Our nanny, Jhoanne, has been with us for the past 2 1/2 years. We’ve had our ups and downs. We’ve had moments when we loved her, moments when we couldn’t stand her. there were times we thought we might have to get rid of her (when i couldn’t find a job) and times when we wanted to get rid of her (because she flooded our entire first floor).

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She’s been there through my pregnancy, the early days with Isabella, my maternity leave. she’s been with us through Emily’s terrible 3′s and terrible 4′s and she’s right on hand for the – yeah, you guessed it – terrible 5′s. She’s been there for first steps. and first words. and first foods.

She’s not the greatest of cleaners. but she loves her some martell kiddies. no joke. she loves them to bits and pieces. she packs lunches. and picks them up from school. and takes them on playdates.

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she’s our family. and we are hers.

when she’s in a tough spot, so are we. and she’s in a tough spot right now. She has a husband and a daughter in Manila. and he drinks. and he drinks a lot.

and he won’t allow Jhoanne to divorce him. or bring their daughter over to Canada. She was planning to take the month of December off and go home and see her (she’s 11, and they haven’t seen each other in years. years! can you imagine not seeing your own child for years??!). she began processing the paperwork to bring her over.

but the husband stepped in. and now she withdrew the paperwork and lost all the money. and then she cancelled her trip. she’s sad. she’s missing her daughter. and feeling helpless.

so, i’m sad. and feeling helpless. i want to help her. but i dont know how. i want to hug her and squeeze her and cry with her and laugh with her. i want to express to her how important she is in our lives. and even though she can’t be with her family in Manila, she has family right here in Toronto.

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song of the day: Suspicious Minds  – the Chris Daughtry version, and i guess the Elvis version too..mmm…i heart chris daughtry.

come on over to my other site and say hi. see my Here’s My Baby photos of the kids. you won’t be sorry!

and for those of you who are wondering, i didn’t quit the flickr 365 days thing. i put it on hold for a while, and WAS going to quit, but Tova convinced me not to. but i AM taking requests for pictures. i’m running out of ideas….help!

  • Anonymous

    can’t you contact some immigration authority, even sponsor the daughter on Jho’s behalf. it might be worth checking out some government sites and see what your/her options are. if you really want to help, action is the best way. it is a very unfortunate circumstance.

  • http://www.urbanmoms.ca Jen

    I am always amazed at the selfless sacrifice so many imigrant women, especially domestic workers, must suffer in order to support their families in their native countries. One of my neighbours nannies left her twin daughters at 18months to come to Canada. I saw my neighbour comforting her one day and asked what was wrong. It was her twin’s 4th birthday and she hadn’t seen them since she left! I couldn’t imagine caring for someone else’s children day after day when all you wanted was to be with your own. What a mother will do to provide a better life for her children.

  • Jen

    This situation is so tragic…and yet seems so common. I’ve heard similar stories from friends and neighbours. The plight of these women who care for our children needs to be addressed. I have no idea how or by whom, but it seems this site might be a start…anyone know an immigration lawyer?

  • Kath

    Wow. That is such a heartbreaking story! I remember searching for a nanny a few years ago and being just torn apart by these women from the Philippines (and Africa) who wanted to come here to work to provide a better life (i.e. money) for their kids. And to do that, they had to leave them. What a killer of a decision! It made me feel pretty grateful to just be able to be with and provide for my daughter.
    Give Jhoanne some hugs from all us urbanmoms…If only there was something you (or we) could do to help her bring her daughter over.

  • http://cheatymonkey.com Haley-O

    Omigosh, I’m going to CRY! Jhoanne is a beautiful person. She was so wonderful with the monkey when she babysat for us. And, you can tell by the way she talks about you Martells that she loves you. I’m so sorry she’s going through this. It’s so awful. I wish there were something I could do….

  • Heidi

    Very sad indeed, I am sure she knows how much you care for her. Is there anyway you could help her bring her daughter over?

  • http://www.network54.com/forum/526068 LAVENDULA

    hi ali that is so sad.i’m sure she knows how important she is to all of you.wow i can’t imagine the sacrifices shes made to be here.how heartbreaking to not see your child for so long.her husband is a mean ,cruel man.

  • Adrienne

    Wow. That is so incredibly sad! :( Enough said.

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