today i am again joining up with belinda for blog everyday in may to talk about my favorite charity. i am really excited about this post, because it is something that is very near and dear to me.
you know that i have 3 older sisters and no brothers, besides our foreign exchange student from spain who we refer to as our brother and is is 4 years younger than me. i always wanted to be a big sister. my parents wanted another kid, but it wasn't in the cards. i was the baby of the family.
in 2012, i was in a bad place and was too focused on myself and my troubles and problems that were crushing me. i felt a need to serve others. i don't remember why i picked the big brothers big sisters program or how i came across it and decided i wanted to do that, it just happened. and i am oh so very glad it did.
the process of getting "matched" with a "little" (little sisters and little brothers are referred to as littles and big brothers and sisters are referred to as "bigs") took a while. first i had to pass the background check, then i had to go through a very long interview. after that, the program matched me with a little who they thought i would do well with. someone who had the same interests as me, someone who had a similar personality as me, etc. my interview was very detailed and i was asked what kind of little i would prefer, what kind of little i could handle, like if one was in a non ideal living situation, etc. i was nervous to be matched with someone that was having a rough life, i didn't know if my heart could handle that.
a few weeks later, i got the call. i was matched with valerie** (name has been changed) and after i was told about her, i couldn't wait to meet her and get to know her. the above picture is the only picture i have of us digital copy that i could find. i know i have more if i dug around my computer. when i signed onto the program, there were very specific rules that i was not to share pictures on social media of her, not to share her name on social media, not to be friends with her on facebook, etc. although i am no longer her big, i still want to honor that and honor her privacy.
also when you sign onto the program, you sign onto being a big for at least a year. during that year, i got engaged and got married. so much changed that year, but i changed too. valerie changed me. the day i met her, i was completely shocked by how mature she was. she was more mature than i was. i learned so much from her. she made me a better person. each time i hung out with her, i had a blast. we became such close friends. i didn't have any younger siblings. she didn't have any older siblings. it was perfect. and we just clicked. i loved valerie.
at the end of your year with your little, you can choose to extend, you can extend until the little is 18 and they can no longer be in the program, but as i said, my life had changed a lot in the year i had been with valerie, and there was a lot going on in my life, so i chose to end the match. it was hard decision and it was a sad decision and i think about valerie on average a few times a week. we still keep in touch and we email. i know she reads my blog sometimes, so my dear, if you are reading this, know that you changed me for the better, you are most amazing kid i have ever met in my entire life, i aspire to be like you, and you were one of the biggest blessings the Lord has ever given me. i hope you're happy and i hope you are still writing your short stories and working on your novel. you are absolutely incredible. you wrote on my wedding album that i am your role model, but you are mine. love you,
your big sis.
while i was a big sister, i also was volunteering at shelter for domestic violence but stopped because life got crazy, but i am going back and am in the process of getting vetted to go back (aka my background check expired so i have to wait for my new one to go through), so more on that later.