He was 18, the exchange student who arrived in our home. I asked, "What are you going to call us?" He said, "Certainly not Mom and Dad. I have perfectly good parents at home." On a first-name basis we exchanged cultures, laughter, tears and love for a year. At year's end, he left our home. Our exchange continued, flourished. Two years ago he invited us to his wedding. We were seated with those "perfectly good parents." To the assemblage he said, "My American parents have taught me that you don't have to be blood to be family."
For my wife and me, it was the first diplomatic black-tie event we attended since I had arrived as the new Croatian ambassador to the United States. The reception rooms of the Department of State were filled with diplomats. A small jazz band played dancing tunes. On the crowded dance floor was an elegant couple that moved gracefully, the best dancers of the evening. They knew what they were doing and they loved it. Later in the evening we asked which country they represented. They smiled as the man responded, "Thank you, we work here. We are the Secret Service."
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