The Best Yes

The food is prepped, the noise makers are laid out, and we are ready to celebrate as another year comes to a close. My life looked very different at the beginning of 2022. My husband and I made the decision not to renew our foster care license after fostering children for five years, I changed careers and started a new job, we bought a new house, we got a was a fresh start after a couple of really hard years.  I wasn't sure where life would take us, but I never imagined that saying yes to a text from a desperate foster parent friend asking us if we'd consider hosting an exchange student for a month because there was a shortage of host families (and by the way the student is already in the United States so he needs a home, like, yesterday) would turn into this incredible new chapter. I never expected our students to form attachments with us. But they have. I never expected to form bonds with their families back in their home countries. But I have. I never expected to learn so much about cultures that are different than mine. But I have. Hosting students has allowed me to step (WAY) out of my comfort zone and try new things. It has helped heal my heart from the losses and trauma caused by fostering children in a very broken system for so long. I now have an invisible string that connects me to several different parts of the world forever. But the thing that really hits me sometimes is how big the love is that I have for our students. They are my children. Together we are home. If you have a heart for children and have thought even for a second about hosting an exchange student (or two!), please say yes. That yes will be the one that changes everything in the very best of ways.