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Ultimate Au Pair 2019 Finalist: Darlyn from Colombia

2019 Ultimate Au Pair Finalist: Darlyn from Colombia

Darlyn is the sunshine that keeps our family humming along happily amid a multitude of activities. She is an absolutely exceptional au pair. She is filled to the brim with joy and love, and at the same time she is organized, hardworking, proactive, and she helps our busy family keep everything together. All of this she does in two languages! As a result, our children are bilingual, bi-cultural, and joyful - even our two-year-old! We are blessed with one biological daughter and two adopted children. Both of our adopted kids are Hispanic, so having an au pair that speaks Spanish is very important to us. We have tried over the years to have our children learn Spanish in different ways, but having Darlyn living with us and speaking to them every day has made all the difference. She spends time speaking, reading, singing, and on special occasions, watching movies in Spanish with them.

Our youngest child, Jake, was a foster child and we were blessed enough to adopt him two years ago. We wanted to wait until he was two years old to speak Spanish with him so that we could confirm his language skills were strong. The day he turned two, Darlyn began speaking to him in Spanish. To our surprise, he already understood everything we were saying! He had been absorbing it and listening to us speaking in the house, even though we were only speaking directly to him in English. In fact, when we would say, "El necesisita ir a dormir" (He needs to go to sleep), he would cry and say, "No nap, no nap!". He understood! Thanks to Darlyn, our children have the gift of language that helps them embrace their ethnic heritage. Darlyn is a joy to be around, in all circumstances! A family of two working parents, three kids and one dog can be a bit crazy sometimes.

She rolls with the circumstances and spreads joy wherever she goes! On a recent trip to Los Angeles, our flights were delayed, our hotel had to be changed at the last minute due to the tragic Woolsey fire, and right before we left the airport Darlyn discovered that we'd lost Jake's luggage! We would have never noticed if it wasn't for her. After a moment of panic, we all just laughed about it and had a great time shopping for new things for him at the nearest Target.

We love to enjoy "firsts" with Darlyn. She's never made Christmas cookies before, so we are excited to make an evening of cookie making with her. She's never skied before, so we were able to take her to Lake Tahoe and enroll her in ski school. And she brings cultural "firsts" to us as well, teaching our children about how holidays are celebrated in Colombia and how families interact together there. We love learning about each other and exploring new "firsts" together as a family with Darlyn. As we juggle work, family, and life, Darlyn is the one who keeps all of the various activities of our family organized and on time. She remembers who needs to be where, when, all while communicating with us in both Spanish and English. It's a juggling act, and sometimes we have to check our translation apps to be sure we are all on the same page, but it works out really well! She cares for our children as if they were her own, and she brings a dimension of cultural and language awareness to it all that will enrich our lives forever!

The Guardino Family

California

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