Ana has been the BEST addition to our family! From Day 1, she has fit in perfectly and our daughter (Emily) truly believes that Ana is her new sister. Ana has been so patient and understanding in learning our "rules", while also offering great advice on how children are raised in Chile. She has changed the way we interact as a family, especially during mealtime! I see constant improvements in Emily's behavior due to Ana's consistency with "manners." It used to be a challenge getting Emily ready for school in the morning, but Ana has mastered this task and Emily goes to school with zero tears. I get the most joy seeing how much Ana and Emily love each other and the attention Emily receives is priceless.
Ana's kindness and energy are contagious and we are definitely a better family because of her. I honestly can't imagine life without her and I would love to adopt her if we could!
We love learning about Ana's Chilean culture and have tried to adopt as many traditions as we can. We sit down for dinner as a family every night and share conversations about our day...and no one can leave the table until everyone is finished! Ana bought us a Chilean cookbook, so we have tried to make some of her favorite dishes. We even had our family friend, who is a bread maker, bake some of Ana's favorite Chilean bread, which definitely reminded her of home. Ana tries so hard to teach all of us Spanish so I want to make more of an effort this year to communicate in her language.
Her positive influence on our daughter has been nothing short of amazing. Our family and friends have noticed a huge difference in Emily's manners, sharing skills, patience and self control. Even with COVID, we have tried to create memorable experiences with Ana. We took a family vacation to the beach, played in the snow, visited a pumpkin patch and Christmas tree farm, and flew to FL to have a real Thanksgiving with my family in 2020. Throughout everything, Ana has felt like the missing piece to our happy, little family.
The Kastrop Family