Get a foreign exchange student, they said.
It’ll be fun, they said.

In a total fit of over-confidence, an abundance of American pride, that touch of southern hospitality that we seem to naturally embrace (where did it even come from?), and possibly that 2nd tumbler of red wine, we filled out an application to be a host family for a foreign exchange student program.

The application was intense. I mean, it was not as intense as say, filing for adoption or anything, but it wasn’t fun, answering complicated questions. Halfway through the app I turned to Mr. Fleegan and said, “No. Stop. No more questions tonight. My brain is done.” and then a couple of days later we’d pick it up again. It melted my face off. Mr. Fleegan is way better at this kind of thing, he has, ¿como se dice? Patience.

So we filled out the application and submitted it, online, at 11:00 pm on a Tuesday night. That Wednesday morning they were already calling our references. Our references, I might add, that did not KNOW they were references because we had submitted it so late at night and I figured, you know, I’d have 24 hours to warn people that they’d need to say nice things about us. Things like, “As far as I know, the Fleegans are actual human beings with no criminal records. Outstanding pillars of the community, those two.” Things like that.

I got a text at 10am, “Hey. I just got a call from a youth organization? They asked a lot of questions about you.”

So that went well.

Then, we did not hear anything. For like, 2 months. So we figured, meh, we must not have passed the test. Maybe they found enough host homes and did not need ours. Fine. Good, even. Now I won’t have to DO anything. Everything can stay cool. My routine won’t change and all will be right in Fleeganland, and it was enough that we TRIED, I mean, we got Adult Points for that. What were we even thinking, anyway?

So after two months I actually forgot about the whole thing until I received an e-mail that said something like, “Hey. S’up? Your Belgian student will arrive on Monday. Totes apreesh you keeping her alive for a year. Good luck, suckers!”

I’m OBVIOUSLY paraphrasing.

I may have freaked out about it? I honestly cannot remember. I’ve blocked it all out. When I woke up after have dreams of me yelling, “WHAT HAVE WE DONE? CAN WE DO THIS? WHO ON PLANET EARTH WOULD SEND US THEIR CHILD FOR SAFEKEEPING? HOW DID WE PASS THIS TEST? WHAT WERE THE QUALIFICATIONS? FOUR WALLS AND A ROOF? DID SOMEONE TURN OUT THE LIGHTS? I CANT BREATHE.” we had a sweet Belgian girl in our living room.

This was three days ago.

Um, do we, uh, do we feed her something?

 

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