We had our first interview for a respite person today. It's kind of a big deal because while I am really eager to get this going and have help, I also want the right person to be in my house and alone with my child. I'm sure you understand.
I had a list of questions prepared. Things like, if Sadie screamed for hours and hours and you couldn't get her to stop, what would you do? Or, What is your experience with children? With special needs children? I wanted to know her feelings on cloth diapers, and if she was okay helping with chores, is she allergic to cats? And can she drive a stck shift?...because my car is a stick and that's the one with the baby seat. I also wanted to make sure she is physically able to bounce Sadie on the ball, take her for walks in the stroller, and play with her on the floor.
At 1:30, Zahira (pronounced "Cida") rang my doorbell. She wasn't what I was expecting, but ended up being so much more!
We talked for a little bit, I asked her some questions, she seemed to have all the right answers, I learned that she's 20, and going to school to be a behavioral health counselor. She's worked since she was 16 taking care of disabled adults and children. Right now she mainly works with an after school daycare for boys with behavioral special needs (she said many of them are autistic).
Then I handed her Sadie and that's when the magic started to happen. It was love at first sight...for both of them. Soon Zahira was on the ball, and Sadie was asleep in her arms, with the pacifier. Sadie loved every second of it, and when she woke up, she thanked Zahira with one of those magical smiles.
The best thing about Zahira is that she was willing to do anything. She said she doesn't know how to drive a stick, but was willing to learn. She had no experience with cloth diapers, but wanted to learn to sew so she could help me make them (and to know how to sew). She said she likes to clean and would definitely help with housework. And she was very flexible with her schedule, she even said she would come over on the weekend so Brian and I could go on a date!
Once Sadie was awake, Zahira changed her diaper, then they played on the floor together with Sadie's toys. She sang to her and kissed her and loved on her a lot. She was like an instant member of the family. She told me she has 7 sisters (no boys!!) and 16 nieces and nephews, so she really likes babies...and it was obvious.
I have another person to interview tomorrow, but I think I already know I want Zahira.