Who is Anja?

In the wide, wide world of internets, sometimes you read someone’s blog or a social network post and you stop,  scratch your head, and wonder if you missed something.

So did you know that Keith and I were hosting a foreign exchange student this year?  I mean, before the last post?

We started the process back in April, and by the end of May we had picked out a student to join our family, gotten her approved by the high school, and started waiting on paperwork to go through the agencies and the Department of State.

Fast forward a few months to this past Friday, August 28, when Keith, Kaitlyn, Kourey and I waited at the gate at RIC with a red, hand lettered sign that said “Welcome Willkommen Anja!” A just-turned-seventeen teen in a grey hoodie with an orange bookbag roughly the size of Texas met met us there, and came home to be my third – but oldest! -daughter.

Anja will live with us for 10 months, but be a part of our family forever! She starts LC Bird High School on the day after Labor Day, and starts field hockey tomorrow.

Some of the questions we’ve gotten:

Does Anja speak English?

Very well, actually! Of course, she learned mainly British English in school, but by in large she is incredibly fluent. That being said, it will take her a few weeks to get to hearing English and not needing to translate in her head to German to understand, and to throw in all of the slang and colloquialisms we use.

Should I talk louder/pantomime poorly/talk to you like she can’t hear me?

Geez, no! She’s from Germany, not Mars! No one has actually *asked* us this, but sometimes it seems like people unconsciously do this!

How long will Anja be here?

Ten months – all the way through the school year. This means that, yes, she will be here for Christmas, winter break, Easter… all the way until school is out.

Those are just a few questions, if you have any more feel free to ask. Even if it’s whether she’s ever heard of Guitar Hero before (yes), likes chocolate and peanut butter (not yet), or if she has ever seen “The Sound of Music” (no).

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