This is long, but worth the read. Where to start? How do you write and put into words a description about someone who rescued you and your children on more than one occasion, someone who prayed for you, someone who gave you peace of mind, taught your children, and went the extra mile to nurture and love them as their day-time mom? I don’t know, and will probably not do her justice, but let me tell you about Lisa and share our story. I was a full time Speech Language Pathologist and part time sales person, working crazy hours with a sweet 3 year old little girl and another one on the way. My daughter, Annabeth, went to a very small in-home daycare literally around the corner from Lisa and her provider was more like an out-of-home nanny. She started with her when she was only 3 months old. Right before Christmas of that year, she let my husband and I know that she would be done doing the daycare and be working full time out of the home so we had just 3 weeks during the holidays to find a new daycare for Annabeth. I felt desperate. The thought of a huge daycare center made me sick. I work in preschools and school systems and I was not ready for that for my little girl. I wanted her loved on, taught, nurtured and kept safe. How could I leave her with people she didn’t know? She had been so attached to her other provider and we loved her. After a frantic search, some terrible interviews, and total happenstance, we found Lisa. I called her and she happened to have a little girl just move away and had a spot until summer. That was not luck. That was God. My husband and I brought Annabeth over to meet her and check out Lisa’s Family Daycare. I walked in and met her and literally had to fight back tears. I knew that this was the place for us, that Annabeth would be loved, that she would be safe, and that she would learn and grow here. 5 minutes. That was all it took. When you know you know and when I left, both Lisa and I had tears. Annabeth started with her that week and stayed until the end of my school year. Annabeth loved her “auntie” and had the best time getting mani- pedi’s and playing outside and in the pool. Unfortunately, Lisa did not have room for her in the fall as the spot had previously been spoken for, but our story wasn’t over. In the late spring, when my new baby, Aria, was born, we hired an in-home nanny who took care of both girls. It was perfect. My baby was home with her sister and my kitchen was clean every day when I came home. They loved their nanny, however she was a bit unreliable at times and her whole family was in California. In April, when Aria had just turned 1, our nanny went to California on vacation and called us and never came back. Again, we were desperate and heart broken. Friends and family helped get us to the end of the school year filled in to help care for the kids until I had the summer off. Of course we called Lisa. In the summer, she had a spot for Aria and could continue with her for the next year when Annabeth and I headed to school. That summer, my husband moved out, my 5 year old started Kindergarten and my 1-year old started with Lisa and I was now working three jobs. My husband and I were about to go through a very difficult divorce. I was a mess. To say that Lisa gave me hope and encouragement on a daily basis is an understatement. She made me feel loved, safe and I knew that at least this one part of my life made sense. Aria was more than fine, but started to deal with some separation anxiety as her little life was in turmoil. Lisa made her feel safe and every day she would send me messages to let me know that Aria was okay and had quickly stopped crying and was playing with her friends. Lisa helped potty train her when the rest of the kids weren’t ready, which is no small feat, because Aria was ready at 16 months. Aria would bring home crafts on a weekly basis and learned so much. She took adventure walks, went on field trips, had music and dance class, swam in the pool and played outside. Lisa’s was perfect. She loved my baby like her own and cried along with me when I was overwhelmed at pick up at the end of the day. Lisa was truly my friend and I couldn’t have gotten through that year without her. In the spring of that year, just before Aria turned two, Lisa called me at work. I will never forget her words. Her voice was strong, but scared and helpless sounding. “Kylee, Aria had a seizure. She’s going to be okay, but we are getting in the ambulance.” My heart stopped. The ambulance. Aria had been sick for a couple days prior, but had been fever free for a day, so we sent her to daycare. Apparently, she wasn’t through the illness. I was 40 minutes away. I grabbed my stuff and flew to the hospital barely able to think. I had no idea how long the seizure was, what the cause was, or what damage was done. I worked with kids with seizures. I was petrified. By the grace of God, Lisa’s son was home from college. He helped with the daycare some, so was able to stay with the other children so that Lisa could go with Aria in the ambulance so she wouldn’t be alone. When I got to the hospital, Aria had settled, but cried when she saw me. Lisa cried harder. She loved Aria so much and had been so scared. As she told me the story, I thanked God for Lisa. She knew exactly what to do, she stayed calm in the moment, and protected my baby. We were able to take Aria home that night with hopes of no more seizures. We stayed home for a couple days and poor Lisa didn’t sleep for almost a week as she was having nightmares and kept waking up thinking about Aria. I would not want anyone else to have been with Aria during her seizure, and I’m sure Lisa feels the opposite, but I trusted her with Aria’s life and when she needed it most, Lisa was there. Lisa is the epitome of motherly love. She’s the best provider I have ever met and one of the best people I have ever met. To conclude our story, my mother was diagnosed with Leukemia right around the time of Aria’s seizure, my divorce happened a few months after and we sold our home. I needed to be with my family. My girls and I moved home to Maine that summer. Leaving Lisa was one of the hardest things I have had to do and my heart broke for my girls as they had been so attached to her. Lisa had watched Annabeth on occasion when she had a kiddo absent or in the summers when her enrollment was down. When we said our final goodbyes, we all cried. Lisa was our rescuer and as I am writing this in tears, I’m reminded of those times when I felt desperate, when I felt helpless and sad, and when I had no idea where life would take me and my girls. Lisa was safe. Lisa was loving and nurturing. Lisa cared for my girls, and she cared about and prayed for me and with me. Nothing will ever replace what she did for us as a family or what she did for me as a friend. I will never forget her kindness. God worked through Lisa to help us and it was so evident every day. There should be a million Lisa’s in the world to care for people’s children and be their day-time mom and special “auntie”.

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