Today I met my Little Sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) for the first time! I was so so so excited to meet her and the anticipation of 5 months of waiting was all worth it because she’s amazing. (To protect her identity and her story, I’ll call R.) I think that if I was 9 again, R and I would be friends. She was me at her age. R is the sweetest kid I’ve met. She was all of my favorite students (and, yes, teachers have favorites) all rolled into one. I would have loved to have her in my classroom. Can you tell that I like her a lot?!?!
Let me start from the beginning. Earlier this year, I was feeling the itch to be around kids again. I miss my students so much and my job is planning for girls, but not being around them much, so I decided to investigate Big Brother Big Sisters. Little did I know that it would take 5 months of patience and waiting. In June, I applied to BBBS. The application included multiple questions including why I wanted to take part in the program, what I wanted out of it, information about my background, etc. A few weeks later I attended an orientation which shared more about the process and how it all worked. They told me 90 days max until I’d get matched.
As part of the application, I had to list references, including my mom, my roommate (who had to have a background check), Kira, and my work references. They also did a background check on me. All was clear, so I was asked in for an interview. In August, I met with someone from BBBS with whom I was asked to share a bunch of details about my life to make sure I wasn’t a crazy (or at least, not too crazy). Again, I passed. BBBS did a home inspection to make sure my house was up to code and acceptable for children (Littles can come to the Big’s house 4 times a year, only after 3 months of meeting each other). Passed with flying colors.
In September, I took part in a training with more information about the program, potential scenarios, and ideas for outings. Outings must take place 2-4 times a month and they’re something I pay for or can be free things.
During the very first orientation, all of the Bigs were asked to fill out a form that asked what preferences they had in a Little. I wrote down that I wanted to be partnered with a Latina between the ages of 7-10 who enjoyed reading and outdoor activities. BBBS also promises to give you a Little who is less than a 30-minute drive away. With these “requirements,” it took a rather long time to find a girl who fit. So last week – over 5 months after filling out my interest form – I was contacted that there was a potential match.
I was given information about R’s background and some personality traits from her parents. Today, we finally met. And there were sparks! We got along very well and her parents are very loving and sweet. We’ve made plans to see a movie next weekend and to get hot chocolate. I feel so fortunate that it’s worked out. Even though I got antsy while waiting, I think it was for the best. Fate was waiting for just the right girl. Yay for new adventures!