Monday, April 15, 2013
I Want to Sponsor ALL. THE. CHILDREN.
I have wanted to sponsor a Compassion child for a few years now. It would be yet another monthly expense, I knew, so I put it off. And I put it off. And I put it off some more. I've had this idea, for a while, that I can sponsor a child as soon as I sign a book contract. That book contract is an elusive thing, so by the time I found myself sitting by my good friend Rosemary at a show featuring Chonda Pierce and Geoff Moore, I still had not sponsored a child.
I decided, it was time to quit putting it off. There will never be a "good time" to add another "bill" to our monthly pile. Life doesn't work that way. Jesus talks about not just loving our friends, but also our enemies. He's all about doing things that require sacrifice and trust in Him. So I started surfing Compassion's database of children in need of sponsorship.
Let me tell you, that database of children is overwhelming. There are SO MANY KIDS IN NEED. So many, friends. I scrolled through their names and faces with a heavy heart. Why can I adopt ALL. THE. CHILDREN? All of them. I want to feed them and clothe them and educate them. I want to fix this messed up world, where we live our middle-class high life and sweet babies STARVE TO DEATH. Fight to end abortion, sure. But for crying out loud can we feed and care for the children already in this world. We sure don't "choose life" for these beautiful souls all around our quickly shrinking planet.
So, yes, overwhelming, because I can't adopt all the children. I can't feed them all or clothe them all or teach them all sorts of things, they way I teach my own. I can't sponsor them all.
But I can sponsor one of them.
I had to narrow it down. How to find the one child I have been thinking of sponsoring for years. I needed some search parameters. I decided, first, I would sponsor a girl. I live in a house of maleness. Husband, two sons, boy dog, boy cat. I rarely lay eyes on my stepdaughter. So, a girl. And, at first, I limited my search to Haiti. My best friends' family live in Haiti, and I have prayer-adopted a woman there. It seemed right. I did not, however, stumble upon a child that seemed like "the one." I debated just letting Compassion choose for me, but then I broadened my search to other countries, and I thought.
How to chose a child...
By name. The thought popped into my head. "I have called you by name. You are mine."
I started typing in family names, thinking if I picked a girl with the name of my grandmother or my aunt or something of the sort, it would be just like she was born to us. She would hold a name I might have given a biological daughter, if I'd ever had one. I kept getting a blank screen. Kentucky hill-folk names are apparently not popular in 3rd world countries. Who knew? I stared at another blank screen and then...
I typed in Nat. I watched my screen fill with faces. There were names like Sakinatou, Enat, and Tsinat, but there was also: Nathaly, Natielle, Natalia and... Nathali.
And I knew she was ours. There were two girls with the name. I bookmarked their profiles, waiting for a paycheck to pay our first month. When I pulled them up again, not sure how to choose between them, the first girl had disappeared. She'd received a sponsor in the day since I first looked. That made the final decision easy. We have paid our first month and received our sponsor packet. Yesterday, I sent our first letter. I am so overjoyed. I want to write to her everyday like a crazy person.
I want to sponsor all of the Nat girls. All of them. Maybe, one day, I will. I mean, we started paying for the braces Haydn will wear soon. When I looked at the monthly payment, I thought, "I could sponsor three children for this and still be paying less." Maybe, when we have paid all of Haydn's braces, we will be so used to making that payment, I can just sponsor more kids.
I promise, Compassion is not sponsoring this post. It's just in my heart. Please consider sponsoring one of these beautiful children. Please.