Skip to main content

"We Treat You Like Our Daughter"

I am Michelle Buchholz and this year I live with the Kelly family in Macon, Georgia. I nominate my host family as the "host family of the month" because they are awesome.

When I got the letter in 2012 that said: “Michelle, congratulations you got a host family” I was so happy even though my host parents Kyle and Lori with their pug, Tibby, weren’t quite what I expected. After only a couple of e-mails I felt like they would become my second family, and so they did.

Even though I don’t have any host siblings, which so many exchange students wish for and my host parents work a lot I’ve never felt like I missed out on any host family bonding times. Every day we eat dinner together and share our days with each other. Almost every week we have at least one movie night where I get to watch all their favorites and so many more. One of my best memories with them are our nights at the bonfire on our porch where we talk about everything. I’ve never thought I would find another family I can share my life with like I do with my family in Germany, but I clearly did.

My host family didn’t take me across the States but there was no need to. We had a great time on our trips to Juliette, Helen and Savannah (we went there twice and we will go again soon) which are all in the state of Georgia where I live. I enjoyed all our trips so much that I can’t wait for us to get together in Rome this summer. I hope one day they will come to Berlin too, so that I can show them my city.

Kyle and Lori were always interested in what I had to say about the German culture and showed me how it differs from the American one. Kyle especially showed a big interest. He even started to learn German a month before I came here. Since I’ve been here, I’ve tried to help him with his German as much as I could. We have lots of fun trying to have conversations in German and watching a German TV show. In general, I’m so glad I got him as my host dad because he always listens to me even though I talk all day long. He is always happy in very contagious way, which always makes a bad day better. I love him! Of course I love Lori too! She has been an awesome host mom. She carefully pays attention to the meaning of my words and my actions, which is why she always says the right things in the right moment, and it’s also why she found then most perfect gifts for me without me telling her what I want. It always impresses me so much when she notices the small things about me. She might not be as outspoken as Kyle, who often says “we treat you like our daughter,” but she really doesn’t need to because I just know she loves me like a daughter. I’m so glad I got to be a part of their family because they made my heart grow.

There are so many reasons why I love them that I can’t even put them all down here. They have been incredible host parents which is why I’m so happy that they offered me a place in their family and their hearts. Now I have two places in the world I can call “my home.” It has been an absolute blessing to live with them. They showed me it is good to be me and I don’t need to be afraid of the future. They gave me great advice for my life that I’ll always remember. I know now I can be happy with what I have, and if I want to, I can reach any goal. They also supported me in every decision I made in the US and helped me to grow up, which is why I feel like nothing can ever express how thankful I am that they picked ME.

They are the best family I could have ever wished for because they let me be a part of their family the moment they hugged me at the airport in Atlanta.