!
I did not think I was going to be hosting this school year. The program I usually go through did not have any students for my area, so I just figured I would take a year off. Then I got this email from another agency about needing host families. Along with the email was a brief profile of some of the students needing placed. My husband and I talked it over and were a little unsure. So I asked the kids. They were enthusiastic about it and said they missed having teenagers in the house! So I wrote back the agency and said we would do it.
Well we saw Lucy’s profile and thought she was a perfect fit. She is from Slovakia. She just sounded so nice! So we started the application process. We have a fairly big house, so when the coordinator came over for the interview and realized that we were veteran host parents, had room to spare, and bunk beds, she asked us about hosting an additional student.
I must admit, I was reluctant at first. We hosted two boys this summer, and it was a lot of fun. However, I wasn’t sure I was ready for having four kids in the house (my two and two students) for an extended period of time. My husband, however, thought it was a terrific idea. He said that they might like having each other for company and that it would bring more life into the house since he is gone for extended periods of time with his job. So I said we would at least be a welcome family for the other girl.
Well that quickly changed. Mari emailed me. She seemed so nice. Then the girls started getting to know each other through Facebook. I decided that maybe it would be a good thing having both of them, and it really has.
Everything in the past few weeks has been a whirlwind. The girls came at different times. I went to Ohio. I have been sick. They have been settling into a routine. It has been a bit crazy here, but we are all getting along. My children absolutely love their new “big sisters.” The girls are very energetic and have gotten to know people at school and become involved in activities rather quickly. The house is full of life. The girls are different but get along. I am just so happy with how well it is all working out!
I am loving the experience and am excited to get the to know the girls more. We have talked about it, and each week we will be writing a post about our experience, partly to share with our family and friends and partly to remember it by. Please stay tuned!



  1. thypolarlife
    September 25, 2010 at 4:42 am

    Wow! That sounds truly exciting and I can’t wait to read what life will be like over the next school year. I’ve always wanted to participate in a program like that but medically am not able to at the moment. Its great to see people able to take the time and open their home. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • bearhaven
      September 25, 2010 at 11:57 pm

      I love doing this, and my girls are just awesome. I am so thankful for the experience.

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