Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Welcome YunSung!! (aka Ian)

For Jimmys birthday, he got .... (drum roll) a foreign exchange student!!

Actually, it was coincidence that the newest member of our family arrived from South Korea last night.


A week ago Tracy saw a posting on Facebook looking for a host family for a 15 yr old boy from South Korea who would be attending Hopkins High School (10th grade) and who's host family had a family emergency and couldn't take him in. They needed some one to host for 6-8 weeks until more permanent hosting could be arranged.  In typical digital fashion, she just scrolled by the post ... but also in typical Tracy fashion, it stuck in the back of her mind. We talk about it as a possibility on Tuesday night (cant help thinking this kid needs a good place to land!) and called the agency on Wednesday to learn more. We talked with the kids that night and had to make a decision! We said "yes" and were off  and running with 4 day so prep, paperwork, training, house rearranging and all the things that come with welcoming a new person into your life with 4 days notice:)

He landed up last night and it was fun. Our 1st stop was a McDonalds drive thru since Jimmy came straight from football practice and hadn't eaten.  It was his 1st time in a drive in and Tom/Tracy wanted to take a photo but the kids were mortified. His 1st real American experience and he'd only been on the ground 2 hours!!

We got home, showed him the house, his room, etc. Nikki was a bit of a shock to him due to her size and the fact that she was staring intently at his burger. Not to mention she really wanted him to pet her.  I think she'll slowly win him over as I did see him petting her this morning when she went in to say good morning.    

His 1st question was "what should my English name be?" so Kay helped him look up English names and he's chosen Ian. We'll see how that sticks.

We've moved him into Billy's room and Billy into the extra bedroom downstairs.  He rearranged his room, which is great if it helps him feel more at home . 

He's registered for school but we still need to take him to the High School to get his class schedule, locker, supply list, load his lunch account and sign up for any activities/sports (maybe soccer?)

I'm not sure he slept much last night (jet lag) and I think our main activity will be getting him to stay awake for the next few days to get over the time zone difference.  

I cant even imagine how overwhelming this all is - long flight, new home, new people, language change, routine change, cultural change, time change, food change .... he's one resilient kid!

And, sending his parents all our good thoughts and wishes!  What brave and loving parents to support him as he moves 1/2 way across the world for his sophomore year of high school. Not sure we could do it. 

We promise we'll take care of him....