Adventures in Attachment Parenting: Opening Our Home and Our Hearts by Allison Silver

I looked up at my calendar and could hardly believe that it’s already August. I don’t know about you but it just seems like the summer has flown by. Our summer has been filled with many adventures which have included: the joys and perils of planting and tending a garden in the country, adding a few new hens to our hen house and a rooster (whose name is Leonard), starting an exercise program with Stroller Strides, swimming (lots of swimming), concentrating more on on my Barefoot book buisness, and picking up daddy’s new toy which is a Cessna 140 airplane! Yes, you did read that right an airplane!

And right around the corner our next adventure awaits. As a matter of fact it’s happening on Friday! As a family we have decided to open up our home for the next ten months to a fifteen year old foreign exchange student from Spain. Why would we do such a thing? Well, it really goes hand in hand with why I became a Barefoot Books Ambasador. Besides having wonderful products I love the core values of Barefoot Books which are: Imagine, Explore, Create, Connect, and Give Back.

My husband and I both believe in giving back. Neither of us studied abroad but we believe in giving back in ways that we are able. At the present moment we have the ability to provide this once in a lifetime expence for someone else, so why not? Plus it exposes our daughter to another culture and helps to promote global understanding. And having an extra pair of hands around the house doesn’t sound like a bad idea either!

The response we have gotten from people around us has been quite mixed. There are people who don’t understand why we would do such a thing, there are others who think we are plain nuts, there are some who would love to see me crash and burn so they can say, “I told you so.” And then there are a select few who have been encouraging and have told us what a great experience we will have.

I tend to listen to the latter of the groups.I have never really been discouraged by naysayers in fact that’s pretty much the story of my life. But the one thing that is starting to dawn on me is that I’m going to be the parent of a fifteen year old girl. Perhaps I am remembering all too clearly how I was at fifteen! It helps that the program we are working with has specific rules. However, it is up to us to enforce them. My number one goal is to not send her back to Spain pregnant!

My husband keeps reminding me that this is a cultural exchange with teens who have been interviewed and preselected to participate and that we aren’t housing a juvenile delinquent! I know he is right. But it still makes one a little bit nervous to open up your home and your heart to a stranger. So many thoughts run through my head. Will she like us? Are we too boring? Am I really old enough to look like I could be the parent of a fifteen year old?!

I know this year will have it’s joys and challenges but all in all I think it will be a wonderful experience for our family and we are excited to jump right in! So here we go on our next adventure!

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