In 2009, JC and I signed up to mentor with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Our local chapter has a “couples match” program, which is great. Apparently, they have a hard time getting men to volunteer, but they’ll do it if their wives are doing it. This helps with their wait list–the wait for boys to get mentors can be years. I hear that not many chapters have this option, but I think they should consider it.

Anyway, we were blessed to get matched up with Carlos. We met for the first time right before he turned seven. He was *adorable*.

Carlos, not long after we met him.
Carlos, not long after we met him.

With Carlos, we were able to do some of the fun kid-related things in our town that we would have felt awkward doing without a kid (or just not been allowed to do at all). Like…visiting the Children’s Museum (I had always wondered what it was like in there!). This was the old location.


Meeting Santa!

He didn't talk much at first, and then he finally asked for a bicycle (which he got!)
He didn’t talk much at first, and then he finally asked for a bicycle (which he got!)

He (and sometimes his sister) helped us build our chicken house, dig and plant our garden plot, and paint several rooms in our house.

BB/BS sometimes plans outings that we can participate in, from white water rafting, to bowling, to horseback riding.

We’ve gone camping a couple of times…

And cookie-baking, corn-mazing, skiing, bubbling, splash-padding…

Oh, and there was the time he asked us to take him to a 3D movie…

This was before the movie, which he actually liked
This was before the movie, which he actually liked

He’s my kids’ favorite person.

He was one of the first people to hold each of them.

He’s at the age where we can start to do more adult-oriented things with him. For his elementary school graduation present, for example, we took him to Colonial Williamsburg. He’s very interested in history, and he loved it.

And when we did our last big reno project, he was actually big enough to be a SERIOUS HELP.

Laying flooring. Like a boss.
Laying flooring. Like a boss.


It’s so great for all of us. Silas gets the experience of having a “big brother.” Carlos gets to have some little sibs (he’s the youngest in his family). And JC and I get the joy of knowing Carlos and watching him grow up.


He’s turning out to be a delightful young man. He’s only 12, but I can already see the amazing person he’s becoming.

And literally as I was drafting this post…here’s what showed up on his Instagram:

1-@arciniega17_ • Instagram photos and videos - Chromium_999(001)


My heart is like…in a billion pieces right now.


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