Read about one of our Ultimate Au Pair finalists, Mafe from Colombia, and find out why her host family from Minnesota thinks she is such an amazing person!
Maria "Mafe", our amazing Au Pair, joined us nearly 2 years ago in April 2013. What we imagined would be the arrival of Spring and our new family member turned into a blizzard and angst about her flight being diverted to another city. But her flight indeed landed in Minneapolis, and my husband made a treacherous 4-hour round trip hike to the airport. Mafe arrived at our home with an infectious smile and a heart of gratitude. She was thrilled about the snow and excited to meet her American family. Nearly two years later, I can only express what a beautiful soul Mafe has as I attempt to describe what she means to our family.
Nearly two years later, I can only express what a beautiful soul Mafe has as I attempt to describe what she means to our family.
When Mafe arrived, she was greeted by our three children (Nika, age 11, Elijah, age 9, and Anneliese, age 2). We recently added a fourth child, Gabrielle, in March 2014. Our children run (or crawl) to Mafe's arms when they wake up (even when she's not supposed to be working). Without exception, she greets them with warm smiles and hugs. She cooks breakfasts and lunches from scratch while holding baby Gabrielle and singing in Spanish to our toddler. She makes elaborate art projects with our son Elijah, and she instructs our daughter Nika how to apply make-up and style hair.
During Mafe's time with us, our 2 year-old was diagnosed with a terminal metabolic disorder, which has been an emotional and heartbreaking situation for us. Mafe has cried with us, prayed for us, and she has never let us down. She has attended hundreds of therapy sessions and doctor appointments. She has learned all of Anneliese's therapies and ensures they are completed each day. Yet she also makes sure Anneliese gets to do things other children get to do " like play on the playground, go swimming, and ride a tricycle (all of which takes a great deal of effort since Anneliese is unable to walk). Mafe continues to do all of this for Anneliese every day (with Gabrielle strapped in an Ergo baby carrier) with an infectious smile. Mafe says she is grateful to have Anneliese in her life, and it is truly inspiring to see the bond between Mafe and Anneliese.
Not only has Mafe become part of our family, but she has given us the opportunity to become part of her family. During her first year with us, her parents visited for a couple of weeks. Her dad cooked Colombian cuisine (amazing!) and her mom conversed with our older children in Spanish and taught our toddler songs in Spanish. During Mafe's second year, her mom and her little cousins also visited for a month each. We have enjoyed blending our American culture with her family's Colombian culture. We feel blessed to have been able to provide our children with an opportunity to learn more about the world through Mafe and her family.
Before meeting Mafe, I had never met someone with so much love for life, with such a grateful heart, and selflessness so rare. What an amazing person and au pair she is!
Read stories from other Ultimate Au Pair finalists.