Our church has hosted about 200 or so Chinese students for the past 6 years for 2 1/2 weeks during the summer. These students are in a school program that exposes them to a western culture experience. Their whole trip is actually around 6 weeks and they travel from the east coast to the west coast. For the 2 1/2 weeks that they are in Texas (because Texas is that awesome) they stay in host family homes. These kids are welcomed into the home and treated like part of the family. They even call the parents Mom and Dad.
Jeremy and I had wanted to do this for the past two years but circumstances just weren't conducive. This year we decided to just suck it up and do it. We were assigned two 13 year old boys. I have to confess to you that I had a stereotype image in my mind of what our boys were going to look like. I was pretty off.
Here they are on the last day of their stay with us. Bill is on the left and Bruce on the right.
Before they arrived, both Jeremy and I were a bit curious about how they would blend with our family, get along with William, get along with the dog, and honestly, how much work and how far out of our comfort zone hosting these kids would be. To be completely honest, it was a bit of work and it did force us out of our comfort zone from time to time but it was a fantastic experience and one we hope to repeat this summer.
Here's some highlights of our time together:
So I have to share a really funny experience Jeremy had while transporting the guys home from a wedding we attended. It was actually one of my best friend's wedding (and I was a bridesmaid) so I stayed until the bride and groom drove away. Our Chinese students were really not having fun so Jeremy volunteered to take them home. On the way home they said they were hungry. Mexican food was served at the reception and neither were a fan. Jeremy pulls through a Micky-D's and asks them what they want. Bruce says, "I want a number 6, number 8, number 9 and 10." No kidding, he wanted 4 value meals! Jeremy, being the good father he is limited Bruce to one value meal and a 20 pack of nuggets. These guys were a bottomless pit when it came to eating.
So I teased you in the beginning that hosting these fellas was the beginning of a vision for our family. If you remember, last summer (2011) we had a...struggling for the right word here...debacle, no not right. An issue, an episode, a reproductive challenge? We miscarried and then I had a tumor that required chemo. There. I just said it. So this "episode" started us thinking of what we would do if we couldn't have any more children naturally (I'm still waiting on the OK from the oncologist to start trying again.)
I'm pretty pro-adoption but Jeremy wasn't on board. He had several concerns including but not limited to: cost (the first thing he said but most likely not the primary reason) and a fear of not bonding.
And then these "boys" came into our lives. In 2 1/2 weeks they truly became like part of the family. I cried when they left. And Jeremy was sad too. (though our grocery budget sighed in relief.) At that point we began to seriously talk about adoption/fostering.
So here's where I'm going to ask you for some help. We have an informational meeting on November 7th about potentially becoming foster parents. Would you pray for us and for this meeting? Regardless of whether we ever have any more children naturally, I feel very strongly that God desires our family to "care for the orphan in their day of distress".