On my way to Portland, Oregon, I was taking a deep breath on that huge airplane, thinking about what I had got myself into. Making the decision to go live abroad for 13 months, is not something you do overnight. It took me several months of preparation and hard work, to earn the money and pluck up courage for this major adventure. Without any help but an add in a local newspaper (no Internet back then), I found Au Pair Homestay USA in Overijse. This was the organization that would help me live my dream. How friendly and kind they were and the information they gave me was making my heart tick even faster. Meeting up with former au pairs, was so exciting, that I wanted that July 23rd to be there asap.
Once I was given the documents and files on my au pair family, the dream started. I was going to Portland, Oregon!!! My host family had a 3 yo girl, by the name of Natalie Scott. They lived on Southwest Brae Mar Court, on top of a hill, seeing out over downtown Portland. Looking through the pictures they had sent me, I realized this dream was really going to be reality in no time. I had to finish College first and make sure my grades were good. I was a good student though I didn't foresee any problems of that manner. It was good to discuss my plans with one of my teachers. He knew exactly what I wanted to do and he gave me his full support. I graduated and packed my bags, leaving the student behind and welcoming the adult I had become.
Meeting up with the other girls at Brussels Airport was thrilling. I was surprised though, to see so many of them in tears. Why were they crying? They were about to experience the best year of their life? They were hugging their parents and handkerchiefs were wet with tears. My family stood there. We didn't hug. We didn't cry. I was very impatient and couldn't wait to hop on that plane and leave. The relationship with my parents was not of that order, that we were so close we couldn't miss one another. I must even admit it was a relief to get out of the house and become independent. Too many rules and not enough love, made me run off. By the time I got on that plane, Belgium left my head to make room for the US. It was one of the best decisions I had ever made. It sure changed my life dramatically.. My childhood was over. I was ready to live my own life..