Somebody Else’s Kid Is Going To Be Living At My House For A Year And I’m Freaking…


Yes, you read that right. We are going to be taking another person’s child into our household for the duration of a little under a year…okay, 10 months to be exact. While this is something I have been looking forward to for months, as time creeps closer to the date we go and pick up our new teen daughter I’m nervous as all heck…well, for more reasons than one. I will get to those reasons in a hot minute, but first…how it all transpired…

When I did my research on becoming a host parent to a foreign exchange student, the fond memories that I had of my aunt and uncle’s exchange student came flooding back.   In high school we had a couple exchange students whom I became friends with, one including a boy whom I wished would have asked me to Prom…but that’s a ‘whole nother story. How hard could being a host family be? At this point it isn’t that I feel as if I am second-guessing our decision to host. It’s the whole are we-a-good-representation-of-the-American-family question that keeps flowing through my mind…among other things.

1. I’m sure she and her brother and sister have argued and fought before, but will our student be able to endure the possible show she’ll get as my two youngest go at it WWE style?


2. My littlest ones like to run around and eat cereal in their underwear.  We don’t call my youngest mini Kevin Sorbo for nothing!  Cripes, sometimes the kids think streaking across the house in their birthday suits after bath time, yelling and laughing like hyenas is the highlight of their day.


3. While we are pretty active with different activities through the school and church during the year, our life here isn’t all THAT exciting. We don’t travel every weekend. After a busy week of work and school, we prefer to be home. With each other…even if we are all in different rooms. We could be boring?

4. Then there’s the potty talk that my children (and sometimes husband) engage in. Quite frankly, sometimes the PT lasts longer than it really should. Suddenly accidental body functions turn into loud chaotic, intentional obnoxiousness for a solid fifteen minutes or longer. But, I’m assuming that’s good, normal American fun?


5. After enduring all this and discovering her host family is rather quite eccentric, she’s going to REALLY miss her family and friends back home. But what happens when reality hits her, she becomes inconsolable, and refuses to speak to us in English?

Despite all of these worries, how cool to be able to take a teenager from another country into your household for a period of 10 months, take care of them, learn about their culture and have a lifelong connection?  Teenagers are fun, right?!

Oh gosh, I’m hoping.

Heck, if all goes well, perhaps we’ll be on the next flight to Thailand to visit and stay with HER family. Maybe we will discover her family likes potty talk and Kevin Sorbo too?

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  1. How exciting but I can understand your stresses. I think it would be interesting to be a host especially since I live in a popular city. I am sure your guest will understand lazy days and family life.

  2. My in-laws hosted numerous foreign exchange students while my husband was growing up. 10 months is a long run, though.

  3. I think this would be such a fun experience! I was just talking about exchange student programs with a colleague yesterday. There’s so much to learn, and it would be great to show someone our city and way of life!

  4. I’ve always thought being a host family would be so much fun. I bet you’re all going to get along wonderfully, although it’s going to take some time getting used to each other!

  5. Sounds really exciting. This is something I’d like to do in the future. I think it’ll be fun sharing cultures/stories and all the awesome memories. I understand the worry though but I think it’ll go great!

  6. I would feel exactly the same way if I were in your shoes. A Korean student stayed with my family when I was in college. It was odd in the beginning, but after a few days, we all got along fine.

  7. Don’t be nervous, I am sure it would be a great experience for you and your family. Just think about the hours and hours you would spend learning about each others’ culture. If I could, I would love to have a foreign exchange student live with us.

  8. How exciting and fun. I always wanted to do something like this ever since I was a kid. At our school we had an exchange student from Japan, Haroku Meeki and we all just loved her thought she was the coolest girl we’d ever met. I think its awesome!

  9. This is going to be a great adventure for your family. I can understand being nervous. I certainly would be. I look forward to reading about this adventure.

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