From day one, Bruna has exemplified the phrase "ultimate au pair!" She came to our family in a time we needed an extra set of hands and help taking care of infant twins. She would not only be our first au pair, but the first person outside of family to care for our girls. To give a little back history, our girls were born 8 weeks premature after an extremely complicated pregnancy and spent a month in the NICU. To say we are overprotective is an understatement. We started the interview process and wondered if we would ever find someone to trust. Then along comes our interview with Bruna. From the first time we met in a video interview, my husband and I felt confident someone else could care for our girls. In just a few minutes, we knew Bruna had a wonderful heart and would fit in with our family. We did our due diligence and followed our interview routine and asked/answered questions, but my husband and I knew we would eventually ask her to match. And boy, are we happy we did! Bruna arrived at our house on a Friday evening and immediately felt like family. That weekend she jumped right in getting to know the girls and settling into a family routine. She understood she was our first au pair. She immediately connected with the girls.
I never imagined we would be able to trust anyone with our girls. I never imagined we could find someone that has become family.
Since Bruna has arrived we have shared many special "firsts" with her and our girls. They all celebrated their first Halloween. The girls and Bruna dressed up and enjoyed celebrating this tradition. Bruna helped decorate the house and set up our Halloween candy table outside. She helped hand out candy to over 300 children! She experienced her first pumpkin patch with the girls and carved her first pumpkin, which was very impressive! Our next "first celebration," was Thanksgiving. We traveled to my aunt's house for Thanksgiving where we celebrated with over 20 people, including friends and family. Bruna had never met most of these people, but that didn't stop her. She fit right in and became a fan of everyone. She had her first traditional Thanksgiving dinner and loved trying all of the food and desserts! She even experienced her first black Friday shopping event at midnight! And through all of this excitement, she even found me, during her off time, and asked if I needed help getting the girls ready for bed, since we were in a new house and had a different routine.
We could not ask for anyone better.
And then comes December, this month is jam-packed with not only Christmas, but we would be celebrating our girls' first birthday! We decorated Christmas trees (and might have went overboard with 4 trees) and put up all of our house decorations. We prepared for a huge first birthday celebration and Bruna was there every step of the way. She helped make desserts and decorate. She was a tremendous help coordinating the party. And, we even managed to fit in family Christmas pictures during this time! Bruna, of course, was part of the picture session and joined in the organized chaos of pictures with one-year-old twins! We shared the tradition of Christmas cards with Bruna and not only did we make family Christmas cards, but Bruna made her own family Christmas cards to send home and share this new experience. On Christmas Eve, everyone opens one present. Bruna had no clue she would be getting matching family Christmas pajamas! Yes, we are that family. We all put them on and celebrated the night watching a Christmas movie and drinking eggnog, and of course, leaving out cookies and milk for Santa. Bruna is an ultimate au pair! In every action, she not only cares for our girls, but she has made them and us part of her family. She makes our life easier! I feel confident when I am not there, that they are getting the best care. I never imagined we would be able to trust anyone with our girls. I never imagined we could find someone that has become family.
We have been introduced to a wonderful new culture through the eyes of Bruna. She has shared many Brazilian traditions. We have learned about traditional food, drinks, and dessert. Bruna has made several dinners to share with us. She made a wonderful brigadeiro dessert for our girls first birthday party and it was a hit, not one left! She has been teaching me how to make it! We have also met her family over video calls and they have shared their traditional Brazilian tea, erva-mate. This is a hot drink made in a special cup (gourd) and is called chimarrao. This drink is extremely popular in Brazil and as a family we were able to watch them make it and enjoy. We can't wait to try it here, once we find the ingredients! Every morning when we wake the girls up we greet them with a "good morning and bom dia (which is good morning in Portuguese)!" Bruna has also translated several Brazilian nursery rhymes from Portuguese to English, so we can sing both renditions to the girls. They love music and Bruna shares their excitement teaching them new things.
Bruna deserves this recognition. She is not here for any other reason than to share in cultural exchange and care for our girls. She is improving her English skills while she is here and she is enjoying experiencing American traditions and culture. But, she is the reason this program works. I can honestly say we hit the jackpot matching with Bruna. She has a wonderful heart. She is a hard worker, organized, caring, thoughtful, cautious with our girls, and respectful. We are not a host family that has many perks to offer. She does not have a car to drive, she does not get extravagant vacations with the family; she is doing all of this because she is a hard worker and truly a good person. We could not ask for anyone better. I would also like to note, there are some things that you just cannot teach. You cannot teach a mother's intuition or care and concern. But somehow Bruna has managed to master this technique. Because our twins were premature, we are very vigilant to any coughs, sickness, or signs of distress, one day one of the girls was coughing and Bruna not only called me when I wasn't home, but managed to video chat with me to show me the cough and we discussed our plan. She immediately knew what to do in this situation and was prepared. She demonstrated how to react in a stressful situation in a calm manner while comforting both girls. This is just another example of how amazing Bruna really is and how much we trust her with our most important treasures! Thank you for considering Bruna for this honor. She really is our "ULTIMATE" au pair!