The more the merrier!
"Later that same day I asked Cherry if she would be interested,” recalls Jamie. “She remembers being shocked: I didn’t really know what to do. I ran home and asked my parents, ‘Ma, what should I do? Dad, what should I do?’ And they said, ‘You should do whatever you want. You decide.’ And I was like, ‘Okay, this is a really good opportunity to see a different world, a different culture, and learn new things, new experiences, so yeah, okay.’ But I knew it was BIG. “ The plan was to have the girls live with us for a year and see how it went,” remembers Jamie. “The girls would stay in regular contact with their families with frequent phone calls and visits during every school break.” The Amelio household spent the first few months trying to figure out how all this was going to work. “Everything was a learning experience for all of us – family outings like going to a restaurant, the beach, shopping, or out for ice cream became a chance to help Rathana and Cherry learn new things. Riley, Bronson, Rathana, Cherry, and I loved watching silly cartoons together. The girls especially loved Bugs Bunny. At first they couldn’t understand a word the characters were saying, but the physical humor said it all. They laughed and laughed, really deep belly laughs, something you seldom see Cambodian children do.”