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“We don’t get to choose our families…” This is only partially true.

Since we don’t have any natural children, I didn’t think I’d ever be a ‘dad.’

I remember perusing the new student profiles and seeing Stenly’s. I instantly knew he would be a great fit for us. Sure enough, he got here, and he won us over immediately. Everything was so exciting for him, from the size of the highways to the Dallas skyline, to his creating his first fajita. Every experience was taken in with a freshness that made me smile to see his reactions.

Since we don’t have any natural children, I didn’t think I’d ever be a ‘dad.’ I still remember the day (via text messages of course) when he asked if he could call me Dad. I immediately texted back a resounding “Yes!! Of course.” This left us with another question: what to call his other dad? I suggested ‘Papa’, but I typed it phonetically and Stenly read it as Pupa. So his ‘other dad’ lovingly became known as Pupa. Since that time, not a day has passed when we don’t hear the word Dad or Pupa followed by some comment or question, and we still get excited every time we hear it.

As the time draws nearer to send him back, each day becomes a trial that tests my ability to not tear up. No matter what country he’s in we’ll always be a family. Thank you, Stenly for being our son and for letting us be your parents. This is why our exchange, our 'son' is the best.

He was the best ‘choice’ we ever made.

With Love,
Dad and Pupa