Our story starts in 2000, when Neil and I decided to sponsor a child. Madeline had been born the year before, and we expanded our family to include a girl in Mexico, too. We picked Mexico thinking that it might be the most likely place for us to get to if we were ever to visit our Compassion child. This is Lucina when she first became ours, and the latest picture:
Fast forward to 2004. Neil had been gone one year, and Madeline and I decided to sponsor another child. This is Maria:
One year later, in late 2005, Maria and her family moved out of the area of the project she had been a part of, so Compassion sent us Roberto:
In early 2007, when Sean and I were newly married, Compassion had to shut down the project that Lucina was a part of. She had been ours for 7 years! You can see from the pictures above (the first and last of 4 that we got) how much she grew in that time. We sponsored Abigail next:
Only one year later (early 2008), Abigail's parents pulled her out of the program. We decided not to take another child at that time, so just had Roberto. Later that year, Roberto's parents moved, and Compassion sent us Damian:
In April of this year, I was browsing through the kids on the Compassion site. The author of one of the blogs I read is a Compassion Advocate, and mentioned once that she looks through the unsponsored kids and prays for them every week. So that's what I was doing (since I had to log on to update my email address anyway) and I started punching in our birthdays... Well there was only one child that had the same birthday as Madeline, and she was a girl, and she was even born the same year. A twin! And she had a cute name, too: Salomey Coffie. I went into the other room and jokingly told Sean that I found a way for us to spend some money, and told him about Salomey. He reminded me that when we didn't take another child after Abigail left, we said we would again someday when money was less tight, and that it wasn't, so why not? That's how Salomey came to join our family. We haven't heard from her yet, but I've got some stuff for both her and Damian ready to go in the mail today. Salomey is a break from our Mexican habit, too; she's from Ghana:
So that's our long complicated Compassion story. I've found that although we haven't had many long term relationships with most of our kids, we have had a chance to get to know more than just one or two. In most of the cases, too, someone from the project has written to us to let us know why they have left and to thank us for our involvement - that's a nice touch and wrap up, I think. We love getting letters in the mail, and now that M is old enough, she can write her own, too, instead of just sending along pictures. I hope she and Salomey develop a neat friendship.
I told you a while ago about some mail we got from Compassion asking us to help find a sponsor for Pyetra, a little girl from Brazil. I think I might have found one tonight... I'll keep you posted on that!
Two of the writers whose blogs I follow happened to be going on a Compassion blogger trip to India lately - they just got back, and it was pretty interesting to follow their stories. I have a good friend here in town who is an Advocate, which is a volunteer who works to try to get kids sponsored. If this has raised any interest in sponsoring in you, I encourage you to check out Compassion Canada - I think that link should get you to Karen's Compassion page.
Have a great night - I'm going to print off a few pictures to send in my letters to Damian and Salomey now!