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I am suddenly in charge of someone else’s child, whom I’ve never even met, from half-way across the world. She got off the plane last night, after flying by herself 18 hours from Taiwan as a Rotary exchange student. We recognized her from her photos, so as soon as we saw her I put my arms around her, for her mother back home who surely would have done the same, to let her know we congratulate her for making it here and for being so brave. I cannot imagine what it is like to go so far from home, alone, and not really speak the language at the other end.

Her parents are brave too to send her off to unknown Americans to let her learn about our world, without a word directly to us, a giant leap of faith I am not sure I could do. We spoke by Skype to the family hosting our son, Andrew, in Ecuador, but we have not had words or pictures exchanged with Nana’s parents. They do not need to tell us that we will watch her as our own and care for her carefully as we hope the people in Ecuador will do for our son, too.

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