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post #1 of 37 Old 09-28-2012, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Advice needed

As to how much I get involved or ??? Neighbors about 3 houses down from me signed up to be a host family for a foreign exchange student from Germany. Little background on them... they seem to always have money problems, have refinanced themselves into more debt than their house is worth. Have dogs that are not 100% house trained, have two boys one that is autistic and the other add but improving. The boys are 9 and 11. The parents cuss and fight a lot... sometimes we can hear them here!

The foreign exchange student was picked for their family. He is a Junior in high school and is the same age as my daughter. She drives him to school and he loves me. I have become his confidant and he feels very close to me. (This is what he has told my daughter)

Last night he came to my house and and asked if he could use my phone, the house phone where he stays in cordless and been left off the hook. Oh well don't know why I had to fill you in on that little detail. He asked me for a hug and he started to cry. I asked him to join us for dinner (we were going out for Mexican) and after we returned home he asked if he could just come in and talk to me (daughter had to return to school for pep band) He proceeded to tell me how unhappy he is with his host family. He said he knows they are trying but it is not a good fit for him. He said he wished he had gotten a "normal" family like mine. I am not prepared to take on another child. Nor have I been approved to be a host family. But he feels the need to leave this family and probably even this school as he feels very pressured there. Our principal is a piece of work ... that being said the young man is here to learn our lifestyles etc. His grades from this year do not count when he returns to Munich he will be a Junior at his school again. But due to the slang causing barriers he is not an A student here and feels like a failure.

My heart breaks for this young man. This morning when he came into the house he asked me if I could meet with him and his adviser on Sunday to discuss moving host families. He is very concerned about hurting the neighbors feelings and wants me to talk to his adviser first with him before they go the the host family.

What in the world do I do... this young man is so far from home... he loves my family and myself. I can not financially afford to add him into my home but yet how can I not... and maybe it is not even an option as he would have to go to an approved home and I don't know how long that takes. My family had a background check two years ago when the state placed my abused 17 year old nephew with us but that was only a 10 week stay till he turned 18

Any advice would be very welcome!
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post #2 of 37 Old 09-28-2012, 10:08 AM
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That sounds like a tough spot to be in. I don't know what I would do to be honest. I would want to take him in but the additional financial responsibility would give me pause. How does the rest of your fam feel about the situation?

Life is like a camera. Focus on what's important, Capture the good times, Develop from the negatives and if things don't work out, Take another shot.
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post #3 of 37 Old 09-28-2012, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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They all love him.... he is such a good kid. I kind of wonder also though if a lot of it is being homesick. He has two little brothers that are 6 and 2. He talked about how much they are going to change while he is gone. He also talked about how much it cost to come here and I did tell him though, I would not be happy about dishing out a large sum of money, I would not want my own child to be unhappy and in the end it is only money. My husband is a young 54 and would be happy to involve him in roller skating, learning guitar and pool and even taking him to concerts. I am an old 56 and prefer staying home when I am not riding ;)
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post #4 of 37 Old 09-28-2012, 10:51 AM
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Please try to help this kid out. He's in a strange place a long way from home with no family to help him. It might inconvenience you a bit but he will never forget the family and the person who helped him and took him in when nobody else would. If you can't take him in permanently at least you can help him find a "normal family" for the rest of his stay.


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post #5 of 37 Old 09-28-2012, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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Poco, I did say that could be an option that I could be a temp home but I am not sure that I could be even temp. I don't know how long the process is to be approved it might take longer than we have....

The weird thing is the neighbor called me from work today and asked if he said anything to me last night. She said he was very sad when he came home and that she thinks he wants to live with me. I told her was unhappy and that I believe he is homesick. I told her we could all talk tonight and that I would be happy to let him spend more time here if that would help. She said she had a call in to Connie (who I don't know who that is) and her adviser to set up a meeting.

I would never turn my back on this kid. If I can help him out in anyway I will do so... I just don't know if living with me would even be an option but I guess it can be discussed with his adviser.

Here is a picture of my daughter and him from homecoming week. She was the Barbie from Toy Story 3 (couldn't put her hair in a pony till after school pictures were taken that day) I laugh at that pic. Madison just clears 5' and K is 6'4"

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post #6 of 37 Old 09-28-2012, 11:21 AM
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If I can be of any help, im German, Bavarian to be exact.

Maybe he feels like talking to somebody in his language who is somewhat closer than his family, don't know.....

Last edited by deserthorsewoman; 09-28-2012 at 11:24 AM.
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post #7 of 37 Old 09-28-2012, 11:25 AM
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Sounds like his host family knows that it isn't working, that's a good start. Hopefully between you and the adviser something can be done to remedy the situation for him. I can imagine it has to be very tough leaving family and friends halfway across the world, no doubt I would be homesick too. Please keep us updated!
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post #8 of 37 Old 09-28-2012, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman View Post
If I can be of any help, im German, Bavarian to be exact.
What can I do? Is he homesick? So do you speak German? Maybe he could express everything to you though he does seem to communicate pretty well with me.

I don't want to watch this young man be in so much pain. I don't want him to feel like he is a failure for moving host families, going home or whatever he decides is best for him to do. My heart just breaks for him... and I don't know how to help I let him talk to me, try to include him in things we are doing, take him places with us...
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post #9 of 37 Old 09-28-2012, 11:34 AM
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I would hate to think that this was my son - away from home and feeling so unhappy.
How do you feel about the relationship with your daughter and him if they were under the same roof? Even young people of this age can struggle with emotional feelings that can get out of hand - or are they purely friends?
It doesn't sound as if the family he is with is a good fit for him so a start would be to go with him and talk to whoever organises these exchanges and discuss the situation with them and see how it goes from there
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post #10 of 37 Old 09-28-2012, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by WickedNag View Post
What can I do? Is he homesick? So do you speak German? Maybe he could express everything to you though he does seem to communicate pretty well with me.

I don't want to watch this young man be in so much pain. I don't want him to feel like he is a failure for moving host families, going home or whatever he decides is best for him to do. My heart just breaks for him... and I don't know how to help I let him talk to me, try to include him in things we are doing, take him places with us...
Of course I speak German
you're doing the right thing, definitely. I just thought he, as you said, might be able to express himself a bit more in his language. I have the problem sometimes too. With hubby, especially when I'm mad

Its for sure not easy for him. Getting a student exchange is considered a big thing and kids who have the possibility have big dreams and want to brag about it when they return home. He caught a very bad host family and knows it. I don't think he thinks of himself as failure, tho. But he wants to do his year, just not where he is now. He is most likely afraid that they'll send him home.
Like I said, if I can be of any help, I'm available
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