Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Our Next Step - Hosting for a School Year!

We had so much fun getting to know RoDan and his culture...to my surprise my Handsome came home with a phone number for a school year length host program!  We prayed about it, talked and prayed more.  We both decided to go forward.  I really felt God urging us forward and to open our hearts even more!  This time we were open to a teen that wasn’t a Christian!  What a better way to bring the mission field to us!  What a better way to erase differences and misunderstanding between countries and religions.  What an awesome way to “Walk the Talk” and be examples for our children.  We were about to erase misunderstanding for us too.  We were about to welcome home a new son for a whole school year!  We had a couple things that were firm for our family and our new son.  First he must be willing to go to Church with us weekly and he must be a part of the family not a guest…that means chores, dinner with the family and work hard at getting good grades. 

I made the phone call.  The coordinator said she had one boy from Saudi Arabia, her last to place.  Would I be willing to host him?  Yes as long as he is willing to go to Church with our family.  She opened up her paperwork on him to see how he marked that question.  Yes!  He said he was willing to go to Church!  She took about 10 minutes to share some information about our new son (Omar) with me.  The next step was to get approved with this program.  We got a phone call from another coordinator that she would be our coordinator and would like to come interview us.  About 10 days later we got a package welcoming us to the program and all the paperwork on our new son!  I was so excited….and nervous.  I read every word of what they sent us.  I looked up Saudi Arabia, muslim and anything related online to prepare myself to be a good mom for Omar.  I found out he can’t eat pork.  I learned to read labels and look things up online to make sure it was kosher.  To my surprise I got a lot of good information on Jewish Kosher websites. 

Now to get his room ready.  A sweet friend gave us a bed for that room when we had another family member come stay with us.  Another friend gave us a night stand.  We had a dresser already in the room…what was left?  I wanted him to have a little style for his room.  So a new bed set was in order.  Now what colors??  I took our oldest to the store with me.  We walked thru the Target bedding for over an hour.  I didn’t want to get something he would hate.  The curtains are red, the high school colors are red and black…so I settled on a red and black bed in the bag.  I got him 3 new pillows and hangers.  Now the room was ready.  But are we? 

Thursday, September 1, 2011


RoDan was our first Host Son!  We heard about hosting from a family friend.  It sounded like fun.  It was a short term host, only 10 days.  What a great way for our family to get to hear the real story of what is going on in Iraq and get to know their culture.  At first we were worried about hosting someone of another religion.  We called the program (the local International House) and said how do we sign up?  She came out for an interview and did a background check.  Before we knew it we were assigned a teen boy…who to our surprise was a Christian.  Now we have this letter to us about him and a picture.  I had big butterflies.  What would he think of our family?  Would we be able to communicate with him?  We saw he had many years of English so we had hope we could communicate.  Before we knew it he was here and we were enjoying getting to know him. He shared with us some heart breaking stories of his family and what they went thru.  Christians in Iraq were killed for being Christians before the war.  RoDan’s family lived in the Northern part of Iraq, a much safer area in the country after Saddam Hussein was removed from power.  Our boys had a great time getting to know their “new brother”.  We ate pizza almost every night, RoDan’s favorite American food!

 We have stayed in touch with RoDan thru facebook.  I’m thrilled to share that his family has now moved to Australia!  I know God has a great plan for RoDan and his family.  I’m thankful God allowed us to be his American parents…even if it was just for 10 days!  Our lives were changed and our hearts were opened!

RoDan and Austin playing the Wii
It seems all teens speak video game!  What a great time!
Beau, RoDan, Austin and Liam

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Meet Our Clan!

Austin, Monique (myself, also known as Mom), Matt (Handsome or Dad), Beau and Liam

This is a picture from last Christmas. Austin is our teenage son, who is now a senior in high school. Beau is our 5 year old who just started kindergarten. Liam is 7 years old and in first grade. I'm a full time Mom and I have an in-home daycare with the sweetest little ones! Handsome (Matt) is a Network Engineer.  We also have three dogs to keep us busy. 

I’m starting this blog because so many people have had questions about hosting and have suggested I do a blog to share what we have learned and experienced.  I hope this blog is a blessing to those that read and follow it.  I pray by getting to know our family (including our host teens) we will erase some stereotypes, misunderstandings, open some hearts to other cultures and encourage others to host…along with some great laughs! 

Why did we decide to host?  Good question!  Some of that will be answered in my next post.  There is a list of some of the why we have made this choice…Bring the mission field to our home, exposing our kids to other cultures, making a difference in other countries, helping our shy kids open up more, allowing our older son to have siblings closer to his age, but most of all I felt like this is what God was asking us to do!  The long term program we use puts this another way…and I love how they say it!  The teens come as an ambassador of their country and leave an ambassador of the United States to their country!