I have always wanted a daughter, always. But god blessed me with the two, most precious boys I’ve ever laid eyes on. And then one night, my insomnia-induced Facebook browsing led me to a decision that has changed my life, for the better, forever.
I seen a post in a Facebook group about hosting an exchange student that peaked my interest. I had went to high school with a few and had the best experience seeing my home town and high school through somebody else’s eyes. So I talked with Nathan (my husband) and we both agreed, why not give it a shot?
I requested more information on hosting a student and the next morning (mind you, this was like 1130 at night) this amazing lady, Teresa (ETC senior field manager), contacted me. A few hours later I had filled out a hosting application and picked out our first student! It happened SO fast, after I had tome to think about it, I had no clue what I had gotten myself into. Little did I know, that one decision opened up such an amazing opportunity for my family.
Fast forward 10 days and Teresa called me again and asked me if I was interested in being a local coordinator for the exchange company, because I had a couple of friends interested in hosting a student, too, so they needed somebody to oversee those students while they were here. Once again, sure! Why not?!
When Marina arrived, I was terrified! Wandering what I had gotten myself into. She probably thought we were crazy, and probably still does. But quickly, she was no longer just an exchange student, she was a member of our family. My boys absolutely adore her, their sister, and she is absolutely fantastic with them. She’s funny, sweet, there is never a dull moment. Had I know how amazing this would have been, I would have done it sooner.
And here I am, 7 months later, overseeing 6 of the sweetest girls from Spain, Germany, and Italy. I’ve made new lasting friendships with my amazing host families. I’ve traveled to San Diego and Miami, which is something I would have never done by myself if not for ETC.
Because of ETC I now have a daughter, lifelong friendships with some of the best ladies I have ever met, and a new understanding of “blood doesn’t make a family.” I am forever grateful for that Facebook post I found.
– Kayla R. (host mom and local coordinator)
(503) 222-9803 in Portland
(877) 222-9803 Toll Free
Fax: (503) 227-7224
1029 SW Washington Street Portland, OR 97205