An Addition: Robin (Gyeong Lee)

By Leslie Parks - Thursday, December 29, 2016

Well we have had a major change this year in more ways than one.  Robin is one of those major changes.  At the beginning of the school year, only one week into it I received an email from someone I hadn't talked to for a couple of years.  We had lost touch going to different churches and well life gets into the way and you just lose track of people. It's life. This particular Friday, I checked email like I do everyday.  It was early afternoon when I received this email message from this particular friend. Her best friend from high school is the coordinator for a student exchange company. She had a student that needed a home, particularly a home in Ferndale.  We lived in Ferndale and she thought of us, since we had kids and high school kids to boot.  The boy was from Korea. His host family had a medical emergency and could no longer host him.  He was living on a sofa and she was trying to find someone to host him. There were lots of offers for temporary housing but none for the long term.  As a mom, my heart went out.  I put myself in his mother's shoes.  I thought about how I would feel sending my boy to a foreign country, me not speaking the language, knowing the culture, being too far away to be able to help. I immediately texted John.  The answer was no, there was too much complication involved.  I found out more information.  He was 16, and very respectful.  I talked to the kids.  Job had his own room for the first time in his life.  Both said no.  I called to see if we could meet him.  That Saturday we went over to Tammi's house.  He was quiet, respectful and definitely a fish out of water.    I felt like I was picking out a puppy.  Once you see the puppies, you have to leave with one.  Sunday after church we brought him home. The first thing after showing him around the house, and the room he would share with Job, the boys jumped on the Xbox and played Fifa.  I think video games are the universal language.  He plays soccer and joined the rec team with Job and then the indoor team as well. We've learned that 5 Guys Burgers and Fries is famous and we have been able to cross that off his bucket list. He likes to shop. He studies, a lot even during Christmas vacation. This is his first time celebrating Christmas. He lives in a city and so this is a little restricting I think to him.  He is very independent and has no problem taking the bus into Bellingham.  We are still learning about him and him about us.  I never realized how much of a cultural difference there is between Korea and us.  It is substantial.  We are learning and growing.

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