Lemons to Lemonade

After hearing about the crazy stories about Rematch for a few years now, we never expected to be in the middle of that experience. Rematch is the process by which an au pair is rehomed and/or a family relinquishes their current au pair contract and searches for a new au pair or leaves the program. The au pairs and the families in limbo are in Rematch.

We had matched with Julia Schenkel back in January 2019, so it was our longest lead time and we awaited her arrival with much anticipation. After a few days of settling in we swept her up for nine days of family vacation at Newman Lake. We joined Lake to finish out his month of Summer holidays with NanaBaba. We swam, paddle boarded, went canoeing and ate like royalty of Nana’s cooking and baking and Baba’s grilling. I took long sound naps and logged 50 miles of running. We relaxed and laughed with family.

We even celebrated Julia’s birthday a week early with cake and fireworks!

Then all too soon, it was time to say goodbye and thank you to NanaBaba for the loving hospitality.

We headed back to Seattle and as soon as we settled it became slowly but surely clear that Julia was ready to go home to Germany. It was an unexpected development and therefore difficult to accept that she was earnest in her decision to retire the au pair lifestyle, and as soon as possible at that! She thought she could manage two stay for two weeks maximum to tide us over in finding alternative child care. I went into a panic while simultaneously springing to action. We had no time to waste. The agency reopened our account and our Rematch was officially begun. Immediately we began reaching out to au pairs from all nationalities who were also in Rematch for various reasons, the advantage being they were already here in the States, through orientation, onboarded and ready to go. I went through a grieving process about potentially losing our as a German national, right when Lake is about to start German Language School Kindergarten next month. Desperate situations call for desperate measures. We interviewed a Swedish and a Oaxacan au pair. Then by the grace of the universe a German au pair living in Las Vegas names Vivien popped onto the Rematch scene. Her family was opting out of the program. We interviewed her three times and each time the interview was like magic. But each time she wasn’t ready to say yes to matching. Then there was another opportunity that opened up in Las Vegas, another family in Las Vegas in Rematch. I panicked thinking she would prefer to stay in the town where she had already set down roots and made friends. But after interviewing with them while I sweated and prayed, Vivien determined that it wasn’t the right situation for her. She would indeed come to our family in Seattle. Hallelujah! We welcomed her yesterday with a small party, and she said she instantly felt right at home. We’re delighted to host Vivien and happy that Julia, to her great relief, can return home to Germany on Thursday. With a bunch of sweat and hustle we managed to turn lemons to lemonade in just under a week.

All’s well that ends well. Welcome Vivien, we’re so glad you’re here. It’s going to be a great year!

2 thoughts on “Lemons to Lemonade

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