The Cooking Class that Changed My Life

by Brandi Lytle
Photo of cookbook with several pages folder inward to look like a heart sitting on a kitchen counter in front of a window on Not So Mommy The Cooking Class that Changed My Life on Not So Mommy..., a Childless Blog

I had accepted that I was infertile and would never get pregnant or have kids of my own.  I was embracing this new journey.  Dog Mom.  Wife.  Tia.  Profe.  And then, I went to a cooking class.

It was the end of October, and I had skipped my technology class that evening.  Mind you, this is very out of character for me.  I had never skipped class a day in my life.  But my hubby wanted to go to this cooking class, and I wanted to put him first.  So, I went with him to learn how to make pork chops and apple turnovers.

We were sitting by ourselves at a table, talking and waiting for class to start.  A lady with curly brown hair came in, followed by a teenage girl.  They were a bit late and a bit frazzled and my extrovert husband of course asked them if they’d like to sit with us.

As the evening progressed, we learned that they had just moved to town.  The teenage girl was a foreign exchange student who  would be attending the school where I taught.  Her host mom was the local coordinator and told my husband and me that we would make great host parents.  She gave us her card and told us to email her for all the details.

Dane and I looked at each other and for the first time, I knew that we had finally found a way to have a kid that we could both agree on.  After class, we decided that we could do this!  We could be host parents.  So, I emailed the coordinator, filled out the application, and waited to hear if we were approved to be host parents.

A few days later, we heard that we were approved as long as we passed the home study.  We had a beautiful guest room with access to a bathroom, so that was no problem!  Now, we just had to pick a kiddo!

The first young lady we chose had already found a host family, so the search continued.  The coordinator told us that if we didn’t get matched for the Spring semester, we could always host next year.  But I know my hubby and myself.  We have a way of talking ourselves out of things.  I didn’t want to give us too much time to over-analyze the situation.

She sent us a few more applications, but we were struggling to find the perfect fit for our family.  One young lady was scared of big dogs.  Even though Maddie is a Pomeranian, she has a BIG personality.  While kids can be moved to another home if they aren’t a fit, Dane and I felt strongly that once we agreed to bring a student into our home, that kid was there to stay.  We were not about to have this kid be half-way across the world away from her family and then say, “Sorry!  This isn’t working!”  So, unless the kid loved dogs, this wasn’t going to happen.

And then, we received one final application.  Our coordinator promised this girl was perfect for our family.  When my hubby saw her holding a puppy in her profile picture, he knew that was true.

And so, we said, “YES!”  I started emailing Bruna to get to know her a bit better before she arrived.  We even Skyped with her and our nieces.  I was so excited and so nervous.  Looking at Dane, I questioned, “Are we ready for this?!”  I could not believe we were finally going to have a two-legged kiddo in our home.

And then, on December 28, our dream came true.  Bruna arrived to live with us.  We hugged, we took pictures, and we brought her home (without her bags because they were lost…)  And that is when the adventure really began!

For the beginning of Dane and my story, read “Before We Knew:  The Diagnosis of Severe Infertility.”

To learn more about our hosting experience, click here…


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