Thursday, May 5, 2011

Meeting our sponsored child in Ethiopia (and a gift to my Mom)...

Many of you have probably heard of organizations such as World Vision, Compassion International, or Save The Children. Or... perhaps you already have a sponsored child. Maybe, you think of these organizations with some reservation. Do they really give the money to help the children? Maybe you are completely on board with what they do. Or, maybe you don't really know much about it.

Almost 7 years ago... we were given the chance to sponsor a child. And we did. Her name is Enat. She is from Ethiopia. (This was long before we knew we were going to adopt our boys from Ethiopia). Over the past 7 years, we have supported her with a monthly check that pays for food, cloths, school, medical exams, AIDS education and other needs. Her family lives in extreme poverty. (For Enat, that means they live on less than 1 dollar/ day). We receive her thankful letters... and we too send our love, greetings and pictures.

During the adoption process, we put two and two together that our sponsored child was from Ethiopia! (Duh). We would soon be traveling to Ethiopia to meet our baby boys! Maybe we could meet her! Just maybe.

 And we did...

She lives only two hours outside of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia... where we traveled to adopt our Braveheart and Tenderheart. And here she is, at age 16... beautiful and precious... 

(Holding Tenderheart) 
We would have loved to go to her village and meet her family, but we just couldn't get out there with our little Tenderheart in poor health. So... Compassion International brought her to us. And it was incredible. 

I'm telling you... I don't know how it happens... through letters and a small check every month... but you absolutely fall in love with your sponsored child. And she falls in love with you. And when you behold their face in person...  joy overcomes you. And in the end... you receive WAY more than you give. 

And let me tell you people... that money goes to them. I guarantee it. You want to know why? Because I saw her face. 

And she was so thankful. 

So, for Mother's Day, we are going to sponsor a child (from Ethiopia) in my Mother's honor. You see, my Mom is a Child Ambassador for World Vision. That means that she spreads the word about sponsoring children. She spends hours and hours each week either emailing, calling, speaking, presenting, etc. to let people know just what it means to sponsor a child. (This is all volunteering, by the way). She does this because it is her very heart beat. You see, when we brought out Tenderheart and Braveheart home... everything changed. She had had sponsored children before. But now... holding their little bodies and looking into their eyes had changed everything. And now... her hopes and dreams center around one thing... looking after the little ones who need us. 

So, in honor of my Mom... because I know it's the only thing that she wants... I'm letting you know about sponsoring a child. Friends... it will bless your life maybe even more than it blesses the child's. One of my Mom's favorite quotes is this one: 

"Only a life lived for others is worth living." - Albert Einstein. 

So, here is a link to World Vision's site. You will find so much information there. Poverty. Slavery. Death. Malnutrition. And most of all... what our support can do. And maybe, just maybe... it's time. Don't do it because you feel obligated. If it's not the time... it's not the time. Do it if you know it's time. And you'll know. 

I love you, Mom. 


  1. LOVE this post. It brought tears to my eyes! I love what you and your family do!

  2. Wow. This is so amazing. You guys are really a great group of folks!

  3. Oh that's so neat! I sponsored a kid in Bangladesh and always wonder how he's doing and what he's like. What a blessing to meet a stranger that you've have the opportunity to pour into over the years. I'm sure she was encouraged by your visit! :)

  4. Oh, we sponsor several children, and it's funny the way that little picture on cardstock creeps it's way into your head and heart. I so hope to meet "our" kids some day.

  5. You guys are just amazing. I love following your story and learning more about you and how you love on other people. Thank you so much for sharing and for being such an inspiration.


  6. Oh oh. We have a girl through World Vision, I can't believe (translated: I am so jealous) that you got to meet her! WHAT a gift!!!

  7. i think this is the cooooolest story ever. steve and i sponsor a boy over there but gosh, we'll prob never have the chance to meet him. sooooo cool to have gotten to do so!!!!

  8. Thank you my darling !! The joy will be shared abundantly.