Au Pair Appreciation: Special sensitivity

by cv harquail on May 7, 2009

International Au Pair Appreciation Week

As shared by a Host Mom

My daughters were born in China, and spent 12 and 32 months in an orphanage and in foster care. Ms. Dikun is a certified teacher in China, and we were incredibly blessed to have her join our family for a year. She was our fourth aupair, and second angel. She was my hero the first day she awoke in our home; I had the flu and was out of commission her first weekend with our family. Dikun took over, until I was up and about.

200905061627.jpg The earthquake in China was very close to Ms. Dikun’s home; she never stopped taking care of us, even though it was very difficult for her to be so far from home, when her own country was facing such incredible challenges. Dikun befriended the young children in our local Families With Children From China group, and accompanied us to many events. She was sensitive to some of the unique needs my daughters have, related to their early life and losses.

Dikun often took bike rides and walks with Hannah when she was not working. They enjoyed going to see the sun set. She also took Hannah for walks with another aupair friend in our neighborhood. This meant so much to my daughter, who looks at aupairs as having the ideal life. Hannah was determined to stay awake until midnight on New Years Eve, so she and Ms. Dikun watched a few movies together. Hannah got tired, so Ms. Dikun popped some frozen cookie balls we’d made, into the oven. The chocolate chip cookies helped Hannah make it to midnight.

Ms. Dikun always met me at the door when I returned from grocery shopping, helped me carry bags into the house, and frequently asked if I needed help when she wasn’t working. Dikun was a wonderful model of a young woman focused on her education. She studied most of the hours that she wasn’t working. She attended her classes faithfully. One of my sweetest memories of Dikun is all the times that she sat at our diningroom table with Hannah, in the evening, while they both studied or worked quietly.

Dikun and I had wonderful conversations and she helped me learn things about China that I would never have learned through books. We talked about crime, criminal justice issues, cemeteries, and so many other topics. Dikun extended in a different part of the country, and we keep in contact through e-mail and phone calls. She’ll always be a part of our family, and we’re so thankful she chose to match with us.

Jeana writes the lovely blog Twice Blessed China Mom , where she shares lovely insights about being a mom and enjoying the treasures life brings us.

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