When I began Not So Mommy…, I had several goals. One of them was to let others know about hosting a foreign exchange student because it has become such a huge part of my hubby’s and my Plan B. So, when Nicci Fletcher of “The Childless Not By Choice Magazine” approached me about being a speaker at the “We Are Worthy!” Summit, I immediately knew that I wanted to talk about our hosting experience.
Last week, during the inaugural “We Are Worthy!” Summit, I presented the live webinar, “Redefining Momhood: From Infertility to Host Mom.” If you missed it, don’t worry! It was recorded, and the video is below.
Should you host a foreign exchange student?
To help answer this question, I hope you’ll watch the webinar. The entire event is a little over 45 minutes. Beneath the video, I have highlighted the major topics, along with the time when they are discussed. That way, you can easily find the information you want and need.
Highlights of “Redefining Momhood: From Infertility to Host Mom”
Introduction of Myself (3:00)
I briefly talk about our infertility battle, accepting our childless life, and my difficulty in letting go of my dream of being a mom…
The Cooking Class that Changed My Life (4:51)
Skipping a technology class to attend a cooking class with my hubby led us to hosting…
What is a host mom? (5:50)
Here, I give a brief description about what it means to be a host parent.
How do you become a host mom? (7:28)
This segment discusses the paperwork and in-home visits required to become a host parent.
Choosing a Student (8:17)
My advice about how to choose the right student for your family…
Before the Student Arrives, plus Day 1 of Arrival (10:58)
Some suggestions about how we connected with our kiddo, Bruna, before she arrived, plus what happened the first day she got here.
The Best Advice I Received… (12:13)
Our local coordinator and my mom gave me two wonderful pieces of advice that helped us make a connection and have a smoother transition when Bruna arrived.
Our Hosting Community (14:50)
We were not alone on this hosting journey…
Maintaining Contact with your Exchange Student’s Family (16:45)
I talk about how we used technology to develop relationships with Bruna’s family and to help her not get too homesick.
Our Hosting Experience… (18:45)
Hosting helped me to continue “redefining momhood.” In this portion, I talk about the “firsts” we got to experience, including school, vacations, activities, and Prom…
Amazing, BUT Not So Perfect… (25:07)
Hosting Bruna was the most amazing six months of our life, BUT it was not perfect. Here, I talk about disciplining and having difficult conversations…
The Exit Meeting and Saying “See You Later” (28:17)
By the end of Bruna’s stay, we were family. So, we decided we wouldn’t say “good-bye,” but rather, “see you later…”
After Your Kiddo Returns Home… (30:40)
I talk about how Dane, Bruna, Maddie, & I have kept in touch since she returned to Brazil…
Comment: Seeing things through a fresh perspective (33:15)
Nicci and I discuss the incredible experience of seeing everyday things through your student’s eyes…
Meeting Our Brazilian Family (35:52)
We spent my 40th birthday in Brazil, and it was incredible…
Question: Did it take long to adjust to having another person in your home? (39:05)
I answer an attendee’s question, giving suggestions about how to make a smoother transition when your student arrives.
Plan B: Hosting a Foreign Exchange Kid
As you can see (or better yet, hear), I am passionate about the value of hosting foreign exchange students. I believe it is a tangible way to embark on a Plan B that allows you to develop a lasting relationship with a kid, while having some of the parental experiences that we all hoped for.
More Information & Resources about Hosting
If you would like to learn more about my hosting experience, read the following:
For a list of resources about foreign exchange programs, read the following:
If you have any questions about hosting or would like to ask me more about our hosting experience, feel free to contact me here.
*Not So Mommy…™ does not endorse any particular exchange/host programs nor have I been paid to link them on my site. The provided list of programs are simply suggestions; it is NOT a complete list of all available exchange programs. Please, do your own research, ask questions, check references, etc. in order to choose the program that will best fit your needs.