Gina came into our lives on April 21st, 2019. The initial process of finding an au pair was nerve-wracking and tiring. The thought of having a stranger in our and our children’s lives was not an easy adjustment for our family. My husband I, two daughters and my Mother-in-law live in a small three-bedroom house. We are vegetarians and are of Indian descent living in the US for the last 15 years. Although we have learned and adopted different cultures we are still a very “Indian Family.” Adjusting to and finding an au pair from a different country was going to add a whole new dimension to our family dynamics.
This was the reason we were wary about the decision. We had one strict requirement of having an au pair who is ok to be vegetarian in the house.
After a series of interviews over several months with different candidates, we met Gina for the first time over skype. Right after our first interview both me and my husband felt we had hit the jackpot after several nights of gambling. 😊 Her positive attitude was striking when she answered our question if she had a problem in being vegetarian at home. She immediately answered that she is ok with it as it would be a healthier lifestyle for her. Our first impression of her was that shes a bold, independent, and smart girl. She was working in human resources in Columbia and had a stable job but she had made this conscious decision to try the au pair program and get out of her comfort zone. This set a good impression to me as I do believe that life is precious and every person should take chances and open new doors. As I stated earlier the jackpot prize changed our lives. Gina was the same person I had imagined her to be during our interview. Bold, independent, ready to take up challenges but at the same time being flexible. She merged into our family like she had always been here. Not only did she turn into a vegetarian she was flexible enough to eat spicy Indian food for each and every meal. Well, today she goes to a restaurant and asks for the spicy dishes, whereas a few months ago she had never put her tongue on fire.
Childcare for her has been a breeze too. My children loved her from day one. She took my infant in her arms when she was one month old and she put her to sleep right away. For all the caregivers out there you will know that’s a tough job as infants can feel the energy right off you and are not easy too sooth. Even though she had minimum experience with childcare which mainly involved her nephew we did not feel a pinch as she was open to learning and adapting. Her calm and patient nature was all that was needed to keep my children happy. Now my infant is 9-month-old and she has become a Gina addict.
Sometimes I fail in putting her to sleep where Gina succeeds. My 6-year-old daughter and Gina are an awesome duo, they treat each other like best friends and it took them maybe a few hours to build that relationship. The constant jumping around, giggling and wrestling with Gina or going for long runs with her during Ginas personal time or constantly being in her room, there are no barriers set for my 6 year old daughter.
I thank and appreciate Gina for opening her arms and heart to my children.
Both I and my husband are working and sometimes are days are long. I am also part of a dance troupe and have been performing several times over the last few months. I would have not been able to follow my passion if it was not for Gina and her help. Being a mother of an infant It was so easy to go back to work knowing that I can fully trust the person who is taking care of my child.
Gina has also been following her goal to learn English while she lives with an Indian family who is mainly talking in “Hindi (Indian language)” around the house. 😊 She has been very patient with us as we keep switching between languages. She has been going to free classes in the library and trying very hard to improve over the last months. This is one thing I love about her. She is focused on her goals and is hard working. Her intention to explore new cultures and learn the language has not changed. I appreciate this attitude of hers and feel good about having such a person in our family. I feel happy that after years we will be able to give her an example to our kids.
She is curious about every aspect of Indian culture and is open to our craziness. She has probably heard our stories from India and our experiences from across the globe repeated several times in several versions from me, my daughter and my mother in law. To date, she shows the same interest in our stories with the same enthusiasm.
To us, having Gina in our house and part of our family has helped us to grow to be better human beings.
Over the last year, we have realized how our initial apprehensive feeling of having a stranger living in our house was pointless. Gina made life simple for us. I have also found a friend in Gina. We have spent hours talking about life, food, travel, plants, boys, kids and so on. As a working mother with two kids I feel I do find some sanity in those long conversations 😊 and I am glad that I have a friend (to boss around 😉) living with us.
Many of my friends tell me. “You make parenting look so easy.” Well, I always tell them I have a magic wand. I ask for help and Gina the Genie appears. Wooooooooshhhh!!!!!!
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“After years of stress and frustration, and many different nannies, we decided to look for an au pair. When Veronika arrived on January 2, 2016 our lives were forever changed. We had no idea that a real life Mary Poppins had just arrived!”
“I can honestly say that bringing her to live with us as our au pair has been the best decision we could possibly have made. She has afforded us so many priceless “intangibles” during her time here that I can’t begin to quantify her contributions to our family.”