Julia is not our au pair, but a family member that we found through AuPairCare when we expecting our first child. While we interviewed many lovely girls that the company thought would be a good match, we instantly felt Julia was the perfect young lady to join our family. We talked multiple times before our daughter was born and were excited to Skype with her mom to let her known that we would love Julia to join us. One week later our daughter was born and we Skyped with Julia's whole family to introduce our newest family.
Three months later, we picked Julia up from the airport and the adventures began. She shadowed my momma for a week to pick up little Annika's routine, which she enthusiastically did and executed beautifully. My husband was in residency at the time and both of our hospitals required call and sometimes chaotic hours. Julia always went with the flow and smiled through even the most arduous days of a "boogerly" baby. She traveled with me for work conferences and even the 16-hour drive as we moved to our new home in Texas for my husband's fellowship. I could not function/work without her. There are no tears when I have to leave for an emergency at my hospital or my husband leaves for his. Julia steps in and takes care of her just as I would, only with the exuberance of a 19-year-old, but with just as much love.
On afternoons when I'm covering call from home, I find Julia scrapbooking about her life in the US. Documenting with photos and crafts from Michael's, she has created a book that I'm honored includes my family. The care she has put in just this book is only a glimpse into how she cares for my babies. I say babies, because our Maltese/Yorkie knows her as family and is often found cuddling up to Julia. Julia has even helped with getting Matilda through airport security on one of our many flights to visit family.
Through life ups and downs, Julia was there for us. From watching Annika in the middle of the night when both my husband and I needed to work, and even a midnight trip to the emergency department when I became violently ill, Julia always stepped up. She's even smiling through the stress of extended family visits when our house turns into a zoo. Life is not all play, but even when Annika has her moments of being a booger, Julia is right there to guide her back to behaving like a civilized individual. Julia also speaks/sings to Annika in German, so now at 19 months Annika understands and can say many words in German and English.... which is very important to us since my husband is from Vienna, Austria and his family doesn't speak English. With my husband working so much, Julia is able to fill in some of the cultural gaps and help raise Annika with some of the traditions that he wishes he had the time to teach Annika about.
Not only is Julia a wonderful addition to our family, but she's also an exceptional friend to other au pairs. We had the pleasure of having some of her friends over for dinner and have been pleasantly surprised by the many young ladies that are on this 'au pair journey' as well. When her mother visited a few weeks ago, after not seeing her daughter for 16 months, all I could do was hug her and thank her for sharing Julia with us. After meeting her mother, we now know why we have the world's greatest au pair. Kindness, a strong work ethic, and a smile that must be genetic. Whether Julia wins this contest or not, the Pfeiffer Family won when Julia joined our family and we win every day when our daughter kisses her goodnight before we put her to bed. We forever have a family member from Chemnitz, Germany because of this au pair program and for that, we are forever grateful!
The Pfeiffer Family