A month ago yesterday he left, our summer son -- who'd spent his every waking (and sleeping) moment with our family for the preceding 38 days. Our host-to-love boy. His departure was the strangest experience. I drove him to the airport, talking and hanging out in the car… Just the two of us. Bought him lunch in the terminal, rode up in the elevator with him, took a selfie of the two of us amidst the other host kids and the baggage. He stopped to again make sure I had his email address and phone number; I showed him I did, sent him an email from my smartphone at the airport so it'd be waiting for him after he landed. All the while I wondered if I'd ever see him again, this boy who now lived so fully in my heart. Whom I'd fed and clothed and taught and played cards with and cheered on in swim meets. The thought of not seeing him again cut deeply and I willfully pushed it off. But still I was careful with my words to make sure I wouldn't let any slip out - typical airports words like "can't wait till you come back" or "see you before long" - that I couldn't back up. That might prove untrue. That might sting later. He'd become energetic and goofy when the gang of departing Latvians gathered in the terminal-- a firm hug and an earnest goodbye and thank...

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Part of a blogging series on orphan-hosting with Project 143
Today marks the four-week mark of meeting the peerless W. for the first time. We have ten days left with him,.

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We went into this hosting experience knowing it'd be unlike anything we've done before. And we weren't wrong. The days are filled with a swarm of thoughts, efforts, oversights, and wonderings that are new. The whole climate of day-to-day life is, quite simply, different..

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Three weeks into hosting. Three weeks! Seems really long and really short both at once. Last week we had the Project 143 chaperone with us for six nights. (The chaperones are the volunteer adults who accompany the kids.

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Part of a blogging series on orphan-hosting with Project 143
I feel like my last post about hosting was a bit of a Debbie downer - all the tiring and challenging.

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Part of a blogging series on orphan-hosting with Project 143
It's been ten days since we first met W… Hard to believe. It feels a lot longer. Nutshell: it's an asset to know him and a blessing.

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Part of a blogging series on orphan-hosting with Project 143
Our oldest had cub scout camp this week, and Friday was his final day. Ten minutes before he headed out the door for his carpool,.

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My biggest fear yesterday - arrival day for the Latvian crew, and our W. - was that I would miss it. Their Uzbekistan Airways flight was scheduled to land at JFK at 12:30 PM; my DC - JFK flight arrived at 11:20 AM. The.

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(This post is Part 5 in an orphan-hosting series. Here are Parts 12, 3, and .

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Weekend before last we had a just-the-two-of-us getaway, my husband and I, to the Shenandoahs to celebrate 15 years of marriage (woot!). It was completely and perfectly heavenly. We stopped at cute coffee shops, we bed-and-breakfasted, we rented a canoe and took it 11 miles down the Shenandoah River, we had delicious dinners out..

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Today as part of the orphan-hosting blog series, we've got a little interview with Suzie Simpson, veteran Project 143 hosting mama and adoptive mama to boot. Suzie and her husband are full-time missionaries with Read More →

Jumping aboard with Kendra's Answer Me This questions this week… Some pretty fun ones. Here goes:

1. Do you have a land line?

Nope. But it makes me kind of sad. I think an honest-to-goodness,.

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(This post is Part 4 in an orphan-hosting series. For more: Part 1Part 2, and Part 3.)
Less than three weeks till W., our Read More →

There's something so cathartic, as I told Blythe, about her One Hot Mess link-up on Thursdays. What is it in me that finds it so endearing to.

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This was our home telephone number when I was 8 years old: 828-3010. If I answered the phone in our London townhouse, I was to say: "Hello, this is Susan. Who's calling please?" And I did. The license plate on our blue Volvo station.

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This morning I did my big once-a-month shop with the littlest people in our house, our 3- and 4-year old "shopping aides." Here's the thing about taking kids shopping (especially when you live 35 minutes from the stores and.

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All that talk about correction methods last week got me thinking about kid interactions, which got me noodling the Other Side of the Coin. Y'know: light-hearted ways to connect with your littles.

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Sweet scene this week for the One Hot Mess files from a couple of the household girlies, ages 4 and 6. They built themselves some forts along the wall of their shared bedroom using the edge of their dresser, a couple blankets, and sundry stationary objects from the.

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On Saturday afternoon we plunked down on the loveseat in our kitchen nook, my husband and I, and hung for a while with some Project 143 folks. Online, that is. Why? For our three-hour, mandatory, host parent training,.

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OK folks, time for a good old-fashion parenting post… Seems like it's been a while. Not in my brain, where it's pretty much feels like All Parenting All the Time (for better and worse), but in this space. So I.

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