As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
Goodness, time got away from me and I have not been doing well at keeping up with my posts about our year with Thi! Shame on me!
Rather than trying to number the weeks between my last update (posted on November 2nd), I’ll just do a Fall update (then, hopefully, I can work on a few posts about our vacation and Thi’s first Christmas – so watch for those posts, coming in the next few weeks).
Back on November 3rd, ICES hosted an International Dinner for all the central PA exchange students and their families. Each student was to prepare a dish from their country to take and share. They each stood by their dish and introduced themselves and explained about the dish they chose to bring. We got to try a LOT of different foods that night!
The kids had the opportunity to play a lot of fun games and get to know one another better also. It was a great evening!
Senior Class Trip to Washington DC
On November 14th, Thi left for his Senior Class Trip. I told him to take lots of pictures to show me when he got home – and he did. BUT, he wasn’t IN any of them. I told him that he seriously needs to up the selfie game! So, unfortunately, I have no pictures of him on his trip to share, but he did have a good time.
They got to visit the monuments and several of the museums at the Smithsonian, along with the National Zoo. Their schedule looked like a bit of a whirlwind to me (I think they tried to fit about a week’s worth of sightseeing into a few short days!) It did snow a bit while they were there (it snowed a LOT here at home), so some of their plans got messed up a little, but they still had fun.
It was during this time that I realized that I was starting to get attached to him! I actually missed getting up at 6:30 each morning to make sure he was up and getting ready for school. THAT WAS A REAL TURNING POINT! (I knew it would eventually happen, but I wasn’t sure WHEN.)
Visiting the Tabernacle
We had been learning about the Tabernacle in Sunday School class and Thi had been asking some questions, so – on Monday November 12th – we took Gracie back to school and the boys and I went to find some Vietnamese food for lunch and then visited the Tabernacle exhibit in Lancaster. It had been several years since I had been there. We all really enjoyed the Tabernacle tour and shopping afterwards in the Ten Thousand Villages store.
Speaking to the Cub Scouts
Thi was asked to visit with a local Cub Scout pack and talk to them a bit about his country and culture. This time, it was totally my fault that I forgot to take a picture. I was very proud of him, though. He stood up front and spoke very eloquently and answered all their many questions.
I knew that Thi would LOVE Thanksgiving and I was right. He LOVES to eat! We had Thanksgiving with my family early this year (before my parents left for Florida), then we went to my Aunt & Uncle’s house on Thanksgiving day, and stopped at Brian’s sister’s house for dessert and fellowship. Thi enjoyed eating up at EVERY event!
Thi’s Becoming a Master Chef
One of the things I love about Thi is that he loves cooking! In fact, I have assigned him the job of cooking for the family every other Monday, on days when Ian has orchestra and we don’t get home ’til 6. It’s been a load off my mind those days, and he’s been creating some masterpieces.
Brian is picky and won’t try most of the things Thi creates because he refuses to eat rice. But, that’s ok – it’s more for me and Ian to enjoy! He hasn’t made anything yet that I don’t like!
Thi’s First Donut
It’s hard to imagine life without donuts, isn’t it? A few weeks ago, we ran up to Walmart and Ashley went through the drive-thru at Dunkin Donuts afterwards for coffee. We asked the boys if they wanted anything and Thi said that he had never had a donut. So we fixed that.
Our First Tough Decision
Every family has tough decisions to make sometimes, and we experienced this with Thi when we had to make the decision whether or not to allow him to play basketball …
Thi LOVES basketball and I know he had his heart set on playing. But, Brian and I were both having feeling of uneasiness about it. We had misgivings regarding the coaching staff, among other things. We told Thi that we really didn’t want him to play, but that the decision was ultimately his to make.
In the end, we made a Pros & Cons list and the cons far outweighed the pros. We told him that, if he could make the pros outnumber the cons, we’d reconsider. The decision was made that he wouldn’t play.
Since then, that decision has been affirmed multiple times and we know we made the right one. It’s still though, though!
I knew we would get to a point where we were attached to this boy – it just took longer than I anticipated! Now, I can’t imagine life when he goes home to Vietnam in the summer.
If you’re considering being a Host Family, I’d encourage you to do it! Feel free to ask if you have any questions. I’m happy to help or connect you with someone from our agency who can chat with you.