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Today was the day French Daughter had to catch a flight home to France. We left early this morning – Hubby, Daughter, Young Son #2, French Daughter (obviously) and I – in order to take her to the Twin Cities. We ate breakfast and walked around Ikea for a while before we dropped her off at the light rail station with the rest of the exchange students in her group. We said our goodbyes and gave each other hugs while waiting for the train and then we waved and waved and she blew us kisses as she left. How, we wonder, could we become so attached to a person in such a short time?

We began to miss her immediately. Now that we’re home, Daughter is bored without French Daughter. Meanwhile, we’re planning to send a package of little gifts to French Daughter and her parents. We gave French Daughter Reese’s Pieces for her return trip. She tried them during our drive and loved them, so we’ll have to send some of those, along with her beloved peanut butter. Hubby’s parents gave her SPAM and an agate necklace to take home. You can’t get much more Minnesotan than SPAM.

We had a survey to fill out for the exchange program that French Daughter went through. One of the questions had to do with what we had learned from the experience. We realized that other than minor cultural differences, there weren’t any major differences. We asked French Daughter if there was anything unexpected about America that she learned. She said she was surprised to find that we didn’t continually eat out at fast food restaurants. That is what she heard about Americans. We explained that there are some families that do that, but not all of us. It’s too expensive and not very healthy.

While we were filling out the survey, we jokingly asked French Daughter if we could keep her longer. She laughed and said her mother would go crazy. We know just how French Daughter’s mom feels. We’d feel lost without our children. French Daughter’s mom was worried about sending her daughter half a world away. Completely understandable. We’re just wondering if we can have visitation rights. That, or save enough money to go to France for an exchange of our own.

Thank god for Facebook and email!