I have been a mom for 18 years and I’ve never had the rare opportunity to have a nanny. In my world, we hire a babysitter for a few hours when we want a night out without our 3 kids. Mary Poppins exists only in fairy tales, but my dream came true when we asked our dear friend, Dovie White (18) to come with us to Africa to take care of Zoie on the mission field. From the start, we planned on having our girls join us with ministry and serving and loving the community of Korah. We needed the extra set of arms and eyes to watch out for our energetic 4 year old. I’m sure many of you, after hearing we were bringing our daughters to Ethiopia, wondered how in the world we would handle missions and parenting. Super-nanny, Dovie made that possible. She melted away my stress as a mom, knowing her passion for my daughters and strong temperament, a lioness, would handle the job like a pro. I needed someone to love and also keep control during the craziness. It was awkward at first to remind myself to ask her to do my mommy jobs, like make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches daily for Zoie. That was always my job at home, but super nanny jumped in with her heart wide open. There are some days when life in Korah is just too chaotic for Zoie to handle, so they enjoy a day at home playing and doing crafts.
Hannah’s favorite things about having Dovie here with her in Africa is her endless doses of encouragement, motivation, friendship, and having someone close to her own age. Dovie is Hannah’s small group leader at home, so she looks up to Dovie as a big sister and mentor. Super-nanny has adjusted like a seasoned veteran with new surroundings, changing guest houses (2x) and falling in LOVE with Korah… inside and out.
What does a super-nanny pack in her bag? Dovie thought of everything I forgot. She packed crafts, stickers, scissors, tape, books, and kid-friendly snacks, too. She helped Roger pack Zoie’s suitcase and went last second shopping at Walmart for items for Zoie from head to toes. She also packed compassion, endurance, flexibility too, in a special carry on bag … just for our family!
What does it take to be a super-nanny? Dovie’s strength and spunk and drive help her face the new challenges every day on the mission field. She wakes up in the morning and it never looks the same. Some days are sunny and some days are muddy. The loves she pours on my daughters makes me love her even more. She supports and encourages us in the big and small ways – every day. But the best of all, she has an incredible laugh and wicked sense of humor … just what I need to make it through my day!! It’s not easy being a super nanny, especially the days when Zoie is grumpy or tired. I’m thankful for her ability to re-direct and super size her patience. She has embraced everything Roger and I have thrown at her as newbie missionaries with grace and more grace. I’ve watched her grow in her love for Jesus and sharing the gospel to the unreached people groups. Yesterday, she told me she can’t wait to share the gospel at Missouri State University in the fall, taking what she has learned here in Africa back to her own community!
The best decision we ever made was bringing a super-nanny with us who has touched all of our lives in such a special way, but will take a BIG hunk of our hearts when she returns to the USA (with Mercy) on Aug. 10th. Thank you, Dovie for loving our family through the challenges, joys, fun, and craziness on our 1st mission adventure in Ethiopia!! We love you SUPER NANNY!!!!
Poem: Salom (by Dovie White aka: Super-Nanny)
I love Ethiopia for the people
dark and slim
for the smells of coffee and injera
for the joy that is within
I love Ethiopia for the walkers
hand in hand
for the animals that share the street
for the mountains and green land
I love Ethiopia for the rain
daily at three
for the language and the dancing
and the avocado tree
I love Ethiopia for the streets
I love it for the way Korah
takes me to the past
I love Ethiopia
for their love of children true
for the bright smiles
and the buildings painted
I love Ethiopia
for the tea
and barbwire fence
for the courtyards and the guards
the way no one feels tense
I love Ethiopia for the friends that I have here
for the family that adopted me
for each lesson and each tear
I’m so thankful that I came
and so sad that I have to leave
but anxious beyond measure
to see what Ethiopia has done to me.