A son from Paraguay

Updated: 2013-12-31T04:54:35Z

While cleaning house one July, I came across a book I had misplaced. Where it had been bookmarked, a headline nearly jumped off the page.

Let an intruder into your life.

It so happened that our family was considering whether to host an exchange student. If this was a telegram from on high, it couldn’t have been clearer.

By late August, an 18-year-old from Paraguay had joined our family. His name was Adrian.

It would be an interesting 10-month ride that broadened our perspective and allowed us to appreciate our own kids in a new way. Our son shared his room with this new sibling and never fought with him once. Amazing, huh?

Even today, we still laugh about the time Adrian wanted to know why homes in this area are built with basements. This was early in his stay, so I pulled out the electronic translator I had borrowed, typed in tornado and showed him the Spanish equivalent.

Adrian’s eyes got big as saucers.

That’s when I learned that when the translator doesn’t know a word, it jumps to the next one. In this case, torture.

Though it can be scary to let a young “intruder” into your home, we found it a worthwhile experience that made common events like snowfalls become magical again. Today, you will read about local families who have made the same decision, some of them more than once. Meet their new family members, too.

Look for Melissa Schupmann’s story on Page 10.

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