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Host Mom Experiences A Daughter on Mother's Day
Sharing Home, Shopping for Prom Dresses, and Girly Things with A German Exchange Student
By: PAX--Program of Academic Exchange
Kathy and the Henze family are hosting exchange student and high school junior Pia from Wolfsburg, Germany (home of Volkswagen) this academic year at their home in the Houston suburbs.
The family learned about Pia and her program, PAX - Program of Academic Exchange, through local representative Sondra McPoland who also serves as an extra local support person for Pia and other Houston area students from around the globe. Having raised boys, the Henze family liked the idea of hosting a girl and that Pia in particular enjoyed swimming—something they knew plenty about.
“Having a girl in the house is wonderful,” says the first-time host mother. “It’s been a lot of fun doing girly things together.” Those girly things include shopping for Pia’s prom dress and accessories with a unique collaborator. “We text and especially email Pia’s mother in Germany,” says Henze. “Doing that means she gets to share this with Pia too.”
Pia, the high school student, gets dance and life advice from two women, her mother and the woman who has cared for her as a mother for nearly a year. Kathy Henze, Pia, and the rest of the Henze family have plans for a celebratory Mother’s Day lunch, but the girl who Kathy Henze calls a “lovely addition to the family” returns to Germany in five weeks.
“She’s excited about going home but sad at the same time,” said Henze. “I’ve already told her she is welcome to come visit us any time she would like!”
Founded in 1990, PAX--The Program of Academic Exchange is a not-for-profit educational organization and one of a select few U.S. Department of State-designated Exchange Visitor Programs chosen to participate in the prestigious U.S. government sponsored Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) and Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) programs. Each year, more than 1,100 teenagers visit the U.S. as PAX exchange students. For information on how you can host an exchange student from another country, please visit http://www.pax.org/
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