Over the past several years their relationship has evolved into something special. Christine said “we are definitely more comfortable with each other; Maraeja has become much more talkative both with me and other adults. When we first started our relationship, I was (in retrospect) more concerned with coming up with cool and fun activities than I should have been. Our outings are simpler now, sometimes just making cookies or doing crafts together, and most importantly, talking”.
They both love spending time together and have an appreciation for each other. Maraeja told us she appreciates Christine because “she takes me out a lot and she makes me laugh and she’s sweet”.
Throughout their years matched, there have been some challenges but there have also been many positive impacts. We asked Maraeja what was one change in your life that your Big has helped you navigate and her response was “my Big Christine, has helped me read better than I could and she buys me a lot of books”. Last year Christine started buying Maraeja books and suggested one day that they try the library instead and Maraeja said “no” because she wanted to be able to keep them so she could read them again! “This moment is something I’ll always remember”, said Christine.
The two are very grateful they were matched together and when we asked Mareja to finish this sentence, I am thankful for my BIG, because without her, “I would be sad”. We also asked Christine, what positive things has being a BIG brought to your life and her response was, “I was totally NOT expecting that she would steal my heart! I love this child like she is my own. I never expected that I would find the role as a BIG as fulfilling as it is. I love seeing her grow and develop into a sweet young lady”.
This past May, Christine and Maraeja were picked to participate in the BBBSLI Catwalk for Kids Fashion Show, and they both blew away the crowd with their bond and moves they shared down the runway!
When we asked Christine, what would you say to somebody considering becoming a big? Her response was “it is a huge emotional commitment – and worth every minute of it. And it’s a role that a potential Big must be serious about signing up for. That being said, it is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done in my life”.