The Great Weight Family Foreign Exchange Student Hosting Debate

It’s flooding outside and I can’t find my Adderall prescription. I’ve been taking the stuff for 16 years and still don’t know if I spelled it right.

Do you ever have one of those serendipitous experiences where an idea keeps being brought up by people who are completely unrelated to each other? (I think I spelled serendipitous right.) Something you’d never think about on your own, so you decide that it must be a message from God.

Like the other day, for example, I was pretty sure that God wanted us to host a foreign exchange student. (This is different from last week when God told me to eat a whole jar of Nutella. I wish he’d told me to wipe my mouth before leaving the house.)

Anyway, my old neighbors from California, Ronda and Katie came to visit. They’re awesomely fun people who have hosted a dozen students from foreign countries over the past few years. I assume they were students and not random homeless Asian kids who just happened to wander into the neighborhood.

ronda and katie

Katie, Ronda, Jack, Me and Andrew.

It all started when I complimented Ronda on her gorgeous handbag. “Thanks! I got it in Indonesia for like five dollars, when we went to see Caroline, the exchange student who lived with us last year.”

“Hmm. Maybe we could host a kid from Indonesia and she could bring me a purse like that,” I thought.

Later that day, Jack’s piano teacher, Mrs. Wenzel, somehow got off on the subject of all the kids they’d hosted from Ukraine and Germany and Switzerland. She and her husband are really excited about going to visit one of them this summer.

“What a coincidence,” I thought.

That same night Jack asked if we could host a student of our own.

“We should get one that can cook and clean and do yard work,” said Andrew.

“And maybe has carpentry skills,” I added. “I’ve been wanting to enclose the deck since we moved in.”

“We should try to get a tech support kid from India,” suggested Jack.

And here’s the kicker. The very next morning, I got an email from a lady who’s in charge of Chesterfield County’s international “get-a-kid-to-live-with-you-for-a-while” program. They’re looking for host families in our area.

I got excited, thinking it must be divinely orchestrated.

But then there was push back.

JAMES: “Honey! We’re at a baseball tournament every single weekend! No kid in their right mind would want to stay with us. We wouldn’t have any time for them.”

ME: “But think of all the stuff they could get done while we were out of the way. Think how proud their parents would be of the screened porch they built for the nice American family. And the koi pond. And the beautiful landscaping. Not to mention all the great pressure washing and painting experience they’d get when we redo the exterior of the house. What an awesome resume they’d go home with!”

ANDREW: “Don’t forget mowing the lawn every week.”

JACK: “And taking out the garbage.”

JAMES: “Angela, I think what you’re looking for was outlawed in 1865.”

I haven’t given up on the idea yet, though.

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