We recently welcomed a "stranger" into our home. We are hosting an international student. She came to live with us for 5 months. We did not know her or even that she was coming into our home until a couple weeks prior to her arrival. She came into our lives and immediately, we embraced her. She has been a part of our daily routine. I no longer have to count how many plates to get out, the one extra has become natural.
We have shared our favorite meals together. She has introduced us to some of her favorite recipes. I have attempted to make some special recipes for her, some were good, some we got a good laugh. We have attempted to speak Spanish and she gives us helpful pointers on our pronunciation. We have had many laughs over our English and especially southern phrases that have gotten misunderstood. We have even developed some "inside jokes" in some terms translated that have very different meaning.
Our kids have welcomed her into our home. My daughter gained an older sister while my son has learned to deal with having two girls in the house! They have learned to accept the subtle cultural differences and appreciate just how similar our families are even though they live across the globe.
She has taught us so much in the short amount of time that she has been with us.
I have learned that being flexible and patience is important, leaving for school five minutes later than usual is okay, bedtimes can be adjusted and everyone can still function fine. I have learned that our speech, body language, and tone are complicated. I am learning everyday to pause before I speak. Words are such valuable tools even when we speak the same language, even more valuable when translation is involved.
Have you ever considered welcoming a stranger into your home? Someone that you had never met and had no previous connection? Sounds like a strange question...I know. We have had the great privilege and are finding ourselves loving this stranger that has now become part of our family! A little part of Spain now lives in our hearts.