Congratulations to all of our host families who have been nominated by their care professionals for our annual Host Family of the Year Award! The live-in caregiver relationship is a unique one, and these families have gone over and above to not only make their care professionals feel welcome, but to encourage their professional and personal growth, as well. We are excited to announce one of this year's finalists - Sean & Hope B. and their family. Learn more about them and the impact they have made on their care professional Nina W. (25, Germany), a Speech Therapist, below:
Let me introduce my wonderful host family to you. First my host parents - Sean, an amazing leader and very caring dad – just don’t give him any pots and pans 😀 and Hope, an ace in political science, very creative with awesome writing skills and an amazing mum to her children. Losing stuff is her hobby but having a competition about who finds whatever is missing first can be really fun! Then there are my host kids. The oldest is Theo, 10 years old, he loves Legos, Minecraft and Roblox, is a very caring brother to his siblings and equipped with great roughhousing skills to make sure I get a proper workout. Then there is Seraphina, 9 years old, very creative and organized, loves karate and playing cello and is a big competitor in being the slowest eater in the family. And last but not least there is Bennett, 2 years old, a train and truck lover and the little sunshine of the family because he is always happy. Oh, I almost forgot to introduce our two cats – Pierce and Franklin. Pierce really enjoys cuddles from the whole family and Franklin is a great hunter for mice.
I found this family during the placement change process and what can I say – it was the best decision to move from New York to Boston. I have been with this family since November 2019 now and I could not imagine having a better family. They do everything to make me feel at home and share every part of their culture with me. I got to experience two American pre-Christmas seasons with the Elf on the Shelf and eggnog drinks and Christmas mornings with matching Christmas pajamas, special meals, that are a tradition in their families, and two Thanksgiving celebrations with a turkey and delicious pies. I also get the chance to share my culture with them. They love it when I cook German food like Schnitzel or Käsespätzle. We had German dinners with my family from Germany because they welcomed my family to their home, so I was able to celebrate my 24th birthday with my real family and my host family, which was really special for me! On Christmas Eve 2019 we also went out for dinner to a fondue restaurant, just because this is a traditional meal on Christmas Eve in my family in Germany and for this year's Christmas Eve we had a little unwrapping present session after dinner, as I do with my family in Germany. I also told them that Germans like to drink wine with Sprite in the part of Germany where I am from (they think it’s disgusting :D). So now whenever I am offered a glass of wine there is a “but we don’t have any Sprite” part of the sentence :D.
I really feel like I’m part of this family! I am invited to everything they do, even when I am off. Sometimes they even hire a babysitter for Bennett, so that I can go out with them. Also, when we order Mexican food, they don’t even need to ask me what I want because they already know what I would order or when the decision is between going somewhere vs. staying home, they already know I am always pro travelling.
We are a great team and the current pandemic made us grow together even stronger. We had circle times in the morning where we discussed our plans for the day and where we shared what we are most thankful for in this different time. We organized tea parties and magic shows, had German lessons, yoga sessions or cooked or baked together to make the lockdown as much fun as possible.
We also share the love for travelling and even 3 young kids don’t hold them back from going places which I think is really cool. Even during the pandemic, they rented beautiful AirBnB’s in New Hampshire and at Cape Cod to give me the opportunity to explore more places in the USA in a safe way. Another thing that makes my host parents really amazing is that they are open to everything and never just say no. We always sit down and talk and they are open to compromises.
I could not just grow personally here, I was also able to grow as a speech therapist because my host family gave me the opportunity to take classes related to my work by adjusting my work schedule and I am really thankful for that.
Thank you so much for being such a wonderful second family to me!