Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Today is Omar's birthday. (Don't worry, Omar, I won't say how old you are!) Omar was my third homestay student back in 1992, and my first from Kuwait.

My dad, Max, my homestay student, Omar and my son, Allen

I remember the phone call from the placing agency when they told me my new student would be coming from the Middle East. At that time the only thing I knew about Kuwait was what had been reported in the evening news during the First Gulf War. To say I was apprehensive would be putting it mildly. I was more like scared to death! What in the world would I do—a single mother in America—if Omar should expect me to behave like the black-robed women in his country?

However, I always prayed before each new student arrived, so I figured God knew what he was doing by sending an Arab to my home. Wow! Was I in for a surprise!
A very pleasant surprise!

When he first arrived, Omar wanted to know by what name to address me. I offered my first name, but he shook his head. In his country it was disrespectful to call an older woman by her first name. A title was needed. And so, I became ‘Mrs. Sue.’

Omar was respectful and congenial—a cheerful young man with a beautiful smile. He was full of laughter and had a unique sense of humor! He was also a big tease, but I was clueless until one day during one of our conversations around the kitchen table. “Mrs. Sue,” he said, “you are too serious. You need to laugh more!” His statement left me stunned. I thought about it for the rest of the day!

I was the oldest of three daughters. My mother had been a school teacher and a strict disciplinarian. Quite naturally I inherited many of her traits. Now here was a young man from the other side of the globe telling me to lighten up!

Ahh, so that’s why God brought Omar into my home. God had a bunch of lessons for me to learn—the first being not to take myself, or life in general, so seriously. God wanted me to trust Him more. He wanted me to relax, to smile, to laugh and have fun. He knew Omar was the best person to deliver that message. He was right! Thank you, Omar!

Happy Birthday from your American Mom! May God bless you and your family with a wealth of laughter all the days of your life!

Still laughing and enjoying life.


Homestay Mama


  1. Happy Birthday Omar. Sue, it is so nice to get insight into the personality of a person. I really feel that through your blog I am beginning to know you on a more personal level. One we have not reached in the 12 years we have known each other. Great post, keep em comin.
    Love ya

  2. Hi Sue! Thank you for stopping by Robynn's Ravings and dropping me a line. I'd love to have you come back anytime and I am a firm believer that God heals us best when we use the most natural approach we can find. I am all about eating organically, drinking raw milk, buying locally, etc. Most doctors only know pill pushing.

    I so enjoyed your site and wanted to ask: what is a homestay mama? You are INCREDIBLY brave to host these kids all on your own. I can absolutely see, though, they have brought so much into your life. I would like to hear from their perspective because I think we'd get to hear how much God has blessed THEIR lives through YOU. Do you homeschool them while they are here? Is that what it means? I'll stop guessing and just wait to hear but I'm glad you found me and hope you come back and would be thrilled if you decided to follow.

    God bless you.....I'm reading your story so I'll be back! :)

  3. Thanks for the comment and encouragement, Gramma2Many. Don't forget your blog was the inspiration for me to start doing this! You are a dear friend!

    Love ya back,