We love celebrating our au pairs here at AuPairCare. Every year we hold an Ultimate Host Family Contest that celebrates participants who embody the spirit of the au pair cultural change program. Our au pairs, however, aren’t the only ones who make this program great – amazing host families across the country are highlighted as nominees for our Ultimate Host Family contest! Au pair Stefanie from Germany submitted a heartwarming story about her host family, the Derover family. Read on for more!
Why do you have the Ultimate Host Family?
The special bond and relationship that I have to everyone in my host family is amazing! I truly can say that I found a home and second family here in the US. I have grown so much in the last 1,5 years and it is incredible to look back and see where I started. I truly feel like a part of their family. We share so so many beautiful memories together and I couldn't imagine being somewhere else even in hard times during this pandemic. I felt welcome from the moment my host dad picked me up from the airport. My host mam is the best listener and we had so many amazing and emotional conversations. We truly shared our life with each other and I feel totally respected, loved and valued. I can be my self and I enjoy and love my time with my host kids so much!
My whole experience here and essentially with my Hostfam is amazing. I couldn't have asked for anything more. I'm so happy here! They are definitely my ultimate Host Family!
What special moments can you share?
My Host family has always been really supportive, respectful and open. I think this is their biggest positive influence because that's what made me feel so good around them. I don't feel like I have to walk on eggshells and can truly be myself. And because I could / can be myself I have grown so much. One of the biggest personal things I learned during this time is that I focus on myself no matter what other people expect me to do. I have such a positive mindset and without a positive atmosphere, it probably would have been much harder. That's why I think respecting and loving me for who I am is their biggest positive influence.
There are so many special moments but some of my favorites are definitely the trip to the beach. We went crabbing with the kids and it was so much fun! The kids had the best time there and it made me feel so happy to see how much they enjoyed this special time. Other special moments are definitely combined with the milestone my little host kid had. The first steps, walking, talking, the first "I love you" when he says my name in the cutest way ever! I just could keep going with this list. I also really enjoyed the "simple" moments like when we had a good laugh together (there were so many), a good talk, hikes, movie nights and so much more. Also on of my favorites is when I told them that I would like to extend my time with them.
How have you and your host family shared your culture with each other?
I think the best way to share the culture with each other is to celebrate special things. As an example thanksgiving. It's definitely my favorite holiday here! I had the chance to celebrate it two times with them and I can't wait to "bring" this experience back home and celebrate it back there with my loved ones. I loved doing a word of the week with my host kids. Every week we would pick a German word for them to learn. I also loved sharing "Nikolaus" with them.
I think they made me feel home with being open, honest and loving.
They include me in everything but they also respect when I have other plans. I think we really found a good balance with all those things and to know that I'm always more than welcome is definitely a big big part for me to feel home.