What do you do when your home exchange might fall through?

The week before Christmas, we lost our home to a devastating fire.

Obviously, our lives have been thrown into temporary turmoil. We were displaced. Right before the holidays. We lost everything. We moved from short term place to short term place several times before we finally managed to get into the apartment that is home away from home until our house is rebuilt.

In addition to worrying about insurance, lost belongings, remodeling the house that we just bought and remodeled two years ago, replacing household items, keeping #ToddlerGoodwin on a schedule, and thanking all of the people that helped us out…

We’re supposed to be doing a home exchange in a few months with a family from Denmark. Except…

We don’t have a home for them to come to.

According to HomeExchange.com’s guide to home exchange etiquette, you shouldn’t cancel:

Canceling an Exchange once it has been set is more than just an inconvenience to your Exchange Partner. From the moment you “shake hands,” tours get reserved, plane tickets get bought and other non-refundable arrangements get made. 

Barring illness, injury, death or natural disaster, your commitment must be iron-clad, and if a compelling circumstance does force you to cancel, we ask that you make an effort to accommodate or find accommodations for your Exchange Partner.

We thought for sure that our exchange partners in Denmark would be disappointed, and understandably so. They thought they were coming to a large, roomy house with a big, private backyard.
We thought we’d be out the money we spent on our airfare to Denmark, and were already preparing to find and pay for accommodations for the Danes, in case they wanted to stay somewhere else, or cancel the trip altogether.
But we explained the situation. We offered them the apartment. We showed them pictures and we hoped and prayed that they’d still want to come to the US, because believe me, come May, we’ll probably be in desperate need of a vacation.
And they agreed. Our trip is still on!
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