My family has faces rejection for no reason. I am still having a hard time dealing with it.
Months ago our family had a dream. A dream to be a host family for a junior sport event in our town. We were welcoming two children, from miles away, in our home for two weeks. Our kids were thrilled. That was the only thing they have been talking about for months. A couple of days before the D day, we went to a get-together to meet the other families welcoming other players from the same team. From then we learned a valuable life lesson that leaves us with a bitter taste. Now I have to sit down with my kids and have the “judgement and rejection” talk.
Less Than A Week To Go
We applied for this months ago, filled out the forms, met with the person in charge, submitted our info for police inquiry. Everything was set, we were finally ready to do this. The kids were counting the days. They were all excited. They had decided which room they would lend, how they would all sit at dinner table etc. Three days before their arrival, we emptied the closet and drawers so they would feel at home, and we made the beds. I was about to go to the grocery store to be ready for the big day. It was a happy household until we got a phone call that changed everything.
Are You Serious?
The phone rang. It was the lady in charged of welcoming our team. I though one of my kids forgot something when we went over for the pot luck dinner the night before. What she told me on the phone left me speechless. She said she changed her mind and that we won’t have those children over afterall, because she just doesn’t know how we can do it all. It took us by surprise.
We just could not believe it. I tried to understand where she was coming from, to reassure her we were totally fine with it and that we were ready for this, but she told me her mind was set and that there was nothing I could say or do to change her decision. She was not even able to tell me why she thought we were not good enough to be a host family, I think she just didn’t even know herself.
Blaming My Children
She told me something about my kids being young, fine, or about them being active, fine, but how does all this make us unfit to be a host family for two twelve years old children, I still don’t know. Blaming my kids is certainly not a good way to go. She didn’t even listen to what I had to say. She told me “you’ll have too much on your hands, so I decided you are unfit for this”. Who is she to judge us like this? How does she know what we can or can’t handle? If only she knew what we’ve been through in the past years, she would know we can handle so much more than the average family. It was plain and simple rejection.
The thing is, from the day we applied, we’ve been honest: we have four young children, one has Asperger’s but it doesn’t show and everything is now under control. The woman even came to our house and met us in our environment. And until then everything was fine. Suddenly this was not anymore. And she didn’t even have the guts and the decency to explain us her change of mind.
If we would have known, we would never have accepted her invitation to the get-together. First we were the only newbies there. This group was made from families that all knew each others and have been doing this for years. Without knowing it, we were entering a close-knit group. And we were nothing like them. Sure we had things in common, but mostly our values were nothing alike.
Different In Many ways
First their kids were older than ours. They were mostly all playing sport for many years, and were super competitive.
My kids do not practice competitive sports yet. They did a bit of synchro swimming, soccer, but we mostly do rollerblading, snowboarding, SUP and snorkling. Nothing competitive here.
Second, during that dinner, money was all the people there talked about. How much the private school costs, how expensive are the dinning room chairs and so on. One even described her iPhone not by the model, but using the price tag! Can you imagine this? In our everyday life, we never talk about money or use it to try to impress people around us. We do not want people to like us according to the money we own or the size of our house.
I realised they become host families not for the rewarding experience it gives them, but instead, for how it can impress people around. They do not choose the city where the team is coming because it is fun to get to know people living far away from us, or in another culture, language or country, they choose it according to how pretigious it will look to others.
Our Own Family Values
This being said, our own family values are quite different. In this house, our family is our main and central priority. We would move heaven and earth for the well-being of our children. Our kids are everything to us. We encourage them, we cheer for them, we are there for them. Unfortunately it is not the same in every family. For some, children are just there for personal gratification by bringing home trophies, medals and perfect grades. That is pretty sad. I do not live my own life expectations through my kids. I surely and truly want them to find their own path to happiness and fulfillment.
We also do not like or dislike someone according to his or her social standing. This is not who we are. A nice car or a big home does not prove you are a good person. Your wallet doesn’t show your values.
We like to travel with our kids, we like to explore the world, that’s who we are. And we certainly do not only wish for nannies and school to take care of our kids. We bring them along.
Letting A Family Down
One of the hardest part in all this, is feeling like I am letting a good family down. A family with whom we connected, we FaceTimed and talked to for the past weeks. A family that trusted us with their child, and that didn’t deserve to be splashed with all this. If only we knew we did something wrong, I would be able to say that I’m sorry. Now I am just embarrassed and sad. I also knew that if I was the family sending my kid away for two weeks, I ‘d like to know the host family. Our rejection story becomes their rejection story too.
If only I was able to explain what we did wrong. I could then try to turn things over. But here’s the thing, we did nothing wrong. We just were ourselves, honest and truthful and it scared people away. Why? Mostly because we didn’t show off like the rest of them and it bothered them.
Life Lesson For My Kids
This life lesson is learned the hard way. My kids are crying and are heartbroken, my husband and I were blind-sided by all this and can’t still put words on how we truly feel. For now it just feels like a betrayal, a complete misunderstanding, a bad nightmare. In my heart I am truly sad. We have been judged as a family, by people who don’t even know us, and decided we were not good enough for them. Trying to explain it to young kids is quite hard. They just feel rejected for no reason and feel like it may be their fault. And it is not. They all keep brainstorming ideas on how they could get the lady to change her mind. They wanna help for sure. It was their project too. It was the only thing that made February, the snow and the cold fun this year.
Dealing With Rejection
Being rejected is always hard. Rejection is never something you wish for, whether you are a child or an adult. But what I didn’t remember is how painful it is. You feel betrayed, misunderstood, and unfit. You should never let other people diminish you. And that is the lesson I want to share with my kids today. I want them to know they are good enough and if they use their heart in life, they might unpleased certain people, but they will do mostly good.
We went on this journey with our hearts opened, to do good by other people, not to highlight ourselves. And we went on this journey to show our kids how important it is to open to other people and to share with them. We wanted them to learn something here.
They might not have learned what we thought they would, but an even more valuable life lesson: don’t judge people you don’t know, and don’t diminish others to uplift yourself.