On Jan. 9, 2008, our family began a life-changing journey with Ayusa International. We welcomed into our home a 15-year-old high school student, Sarah Engel from Erlangen, Germany. My family remembers the excitement we felt waiting for Sarah's arrival at the airport. My husband and I were so nervous becoming host parents to an exchange student. We had never done anything like this before. We wondered how we would adapt to a total stranger living in our home, especially someone from a different country and culture.
At first it was unusual, but as each day passed, my family grew to love Sarah and the end of her stay she was truly a member of our family. What an experience for all of us. Sarah was in our home for only five months. But the transformation we experienced with Sarah during such an impressionable time of her life was amazing. We watched her grow before our eyes, arriving as a nervous, bewildered, insecure girl, into a successful, confident, young woman when she boarded the plane to go back home.