When Win Kellogg, a founding member of A Better Chance of Wilton, approached my husband and me about becoming a host family, we didn’t foresee the wonderful journey ahead for our family. Fortunately, we did not let our busy life with our three sons ages 7, 9, and 11 dissuade us, as this commitment was one of the most significant and positive decisions we ever made.
From the beginning, Jamal, our first host son, enriched our family with his quick wit and kind demeanor. Our boys eagerly awaited Jamal’s Sunday visits and were so excited when he stayed for the entire weekend, oftentimes fighting for his attention. Needless to say, it was a lot of testosterone in the house! There were adjustments, as we had to learn what made Jamal comfortable, and he had to learn how to live in our household. He wasn’t always happy with our food choices, but we learned to stock the kitchen with bottles of hot sauce which he happily put on most foods, including waffles! He learned to let our dog snuggle at his feet and how to endure his friendly licking. And as Jamal grew with us, we grew with him. There were times when he had to be reprimanded, just as we would one of our own sons, and we knew then, he was truly integrated into our family.