Anyone that ever visited me in Jakarta met Marni. She was with us for almost the entire 6 years that we lived in Indonesia as our "Pembantu". Literally that translates to helper or maid, but for me, it translated as friend. I, who am such a hugely private person and guard my "personal space and time" with all my might, grew very fond of having Marni around 6 days a week. NOT because she cleaned my house, or helped with laundry, or watched Abby when I worked... but because she was such a gentle soul... an amazing person that I enjoyed being around. Now, shy is not the word to describe her... more like a teeny tiny mouse that runs in the opposite direction of anything... but after a while, our family was treated with her true personality. The kids adored her, Joe and I felt so fortunate to have her helping our family.
Well, fast forward and all know we lifted off Indonesian soil almost 2 years ago. We were thrilled when Joe's replacement interviewed Marni and offered her employment. The greatest thing about this is that I have been allowed the ability to "keep in touch" with Marni... and a few months back learned that she was pregnant!!! Something I had secretly (not really secretly... actually very vocally) desired for her once I saw her loving interaction with my children.
I know what an expensive undertaking children are in a country where the equivalent of $140 US a month is more than a living wage. Marni would always tell me that she would love to have a baby, but the financial aspect of bringing a child into her life would be difficult... and she was newly married. So... my answer... to make it a bit easier... was to give her everything "baby" as Abby grew out of it!
Stroller - Check
Bassinet - Check
High Chair - Check
Clothes - Check
2 years supply of diapers - Check (I bought her a bag each and every time I bought Abby a bag... so I know precisely it was a 2 year supply of diapers!)
Bibs, Baby Bath, Bouncy Chair, etc etc etc - Check, Check, Check, Check
I was thrilled to open my email today to find that Marni has learned that she is having a little boy! She had an ultrasound this week and he is healthy and on target and due in March!
My only wish is that I was there to help her as much as she helped me when Abby was a baby! I would love to have some cuddle time!!!