Chris has been religiously watching the NBA playoffs, and I unfortunately am about sick of them. Usually I've been retreating into the bedroom and reading cookbooks on the Kindle, but last night I decided to do something different: I sat down at the dining table and wrote to my sponsored children. I have to admit--I'm terrible about writing to them. I seem to remember them the most when I'm attentive to Orthodoxy, but in those (sadly long) times when I'm absorbed with myself I forget just about everyone I should be taking care of. But a recent incident reawakened my Christian zeal ever so slightly, so my focus is on the three children I sponsor rather than how to roast a duck. Not shockingly, I feel like a better person for it.
I got into child sponsorship as a substitute for having children. I've learned there are several ways to do that without the commitment of adoption. Hosting an international student, for instance. That's something that still interests me, although it's taking a back seat to the call to respite care. Goodness knows what we'll end up doing. Anyway, sponsorship was a way to fill the void infertility left. I'm especially fond of my Romanian boy who has been "my" child for almost two years now. The Ethiopian girl and Egyptian boy are recent additions in the past few months. The letters last night were the second to the girl and only the first to the boy. I've lost track of how many I've sent to the Romanian boy. And let me tell you, nothing beats the thrill of getting a letter back from them in the mail. "International mail from Romania," Chris will say to me, and I suddenly get all shy and can't open the letter for a few hours. I'm silly that way.
Anyway, I was thinking to myself as I was writing (it helps that I was incredibly caffeinated and having feelings of invincibility) that all Christians who are able should sponsor a child (or three). Honestly, it doesn't bother me if people from other faiths/no faith do it too, but my concern is always with Christians because we are called to be the salt and light of the earth. I had some really great ideas for things to say on behalf of sponsorship, but the caffeine that fueled my zeal also fueled a sleepless night and I don't remember half of what I was thinking. Still, it's a pretty cheap commitment, it's a wonderful way to impact the life of a child and his/her community, and you'll make an international friend (or three). The two boys were picked for me by random chance, and the Romanian was young at the time (6), but I prefer older children as it turns out. I got to select the Ethiopian girl myself, and I had three criteria for her: 1) had to be a girl (since I already had a boy), 2) had to be older (she's 12), and 3) don't pick the cutest kid in the bunch (a difficult impulse to overcome, lemme tell ya). The Romanian boy and Ethiopian girl are through World Vision; the Egyptian boy is through Coptic Orphans (Orthodox Christians may be more comfortable with them than other Christians--FYI). If anyone has another charity they like, please feel free to drop its name in the comments.
I apologize for a post that's a darn sight more scatterbrained than I intended back when the caffeine was still coursing through my veins. I hope you'll consider the joy of sponsorship in spite of my writing. :)