Some decisions seem to be agonizingly difficult. I’ve been trying to find a new shower curtain for about six months with no luck. This is understandable when you consider the serious ramifications of purchasing a new shower curtain. When guests walk in to our bathroom, the shower curtain will be the first thing they see. It will make a statement. But what will it say? It has to be just the right mix of perky, and updated, without being too trendy, feminine, or garish. Choose wisely and it will adorn the shower for years to come. Choose poorly, and I’ve wasted money not only on the shower curtain, but the coordinating paint, towels, and accessories. And, have to start all over!
Other decisions, require little more than a passing glance between my husband and me.
Nine short days ago, we drove our 14 year old daughter to her last cross country meet of the season. We gave two of her teammates a ride. One of them is an exchange student from France. On the way, we listened and were amused as the three girls chattered away about all the junk food we have that she has never tried. Apparently, Totino’s Pizza Rolls and Hot Pockets are an American delicacy not to be missed as are angel food cake and Lucky Charms!
As we waited for the meet to start and the girls warmed up, the exchange student began to tell my daughter and the other girls how lonely and bored she was with her host family. While they’re nice people, they are older and have no kids at home. She asked her teammates if they thought any of their neighbors might be willing to take her.
A little later, our daughter came over and shared what she had said and asked if we could think of any of our neighbors who might be interested and willing. My husband and I looked at each other, and without a word spoken between us looked back at our daughter and said, “She can move in with us.”
We have a 3-bedroom, 1100 square foot home that is inhabited by six people, two dogs, two cats, and five rats (on purpose…we don’t need an exterminator). You would think this decision might have warranted some discussion. Some further research. Someone to talk us out of it.
We immediately recognized a child in need of an amazing experience being immersed in a typical American family. We also immediately recognized an opportunity to serve her, to enrich her life, and at the same time provide each of us with an opportunity to grow and learn—not just about France—but about what it means to take a risk, do something outside your comfort zone, and most importantly, serve another person.
After a week of background checks, interviews, and more cleaning and organizing than you can imagine, we’re thrilled to welcome a new member into our family tonight. The next seven months are sure to be an adventure!
Maybe she can find me a shower curtain while she’s here.