A Match Made in Heaven
5 years ago this month, I signed up to be a Kinship Partner. Our own kids were 12 and 14 and it seemed to be a good time in our life to share with someone else.
I went in for my interview where they asked about my hobbies, where we lived, what our life style was like, etc… all to find a child who fit into our life and area we live in. A couple days later a letter came in the mail with about 5 different kids on the list (first name only) and a brief description about what they liked to do. I looked over the list and I chose a 7 year old boy.
Chance entered our lives.
Kinship sets up an initial meeting between the child, the child’s parent or guardian and the mentor (in this case – me). As the days led to this meeting I grew a little nervous. What if we didn’t get along? I’m not exactly a kid magnet…. what if he just didn’t like us…
I shouldn’t have wasted my time worrying – from the moment I first met Chance, I was hooked on this kid. Life with Chance has been fun… we have grown together. In a nutshell… the past 5 years for us have looked like this: football games – homemade pizzas – movies – snow angels – video games – walks on the trail – board games – County Fair – making cookies – making s’mores – car races – swimming – corn maze – fishing – shoveling snow together – kyaking – cleaning ditches for Sertomas – hiking – cleaning up at Mink Lake Camp – Sledding – staying over – hanging out with Al – coming to family gatherings – outdoor concerts – roller blading (sort of) – biking – talking on the phone – birthday plans – Miniature golf – grilling on the deck – Valley Fair – Playing Pass Master for an hour and a half in the car until our voices gave out – raking leaves at Camp JIM -reading – school plays – Harry Potter – eating popcorn with m & m’s in it – hanging out with Justin – watching Pearl Harbor … again – helping at the soup kitchen – Kinship Events – picnics – Ice Fishing – “hunting wabbits” – cub scouts – knex – talking A LOT…
Currently our local Kinship Partners is doing a drive called 100 Mentors in 100 days. I would highly encourage anyone to get on board and be a part of this incredible program. Let me share with you the reasons I hear most why people think they can not be a mentor:
- I am too busy with my own kids. (That is great! As a Mentor you just bring your Kinship Partner along with what you are already doing for your family – sports events, picnics, the park, hanging around the house, watching a movie…)
- I don’t have any extra money to be a mentor. (Kinship discourages the Mentors spending much money on the kids. You are suppose to bring them into your every day life. Working on cleaning the garage out? Have them come over… renting a movie, working in your garden, go to the library, walk in the park, sit and talk). Make times like going out for ice cream, to a movie, or out to eat, a special occcasion.)
- I just don’t have time to take on one more commitment. (Kinship asks that you try to spend an hour a week with the child. Does that always happen? No. Some weeks I barely get to talk to him, and other weeks we spend several hours together. You can at least call them on the phone and talk to them about their week for a few minutes on the weeks that you are unavailable. And again, don’t make the Kinship relationship a burden. It isn’t. You do not need to plan special projects and outings for your time out. Simply make them a part of what you are already doing.)
Did I know 5 years ago when I said yes to Kinship that Chance would become a part of our lives well into the future? Nope… but I don’t regret a moment of this kid coming into our lives.
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