Finding Yaya

Living in the Philippines makes raising a child much easier compared to very developed countries. I say that because Filipinos are naturally family centered people. You can easily rely on your family for support in raising your children, or find people willing to work as helper in your home.

When I was on my 7th month of pregnancy, I was searching for someone who was willing to become my baby’s nanny. My friends tried to help introduce me to candidates who may qualify. Either the applicants felt intimidated, or they were too demanding. I prayed to God to show me who he will send.

It was not long, I was on my 8th month and I still did not find anyone willing. So, I continued to pray. The Lord gave my husband wisdom to talk to the to ladies who currently worked as our housekeepers that he will make them temporary nannies until we find the “one”.

I then asked my husband to help me find a care giver who could teach the housekeepers about newborn care. We were lucky, because one of Steve’s project managers has a wife who took a care giver course and worked abroad as a nanny. She also happens to be enrolled as a undergrad for Education. In other words, she was willing to teach. So we created a mini curriculum that included – personal hygiene and grooming, newborn care on child handling, bathing, diaper change, feeding, sterilizing bottles and first aid care.

I watched the girls attend their 2 hour sessions for 5 days with Teacher Gladys. We bought a doll and had props for them to practice on. I hear giggles and recitation of the pointers found in their notes. They were having fun.

Among them, we had to choose just one. So to help us in the shortlist, we had everyone checked for hepatitis and TB. I wanted to make sure that the nanny was in the pink of health so the baby will not be infected with any of those contagious diseases.

After the test, we picked the housekeeper who did well in the course. She is smart but scared to hold a newborn. We believed she would be able to overcome that when the baby comes. Also since all the housekeepers took the mini course, any of them now would know the basics of caring for the baby.

When the day I got checked in the hospital our new nanny came to assist. However as I was needing care from the cesarean section operation, I really felt her struggle. I began to see that her strength was more on administrative assignments and caring was not hers. I was slightly worried because if she struggled with me, she would struggle more with the baby. She was honest with us that she was scared holding a frail newborn. I’m so happy my hubby saw this as well and decided to give the nanny position to someone else.

How did we know who to choose? Among all the housekeepers, she was the one that smiled the most when they first saw our baby. Her smile was not just on her mouth it could even be seen through her eyes. She had like an instant connection with my newborn son. I began to realize she was the one The Lord sent. She was not the first choice, but she is God’s choice for us. Her name is endeared and known to my baby as “Yaya Jovy”.

I am a first time mom, and Jovy also a first time nanny. My husband decided to get a midwife to teach us how to care for the baby under a schedule. She came in 8 hrs a day for a week. I thought that was the most valuable investment because it completed the theoretical portion of Jovy’s crash course.

I took to heart what my friend, Anna said. She advised, “You can always teach your nanny things, but what is important is that the nanny LOVES your child.” That is true because love nurtures. I see that with Yaya Jovy, she enjoys and is patient with my little one .

Today, Jovy and Joshua have a wonderful relationship. Most of all, Jovy is obedient she has adjusted to my style of caring. I have learned to have an open heart and to wait for God to reveal the answer to prayers. Initially Jovy was not our first choice, but she ended up to be the “one” that we were praying for.

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