Juanita came to live with us a month and some ago.
We've been participating in the Cultural Care Au Pair program for many years now. Juanita is our fifth au pair in six years. Maya stayed with us the longest and then Lisa... they will always be a part of our family. Overall, it's a wonderful program for the girls that come to the United States and for the families that host them.
We waited anxiously for Juanita's arrival as we tried to be 'normal' parents taking our children to day care each morning... and picking them up. It was a great experience, but I'm glad it's over. I learned, I can't do it all.
The kiddos are glad it's over too, especially William. He didn't do well staying at school all day. It was exhausting and isolating for him. If we arrived to pick them up after the afternoon snack (around 5pm) which happened way to often, he'd be so upset all he could say was, You're too late.... You're too late... After a month, it never got better. In fact, it got worst.
One evening before leaving for a trip, both Dave and I had to go into work the next morning so we were going to drop the boys at school then pick them up and leave. William was beside himself all night. I couldn't figure out what was wrong. For nearly three hours I tried to console him without any success. Finally he said, A week is too long. My heart dropped. He thought we were dropping him off and leaving him at school for a week.
That was when I made a pack with William that I would never leave him... and when I prayed for the day when Juanita would arrive to come sooner than planned.
She arrived on a Saturday afternoon, two days earlier than planned. I was told she was 'the best au pair ever' by her previous LLC (aka program coordinator). So far... she's spot on!
Juanita is not only a beautiful girl, she is warm, friendly, relaxed, loving, organized... the list goes on. She's also really neat. She just makes life flow smoother.
The boys took to her right away. It's as if she's always lived here.
As for William, his world has been righted. He is even learning Spanish... he says 'por favor' when asking for something and 'gracias' when he recevies it. It's priceless.
Muchas Gracias a Dios!
About the photos... I couldn't decide which to post, so I'd thought I'd share all three versions. The full color is obviously the original. It was a bit over exposed so I tried some other things with it. The second one was my 'Ralph Lauren' version - with the greenish tint - it's a look used in some of their recent ads. It gave her a rich, timeless, down-to-earth look. The first photo was my first attempt at making a high-contrast black and white. I ended up giving it a cream tone to warm it up a little. I thought it really played up her eyes.
Just goofin' really... which did you like the best?