The past few weeks have been a whirlwind for me. Two of our former exchange students came back to visit, and it was just what I needed. I have missed my girls so much, and honestly, the kids and I have been out of sorts since last month. It felt wonderful to breathe life into the house again. My girls did more for me and my state of mind in two weeks than I think therapy could have done in months. They made me get out of the house, have experiences and live.
The girls knew how hard everything has been for me lately, and they stayed with us anyways. They brought so much positive energy and made the kids laugh and remember the fun times we had when they lived with us. We planned day trips, did things that I have never done. The time went by too fast, but it was so good to see them again. I forgot how much I really enjoyed a very full house, even if getting into the bathroom was sometimes next to impossible.
I put the girls and my kids first. I made my return to the birthday party scene while they were here, and the parties all went well. However, everything else…from the blog to website work was postponed. That family time with all of us together was so important and therapeutic.
The girls are more than just exchange students that came to stay with us. They are our family. Over the years, we have hosted eleven students. I am still in contact with most of them. The girls have a special bond with us. They came to us the year my husband worked over 300 days in the oilfield. They filled the house with life then when the kids and I were depressed because my husband was gone so much, and we never knew when we would get to see him. The time we got with him was so short. They made those days without him go by so much better with laughter, movie nights, and time as a family.
Having them back was like having our family together. I never realized just how much my kids loved hosting exchange students until my son told one of his friends that his big sisters were home. That is how the kids view the girls…as sisters.
I am not sure when I am going to host again, but hosting exchange students has been one of the best things my family has done. Having some of them come back has been wonderful. Knowing that they knew how hurt I have been and that they came anyways and brought me completely out of my shell…well that just shows that the bond of family is not always blood, it is love.
Have you ever thought of hosting exchange students or have you ever hosted? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts!