Monday, May 5, 2014

Life with a Fellow: Host Family Testimony

by Cathy Williams

Our family loves to play games. In the early years we spent many hours playing Candyland, Petshop and Pretty Pretty Princess. Since then we have moved on to more sophisticated games like Bananagrams, Clue, and our newest favorite Fishbowl. Games make us laugh and sometimes argue lightheartedly but there is nothing like a good old fashion rivalry to bridge generation gaps and bring families and friends together.

A few years ago we decided to host a Raleigh Fellow named Brent Boyd. We had never met before, but he arrived on our doorstep one Tuesday night with all of his belongings, ready to move in with us for nine months. We had dinner and got to know each other, and then he gave us a gift called The Game of Things.  This was a brilliant hostess gift, and it connected us immediately as he proceeded to beat us in a game where it is usually beneficial to know your opponents well. We decided he would fit in perfectly, and nine months later we were sad to see him go. During those nine months we were privileged to watch his budding relationship with his future wife blossom. We invited Brent into all our family activities, and he eagerly accepted. He attended hours of ballet performances and wrestling matches and cheered like one of the family...because he was and is part of our family.

Brent now lives in Charlotte a few miles from his parents with his wife Rachel whom we adore. Recently our youngest Amy Grace had a volleyball tournament in Charlotte, and I sent Brent and Rachel a Facebook message telling them we would be in the area and hoping we could see them. His mother chimed in and invited us to stay with them while we were there.  This was both a blessing and a delight. Our first night there we had a delicious dinner and caught up on what was going on in our “adopted son’s” life. It was so good to see him again as well as get to know his parents better. No evening with Brent and Rachel is complete without a good game, so after dinner the seven of us played Pit. It was just like old times! Later Amy Grace was reflecting on the weekend and commented on how much fun all of those people were. It really blessed me to realize that we were brought together through the Fellows program, but have gained lifelong friends.

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