Thursday, August 1, 2013

Newest member of the Family

We have loved our experiences living in various places and learning about their cultures. Since we have placed down our roots pretty firmly here in AZ we decided if we can't move abroad we will bring someone to us! I have always wanted a foreign exchange student but I wasn't really sure how to get one! It's crazy how the universe always answers... I was talking to one of the parents on Aiden's baseball team last Spring and found out that he is a coordinator for a company called Educatius which places foreign exchange students. I knew immediately that I wanted to do it. After some convincing Trent agreed as well! We had to fill out a lot of paperwork, do a background check and a home visit but by the end of May a student was placed in our home for the upcoming school year. We were sent her profile (Laura, 14 y.o., Spain), pictures and interests and then waited for her arrival! After 3 days of cancelled flights she finally arrived on July 31st. I was so surprised that someone so young and foreign could hop of a flight with all smiles and hugs! She didn't seem the least bit afraid or sad! It was a little awkward at first as I wanted to bombard her with everything and anything she might want to know or see immediately, but the language barrier made for simple conversation on the way home. After a tour of the home, she gave us gifts from her family, chatted for a bit and then off to bed. I had just started at my new job and had to work the following day which gave her a chance to sleep in, unpack and hang out with the kids. Although her first few days in AZ were uneventful that weekend we were able to show her quite a bit of metro Phoenix, did some outlet shopping and attended a Cardinals practice game! The following week, Laura started her sophomore year at Mountain View High School. Getting her to school was going to be more of a challenge than I had thought as I have to be at work at 7:15 and thought she could take the bus. . . small problem the bus come at 6:15 even though school starts at 8! Ugh! My awesome mom volunteered to help so for the first couple of weeks, she took her. She said that the first day she took her Laura looked a bit nervous but she did it! She got out of the car and walked onto that huge campus (10X the size/population she was used to). Wow! Fortunately, a darling girl in the neighborhood introduced her to some other girls her age so she had friends immediately and didn't have to eat alone! Our awesome neighbor across the street offered to take her to school so that issue was resolved too! Everything has been pretty smooth sailing with lots of adventures and learning curves along the way...

Cardinals stadium
waiting for autographs...they were able to score quite a few!

1st dinner out...Texas Roadhouse! Thought we would show Laura, good BBQ and massive portion sizes right out of the gate!

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