Tuesday, December 31, 2013

German Cousins

If you were a fly on the wall during our visit with my host family.....
You would probably assume we were blood related.
You would probably assume the kids had all grown up together.
You would probably assume we all spoke the same language.
You would probably assume we've been playing this game for years.
You would probably assume we got each others jokes.
You would probably assume we've known each other since we were babies.
You would probably assume we all shared the same holiday traditions.
You would probably assume we've all heard about Grossvater's bees.
You would probably assume that Ethan is the youngest grandchild out of 8.
You would probably assume that a weekend running in Grossvater and Grossmutter's garden is something we do regularly.
You would probably assume that we've opened many gifts together.
And you would probably assume that we've taught each other many new things.
However, NONE of that would be true... and when I tell you that after you've spent 48 hours on the wall watching us all interact you wouldn't believe it!!!!  Heck, I don't even believe it!
The last time we saw my host family Owen was 14 months old and I was pregnant with Addyson.  That means, for the most part, the kids have never met that they remember meeting.  My kids don't speak German and Birthe's kids don't speak English.
We've never spent a holiday together as a big family or worked in the garden together or shared jokes or played games.  Nope.... we are doing it all for the first time and despite language differences and blood differences......
We are FAMILY!
Family is someone that shares your heart.... not your blood..... and despite the lack of blood bonds we have spiritual bonds that can't be broken... we CHOOSE to be family.... and luckily we even look like family.... and we get each other....even though we don't understand each other... and that is LOVE!
I honestly think I am one of the luckiest exchange students there has ever been!!!!  I was welcomed with open arms 18 years ago and still to this day.... with 4 extra people in tow.... I am welcomed with open arms... and loved... and understood.... and my kids are SO lucky to  have German cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents that love them like family!!! 
We joked about this but,  here's to Hosins -Host Cousins!

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