Tuesday, April 26, 2011

hosting: day seven

Well it's been one week since we were sitting in the International Arrivals section at Dulles airport with a group of excited families and friends, waiting for our Ethiopian guests.

All last week my children were on Spring Break which meant no real schedule and every moment was fun, fun, fun. Today marked our first day back to school. They didn't have to go too far, just down the steps and to our dining room table, but there's a different feel in the house. This is our final quarter of school and then it's summer break!

I was wondering how home schooling would work with {name} here with us, but day one was very successful. Stephen and Abbie took 30 minute slots where one would do school work and the other would play with {name}. Then they would switch. In between we had fudge brownies and {name} would type out English words and sentences on our iMac. He asked for "colors", which we learned meant "crayons" and he began drawing and coloring the Ethiopian flag and the American flag.

New artwork now adorns our boring ol' fridge.

We learned in host training that we would experience a "honeymoon" phase with our child and week one was definitely that. He listened to everything Abbie (9) and Stephen (13) would ask him to do. Now that he's comfortable and feeling quite at home here, he is not as quick to listen to his peers, so Matt and I have had to step in at times. {name} has responded joyfully and respectfully to both of us.

The top 7 things I love about hosting {name}:

1. I love seeing his beautiful face among the face of my children.

2. I love the lessons my family is learning about sharing all that we think is "ours".

3. I love hearing {name} speak in Amharic and then English. He has a very sweet voice! I especially enjoy hearing him at 7:00 a.m. yell out, "Get up Stephen!"

4. I love watching him play soccer. There is pure joy on his face.

5. I love that he cleans his plate at each meal, asks for seconds, and eats that too!

6. I love hearing him sing out loud, unaware, when he has the earphones on while listening to the ipod. His favorite song is Jeremy White's remix version of "Across the Great Divide".

7. I love that having him here with us has opened up so many doors to meet new people as well as doors to share the gospel with others.

The first six days {name} has been with us, he has been pretty shy; mainly playing with my children and interacting very little with Matt and me. Suddenly, it was like a switch turned and he is talking to everyone, laughing out loud, playing jokes on people, doing the dishes, carrying in groceries, speeding down the sidewalk on a scooter like a pro, and just being a silly boy!

The next post will be written by my now teenage son, Stephen. I thought it would be neat to hear his perspective on being a host family.

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