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Keegan, Brian and their three girls, Lilly, Lizzy and Laurel welcomed German au pair Jana last summer. “We really involved the girls in the matching process,” says Keegan. “They loved that Jana knew how to skateboard and couldn’t wait to see what kind of clothes she wore and what she liked to eat. Brian and I were impressed by her close relationship with her family and the fact that she had been a camp counselor back home.”

Keegan: “We Skyped for the weeks before Jana got here, so I didn’t feel like I had a stranger coming into my house by any means.” The family met Jana at the airport with signs and balloons and soon after Jana jumped right into girls’ routine so Keegan and Brian could focus on their demanding jobs. “All of my girls adore her. They really look at her as a role model and a big sister.”

“My favorite memory with Jana has to be Christmas time. She baked cookies with the girls from scratch and helped them with holiday crafts.”

– Keegan Lemek, host mom

Keegan and Brian have used daycare and nannies before but say that with three children under five years old that there was never a better time have an extra set of hands with them at all times. The au pair program has completely transformed the dynamic of their family in a positive way. “Jana has become an extension of our family. It’s created a sense of peace as a mother and for Brian as a father.”

“The number one question when you get an au pair is ‘Is it strange having another person live with you?’ And I can tell you that for us, it isn’t. We’ve created a special place for her, she has her own bedroom, so everyone has their own space that they can go to. You are a family so you do see people’s happy sides, frustrated sides or tired sides. You look at everyone as a family and a family unit, that’s called life. And you just work through it.”