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Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.

As the name suggests, host dads really play great “hosts“. Coming to an alien country for the first time, leaving your family behind is a life-changing event in itself. But knowing someone will be there to guide you and comfort you brings a sense of calm. This voice is of an international student coming to the United States for the first time.

Exactly like your own dad would do, look after your well being, trying to help you make the right decisions, this is the same feeling I had when I met my host dad for the first time. Be it managing your financial aspects in a new country, or chipping in with a little advice related to your course selection, host dads play a critical role.

That feeling of nostalgia quickly takes a back seat whenever your host dad offers you a great suggestion or talk about how you would do certain things in your home country. In my opinion, they are one of the most selfless people, not expecting anything from you like a son/daughter but giving you everything like a dad(father).

When you come to a new country, you are going through so many emotions that it is very easy to get overwhelmed and lose focus. Emotions that confuse you, some that bedazzle you. And here is a dad away from your own country to be by your side and prove to be yours when you need him.

He helps you build immense faith and trust in himself which is nothing less than your blood dad. In fact, the learning that you get from a host dad is varied because of a different culture, race and religion too. It opens you to a whole new world of experiences that expose you to the wide world outside. You learn at each step and explore like you never did.

Not only emotions, but also some great cuisines make an entry in your life. Your taste buds change. Your so called new dad makes you meet people of different cultures, habits and behaviors. Your perspective towards life takes a different angle all together. You see new places that make great memories for future. These places give you a feeling of belonging. You relate to the country better. You suddenly get new siblings who are different in nature and character and thus become new friends in no time.

This is what a host dad means to you!!! Now you know…..

Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.

Bill Belew

Daddy and Christian.

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Growing Up Aimi Series