Leaving An Imprint   Leave a comment

Austrian-flagThis week I had to say good-bye to someone who will forever leave a mark on my heart.  If any of you have had the great honor of being a host parent for a foreign exchange student, you will totally understand what I mean.  I would even dare to bet that anyone who has been a foster parent can relate to all the feelings as well.  These young people come into your lives and into your homes for a period of time.  They bring all of their excitement and fears with them.  They bring their habits and challenges with them.  They truly become part of your family.  Then the day arrives when you have to send them back to their original home.  For me, the only part of being a host parent which is the worst is the day that I have to say good-bye to the young person who has lived with me (and maybe the days of adjustment which follow).

As I thought about all the feelings which I am experiencing after taking my adopted son to begin his journey back home last night, I realized that he has left his imprint on my life.  Just as my other adopted son from a year ago has left his imprint, this son has done the same.  I am changed because they have been in my life.  Sure, I have come to know much more about the countries of Austria and Switzerland than I had in the past, but it was much more than that.  I have had the privilege of experiencing the love and sharing my love with these young men.  I have come to worry about them and look after them.  I have had the chance to teach them just as they taught me.  I am a better person because I have had them in my life.

It is truly a joy when people come into your life and touch you.  No matter what the distance may be between you or the time between seeing each other, you carry a piece of them around with you forever more.  I look forward to the day when I will be reunited with each of them.  I look forward to having ongoing conversations with them (yeah for Skype and social media).  I look forward to watching them continue their lives even if it may be from afar.

Thank you for imprinting yourselves on my life Arnold and Simon! Swiss flag


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