I might cry writing this because there are some people who come into your life and change your world. Our Aupair Elena is one of those people. I recently nominated her for Aupair of the Year and she was accepted into the Top 15, however, now it goes to online voting. It would mean the world to me if you could take a moment out of your day to celebrate this young lady making a difference in the lives of everyone she meets. You can vote for Elena here. (Please make sure to verify your vote)
Elena is the most kind-hearted person I have ever met. The way she loves and cares for the people around her is a true testament to her character! Here is the essay I wrote to nominate the woman who has taught my son and our family so much about love, life and living in the moment.
“As a first-time mom and career woman with a husband traveling for business 2-3 days a week, I wasn’t sure how we were going to do it anymore after we lost our previous childcare provider due to a family member’s illness. Our family is scattered all over the east coast but the nearest member is still 2.5 hours away so we turned to Cultural Care for help.
As I walked into the baggage claim holding my “Welcome Elena” sign and matching balloons, an Italian girl with a warm smile greeted me. She gave me a huge hug and almost immediately my nerves subsided and transformed into excitement. Elena was funny and warm and fit right into our family dynamic from day one. She was our missing puzzle piece.
Our son Cashton was barely 2 years old when Elena arrived. He was speech delayed and almost non-verbal at the time but immediately took to Elena like a big sister. Elena utilized her teaching background and a structured approach with Cashton. With her help and the service of a speech therapist, I am happy to report, Cash is thriving! Not only is Cash using words, but he has learned his ABC’s, numbers and colors with Elena’s help! I get teary-eyed when I think about how thoughtful Elena is when it comes to spending time with our son. She plans park picnics, crafts, helps with play dates and takes Cash on walks around our new neighborhood.
Elena has not only helped our family in ways I could not even imagine but she is also helpful and creative with everyone she meets. She is an active member of the au pair community, helping others with travel plans and arranging nights out.
Elena has emerged herself in American culture too, traveling to 11 states and over 15 cities in her first year in the US. She loves participating in our family traditions, from family summer vacations in Florida to apple picking in the fall and trips to the pumpkin patch and Christmas tree farm. Elena is the first up and on the scene with a camera in hand and that smile, we all love. She is positive, adventurous, free-spirited and independent, all traits I hope my son will learn from her during our time together.
Elena has been wonderful about sharing her culture with us as well. We frequently Facetime with her family and friends in Italy and have Italian “cooking classes” with Midnight Pasta and Carbonara.
Elena is wise beyond her years and has truly become a member of our family. She has become a close friend, sister, and daughter to us and we are so grateful for the time she is spending with our family. In short, Elena has taught us that blood doesn’t make family, Love does.”
Here are some photos of all the reasons we love Elena.