Thursday, May 22, 2014

Magic Benno

In the Fall of 2004, my parent's house was destroyed in a flood.  They were devastated, but they found a house to rent nearby.  My dad decided that in order to cope, they would host a foreign exchange student in their home for a year.

One afternoon, my dad handed me a bunch of papers.  He told me to pick the person that would stay with them.  His only criteria was that it had to be a boy.  After living with 7 daughters and 1 lone son for so many years, I couldn't blame him!

I had no idea how I was going to choose the perfect person.  I read through each bio and finally settled on Benno Six, from Germany. 

When Benno arrived in the summer of 2005, he immediately fit in with our family.  He was sweet, funny, outgoing, crazy, and loving.  Dylan was nearly 9 months old at the time, and he formed a strong bond with Uncle Benno.  It wasn't long before I started thinking of Benno as the little brother I never had!

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We had such a fun year with Benno.  While he lived here, he picked up a new hobby: magic tricks. He practiced hard and happily performed for anyone willing to watch.

At the end of his time here, his parents came to stay with my parents for a few weeks.  It was if they had known each other forever.  Benno became part of our family and we were his Mom, Pap, sisters, brother, nieces, and nephews in the states.

It was so hard to say goodbye when it was time for him to leave.  We cried so much as the car pulled away.

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Benno and his parents came back to visit in July 2007.  Dylan was reunited with his beloved Uncle Benno and Lexie met him for the first time.  I can't find the other pictures, but she did warm up to him!

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Benno visited once again in April 2010.  Dylan and Lexie spent a lot of time with him, and they had so much fun!  Benno had become quite the magician and entertained us all!

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When it was time to say goodbye this time, Dylan cried and refused to let go of Uncle Benno's neck.  He finally understood that visits with Uncle Benno were few and far between.

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Four years passed by in the blink of an eye. We stayed in contact, but didn't get a chance to see Benno. Dylan and Lexie grew up, and we added two more children to our family. Meanwhile, Benno had been traveling through Europe and Japan, performing magic shows. 

Last week, Benno finally arrived for a visit with my parents. Unfortunately, his visit was shorter than expected, but we are so thankful we got to see him!  Dylan and Lexie were over the moon excited to see their Uncle Benno again. We went to my parents house for dinner the afternoon he arrived. They picked up right where they left off!

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Lily had only seen Benno in his Youtube videos, but she was quick to warm up to him!

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Liam got to meet Benno for the first time, too.  He is the same age Dylan was when Benno arrived the first time!

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We talked, had dinner, then Benno amazed us all with his magic tricks.  He is really talented!

It started to get dark, and my kids had school the next day, so we had to leave.  It was so nice to be reunited with Benno!

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The next day, we returned to visit again.  Lily had no problem cuddling with her Uncle Benno and falling asleep.

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My sister and her boys joined us for dinner that evening, and Benno showed off some more of his magic tricks.  The kids were mesmerized!

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That evening, Lily, Liam, and I had to say goodbye.  Goodbyes are always so hard, and I had to hold back tears.

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Dylan and Lexie stayed behind for a sleepover.  The next morning, they got to have breakfast with Uncle Benno at a local restaurant, then take him to the airport.  They both arrived home in tears.

It was so nice to see Benno again!  I hope another 4 years doesn't pass before we see him again.  It was much too long!

I have a feeling Benno is going to be huge someday! You can find his videos on Youtube by searching for  Benno Six.

It was so nice to see you again, Benno!  We love you so much and we're so proud of you!!!  Until next time, little bro...it better be soon!

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20 comments:

  1. What a sweet relationship your family has with Benno! I love that you all have stayed so close!

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  2. How awesome is that! I love to see all of the picture from years back too! Uncle Benno seems like such a special person. You can see the love Dylan has for him all over his face!

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    1. Thank you! He is a great guy! I wish we saw him more than once every few years.

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  3. This is so cool. Everything about it - from the way he became part of your family to the way he is so close with your own kids now.

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    1. Thank you! We're thankful for the way everything worked out!

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  4. He looks like he is so good with kids! These pictures are all so sweet :)

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  5. What an incredible bond you guys have formed. I love that it has lasted and deepened all these years. He seems like a wonderful person!

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    1. Thanks, Liz! We're so thankful to have him in our lives!

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  6. What an amazing story! I love how "Uncle Benno" continuously comes back to visit! I'll have to watch some of his magic shows on YouTube. It really says a lot that your family came to love him and his family so much...and vice versa. Love it!

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    1. Thank you! We love him and miss him so much! We hope he comes back soon!

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  7. What a great story, that is awesome!

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  8. Oh my goodness... such wonderful pictures. I love how God knits together families... adding people you never would have expected - all from some "random" choice. What an amazing way for you and him to be blessed! Now off to find those Youtube videos to share with Itty Bit! :)

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  9. Such a sweet story! How awesome that all of your kids get to know Benno years later! It makes me wonder what happened to the exchange students that I went to school with.

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    1. Thank you! My husband actually found an exchange student he went to school with on Facebook!

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  10. I love this and that he still comes to visit, always nice to add more people to family and Im sure your dad loves another male around!!!

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