Angelina was just 6 years old when she met her Big Sister Caryn. Though she was nervous, their friendship quickly developed and Angelina began to look forward to her weekly visits with her new Big Sister. Together they went swimming, ice-skating, and for hot chocolate dates. Eventually, Caryn just kept Angelina’s booster seat in the backseat of her car as their visits grew more frequent. Caryn’s little red car always had sprinkles in it because Angelina’s favourite treat was a sprinkle donut.
For the next three years, Caryn’s best friend Danielle, heard all about this special little brown haired girl who had a love for sprinkle donuts. Though they met only once in passing, Danielle felt connected to Angelina through the stories Caryn would share with her. Danielle came to learn that Angelina had been removed from her family.
Danielle immediately offered to take her in, rather than placing her with a family that were strangers. She was disappointed when her request was denied on the basis that they weren’t family, but Danielle knew she had to keep trying. She felt a connection to Angelina that she couldn’t explain. Later that Christmas season, Caryn and Danielle attended Angelina’s school Christmas concert. Though Danielle doesn’t describe herself as a spiritual person, she says that in that moment she knew that Angelina was meant to be her daughter and she had to continue fighting for her, for the little girl who loved sprinkle donuts so much and had come to mean so much to her.
A few months later, Danielle’s persistence won out and Angelina came to stay with her. Both were overjoyed to be together. This change allowed Angelina to return to her old school, her community and her friends. It created stability and helped her feel more connected and less adrift because she already knew Danielle through Caryn and Big Brothers Big Sisters. They’ve been together ever since. Soft hearted Danielle has known that she wanted to adopt since the age of 10. Her compassion for children is what led her to her career in social work, but even she couldn’t have predicted the little family that belongs to her now.
On April 28, 2019 Danielle adopted Angelina and and Angelina’s little brother Chandler, making them a forever family. In hindsight, Danielle says that Angelina was always meant to be her daughter. She credits Big Brothers Big Sisters as the supportive community that connected her to her children. They held an adoption party to celebrate the beginning of their “journey of forever,” and instead of accepting presents they asked instead for donations to BGCBigs. What began as a Big Sister, Little Sister match has evolved into a forever family, and we’re just thrilled that we get to share their story. It’s pretty special. Thank you for sharing with us, Danielle, Angelina, and Chandler!