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Co-Winners: Gerzon Family and Au Pair Yuliia

My Host Family is a Blessing

Hi, dear reader! Since you are reading this, you probably know what this is all about. Is it about being an Au Pair? Yes. Is it about challenges or struggles? Yes! Is it about being all by myself and feeling like no one cares about me? No. Why? Because my Host Family was making sure I am feeling good.

This is a story of me and my host family during the hardest time of all. Let’s call it “My life with a Host Family: Quarantine edition”.


Au Pair and host family

It was my 9th month being an Au Pair and taking care of two wonderful girls.Let’s be honest here, I am going to call them “little sisters”. At that time I was not planning to stay for another year, and I was so excited to go home soon. You are probably familiar with a feeling when you miss your family and friends. But I am not going to focus on that.

Nothing foretold troubles. Everyone was going with their lives and was looking forward to summer because it is time for fun and vacations. However, one pandemic decided to come over and change our plans. No one was expecting that“guest” in our lives. No one knew how to treat that “guest”. People were so shocked to come up with a new plan for their lives. And so was I.

I realized that time to go home might be postponed. I was so upset about it so I did not want to do anything. I did not really enjoy my time being in a house. I found no joy taking care of my “little sisters”, especially when the whole family was home. I thought nothing could be worse.

First few weeks, or even first month I was facing such challenges as: new routine for kids, distance learning, cooking, entertaining, staying in the house the whole day, and trying to get used to all people around you. I guess you can relate to this too.

However, this time of craziness and discomfort was the best time to become closer with my Host Family. You wonder why? I am here to tell you, otherwise what is the point for me of writing this and for you of reading it?

First of all, I want to acknowledge the fact that my Host Family set the fair schedule and clear responsibilities for me to do, so I was not too overwhelmed with everything. At first I thought because kids had no school, I had to double my job. However, it did not happen. My lovely Host Family made sure I was doing what I had to do certain amount of time every day and the rest I could spend for myself. I am so thankful for that because it helped me a lot not only to catch up with my studies but also to get some time for my hobbies.

Au Pair and host kid

Secondly, I want to talk about one of the most important things for me. When the “guest” came and everything got shut down, I wasn’t really worried about going out to some restaurants or stores. I was worried about my church I serve in every week. I was worried that I would have no chance to go to church during pandemic. Due to all restrictions and requirements, my church became a drive-in church where with all wisdom and following the rules, other people and I were able to attend services. My Host Family trusted me so much so they let me go to drive-in church every single week knowing that I would follow all the rules and would not put them at risk. Can you imagine how big this trust is? Would you ever trust that much a person you knew nothing about and who just came 9 months ago from a different country? When the world was falling apart, my Host Family did not take away from me something that I treasured the most. I believe this trust made our relationships stronger than ever. My Host Family is a big blessing I have being an Au Pair in the USA.

Last but not least, the life of my Host Family and mine became more fun. Since we had a chance to spend a lot of time together, we were looking for fun things to do. In November I met two farmers who live not far from our house. They had a lot of chickens. One day during the quarantine, my Host Family decided to visit the farmers (obviously following social distancing rules). And guess what? We ended up getting two fresh eggs. I guess you are starting to get a point I am going to. The Host Mom decided that itbewould fun and good idea to hatch the eggs. That very day, she found someone on Facebook, who was selling an incubator, and she bought it.It was hard for me to believe that we could have real chicks in a house.Few weeks later, Twitty Bird and Lilly were born. Our family grew. And it kept growing because we got a puppy. We already had the cutest dog Baila, but we got her a friend. Her name is Gigi.

baby chicksPeople might say that quarantine ruined their lives. Others might say that it helped them a lot to become a new person, to improve any kind of relationships and just spend time without any rush. I am going to be the person who is going to say that THANK YOU. This pandemic did not make my life any harder. On the contrary, it made it easier. I was ready to help my host family with anything every day, because that what family does: cares, helps and loves. I helped my “little sisters” to finish their school year successfully so they are ready to move on to the next grade. I tried my best to make sure that the parents weren’t having a hard time working from home since the kids were also there. Everyone was doing what they had to do and it was pretty good.

What happened at the end? Now, I am looking forward to spend another year with my Amazing Host Family. I am sure it is going to be unforgettable. They are my “home away from home”. That is why I want to say thankyou, my Host Family, for making me feel like I belong to you, that I am a part of your family and thank you for your love, support and trust.You are the biggest blessing in my life.

I love you, Alla, Michael, Eliana, Mariella, Baila, Gigi, and our chickens.

Shonna Anderson


Shonna has worked for Go Au Pair for 9+ years. She started as a Placement Coordinator creating connections between Host Families and Au Pairs. Then moved in to the Au Pair and International space working with Au Pairs from all over the world. Now she writes helpful, inspiring, and fun content for Go Au Pair. If you are interested in sharing your experience, or if you have questions or would like assistance, please reach out to @ShonnaAuPairSis on Facebook or email sanderson@goaupair.com.

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Go Au Pair is one of the best Au Pair agencies in the United States, providing quality child care for over 30 years. Beginning as a nanny company in 1984, we soon expanded to include Au Pairs. We were one of the original Au Pair Program sponsors designated by the department of State in 1989.

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