Hello Glamour Girls! I hope this post finds you all doing well. Today has been a sad day for us. We had to take our sweet Norwegian exchange daughter, Torunn back to the airport. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. We have hosted 5 exchange daughters in our home and we always know this day will come, BUT IT NEVER GETS EASIER. We open our home up, take them in as our own, love them as daughter and sister…and then send them back across the ocean. Back to their families who love them just as much. I am a huge advocate for the exchange program, but this part is so stinking hard. Hurts the heart. And our Torunn was a doll. If you can imagine the sweetest person you’ve ever met, then you can imagine Torunn. A living doll. Never had an ill word to say about anyone, always willing to jump in and help, never ever got upset, and was such a great sister to our daughters.
“Wow, you’re so nice to do that! I wouldn’t want a stranger in my house.”
“How can you manage it? I don’t have time.”
“We are so busy.”
These are some of the conversations Wade and I have heard over the years…and then we get “how can we host so many students?” I can honestly say, I cannot imagine not doing it. And it is just like your own children. They are each very different and you love them each for their unique personalities. One does not leave, another one arrive and we forget about all the “past girls”. Not even close. We talk about all of our exchange daughters on a daily basis. To us they are our daughters and sisters, forever. A few nights ago, Torunn said to me, “It doesn’t bother me at all to think you will host another student. I have listened to you all talk to highly of all of your other exchange daughters and I know you will do the same for me.” I was so happy to know she feels like this and she is exactly right…we will talk about her exactly the same way.
We are both also asked, what’s it like to host? So today on the way home from the airport, I jotted down some ideas. Just like with your own kids and life it has its ups and it had downs, but in the end, it so very worth it. I cannot stress that enough. At first, you go through the honeymoon phase where our student is ecstatic with everything about us and vice-versa. Then life settles down to normal and you start having a few adjustment hurdles to jump over such as: Where do dishes go when you’ve finished eating? Am I the only person who takes out the garbage? You have to be where? When? And you’re telling me now? No one told me…and so forth. A year is a long time to have a guest in the house. So that’s when everyone kicks it into gear, Wade calls a HARRISON FAMILY MEETING and we have a Come to Jesus meeting and that’s when they become a true family member. After that the rest of the year is truly a breeze. Just a small bump early on.
If you ever have any questions about hosting a student in your home, please contact me. I would love to talk about it. All aspects of it. It is something I have a huge heart for and would love to answer any questions/concerns you may have. firstname.lastname@example.org
Open you home up. I promise it will change your life.
Love and Many Blessings,
Here’s Just A Few Snippits From Torunn’s Year In With Us…So Many More