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Our Exchange students

Then The Man of the House and I first got married I told him 2 things up front. Just something I knew in my heart of hearts. We will adopt a child and we will have teenagers other than our own in our home. He gave this strange look like I had lost my mind and said "okay sure." I knew what he was really thinking but that was okay I knew I was right. After 5 years of marriage we started to foster with CPS. After about two and a half years we ended up adopting our little Boo. I told him "well I guess I was right on that one." He just smiled and nodded.

This past summer a friend told us about hosting foreign exchange students. My sister and her family have hosted in the past and really enjoyed their experience. We have not had the room or the ability to host until now. After talking about the opportunity with each other and the kids, we thought we would start the process and look into it.

The Man of the House and I looked at this opportunity the same way we did fostering. Once we know that the kids are coming they are ours. They are part of our family and we love them the same as our own kids. We joke and laugh and cry with them the same as we do our kids. They ARE our kids.
Once we decided this was what we were being called to do, we had our interview, filled out the papers and were picking our student with in a week. And we were so blessed with our new Koren daughter. Ba bo houng, joined our family in August of 2010. She came to us ready to try just about any new adventure. She fit is so well with our family.

Her only real bump along the way was finding school a bit more challenging than she expected as far as her English skills were concerned. Yet she has succeeded with great pride and accomplishment. Each time she brings me progress reports and report cards I just look at her, laugh and say "well I am going to have to ground you AGAIN. You are not studying enough. Your grades are all 97 and above!" I think her lowest grade has been a 90 and that was in her English class. Well duh English is not her first language. If it were literature and essay writing in Koren she would be fine.

Ba bo houng is an accomplished piano player. She joined the jazz band at school and has had so much fun with all they do. She has been to Florida and preformed at Disney. They spent the whole week there enjoying Disney and they preformed a total of 3 times.
Thaly joined up in January. My Brazilian daughter was another blessing. She is shy but once you get to know her she is funny, sweet, and so much fun. She is interested in fashion. She is always wanting to go shopping. She can shop me into the ground! But I must admit she always goes for the sale racks. She will look at everything more than once and find the best deal.

She went along to help with the equipment when the band went to Disney. She had a great time. Thaly has decided to stay one more semester, however we have already picked our our kiddos for next year. We can only have 2 at a time. She can't stay with us! I am so bummed. She will be living close with in 5-7 minutes but still not with us, so sad!

Next year we will host a girl and a boy. It will be interesting to have a boy. My snoopy is just 7 so a teen boy is a new experience. Our boy is from Norway and is 16. He enjoys football, of course that is soccer here in the US. He is defiantly wants to play here, but he is also looking forward to trying American rules football.

Our girl is from Thailand. She is 15, She enjoys taking pictures and spending time with friends. The really cool part is she is a Girl Guide in Thailand. She really is looking forward to continuing her Scouting experience in the US.

We are looking forward to next year.