The HIllyer family's essay about their au pair Une from South Africa was chosen as one of 8 finalists for this year's Ultimate Au Pair contest! Read the nominated essay below:
Words cannot even describe how blessed we feel to have our Au Pair here with us, Miss Uné all the way from South Africa. We are the Hillyer family and live right outside of Atlanta, Georgia. We are a blended family with six children, all under the age of eight years old. We have Halle (8), Sarie (7), Landon (6), Farrah & Braden (4), and our newest addition, Fallon (6 weeks).
My husband, Harvey, and I began exploring the idea of getting an au pair last summer when I was about 4 months pregnant. With both of us working and owning multiple companies, I finally came to grips that added help would be a positive for our family and that I would put down the invisible cape that I thought I wore (it was losing all of it’s powers). We immediately contacted AuPairCare and began searching and interviewing for the perfect au pair for our family. I prayed and prayed for God to send us the perfect one. And then we met Uné, my Mary Poppins. From the first time we Skyped with her our entire family adored her. We kept in touch and emailed one another almost daily until she came here in the beginning of November 2014.
What impressed me the most about Uné was her eagerness and willingness to jump on a plane to come 18 hours away from her home into a family that she only knew via email and Skype, and that she was not intimidated whatsoever with the fact that we had five children, and the sixth on the way. Her boldness and positive attitude has stood out since day one, not to mention her gentleness and loving ways with the children. What’s even more precious to me is the fact that she was there during the last month of my pregnancy. On Dec. 3, 2014, I went into labor. I didn’t go immediately to the hospital, as this was not my first rodeo. Instead, she and I went on a 2 mile walk that morning while the others were at school. We went out to lunch, and then went grocery shopping to stock the house with food for everyone. We laughed together and was full of excitement as we timed each of my contractions, knowing that we were probably only hours away from meeting baby Fallon. And when the time came for me to go to the hospital, and my husband had arrived home from work, I felt this complete peace knowing that Uné would be there for the other children and would take care of them. After all, she is not “hired help” in our eyes. She is part of our family. I had baby Fallon later that night at 10:24pm. The following day Uné picked the children up from school and drove them to the hospital for them to meet their new baby sister. The children all climbed in the hospital bed with me and we all gazed at this beautiful baby girl. It was such a sweet moment for me to have them all there.
This past Christmas I couldn’t help but have this overwhelming peace and gratitude as I looked on our mantle to see nine stockings hanging down. Nine! And knowing that there are nine precious heads laying down at night to sleep just puts me in awe. We have a nine-passenger van, and yes, all nine seats are taken, five of which have children carseats in them. While most people would think we are crazy to have such a large family, I feel utterly blessed by God. I know that God brought Uné to our family and blessed us with her. She has afforded me the time and ability to be able to enjoy my sweet newborn, our children, and my husband more. I am so thankful that I am able to share in these moments with them and create all of these precious memories.
I am so thankful that I am able to share in these moments with them and create all of these precious memories.
Uné is an intelligent, adventurous, beautiful, brave, bold, and willing young woman. She is a blessing to our family. There is no question about that. We are grateful.
Read stories from other Ultimate Au Pair finalists!