By hosting an au pair with Au Pair in America, host families often gain life-long family members.
Tammy Harrow, a former Au Pair in America au pair from the United Kingdom, knows just how true this statement is. Hosted in 1987, Tammy (pictured above with her host child’s son) is still incredibly close with her host family today. Recently, she described the impact of her experience with Au Pair in America – along with her only regret. The following is her story:
At 22 years old I was part of the second batch of au pairs travelling to New York on January 19, 1987. Apart from a day trip to Calais, I had never left the U.K. or flown before, so to say I was nervous was an understatement.
I’ll always remember my first breakfast in New York – bacon covered in maple sauce (unheard of in the U.K. in those days) – and my first trip to visit a deli in the clothing district of the city. I’d never had a sandwich so big it needed a stick to keep it together!
After plans changed with my first host family, I was given the opportunity meet a potential new family with two delightful little girls, who kept a Kosher household, which meant I would be able to learn new skills and have new experiences and opportunities.
It was very important to me to be involved as a family member, and I was extremely lucky that they were keen that their children were able to experience other cultures. They welcomed me with open arms and still do to this day. I have been so lucky to be able to see the girls grow and have families of their own.
They were more than happy for me to be involved in family events and to be able to have my own cultural events, including Christmas – I was allowed to have my own Christmas tree and to cook a Christmas lunch not only for us, but also for other au pairs. They even arranged for me to attend church on Christmas Eve with one of their neighbors. I have been fortunate enough to be welcomed into their extended families too; I still have gifts from the grandparents to this day.
I love travelling to see them as often as I can and have been lucky enough to have been able to visit other parts of America in the company of the family and in particular the host mother. The opportunity afforded by Au Pair in America has widened my horizons and enabled me to see America through an American’s eyes, not those of a tourist. It was an amazing and super positive experience for me and one that I would highly recommend.
I hope you will be as lucky I was to have been matched with a family who wanted another member of their family. My only regret was that the program wasn’t longer.
Interested in gaining a life-long, international family member like Tammy? Learn more about hosting an au pair with Au Pair in America.