As this year draws to a close for school, it is always and honor for me to look backwards at the year that has just passed. Watching scared, language shy exchange students arriving in August morph into such a wonderful, strong and mature people is just…………………….. unbelievable !
While I watch them get ready to leave, I notice that some will cry with sadness to leave family and friends behind, A (VERY) few will return home with the disappointment that they did not make a real friend or bond tightly with their host family. Some will return home to only wish they were still here. Those who did not make it with their family, will, years from now, still wonder what could have been different. Becoming more mature after an exchange year and more mature after a few more years at home helps to come to the realization of how much that family shared and offered them.
Host families are the most honored families I can think of. They are secure about who they are. They are open minded and willing to trust that this is a child, not a disease. Host families!!!!! are not selfish. Many times folks will say oh, we can not do it. there are a few good reasons not to try hosting, However, the only reason I know, of that is really a reason not to host, is that you do not want to. In my humble opinion, if you want to host, you can make it happen. There is enough room, there is enough time (busy people mange time well), there is enough food, there is enough good! It just has to be what you want to do.
Do you want to make a positive change in the world? Do you like teenagers? Do you want to? Thank you so much for the amazing families who opened their homes this year to the exchange students who traveled bravely to make new friends!