Friday, August 19, 2011

We have a winner!

Well, we finally were able to arrange for a video chat with B. We just got done with that and both T and I agree that she's the one. She was very personable and seemed to have a sense of humor (which is important as we all do in our family) and was very friendly. Her sister was with her so we got to see her and say hello (Sawatdee) which was nice. Now we have a couple months to get to know each other more through email and photos we'll exchange. We are very excited and know the time will go by quickly.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Technical difficulties

So, we were finally able to find time to chat with the two girls from Thailand. We skyped with P and then attempted to video chat with B but she was having internet connection difficulties. So we just instant messaged her for awhile instead. She plans to drive to an internet cafe so we can video chat with her soon. It's a prerequisite that we speak to the girls either on the phone or via video chat before continuing the process. So far we like both girls but we won't make up our mind until we can do the 2nd video chat (there is just something so telling in speaking with someone face-to-face) and exchange a few more emails with the girls.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Next Steps

The home visit went well. Now we need to take the next steps even though we are still on the fence as to what to do. I have a few appointments set up next week at a daycare and Montessori and think I'll get a better feel for things after that. But we want to keep the application process going so I put T in charge of writing our host letter. Basically this tells about our family, kids, pets, lifestyle, city we live in, work schedule, hobbies, hopes for the au pair, etc. While he does that, I will find some photos we can add to the application. These are things our prospective au pairs will be able to view to see if they are interested in us as a family.

We also asked for a few more girls to be added to our account to review. We are interested in South America and Thailand. The girls tend to be older and hopefully a little more mature as well as very family orientated which we like. We want to review several applications before deciding who to contact. Since there will be infant care involved, the au pairs must have 200 hours of prior infant care complete so that is reassuring. Also, we are hoping for someone who is comfortable in the water, if not a strong swimmer as we spend a lot of time at the lake and pool in the summer. They also need to be comfortable with big dogs as we have one large lovable Weimaraner!

Out of the four girls we considered, there are two we are interested in. They are both from Thailand. Now we need to get in touch with them - first via email. They are 12 hours ahead of us so we need to schedule a video chat and that could get a little tricky, trying to work around ours and the baby's schedule and their schedule. We'll keep you posted.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Home Visit

Today we had our home visit and interview with our local coordinator. She wanted to see the room meant for the au pair. Too bad it was filled (and I mean filled!) to capacity with all of J's Legos, toys, Wii game pieces, books and a bunk bed, not to mention all the furniture that was in his bedroom before we re-did it and had yet to go through it all and move it back out! That's a weekend project in itself! But we assured her it would get done and the au pair would have a nice room and plenty of privacy since she'd be the only person on the main floor of the house. It was nice to talk to the coordinator as she was an au pair herself many years ago. She is from Germany and now lives with her husband in the States. The meeting really got us thinking. We're leaning towards going through with this!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Getting the Ball Rolling

Things have been moving pretty quickly. We had a call the day after we submitted our application to set up an interview and home visit already with our local coordinator! We set that about a week out so we could discuss further with each other if this was really something we wanted to pursue. We also wanted to talk to my husband's son J to get his input. (He thought it was weird at first but warmed up to the idea after telling him if things went well, we may be able to visit our future au pair in her homeland. That led to more research and talks about countries that interested us. More on that later.) But before we could do that they placed a "match" in our account to review. She was from Brazil (one of the countries we initially expressed interest in) and seemed to be a good match. They want us to contact her within a few days but we are in no way ready or prepared to do that yet. We want to first have our home visit, decide whether or not we are going to go through with this and THEN start reviewing girls' profiles and contacting those that are of interest. So we will hold off on that for now. to clean the house so we can make a good impression!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

And we're off!

Today I was looking for child care on craigslist and came across a listing for an au pair. It intruiged me so I dug a little deeper. It linked me to a worldwide au pair agency's website which I then forward to my husband T. I never thought he'd go for it but the idea intrigued him as well. We can be impulsive and fly by the seat of our pants at times. But that's never let us down in the past. So we looked more once he got home and decided to fill out the application since they were waiving that fee. We'll see where this goes...