We are the Gorman family, proud advocates and promoters for POSITIVE PARENTING. We are the founders and organizers of the Yonge Walk 4 Young Parents sponsored walk, which was designed to mirror the long and rewarding journey that expectant parents take to enter parenthood. We will walk what was once (and still is by many Torontonians) recognized by Guinness World Records as the Longest Street In The World, YONGE STREET in Toronto, Canada. Yonge Street runs a total of 1896 km and we will walk the entirety of the street in 40 days, commencing August 4th.
Giving back to the community has always and will continue to be a part of us for as long as we live. We have actively participated in local Fundraising Events and wish to continue by hosting our own events in order to help raise funds for Charity Organization/s we are affiliated with. While creating an awareness and raising funds to help promote positive parenting , we strive to impact lives and inspire young parents who are struggling with staying positive during the challenges of parenthood, especially during undesirable circumstances. Our mission is to reach out and help those in need, both nationally and globally.
Our journey together began in the spring of 2011, when our own separate paths led us both to Ontario, and ultimately to each other; needless to say that there hasn’t been a dull moment since. 😉 We married in the summer of 2012,
and things only got more interesting from there. Shortly thereafter, we discovered that we were expecting a child;
which at the time completely caught us off guard and threw us for a huge curve ball. Admittedly, circumstances at the time were less than desirable and we were completely stumped.
We had no idea how we were to raise this child, let alone afford to do so. After a couple of months of sleepless nights and struggling to come to grips with what was happening, we came across Vita Centre and The D.A.M (Develop. Assist. Mentor.); and everything changed from that moment forth. Our prayers had finally been answered. Intervention had prevailed and we were given a much needed life line, a chance to actually and finally embrace the miracle that was happening. They provided us with every baby item you could possibly think of, all for $0.00. Yes, you read that correctly; all for FREE!
We also cannot dis-count the wealth of knowledge and expertise they provide through their weekly parenting/mentoring programs. Just goes to show that at the end of the day perseverance conquers all! Now here we are, 20 months later, with our beautiful baby girl, Elora (now 10 months); all those nights of doubting ourselves and worrying sick a thing of the past, yet still very fresh in our minds and not soon to be forgotten. Although our story began some 20 months ago, our journey has only just begun, and we owe it all to such centres as Vita Centre and The D.A.M. Just as they made and continue to make a world of difference in our lives, they can do the same for you…it all starts with you! We are the Gorman’s, and our journey begins here! Please read below for our personal profiles.
Born Shingi Mpuchane-Gabotlale in Botswana, Africa in the 80’s. I came to Canada in 2011, where I met my now Husband Vinni and adopted his last name; Gorman. Life before being a Gorman was extremely different. I was raised in a loving family of 3 kids, Angel & Quinton my youngest siblings.
Not only was I raised by my parents Peter & Bankgonne, but the whole entire extended family and village, whom I still consider family, also greatly contributed to raising us. My mother who was and still is a fun mom, made sure we had the best education, fun and was the role model to all of us. She provided basic necessities but more importantly gave us the love. She made sure that we were adequately educated and grew up to be fine adults who mirrored her excellent parenting skills. I graduated with a degree in Broadcasting (TV&Radio Production) at the age of 21 and my younger sister, Angel, is currently studying medicine, while our youngest brother is still in high school.
Things did not just come easy and were not always rosey. My mother had to fight and work hard for the life that she provided for us, even after her divorce from my father. Nevertheless, she continued to support and provide full attention to our upbringing in order to ensure we did not suffer despite her own undesirable circumstances.
She equipped me with the best life & social skills by exposing me to everything that every child should have the right to experience, which molded me in to the confident and strong individual that I am. I am a people person at heart, growing up in a big extended family, I very much enjoyed being surrounded by people I loved and still love to help others even if it means sacrificing my last penny just to see a smile on another person, stranger or not! I’m very bubbly and an extreme extrovert that dares to risk it all. I also enjoy adventure and absolutely love dancing and just being my goofy self.
I will not venture into my hobbies, but I can tell you that I have worked very hard for the things I NEED, not want in life. Since landing in Canada, I have learnt to be humble and appreciate what I have, because it takes everything to work for it and keep it, lest you lose everything. Even with the odds of struggling and losing it all being very high, I’ve always managed to remain a POSITIVE PARENT, even against all situations I have faced and continue to face. If you are wondering how life as a Gorman was/is so different; well, the life I lead before was extremely easy depending on friends & family and after I had to learn to live without the family support and not depend on anyone for help. And not forgetting the culture shock I continue to experience in Canada. Fast forward 2013, I gave birth to our precious daughter Elora and that changed everything…literally! Not only did my body change from smoking fit & toned,BUT our entire life was changed. I was going to be a parent, (obviously) with no experience; I questioned my ability as a parent in this western world where I knew I would not have the whole community helping to raise my baby. How in the world was I going to raise this baby & give it the LOVE it deserves with nothing to my name? I quickly learnt to make use of any and all resources that may be available to me. I spent the 9 months of pregnancy vigorously doing research on parenting, and basically how to survive raising a baby. After having an emergency C-Section at 42weeks and having no help with raising this infant, I developed postpartum depression. My husband was in school and was also working all the time, thus leaving me alone with this screaming baby while also trying to heal; which obviously only created negativity and greatly hindered me and my ability to be a positive parent.
It was the most difficult time of my life, I resented so much and appreciated so little. I wanted nothing more than for my mother to be there to help me, but due to circumstances beyond her control, she was unfortunately unable to be there to help. At times I felt I could not cope and was not doing anywhere near a good enough job at motherhood. I continuously doubted myself as well as my parenting skills. Trying to reflect my own upbringing, I felt I was nowhere near close to giving Elora the childhood she deserves or better yet, even better than the one I had. What parent doesn’t want that for their child, right?
I spent most days crying until I came across Vita Centre. I want to proudly say that I was happy to find non-profit organizations like Vita Centre. Centres such as Vita and The D.A.M (Develop. Assist, Mentor) don’t only offer tangible items, but also excellent support, education and one on one counselling for young and expecting parents, thus allowing positive outcomes for their children, as well as a POSITIVE PARENT.
I go by Vinni Bruce Gorman, born and raised in Montreal, Quebec; aka, la belle province. My story begins in the 80’s when my mother, Elaine, gave birth to her first and only child. I honestly wish that I could tell you all about my amazing childhood, and how, much like my wife, I had the most amazing upbringing and was surrounded by nothing but oodles of both love and affection; my childhood, while certainly not treacherous, wasn’t quite as happy-go-lucky.
I grew up in somewhat of a low end neighborhood mostly under my mothers watch. My father was in and out of the picture and would sometimes disappear for a year or more at a time and basically popped by at his own accord; thus leaving my mom to mostly fend for herself. Thank goodness for my Uncle/Godfather William, who acted as a surrogate father of sorts and treated me (and all of his nephews and one niece, for that matter) as his own. My amazing Aunty P and her late husband were there to help support my mom just about every step of the way where needed, and were absolutely instrumental in my upbringing. I honestly don’t know what would’ve been done without them. Some of my best childhood memories were spent with my Aunt Nancy and Uncle John and their 3 children, the Malone family, in good ol’ Clarence Creek, Ottawa. They truly were, and still are the epitome of the word family, and perfectly exemplify how one should look and act. My only regret is that I didn’t get to spend even more time with them while growing up. A lot of time was spent with my sweet Aunt Val and her 2 outrageous sons, Chris and Steve. Over the years, I have developed a bond like no other with both Chris and Steve and have shared some of the most amazing times with them, and continue to do so. That’s pretty much my (relatively small) family in a nutshell. Like most families, we have had our ups and downs over the years; but at the end of the day, we love each other and prefer to focus on the positives.
Now, it should be noted that they did not have the resources and information centres that they have today back when I was born. There was no Vita Centre and/or The D.A.M to turn to for counselling during times of need, let alone for all the amazing products/programs these centres provide to us parents today, FOR FREE. Sure, there were resources out there, but they paled in comparison to what we have at our disposal present day (seriously, you all should count your blessings that such centres exist in today’s day and age!). I strongly feel that because of this, she was not able to provide me with the childhood that I’m sure she wishes she could have. I also feel that if such centres had existed back then, that she would have been able to seek the counselling (that even she would probably admit) could have benefited her tremendously and aided her in moving on from a troubled past.
Do I feel ripped off and deprived of a childhood? To a certain extent, yes. Do I spite my mother for it and hold it against her? Not at all. What upsets me more is the lack of identity I’ve established up until this point, as well as the fact that I’m only now finally beginning to actually get in touch with myself and just who I am as a person and what my true passions are. But having said that, I have come to embrace this fact over the years and learned to look at it as more of an adventure and make the most of it. Creating an identity from scratch can actually be fun if you make it so. Sure, I may have been shortchanged in the childhood department to an extent and may be lacking certain layers and personality traits that should already be developed; but rather than dwell on it and feel sorry for myself, I instead choose to turn it all into a POSITIVE and refuse to let it hold me down and stop me from chasing the life I want and feel I deserve. I love my daughter far too much to settle for anything less. I will grow and overcome everything put directly in my path IN SPITE of all this. As far as I’m concerned, my journey has only JUST begun!
As a wise man once said: the sky’s the limit!