Build your family, your own way

When Davlyn Edgett had the idea to welcome an exchange student into the family she had no idea that her husband Tyler would grow to love hosting as much as she did. Take a look through dozens of family photos with their students over the years and Tyler’s smile radiates. “He has been a big teddy bear.”

Davlyn and Tyler are passionate about their family, having created theirs in their own unique way. “Our 12-year-old, Riley, started as a foster daughter and we have since adopted her. When we moved to Arizona five years ago, we adopted our youngest Riddick at birth.” They are tight knit, with their extended families excited to get in on the fun. “Once you’re an Edgett, you don’t just get one of us, you get all of us!” Nowadays, that includes their exchange students as well.

“I’ve learned so much about my husband through this process.”

Coordinating pajamas on Christmas morning.

It's always the right time for cultural exchange.

Recently, the Edgetts hosted Sophie from Norway and Riley was enthralled by her sister’s Norwegian culture. “She has DuoLingo on her phone for Norwegian. After hosting Sophie, she wants to live in Norway and learn how to speak Norwegian.” On Riley’s birthday, Davlyn shared a video of all of her sisters wishing her a happy birthday. “They were saying ‘I love you and I miss you.’ It gives me chills!”

Now, Riley and Riddick have siblings all over the globe who they get to visit every other year. The Edgetts have been able to give their children a loving extended family, who will be connected to them for life.

“We have the most unique family of anyone we know and we pride ourselves on that.”

Davlyn and Tyler are proud of the job they’ve done teaching their children the definition of family. “It’s not defined by bloodline. It's based in 4-letters, L-O-V-E. I think that for us, foreign exchange is our family. It's the idea that you just love people.” Just like the Edgett family, many host families choose to grow their family in unique ways; cultural exchange is an incredible option for them. “There is no downside to growing your family. If your heart says you’re open to welcoming someone new, it doesn't matter how you get there, you just are there.”

So proud of their graduate!

The Edgett's children have siblings all over the world.

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© EF Education First 2011-2022. EF High School Exchange Year is operated by EF Educational Foundation for Foreign Study, a non-profit corporation designated by the U.S. Department of State to operate a J-1 student exchange program. Note: Featured photo/videos do not include prospective students, and are representative of program participants.