Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Meet the Richardson's: My Adopted American Family

Way back in the first month of my stay in France, we happened to have a very cold morning.  So cold, in fact, that there was a sizable layer of ice on the car's window which needed chipping off.  As I was doing this reminiscent chore of Idaho and Nebraska, I accidentally bumped into my neighbor who was attempting to clear her windshields as well. 

"Oh, sorry," I chime politely, at this point incapable of more than 'bonjour' or 'merci' in French.

"No problem," comes the response, very much not French, and very much Texan.

Thus began a beautiful friendship.  The Richardson's hail from Texas and have two wonderful children.  Andrea (Mom), Randy (Dad), Cole (Brother), and Addy (Sister) have graciously accepted me into their family and have housed me, fed me, celebrated with me, and even accepted my request of housing two good friends who were traveling through.  To be honest, I'm not quiet sure how well I would have survived without these four. 

Besides supporting me in numerous ways, they also introduced me to Danielle.  And thus, as we all like to point out to people, found me my bosom buddy in France and also my French host family here!  You see, I work for Danielle's host mom's sister.  Technically, Danielle and I are au pair cousins.  We like to keep things in the family.

I had the most wonderful opportunity of spending Christmas with the Richardson's after taking care of the fifth member of the family, Lady (Cocker Spaniel Sugar Bug), while they were away for a few days of family vacation.

Christmas was wonderful.  Everyday I am thankful for the community I have here, surrounded by Americans, Germans, and French people who have taken me in and let me into their homes and hearts.  I hope this New Year finds you as surrounded by love and diversity and acts of simple kindness and adopted families as I have found in 2012.  Cheers, y'all!

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