Host Parents Jake & Rachel made one exchange student’s dream come true by asking her to be their Au Pair. But for Adriana, it meant more than just fulfilling her dream of becoming an Au Pair– in this unique situation, she was able to Au Pair for two of her best friends.
Jake & Rachel are one of the only Host Families who were afforded the opportunity to meet their Au Pair before she joined the program.
How They Met
Adriana was an exchange student living in Las Vegas during high school. She met Jake & Rachel because they were friends with her exchange hosts, and she soon became close with Jake & Rachel, too.
Rachel says they got to know Adriana through “teaching her how to bake ‘Monster Cookies’, and showing her the best places to view Christmas lights during the holidays.” They learned that Adriana “loves chocolate, is terrified of heights, and is truly an extraordinary person with the biggest heart.”
Their relationship quickly progressed to close friendship. Adriana says Jake & Rachel took her out to “try a lot of different foods, to hike mountains and to see different parts of the city that tourists don’t usually visit.”
Having close friends who were involved in contributing to her cultural exchange experience was important to Adriana. She says, “They really changed the way I saw not just the city of Las Vegas, but also how I saw the world and my life.”
In fact, they became such good friends, they still kept in touch even after Adriana went back home. “I invited Jake & Rachel to my [high school] graduation and amazingly, they came! They met my family, we went traveling to several small cities and I showed them my city. My parents grew to love them as I love them!”
Adriana’s High School Graduation
Jake & Rachel were excited to take “a trip to Mexico to be there for this special moment in her life.”
“We spent a week with Adriana and her family, and it was their turn to show us many of the aspects that make their home and culture so wonderful.”
They went hiking, saw “Aztech pyramids, explored underground caves, and ate the most delicious food wherever we went!”
The trip gave Jake, Rachel, & Adriana the chance to grow even closer as friends. “They became my family,” Adriana says.
During this trip, Adriana also divulged her dreams of coming back to the U.S. as an Au Pair. She says, “Of course, they supported me and cheered me all along the way as I completed my application.”
Soon, Jake & Rachel’s trip to Mexico came to a close. Rachel says Adriana’s family were wonderful hosts. “Her family’s hospitality and kindness was incredible, and it was easy to see where Adriana got her charm.”
Of course, Jake & Rachel planned to keep in touch with Adriana and her family. But little did they know they were about to make their favorite exchange student’s dream come true.
“Then,” Adriana says, “something amazing happened.”
An Exchange Student’s Dream Come True
“Two months after that trip, we found out we were expecting a new addition to our family,” Rachel says. “It was as if it was fate, and we immediately knew that we wanted Adriana to come be a part of our family.”
Jake texted Adriana and told her the good news.
“I started to cry!” she says. “I was so happy for them!”
Then, Jake sent the message that would help Adriana fulfill her goal of becoming an Au Pair.
“They asked me if I wanted to be Bryant’s Au Pair and of course I said, ‘YES!’ I was so excited.”
They began making preparations for Adriana’s arrival. Rachel says, “We were all so excited to be together again. Here in Las Vegas, we were preparing Adriana’s room, as well as the baby’s. In Mexico, Adriana finished her Au Pair requirements and began buying matching outfits for herself and the baby.”
“My parents were so excited and happy,” Adriana says, “because they knew I was going to be in a good, loving family.”
Their placement was already set up for success. Because of their friendship and visiting together in Mexico, all three of them already knew what to expect from one another. They already had the rapport that would make their transition easy and would allow them to communicate clearly. All that was left was to welcome Adriana into her new (second) home-away-from-home.
“A Fairy Tale”
Jake & Rachel say the entire experience was “a fairy tale from the start.” Rachel says one of the most important things was knowing her baby was cared for by someone who loved him while she was away at work.
Jake says, “She’s not just our Au Pair, she’s our best friend. She’s like my little sister. He adds, “I feel like that’s how everyone should think of the experience, anyway,” saying that even though their situation is a bit different than most Host Families, part of the value of participating in the Au Pair program is the bond that develops between the Au Pair, the Host Parents, and the kid(s).
“Sometimes they’re more excited to see [the Au Pair] than they are you. That’s a good thing, I think… Just because, they’re with your kid a lot. So, it’s nice to see that.”
For Adriana, this experience has been an exchange student’s dream come true. “It was amazing how I was feeling the first month of being an Au Pair. I was so happy I couldn’t even describe it! I would go to bed with a big smile, feeling really good because I got to take care of a perfect baby and be with Jake and Rachel, who are awesome people.”
How Their Relationships Have Grown
Adriana goes on to describe her relationship with Jake & Adriana.
“Jake means a lot to me. He is like my big brother. I can talk to him about everything. He’s the person that I know is there to listen to me and he always has something to tell me to make me feel better. I love to joke about everything with him. He loves to cook and try new things and he makes the best Dorito burgers.
“Rachel, she’s just the best human being, friend, sister, mom! She can make the perfect weekend, week, or day. She always has a good plan for us. We can talk all day and never stop! She always is there for me. This last year we became closer friends and it’s awesome how sometimes we think the same way. I love to spend time with her.
“Bryant is the perfect baby, for real! He is just so funny and cute and we truly enjoy our time together. I really love to spend time with him and take care of him. He’s growing up so fast, and that makes me so happy. He’s a lot of fun!”
Jake & Rachel say that their lives are forever changed by their relationship with Adriana. She’s extended her stay and will complete a second year with them. Even after the placement has ended, she will forever be a part of their family.
“Adopting” Extended Family
Rachel explains, “One of our ‘AHA’ moments, in which we knew our lives had changed for the better, occurred recently over the holiday break. Adriana went back to visit her family in Mexico, and we went to visit our family in Iowa. Early Christmas morning, we received a message from Adriana’s mother, thanking us for watching over Adriana and for making her a part of our family. She went on to say that she is even more excited to chat with her daughter now because she gets to see our son, Bryant, grow. Throughout her message, it was apparent that our two families were becoming one. We are now working to get Bryant’s passport so he can meet the rest of his new family in Mexico and we are brushing up on our Spanish as well.”
This placement truly embodies what the Au Pair program was designed to accomplish: building worldwide relationships that last far longer than the 1-2 years an Au Pair can stay with a Host Family.
Adriana is looking forward to her second year with Jake & Rachel.
She says, “I’m so thankful to be with them all. They always look out for me and take care of me. They let me take opportunities and always support me. I love living with them and hanging out with them because we have such a good time together. I’m so blessed and lucky to be in such a good family. My host family [is] the #1 host family in the USA!”
Adriana, Rachel, & Jake Share Their Insights on What Makes a Placement Successful
Adriana, Rachel, & Jake were all more than happy to share their individual experiences in video interviews with the Au Pair Sis. Watch their videos or skim the time stamps (below) to hear more of their incredible story.
0:48 – Why Jake wanted to host an Au Pair
1:57 – Cultural exchange
2:47 – Relationship with Adriana
3:52 – Signs your placement is going well
5:35 – #1 Tip for Host Families
“Include them in everything. Make them a part of your family, because they are a part of your family. For either year, or two years… They’re watching your kid every day… how you treat your Au Pair is going to be reflected in how they [care for] your kid.”
6:38 – How Jake would screen & interview for a 2nd Au Pair
7:05 – Why other families should host an Au Pair
00:59 – How to communicate successfully
2:01 – Why communication is so important
2:42 – How to start communicating with a new Au Pair
“Finding out as much about their culture as they’re finding out about ours, that back and forth, is what really helps develop that relationship.”
3:08 – Facilitating bonding
“We really created our bond just by showing her our city, showing her things that we love about Las Vegas… just talking with her about things she likes about her city.”
3:52 – Cultural exchange
4:30 -Welcoming Adriana into the home
4:58 – How to bring up an uncomfortable subject with your Au Pair or Host Parents
5:59 – # 1 Tip for Host Families
6:21 – How Adriana has impacted Rachel’s life