Yes, I am one of THOSE women. The one who drops the au pair off at the birthday party to watch the kids. I never used to be THAT woman, in the Chanel sunglasses and prada ballet flats. But, five years later, I have a successful business that demands my time and the solution – for me – to managing that business and providing for my family’s needs has been having an au pair.
Our year with our Russian au pair is coming to a close (way too quickly if you ask me) and I found (through our agency – Cultural Care) a lovely 24-year old Brazilian woman. I’ve spent weeks cultivating our host-mom/au pair relationships through e-mail and web chats and IM chats. Then, on Friday, she went for her visa interview and her visa application was – I didn’t even know this could happen – rejected.
It’s ironic, because my one concern about Luciana was that her English skills were lacking. Apparently the Consulate agreed. I am sure, in the end, this will be a good thing – I won’t have to struggle to communicate with someone who is adjusting to a new culture and language during her first ever visit away from home. However, now I have to start from scratch finding an au pair.
Before I even knew there was a problem, Cultural Care had a new au pair for my consideration. And she seems absolutely lovely from her application materials. Her English skills are advanced, she has worked with kids the same age as mine, and she’s a highly experienced driver. The problem is that she happens to be visiting her uncle (thank God her brother speaks English and was able to tell me this) and whatever phone number I was given in Berlin either isn’t working, or the recorded message is telling me I’m an idiot for trying the number a thousand times today. Thank God for Skype. Seriously. Otherwise I’d be spending a fortune trying to call Germany.
So I don’t know how to reach this girl. I even asked my friend who is living in Germany to help figure this out. I tried google-ing the phone number. I looked up instructions for how to dial. Something is not working and I am completely stressed out trying.
I hate being in flux. I like to know who the au pair is, that she would like us, that she is coming, and that it is settled. I’d just gotten my 4 yo accustomed to the idea that Aleksa is leaving (very sad!) and Luciana is coming (very happy – drawing pictures to send her for Christmas!) and now she is very confused (“What’s a visa?”).
If I had time for all of this drama, I wouldn’t need an au pair in the first place….