The Zahrt family of Adel, Iowa had a wonderful experience hosting FLEX student Nadya Siletskaya, from St. Petersburg Russia, during the 2012-2013 school year. Both Nadya and the Zahrt family had a life changing experience during her stay. After the first month, Nadya had truly became one of the family. “We will always consider Nadya as one of our children,” said Nadya’s host parents Cory and Misty Zahrt.
Nadya, who is an only child in her Russian family, had to learn to live with two sisters and a brother in a busy household, complete with many pets. “It was different having so many people in the house all the time but I adjusted quickly,” recalls Nadya. The three Zahrt children, Corbin, Chloe and Chaise developed a very close relationship with Nadya and still consider her their sister.
After such a wonderful experience, it was difficult to say goodbye in June of 2013. Many tears were shed and Nadya knew she wanted to return to the United States to see her American family as soon as she could. Nadya has had a busy college schedule since she returned to Russia, but the Zahrts and Nadya managed to stay in touch periodically. The Zahrts knew Nadya hoped to return to the U.S. this summer, but worried it might be difficult for her to obtain a visa.
Nadya’s visa was approved in the fall of 2014 and her travel plans were finalized in June. “We were ecstatic when we finally learned a date for Nadya’s return visit. We quickly set up a family group on FB Messenger entitled “Nadya bought her tickets!” to coordinate plans between the five of us and Nadya,” said host mother Misty Zahrt.
On July 23rd the family’s dream of being reunited became a reality when the Zahrts picked Nadya up at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. Lots of hugs were exchanged at the reunion. The family picked right up where they left off, it felt as though they had never been separated. “It feels like our family is complete again,” stated the Zahrt’s son, Corbin, when asked about his feelings about Nadya’s visit.
Thank you Zahrt Family for sharing your experience with all of us!