Child me, dammit.

A while ago I blogged about joining Big Brothers Big Sisters. It’s been a fairly laboured process, but I’ve finally finished the training and if all goes well I shall be acquiring a child shortly. It probably would’ve been quicker to just make my own kid, but I guess that’s not the point of the exercise. (It’s funny how any idiot can have babies, but lord help you if you want to spend a couple of hours a week with someone else’s).

So after completing an initial interview, psychological profile, police check, Working With Children check and some bland, superfluous online training (don’t hit your Little, don’t give your Little alcohol, don’t get naked in front of your Little), the next step was a training day. I turned up on a Saturday (only mildly hungover) and was submitted to a range of exercises and workshops designed to widen our perspectives and put ourselves in a Little’s shoes.  It was very informative and entertaining, and then an actual Big Sister turned up with her Little Sister to talk to us and answer our questions.

And that’s about the point when my cold, cynical heart melted into my shoes. The Big Sister was perhaps mid-thirties, a lovely outgoing lady with a partner and no children. Her Little Sister was nine years old, one of five children from a disadvantaged family. They talked about cooking omelettes together and making Christmas presents for their families, which was touching….but the way that little girl gazed adoringly up at her Big Sister instantly turned me from “this will be a nice thing to do” to “holy shit, this is the best thing I’ve ever done, ever”.

After the training, it was time for the home visit. A couple of co-ordinators come over to ensure you’re not running a meth lab in the garage, then ask you every question imaginable about your family, friendships, relationships, childhood, religion, sexual leanings, drug use, alcohol consumption, illnesses, experiences…I almost felt like I was undergoing top secret positive vetting. They were lovely about it nonetheless.

Then they check your referees (the production manager at work made me sit with him while he phoned them – I squirmed and cringed while he delivered a glowing review that made me sound like Nelson Mandela), then there’s another online course to complete, then supposedly you’re ready to be matched. I can’t bloody wait.

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8 thoughts on “Child me, dammit.

  1. Good luck. Unless they asked you about your father you should be okay …

    And maybe you’ve hit on an idea there – vetting people like this before they’re allowed to take the baby home from the hospital would stop a lot of future problems.

    • Cheers GOM…and yes “my father? Ohperfectlynormalnothingtodiscusshahahaha NEXT QUESTION.”

      I sometimes wonder why mandatory parenting classes aren’t a thing. Not neccessarily how to raise your child, but the effects of neglect and abuse and all those other nasties.

  2. Oh this is just AWESOME, Inga!
    I don’t know if you realize how much some child in need of a mentor will adore you!

    Your description of the process made me laugh, but it is a bit sad, too. People can pop out baby after baby, and neglect them, ignore them, abuse them and still have them returned to them time after time.

    Oh well….you are doing something wonderful, Nelson! Keep us informed!

    • Thanks for the buck up Lauri! I can’t wait to have someone adore me 😉

      I’m not sure what it’s like in the States, but over here the welfare department does everything possible to keep children with their birth parents. I dunno…I don’t think squeezing someone out of your hooha automatically qualifies you to be the best person to raise them. Then again, I’ve read all sorts of stories on the mental trauma and abandonment issues that adoptees go through, so who knows what the answer is really.

  3. I am so happy for you and even happier for your little sister to be. And as long as they do not find out about your unhealthy posting of muppet videos, you should be fine. :]

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