Several years ago we participated in this program, agreeing to house a foreign student. We met a delightful girl from Germany and welcomed her into our home. It didn’t turn out as well as it might have because she was a very social girl and felt isolated here, since we live out in the sticks, and her new friends lived close around the high school. She also spent a lot of time on the Internet. Again, since we live out in the sticks, our Internet connection is slow by most standards. It doesn’t bother us, but she was using all of our allowance and more, causing our bill to skyrocket. To make a long story shorter, she moved out of our home and into the home of one of her friends for the remainder of the school term.
The move was hurtful. Instead of letting us know what was going on, the main host for the local high school showed up unexpectedly one weekend morning. The girl who was staying with us had apparently packed during the night and was ready to move. The fact that it was done this way, rather than being open with us, really hurt. We would have helped her move. We understood the limitations of our situation and wanted her to be happy. The experience left a really bad taste in my mouth. My husband said I was over-reacting, and he’s probably correct, but I still tear up talking or typing about it.
The reason I’m bringing this up is that my husband really wants to participate in the program again. We had a serious discussion about it today. I think – if we get a boy this time – and we’re really up front about what our situation is – that we live in the sticks, are in the stone age as far as Internet speed and monthly data allowance, and will be like living with his grandparents, who are healthy, but are not likely to take him white water rafting on the weekends – that maybe we can do this. There is a school bus for the regular to and from, plus we’re available to take and pick him up from any school activities with friends he makes, games, shopping, sight-seeing, etc.
The STS lady and my husband have been emailing each other, and she included a letter from a 16-year-old boy from Italy. He’s a soccer player, loves sports, loves animals, and describes himself as a bit shy when first meeting people. This sounds very appealing, so we’ve answered the email, making sure that he would understand our situation and be prepared for it.
SO – time will tell. If we are accepted and this young man wants to live with us, it will start in August and will end in June when the school year ends.