My Unexpected Journey

It’s funny how life can surprise us sometimes. We start talking about our life and of the “future” as soon as we can speak. We speak about our future career in high school, and we change ideas so many times before finding what we hope is the perfect path. Later comes the first round of questions from your family about when you will have your own family.  

And… wait. I was so lost with my thoughts that I completely forgot to introduce myself. Hi. I’m Josiane and I’m 37 years old (soon 38 yeah) and I’m the proud mom of … 2 big dogs.  Yup, no kids. Dogs. For people who know me, it can be surprising. Not that I have dogs but that I don’t have kids. You see, I’m the kind of person who would prefer to sit at the kids table than being with the adults and groaning about everything.

Well life has decided to throw me a curve ball. A genetic disease decided to crash the party that is my life. To add the cherry on top of the cake, it’s the type of condition that is really rare so you’re now a lab rat and try to understand and figure out what will be the next crisis. One of those crisis had me hit the biggest wall I can imagine. A wall so big that now on my body I have the sign “no kids allowed”. Woaaa life, what did I do to you…. I don’t think I deserved this…

There’s 2 ways to react to this; you take the hit and get knocked down, or you take a step back and come at this curve ball from a different angle. After a little research, my husband told me about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada. Hummm okay, let’s have a look. Great, there’s a chapter for the Outaouais. That’s it! I will become a big sister for a kid who needs someone just like me. 

For people who have no idea what the Organization is, here’s few details: “ For over 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been championing the health and wellbeing or youth. We step in before it’s too late, to help prevent the physical and mental effects of adverse childhood experiences. We ensure children as young as 7 are supported by caring adults as they overcome these adversities, helping them to do better in life—physically, mentally, socially, emotionally and academically” ( Big Brothers Big Sisters website, main page, p.1)   About Us – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

Source: Big Brother Big Sisters of Canada website

In other words, this means you will create a bond with a child desperately in need of one. You will be there for him/her if they need to talk, you will be there to create memories, to give advice and change their mindset. In short, a person outside of their current environment they can share and grow with.

I realized quickly that it wasn’t for just anybody to become a big sister… but it’s so worth it!  Anyone can submit for their kids to be part of the big family of the Big Brothers Big Sisters. Often, kids are having some trouble at school, at home, in the family etc. More often, they might come from less-than-ideal home settings. As a mentor, you must realize and accept that not everything works out as has planned. 

You must undergo several interviews to figure out what your motivations are and determine your interests. There is also some training involved. After that, they try to find your perfect match. Little quote here: a lot of kids are patiently waiting for their mentors. For the Outaouais, they missed more than 20 big sisters/ brothers to be able to pair everybody.

Going back to my story, I initially had a match with a teenager! The first meeting was great, but everything changed a little further down the road, and we had to end the match after only a few months. Disappointing but it happens. I started again, this time with a 10-year-old who loves hockey and dogs! Bring it on!

Source: Personal collection

Having a little sister can bring a lot of joy into your life, but also a lot of challenges. One thing is sure: you will learn from each other. If boundaries are established from the beginning and you’ve agreed to work on the relationship (because yes, you’re going to build a strong relationship and bring a lot to your little sister) you are in business!

Now, I know you must have a lot of questions like: how can you establish a good connection with your little sister? Who’s going to pay for the activities? Do you have to handle discipline with her? Well, to get all the answers to your questions, you will just have to come back and follow my blog!

Talk to you soon! For now, I must work on a list of future activities

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