Well my friends it has been a VERY long time since I have taken the time to sit down and write. So many things have happened since my last post. The most significant one started a journey for which our entire family has been blessed beyond measure!
As you all know, Ed and I have two fantastic sons, Robert who is now 12, and Matthew who is 10. Robert lives with type 1 diabetes on board. I am active with the JDRF (also known as Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). I am a Volunteer Mentor Chair, Chairperson for the Kids Camp at Type One Nation Summit and most recently an employee of the Kids for a Cure campaign. With all of these hats on my head, I also belong to several diabetes related posts on Facebook. One such group is where our newest adventure began.
On June 23 of this year, a post appeared in one of our local diabetes pages on Facebook, ICES (International Cultural Exchange Students) was seeking a host family for a young man who is also a type 1 diabetic. This post hit me hard; made me look deep into my heart and think "if this were my son, I would hope that a loving family with t1d experience would welcome him into their home." On June 24th, after a restless night of sleep, I took the giant leap of faith and inquired about the responsibilities and requirements. The more questions I asked that day, the more I had to talk to Ed and ask him if we could be that family. I gave him the particulars and as soon as I said "the student is Italian" the deal was sealed! After a relatively short discussion, we compiled a list of questions to ask our facilitator and I made the call.
We learned that Giovanni was, at the time, just shy of his 17th birthday, was from an island in the Mediterranean Sea called Sardinia (I confess, I had to look on a map to see where this was), was the oldest of three children, Catholic, played the guitar, and was active in human rights causes. That night, we prayed for guidance and the next day told our facilitator we were very much interested in opening our home to Giovanni. Shortly after that we started the application process, which to my surprise was quite easy. The hardest part was gathering the required pictures. After all, you can't make a first impression twice!
While all of this was happening, my mother was visiting from Philadelphia. She was over the moon happy that we were going to participate in this amazing journey. She encouraged us to learn as much as we could about the culture and life in Sardinia. She gave me many ideas on how to help our student become part of our family. Daily she and I would check the online site to see if we were approved.
One night, during the first week of July, she encouraged Ed and I to go out to dinner and leave the boys with her. We went to a small pub for burgers and a beer. While on the drive there, I decided to take a peek at the application site. If items were in process or incomplete the text remained red, as had been the case with our background check..... until that moment in the car. I opened the page and was shocked to see the text in GREEN! I started crying in the car and Ed asked what was wrong. I told him nothing was wrong, but that our background check had turned green. At the time I wasn't quite sure if that meant we were approved to host. So of course I had to text our facilitator, on a Friday night no less! Andrea responded with a YES! Oh my goodness!!! WE WERE APPROVED!