Anyways, May was tough in a way because we, including Luke, knew Emma would have to leave and return to France and her family. As her departure date approached, Luke really became more sad. So, one day, upon the advice of Marc, Luke decorated an envelope to start saving his money for our family to travel to France.
May 28 was Emma's departure date. It truly was a bittersweet day. We know Emma needed to return to her family, but we would've preferred she would've been able to stay.
My parents went with us to eat lunch one last time together & take Emma to the airport.
At Emma's request, we ate lunch at Freddy's!!!!
Then, we went to the airport to say, "Hope to see you again soon"!
Our last family pic with Emma....
And -- a pic with my parents....
And, this is a pic of Emma & Pia....Pia was a German exchange student. Pia's host family lives fairly close to our house. Emma & Pia got to be great friends over the course of the school year. We enjoyed getting to know Pia as well! Pia left about 5 days after Emma....So, she was able to come to the airport with our coordinator to say "Goodbye". (Really -- Pia was able to see "See you soon" to Emma as Pia & Emma will be together for a couple of weeks in France in July).
Luke sometimes is a child who can be very hard to read. Up until the last month of Emma living here, I wouldn't have told you he'd be that sad when she left. But, he grew SAD in the weeks leading to her departure. At the airport, the day Emma left, Luke bawled. It was SO hard for me to see, but at the same time, I was happy. I was happy because of how worth it I realized it was for us to have Emma be a lasting part of our family.
In this pic, you can see Luke's sadness for Emma's leaving....
I debated about posting the previous pic as I don't ever want to embarrass Luke intentionally. BUT, I want it to be a "plug" for at least praying about & considering being a host family.
Thanks to some of the lovely media in our country as well as my listening to negative talk about the USA, I had the idea that many people outside of the USA dislike us. I couldn't understand why a teenage student would want to come here.
I'm by no means implying we're perfect in this country, BUT by having a foreign exchange student in our home, I have learned a lot. I have learned about how open these students are to learning more about our world. I have learned that family is important and needed in ALL cultures. I have learned that none of us are perfect (kind of a "duh" statement). I have learned to let go of some of my selfishness by taking on another "kid" in my home (though Emma obviously is in a different age range from our kids)....I could go on & on....Just know we miss Emma!
Since Emma has returned to her country, we're re-establishing ourselves as a family of 4. Fortunately, the kids & I have been able to FaceTime with Emma 3 times already. Unfortunately, because of the tine difference & schedules, Marc hasn't been able to yet :(
And, Lord willing, we'll go visit Emma in France someday. I just want Kate a little bit older first. I know people do it everyday, but traveling across the "Big Pond" (Atlantic Ocean) with Kate right now would be daunting & possibly unbearable.