Pamela is simply an AMAZING au pair for our family! Although we have had 3 au pairs previous to hosting her, she is the most diligent, personable, caring, kind person we could have ever asked for to take care of our children. She joined our family the 3rd week of March, 2020 when the pandemic was really beginning to take hold, so it hasn't been the easiest time to become part of a family! Not only has she managed to successfully juggle on and off virtual learning for our 5 year-old Kindergartener, Elana for almost a year, she also immediately fell in love with our baby boy, Rhodes as soon as she laid eyes on him, who was only 3 months old when Pamela came to us and just celebrated his 1st birthday recently!
From being an excellent driver, providing excellent and healthy meals for our children, instilling her love of fried plantains, red beans, & rice in us through shared cooking experiences, helping to make birthdays and holidays meaningful through her giving spirit, to taking initiative on anything that simply needs to be done around the house, Pamela is always on top of things-I trust her more than anyone else to take the best care of my children while my husband, Brian and I continue to navigate the intricacies of working from home during these challenging times.
Although she is already a 2nd year au pair, Pamela will be extending another 6 months with us this year because none of us can bear to have her not be a part of our family! We have a running joke that she will finally be able to separate from our family once Rhodes has gone off to college :-)
I can't think of a more deserving candidate who could navigate the uncertainty that these times have brought us and do it with more grace, compassion, selflessness, and work under somewhat ambiguous conditions as each new week has seemed to throw new challenges and ways of working our way.
Pamela has not only been a saving grace for Elana and Rhodes, but for us as well. She has twice foregone the opportunity to visit her family back home in Ecuador in order to help keep us safe during COVID, sacrificing her own needs for the benefit of our family at-large and I would love to be able to give that opportunity back to her as soon as it can become a possibility once again.
Here is an example of the care that Pamela shows our children on a daily basis: She arrived at home the other day with surprise balloons, a homemade 2-tier SpongeBob SquarePants lemon cake (she calls Rhodes SpongeBob because they have the same laugh), cupcakes, candles, and thoughtful presents for our son's 1st birthday because she knew that we haven't been going out much due to COVID and wanted him to have a proper birthday celebration.
Pamela has been through thick and thin with us through the global pandemic! She braved the unknown when we decided to visit Brian's parents during the pandemic. We all ended up staying longer than originally expected! In the process, she had some great experiences and learned to love Karen and Kip as her own parents. She still talks with them on almost a daily basis and asks them often for support and guidance in her own life. She is now regarded by them as "one of their children".
Pamela is helping to teach Spanish to our 5 year-old, Elana, who has really taken to it and developed quite an authentic accent! They often read bilingual books and practice speaking together. Pamela and Elana have quite a special bond-often times, Elana tries to follow Pamela somewhere even after they have spent all day together crafting, reading, learning, and playing Hide And Seek. And what to say about Pamela and our 1 year-old, Rhodes? I have never seen a more beautiful bond between 2 people than what they share. The love was instant the first day they met (Rhodes was only 12 days old)! Pamela can make him belly laugh like no one else-his eyes light up the room when she enters. She takes such wonderful care of our son and it really shows in his language, physical, and emotional development over the past 9 months that she has been with him from early infancy to becoming a young toddler. I can't really imagine them not being together forever, so I'll prefer not to think about that until I have to!